The Avengers Iron Man Flip and Change Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Avengers, Heroes, Jumpstarter

The Avengers

General Information:
Release Date: August 2012
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None
Images:

*Official photos and text below in italics from The Official Hasbro Web Site.
Race and flip your way into robot action with this awesome converting IRON MAN Flip & Attack Quinjet figure! Its TRANSFORMERS technology makes it double trouble – one minute it’s a speedy vehicle, the next it’s an IRON MAN attack bot! Pull the Quinjet back in vehicle mode and let it go to rev and race against the most powerful villains in the world!

Rev and race your IRON MAN Flip & Attack Quinjet vehicle into major MARVEL THE AVENGERS action! Vehicle uses TRANSFORMERS technology to convert from vehicle mode to bot mode. Pull the vehicle back to rev it, then let it go to race it! Vehicle converts automatically! Includes figure. Ages 4 and up.

Iron ManIn the days of Generation One, the dominant gimmick in any Transformers toy line was the transformation itself. However, additional gimmicks wound up getting added on to figures over the years to make them more interesting. One of these gimmicks from the early days of Generation One was the "Jumpstarter" technology. The idea was a Transformers figure that transformed by itself. You pulled back the vehicle in vehicle mode and it had a motor inside that propelled it forward and then transformed it into robot mode automatically, "jumping" into robot mode. Only two Jumpstarters were released in Generation One, but the two characters have gone on to be featured in Transformers media including the recent "Last Stand of the Wreckers" comic book mini-series.

With the release of the 2012 "The Avengers" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" movies, part of Hasbro's toy lines for each of these films includes the release of transforming robotic figures using the old "Jumpstarter" technology. In general, these figures are a bit smaller than their G1 counterparts, roughly qualifying as a Deluxe level figure. Unlike the current Star Wars Transformers, these figures are not being marketed as "Crossovers" Transformers. However, they do mention "Transformers Technology" on their packaging. Interestingly however, outside of this small use/mention of the "Transformers" logo, there is nothing else on the packaging mentioning Transformers such as trademark information mentioning Takara Tomy. Also, if you read the text above (taken from Hasbro's own web site, they mention these are mecha created from "Transformers technology", solidifying the crossover of the two worlds. This is quite appropriate since Marvel Productions was the company that developed the fiction we have come to take as classic G1 lore back in the early 80's, and now the worlds have crossed over again.

Robot Mode:
If any "Avengers" character lends himself to being made into a mecha, it's Iron Man. Tony Stark's suit of armor already has many "Transformers" styled elements including panels that open to reveal weaponry and parts of the armor that extend out and shift to help him fly or brake in mid-air. Taking that to the next logical step in this toy line is the use of a body based on Transformers technology for his mech. The Iron Man mech is based on Iron Man's appearance in the "Avengers" movie, so you'll see a lot of the requisite details in place. This includes the design of his helmet, with its slit eyes and mouth and a round helmet section with circles on the sides. The other distinguishing feature is the torso, where his ARC reactor blaster is seen in the center (a circular one, not triangular) and there are several folds of armor going down the mid-body.

Most of the other details on this figure emphasize the Transformers pedigree and the alternate mode more. For instance, he has vents on the top of his chest, wings from the vehicle mode on the arms and the legs look much more like they came from a Cybertronian with angled armor than the more human-shaped panels on Iron Man himself. On the back of each leg, there are boosters with stabilizer fins on them cast in a softer plastic than the rest of the figure for safety purposes. Overall, these details all work together nicely to form a robot that is definitely inspired by Iron Man, but has many design elements all its own.

The Iron Man mech is mostly cast in red plastic, with black wheels on the back (two rubber, one plastic). The red is a deep color with a matte styled finish that gives it the armor a more "realistic" feel to it. The boosters on the back of his legs are a brighter shade of red, probably due to differences in coloring the soft plastic versus the harder plastic that makes up most of the figure.

Paint applications are done in gold, grey, blue and white. The gold is the most prominent color, which makes sense when you consider red and gold are the traditional Iron Man armor colors. The gold is used on the face, the elbows, mid-body and the thighs, which matches up nicely with where those colors can be found on the Iron Man armor. The grey is used on other parts such as the vents on top of his chest, the fake wheels on his feet and some smaller details in the middle of the body. The circle on the chest is painted white with a blue outline, simulating the look of Iron Man's power source in the movie. The eyes are painted in a similar fashion in an attempt to replicate how Iron Man looks in the film. The result here is one cool looking figure deco-wise.

The Iron Man mech can lift its arms up and down and that's about it. There are no weapons sculpted into the arms, so aside from the reactor in his chest, there are no other obvious weapons. Still, I can imagine weapons able to pop out from various panels on the mech. After all, if Tony Stark's own armor can do it, why not his mech too?

Transformation:
Iron Man's mech uses the old "Jumpstarter" style transformation. The legs of the robo latch onto the hook on the chest. Pull back the vehicle until you hear a click and then let go. The vehicle will roll forward on its own and in a few seconds, it springs the legs forward and lands in robot mode. With Generation One's Jumpstarters, one of the complications with the figures was balance. They didn't usually land on their feet, so adjustable weight balances were put on their heads for you to play with to get them just right. The figures in this line don't have such balances, but overall they perform well. I tested each figure out with five successive transformations and only one out of those four times did the figure not land on its feet.

To transform the figure back, just push the legs up and connect them to the hooks on the chest. If the hook is out of alignment, you can just roll the wheels on the back a bit and let them spin so the hook readjusts. If even that doesn't work I recommend returning the figure for another.

Vehicle Mode:
Unlike the other "Flip & Attack" vehicles in this line, Iron Man's mech actually transforms into a vehicle that exists in Marvel's universe, namely the Quinjet, a version of which was seen in the "Avengers" feature film. Now, the Quinjet itself has had many incarnations over the years. In general the Quinjet is a sleek vehicle with a front end that clearly accomodates pilots (sometimes it's wide, other times a bit slimmer) and there are wings on it. Meaning, when it comes to calling this vehicle a "Quinjet", anything goes really. To that point, this jet works out nicely. It has a distinctive cockpit that is rather blunt on the nosecone, making it look more like the cockpit of a bomber than a sleek plane. The cockpit is flanked by two extended air intakes that give the vehicle an extra "sci fi" feel. The boosters from the legs of the robot mode are now on the top of the vehicle, giving it some powerful looking thrusters and horizontal stabilizers to boot. Perhaps the most "Quinjet" feature out of all of these are the wings, which come out on the sides and feature fan details in the center, alluding the VTOL ability of the Quinjet. This definitely isn't the most sleek jet ever, but it's much more well defined than some other vehicle modes from the "Flip & Attack" series of robots.

There aren't any real "new" decos in this mode. The cockpit windows are black and you can see the paint on the ends of the thrusters and the gold on the legs from a different angle, but that's about it. That's not really a bad thing however. The figure still looks great and is definitely recognizable as Iron Man inspired even in this form.

Final Thoughts:
The Iron Man mech is a fun little toy. You really need to be fond of the play pattern to enjoy this figure, but if you do the sculpt, colors and choice of vehicle mode all make this an appealing toy to fans of Transformers and Marvel comics alike. Recommended!