Last night I began my reviews of Marvel Universe 2012′s first series, Wave 17, with the hotly-anticipated Psylocke. Today I’m moving on to one of my surprise favorite figures of Wave 17–the modern white Iron Fist. It’s hard to believe, but this is already the third Iron Fist figure in the Marvel Universe line, following the original modern version in Wave 2 and Classic Iron Fist in 2011′s comic packs with Power Man. Wave 2′s green costume Iron Fist is still one of my favorite Marvel Universe figures despite being over 3 years old now, so I wasn’t sure I needed a new Iron Fist, especially an Iron Fist figure wearing a costume that I’ve never read a comic book with him wearing. I was wrong–this modern Iron Fist in white costume blows away the original in every way (except maybe quality control)…
The Wave 2 Iron Fist was my first Marvel Universe figure, and I still have him out on my desk today where I pose him and play with him all the time. So this white Iron Fist figure was going to have quite a bit to live up to. To my delight, he’s either equal to or improves upon the original Iron Fist in every single way (except one, which I’ll discuss later).
First off, the most obvious improvement here is that this time, modern Iron Fist has a FIST!! The green modern Iron Fist in Wave 2 had two open hands, and it was a little weird having a no-fisted Iron Fist. So I’m excited to finally have a punch-ready modern Iron Fist.
Obviously the most apparent change to this new Iron Fist is his white color scheme. I was pretty dubious since I’m not familiar with the costume, but like being pummeled by a thing unto iron, the finished product here shattered all my expectations! The white costume looks phenomenal, and this Iron Fists ends up being one of the slickest-looking 4″ figures in my whole collection. The polished gold paint used as a secondary color is eye-catching and a beautiful complement to the primary white. Unlike previous Marvel Universe figures that have been ruined by poor paint washes, the blue wash over the white was applied just right and adds depth and dimension to the white. All of the paint was applied crisply and evenly, and I have nothing but praise for the paintwork and colors chosen.
Another improvement is with the great belt/sash Iron Fist has. Whereas Psylocke has the same sash and it fails as it doesn’t fit her at all, it fits securely and tightly on Iron Fist and looks tremendous. This is a colossal advancement to the Wave 2 Iron Fist, whose belt was seriously just a thin line of undetailed yellow paint on his waist.
The articulation on the new Iron Fist is similar to the old one, but with a couple improvements. Whereas Wave 2 Iron Fist had swivel forearms requiring you to move half of Iron Fist’s arms to pose his hands right, this new version has much more practical swivel wrist articulation. It seems like a trivial thing, but it really is a major upgrade for kung-fu posing.
Iron Fist has just one accessory: the same oft-used energy-attachment he came with way back 15 waves ago. I can’t complain too much–this attachment worked perfect for Iron Fist back in 2008, and clips on just as well here. It’s orange this time instead of yellow, and I think the orange goes well with the white/gold outfit. Any of these attachments will fit Iron Fist perfectly, so feel free to swap if you prefer a different color.
Finally, I thought it was worth mentioning here that I love the new Deadpool slogans that are different on every cardback. They add an extra second of fun and elicit a big smile every time I read a new one, and I much prefer these to the old Steve Rogers/Osborne generic cardbacks that I immediately discarded without ever feeling the need to give even a first glance to. The Deadpool quip on Iron Fist’s cardback reads: “Collect them all! But none could possibly look this good.” Ha.
Hasbro chose to package Iron Fist in a dynamic, kung fu kicking pose to show off his excellent articulation. This would be in “The Right”, except that Iron Fist was crammed into the bubble so tightly that his left leg ripped off trying to remove him from the package. As you can imagine, I am not amused.
Yes, I can stick Iron Fist’s leg back onto the peg, but it’s so loosely held on there now that every time I turn or bend the leg it falls off again. I’ve never had a problem like this with a Marvel Universe figure or even a Transformer with similar articulation, but the hindrance here is impossible to ignore. It’s infuriating to have a figure this well-done and then have it be brought down by what’s either shoddy quality-control or a defect caused by a terrible packaging concept. I don’t have another Iron Fist available to me right now to see if it’s just mine that’s messed up, but I sure hope that’s the case.
It appears to be the end of the road for the much-beloved Marvel Universe figure stands. This series is the first 2012 set of Marvel Universe figures, and to my astonishment Hasbro has found a cheaper and crappier pack-in than the Jedi Force Files from the old Power of the Jedi line. Instead of getting a practical, often-necessary figure stand with each figure this year, collectors will now get a “Collectible Comic Shot”, which refers to a small 2″ picture of the character taken from a cover and printed on a piece of low-quality cardstock. Worse, several of the “Comic Shots” in this series including the one with Iron Fist picture their character in a totally different costume than the one the figure they’re packaged with it wearing! At least the Jedi Force files gave you information about a character–these “Collectible Comic Shots” are just useless throw-aways.
At the time of writing, Marvel Universe Wave 17 has only begun to hit select specialty online retailers and hasn’t been sighted in stores as far as I know. Online, I’ve seen Iron Fist available from a couple sources:
Amazon has Modern Iron Fist available right now from several sellers with free shipping, but their prices and availability from various sellers changes incredibly rapidly.
Entertainment Earth is tied for the best price online and has the Wave 17 Set of 6 for $54.99 in-stock and ready to ship at the time of writing this review.
BigBadToyStore is also tied for the best price on the Set of 6 for Wave 17 for just $54.99 (including Psylocke, Storm, Patriot, Thunder Age Iron Man, Modern Iron Fist, and Shadowland Daredevil) . That’s essentially the retail price, which is the best you can hope for from an online store. They also have Modern Iron Fist available individually for $8.99 on pre-order.
Finally, CMDStore has the whole Wave 17 set of 6 there for $59.95.
Overall: I wasn’t looking forward to this white Iron Fist at all, but he’s actually a gorgeous figure and just may be my favorite of the whole wave. I’m not sure if the problem I had with Iron Fist’s defective leg is an isolated incident or if it’s going to be a mass quality-control problem, but other than that I have zero issues with the figure. Articulation and sculpting are both excellent, and Iron Fist looks fantastic in the white costume and the paint application is superb. I have to knock the score slightly because of the defect, but otherwise this figure is near-perfect. Highly recommended if you’re an Iron Fist or modern Marvel fan–just be careful for the leg and watch out for breakage.