Toy collectors far and wide know the dread of the “Walgreens Exclusive” announcement. Will the website’s pre-order system work? Will the release dates change multiple times? And, finally (and most aggravatingly), how long will actually take to SEE one of these unicorns in the wild?
I have been through the Walgreens Exclusive ringer more than a few times, so when I heard they would be getting the Marvel Legends Iron Man 2020 in April, I didn’t hold out hope of seeing one any time soon. Fast forward to June: three failed pre-order attempts and one release delay, I found myself in a Walgreens toy aisle, the ever-evasive Exclusive sitting in front of me. Just right there on the shelf. It was like a dream and I couldn’t wait to review it.
Before I even get started, I have to make an honest confession: I was not optimistic about how I would feel about this figure for a couple of reasons. First, I have been on the hunt for months for a 1:12 scale (six inch) Iron Man figure that could live up to its namesake. Marvel Legends versions have had paint and molding issues, boring accessories and just seemed plain lazy to me. As I began to explore other options, including Diamond Select, I became obsessed with the mission, determined to find an Iron Man that I was proud to own. It’s been unreasonably tough. The second reason for my skepticism was my lack of familiarity with Arno Stark as Iron Man 2020. While I am a collector for the toys’ sake first and foremost, it always helps to know a bit about the character (especially when I’m supposed to buy-in to cog-shaped shoulder pads.)
All that said, I can tell you now: This toy is good. And I mean really good.
As I dove into my review, I was made aware that the body mold for this figure was the same one used for the 80th Anniversary Iron Man put out by Hasbro last year and that I would probably really like that figure as well. But the mold and various elements of the sculpt have never been the real problem for me. Aside from some lackluster arc reactors, the Iron Man sculpts have been reasonably satisfying. The paint work and plastic colors are where it all falls apart for me. Until now.
I took a close look at the 80th Iron Man and was able to pick out the elements of Iron Man 2020 right away (they’re identical save for accessorial details), but the colors were where all the difference was made for me. With Iron Man 2020, it’s goodbye to the literally lackluster dull gold paint of past figures and hello to a brilliant, iridescent yellow-gold and metallic red plastic mold. I took a few photographs of my figure just to see if it looked as good on camera as he did in person, and was not disappointed. This figure is bright, shiny and photographs better than any Iron Man in my collection so far.
To those who follow me, I’m known for putting articulate figures through their paces, and this one received the highest marks. I would have liked to see butterfly joints (although I probably wouldn’t have made use of them in the posing on my shelf — I know that Hasbro can do it, so I want it on all of my figures) but every other point of articulation was spot on, appropriate and highly functional. It’s very tough to feel like one missing joint is a valid complaint when this figure is performing so well overall at the $19.99 MSRP.
Finally, the blast accessories on this figure are my favorite of any I’ve had in the past. While the hand blasts are the standard Marvel Legends Iron Man fair, and pretty basic, the foot blasts that serve as an actual functional elevated base for display and photography are unrivaled in my collection and take this figure over the top for me. Although it might have been nice to add an alternate head to the accessories pack (which also includes a pair of interchangeable fists), the blast foundation is more than worth the value and really just looks awesome.
So, although I truly expected this figure would be nothing to write home about, here I sit at the end of a lengthy love letter to the Walgreens Exclusive Iron Man 2020, absolutely recommending that you take the time to hunt one down. He is highly articulate, intelligently rendered and the design is fun and great-looking. If the pot of gold at the end of the exclusive hunt rainbow was always this fantastic, I’m sure there would be more excitement to embark on what might prove to be a long search, indeed.
Make sure to check out Carly’s review video!