Review and Photos by Jorge Pelaez
With the recent avalanche of Iron Man 3 collectibles Hot Toys has been unleashing, it's nice to take a little break from all those different Mark suits and go in a different direction. Thanks to the fine folks at Hot Toys we will be taking a look at the "villain" from Iron Man 3 - Mandarin - and man is he awesome!
Mandarin features an elegant multi-colored outer shoe box featuring an oversized image of actor Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin sitting in his chair on the front panel. The box is surrounded by visual element of the character such as the unique flower pattern from his robes as well as oriental and military elements. The olive green colored box contrast beautifully with the copper and gold of the mandarin's wardrobe and Iron Man 3 logos that surround the box.
The inside of the box includes a removable cardboard with the same image that appears in the film during the Mandarin's live broadcast on TV. The figure and all of its accessories are housed within a single clamshell tray and the interchangeable hands and sunglasses are in a separate plastic sealed compartment.
The head portrait on this figure is one of the most realistic head sculpts featured on a Hot Toys figure to date. The sculpted portrait by artist Kojun captures the likeness of actor Sir Ben Kingsley flawlessly from all angles and the masterful paint work by JC Hong makes it hard to distinguish this figure from the real person in photos. The iconic rings on both of Mandarin's hands are sculpted intricately well and feature various symbols atop multi-colored stones. The ring is one of the few elements of the character that were accurately carried over from the comics and help make the film version more relatable to the original source material.
The unique wardrobe on this character is yet another element that makes this figure stand out significantly and gives it a truly unique aesthetic that is not found in many other sixth scale figures. The film version of the Mandarin is very different yet similar to the iconic villain from the comics as he features a blend of Muslim and Oriental attributes mixed with military elements. Mandarin features olive colored camouflaged cargo pants that features stunning golden embroidery of an oriental dragon running down the side of the left leg. Mandarin's ornate robe is intricately detailed embroidery all around. The sleeves are accented with an exotic blend of multi-colored flowers and tiny medal-shaped charms. The collar features unique embroidered designs in copper and gold which contrast beautifully with the olive green that makes up the majority of the garment. The hood is not meant to be placed over the head as it puffs up and does not have a wire along the edge to compliment it's placement on the head. The hood feature two tiny magnets located at the edges which keep it locked down to give it a natural weighed-down look on the figure. Mandarin features olive colored military boots which are molded in a hard rubber material.
Unlike other Hot Toys sixth scale figures, the Mandarin does not include a lot of packed-in items but the amazingly-tailored wardrobe and ornate Chinese-style chair more than make up for the lack of accessories. The figure includes:
• Seven (7) interchangeable palms with rings including:
• One (1) pair relaxed palms
• One (1) pair of fists
• One (1) pair of open palms
• One (1) posed right palm
• One (1) Chinese style antique chair
• One (1) pair of sunglasses
While the Mandarin never got to see any action in the film due to the unexpected plot twist, collectors can pretend he did by posing the figure in various dynamic ways thanks to the extensive articulation on the body. As expected, all the joints on the body are nice and tight allowing the figure to stay in the pose you place it in with ease.
While most Marvel purist strongly disliked the direction the film took with this character in the film, this is still one hell of a sixth scale masterpiece. Although the mighty Mandarin turned out to be a sheep in wolf's clothing, this sixth scale Mandarin Movie Masterpiece by Hot Toys is an absolute must-have especially if you're trying to beef up your Marvel villain's gallery. I predict this figure may turn out to be a very sought after piece in the near future similar to what happened with the Avengers movie Hawkeye figure. This figure is still available now through several online retailers so secure yours today before it's too late.
Review and Photos by Jorge Pelaez
Review Sample Courtesy of Hot Toys