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Do You Have A Carded Iron Man Figure
The original and first Iron Man figure (as far as I'm aware, do you know differently? Then let me know), as is the case with many of the DC and Marvel characters, was released in a 1975 as part of The World's Greatest Super Heroes wave with the Hulk, Tarzan and Falcon in their own store counter display box, of which very few have survived.
The '75 release of the World's Greatest Super Heroes is considered to be a benchmark for Mego as for the first time it seemed that they made an attempt to capture the characters likeness, they even went a step further and added creative details such as "fist" gloves and a sewn on chest piece.
The one question mark that hangs over these release is the presence of a nose but, as many comic fans will point out, for a brief point in the seventies he did have a nose in the comics.
The Iron Man figure came on both a Type 1 and Type 2 body but it is the Type 2 that is more commonly seen.
The Iron Man figure was only featured as part of the WGSH from 1975-78 when he was un-ceremonially dropped. As a result he is almost impossible to find on a regular card and there was no Kresge Card for the Iron Man figure.
He was only released in one carded assortment and was dropped afterwards and is one of the most difficult of the "World's Greatest Superheroes" to find carded, being in the top 3 rarest of all the carded Super Hero figures.
Lili Ledy's also produced a super cool Mexican version of the Iron Man figure "Hombre De Hierro" which was also a "fist fighter" figure.
After Mego being dropped from the WGSH range of figures another Iron Man action figure wasn't produced until 1994.
Coinciding with the release of the new animated series and produced by Toy Biz this line came as an announced surprise to most fans as no mentioned of it had been made at Toy Fair.
This line probably owes much to the huge success of their Spiderman line that was also released simultaneously with the cartoon.
This tactic of releasing the cartoon and figures at the same time seemed to work so well with Spiderman andiron Man that Toy Biz to enter into to another similar deal with Marvel for the Fantastic Four.
The 5" Iron Man figures were the heart and soul of the entire line, as would be expected but what really helped to propel the lines popularity was the introduction of a new concept for Toy Biz, interchangeable vac-metallized armour .
There were two types of figures available, Armored or Unarmored and as the armor on the armoured versions was removable, and as many the figures had a uniform design most of the armor pieces were interchangeable and could be used any of the other armored figures.
Given that Iron Man would naturally have many different types of armor and was featured wearing many the these armor variations in the comic it seemed a natural "fit".
But the added cost of producing the figures and the expense of vac-metallization Toy Biz's profit margin for this line was most likely marginal and so the concept ultimately failed after four series.
On top of this there were many other production problems. Often the armor pieces didn't fit properly and the vac-metallization of the little armor pieces caused chipping and a loss of color which often resulted in sloppy looking figures.
But through this line and the animated series Iron Man gained an almost immediate cult status among collectors.
Each series had similar card backs but each had its own original artwork of Iron Man on it which made each series easily distinguishable, i.e. Regular Armor Iron Man (Series I), Stealth Armor Iron Man (Series II), Arctic Armor Iron Man (Series III), and Samurai Armor Iron Man (Series IV).
Most of the armor featured in the line was based on those worn by him either in the comic or TV animated series.
Most of the figures were quite plentiful to find at the time but are becoming increasingly difficult to find, particularly in mint or boxed condition due to the number of accessories they had and the small interchangeable pieces of armor.
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