#2005 / Variant Bring Arts / Iron Man

Product Line / Variant Bring Arts
Scale & Class / Non-Scale Collectible Figure
Manufacturer / Square Enix
Release Date / 2020
Appearances / N/A

While Square Enix is primarily a video game publisher, they do have a merchandising division for collectibles. In fact, they’ve been in the market for some time thanks to their Play Arts Kai line of 7-inch figures. And with their continued merchandise expansion to cover more markets, including model kits, they introduced the Bring Arts line, which are basically 6-inch Play Arts Kai figures. They also carried in the ‘Variant’ label to feature redesigns of characters outside their own properties, like those from Marvel and DC. Tetsuya Nomura, a veteran character designer for the Final Fantasy franchise, is responsible for these redesigns and he has made a new one for Iron Man. The figure looks great, though not great enough to justify its price as per some collectors. Isn’t it though?

TL; DR, yes. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. At a glance, Variant Bring Arts Iron Man is mostly red with a layered panel aesthetic complemented with gold edge accents. Blue is used sparingly on the Repulsors and the clear blue Arc Reactor piece. Despite the redesigns, it still has the same Iron Man visual beats. Going through the articulation, we encounter its primary issue: loose joints. Specifically, those of the hip and knee assemblies. The hips use universal joints and work fine with neutral poses, but not so much in dynamic ones. Same is true with the knees, which are double joints connected via circular pegs to the upper and lower legs. Ideally, these pegs are good knee swivels, but being loose just adds more problems than benefits. The overall articulation range would’ve been good, actually even great, if not for these weak joints. Ironically, the stronger joints are found on its primary accessory: two backpack attachments that open to reveal Freedom Gundam-esque wing binders. They can also be used individually as handheld blades or a shield when combined, providing a play pattern different from your usual Iron Man figure. This would’ve been an impressive set if not for the issues mentioned, not to mention its steep retail price. But if you really like this design, just wait until it’s on discount.