NOTE: This is not the review of a professional or seasoned collector who collects these figures normally. This is from a fan like many who may want to enjoy and collect for their own personal fandom.
In 2021 Marvel Comics ran a mini-series in a partnership with Bandai Namco where our favorite Avengers would enter the world of manga in a series called Avengers Tech-On.
This idea was designed to promote Bandai Namco's new action figure line based on the Marvel Comic.
The series was a great combination of Marvel and Mecha manga/anime that led to an action-packed story like we've never seen before.
Normally we would see stories like this from the likes of legendary Super Sentai series Ultraman, Power Rangers, Kamen Rider and more.
You combined the Marvel universe with the awesome mech designs by Eichi Shimizu (Netflix's Ultraman series) and you have one epic looking comic.
The story to the series (written by Jim Zub and illustrated by artist and previous guest of TALK TIME LIVE Jeffrey "Chamba" Cruz) has the Red Skull acquiring a "new power" that gives him the ability to strip Earth's mightiest heroes of their powers leaving them vulnerable to defend the planet.
Tony Stark develops an idea to provide new armor suits that will accommodate the Avengers' lost abilities to defeat the Red Skull.
NOTE: Please forgive my mispronunciation of "ComiXology" with "Cosmicology." Is that even a thing? It sounds like a thing.
Back on August 17, 2021, I interviewed Jeffrey "Chamba" Cruz (known for his work on VENOM as well as the Street Fighter series for UDON Entertainment) who talked about his work on the book and mentioned the action figure series that Bandai Namco was producing. I was overly excited to get my hands on them. The figures were not out at the time of the interview but images of them were going around on the internet, and they were a must have. Finally, in 2022, I was able to get my hands on my first one and this did not disappoint as you will see.
While this is not my first Bandai Namco figure, this is my first of the S.H. Figurarts line and I got to see firsthand the amount of work that went into designing this figure. Much like any of the figures and models that I unbox these are not figures made for kids.
These figures are highly sophisticated and articulated which allows fans to pose them exactly the way you would see them in comics and movies. The arms, legs, and even the feet bend at many angles and degrees, and they also come with many accessories and parts if you want to change up Tony's poses and looks. The set also comes with translucent energy pieces to create his iconic Photon beam and repulsor blast effects.
There are also extra face and shoulder attachments in case you lose or break one which is welcome to anyone who may not be great at handling the articulation of these figures.
And make no mistake, these figures look great, but they are not as easy to manipulate as what is seen online.
What you will appreciate when holding the Iron-Man figure is how balanced it feels in your hands. This is due to the item being implemented with diecast metal in certain regions of the form that will allow Iron-man to stand on its two feet no matter how you pose him.
I had no trouble with it even when standing on soft felt fabric.
Visually, the Tech-On Iron-man figure is a fantastic work of art. Every point of detail matches exactly what Eichi Shimizu's concept was meant to be. It's an amazing accomplishment by S.H. Figurart and it reminds fans (especially the ones who grew up way before the 2000's) how far we have come with action figures. We never had anything this articulate growing up as they were very cheaply manufactured, and mass produced. But as kids we enjoyed them just because the logo was on the box made it the official item of your favorite fandom. But deep down we all wanted to have figures that looked exactly the way we wanted to see them in cartoons or comics, and it feels great to be a fan currently because of the efforts and technology by these modern companies to give fans what they dreamed of.
The attention to detail, movement, feel, and even the hot rod red and gold color scheme is all here.
If you enjoy the comic/manga series, then the S.H. Figurart series will make you love it even more.
I would argue that as a novice to these types of figures you may have a bit of a challenge trying to pose them the way you see on the box or other images online. S.H. Figurarts created the figures to be able to bend at will, but the articulation is so complex I began to react a bit delicate with it as I was worried, I break the Iron-man figure if I twist it a degree or angle too far.
The best thing to do in this case may be to find a video with seasoned collectors showing you how to work them correctly and properly.
For me, I played it safe and did not go too far. The legs were the biggest challenge for me as I was looking to do the iconic Iron-man hero stance and could not for the life of me make it work.
I would put money on it that it is my lack of understanding more than the figures inability to do what I want it to do.
The spine region looks delicate but just may require me to be a little more educated on how the form works. What I did appreciate about the figure is that no matter what pose I did it looked cool and no matter if it stood or kneeled it never fell thanks to the addition of the die cast elements. Adding the DH-10 attachments is a real treat. Giving Iron-Man that "Marvel vs. Capcom" looks like he's about to pull off a "Super" move to finish his opponents off is nothing short of epic.
My only negative for the figure is the stand itself. This is not one of the best stands I owned as it comes apart to allow other attachments to be added, which I do understand, but I wish there were a better way of doing it.
There were times when I posed the figure on the stand, and it fell apart. I was able to reattach it and clamp Iron-man to it, but it was a tad bit tedious at times mostly when you have it with the DH-10 attachments added to it. Once it's all attached it looks incredible. So incredible that one may not want to touch it again in fear that they will have to go through that tedious process again.
OVERALL: The S.H.Figuarts Iron Man (TECH-ON AVENGERS) is a treasure and a fine addition for Marvel fans and Mecha fans as well.
You will no doubt get your money's worth with this and any of the Tech-on Avengers figures that are out despite my lack of posing ability.
The only problem you will have been which one to get first if you must choose one. They are all great to own and cool to have on display.
SIDE NOTE: I recently reached out to Chamba letting him know I got the Iron-Man figure and he appreciated it and one upped me with a pic of the latest version of the Tech-On Avengers' Captain America figure that just came out this month.
Seriously, no matter which figure you get you are not making a bad pick as they are a thing of mech anime beauty.
If you are looking to get your hands on one of these items, you can find them at Big Bad Toy Store and wherever they sell this series.