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ML Icons 1 – Iron Man and Unmasked Wolverine

Marvel Legends just got bigger and better. With the release of ML Icons, Toy Biz has brought super-posable action figures to the 12" scale. And at a suggested retail price of under $20, they’ve made it affordable.

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at two of the figures from ML Icons Series 1, Iron Man and the unmasked variant of Wolverine.



The first series of ML Icons come packaged in sturdy cardboard windowboxes with two panes.  The one on the front allows a thorough inspection of the enclosed figure, although you may have some difficulty seeing the feet.  The pane on the back displays the cover of the included "Evolution of an Icon" posterbook.

The figures are held in place by twist ties on a clear plastic tray, in front of a cardboard insert adorned by comic covers featuring the character in question.  Overall it’s a nice package for collectors who keep their figures on the card – that is, if you can find a package that’s not dinged up.

With the size of the package coupled with the weight of the contents, it may prove difficult to get one in pristine shape.  The packaging for the two figures in this review were left in a shopping cart by returns – both with dings in the cardboard and one with a gaping hole in the front window pane.


Those of you hoping for scaled-up versions of the 6" Marvel Legends of Astonishing Wolverine and the Modern Armor Iron Man will not be disappointed.  At first glance, you might mistake these for their smaller counterparts or their two-ups.  Closer examination reveals some differences, but nothing drastic.  If you like the original ML figures, then you’ll like these too.


Iron Man measures in at 12 and a half inches.  The larger scale allows for more detail, particularly between the plates of his armor, for example in the wrists and fingers.  You can actually make out the wires and joints in those areas – if they exist in the 6" figures they’re not easy to see.  He also gets a different set of forearm guards and a pair of more pointy knee pads.  The rest of the figure, aside from the shoulders (more on that below), seems exactly like a scaled up version of the ML IM.  This includes the face plate, which has real eyeslits just like the ML version – with the Icon, you can even see his eyes in there.

Wolverine measures in at 11 inches tall. I suspect that in contrast to Iron Man, he is a completely new sculpt.  The boots, gloves, and belt are from the variation of the Astonishing X-Men costume that appeared in a couple of issues of Uncanny X-Men.  The main differences for that costume are the raised gold stripes on the darker gloves and boots.  The Icons Wolverine actually loses some detail that’s captured in the 6" version – the larger figure doesn’t have any stitchwork on its raised blue tiger stripes.


Both figures have great paint apps on their faces, with very expressive eyes.

For Iron Man, the larger scale allows for more detailed paint apps.  The aforementioned details between armor plates are drybrushed with silver, as are several screws and rivets.  Other than a change in hues (the Icons IM is more red and more yellow) it’s pretty much business as usual.

For Wolverine, the paint helps show the fabric and muscle details on the figure.  However, the color choices on the yellow parts of the costume are a little distracting.  The brown / tan base coat under the yellow makes his costume a bit dirty looking.


Both figures feature detentes in all the major joints, so the figures stand easily and hold poses well.

Icons Iron Man has nearly all the same points of articulation as his ML counterpart.  For this figure, Toy Biz replaced the awkward double ball-jointed shoulders with a single ball.  The shoulder pads are attached to the figure’s trapezoids rather then the shoulder ball – a trick they learned from the Build-A-Figure Sentinel.

The figure still has the plate on the back of his hands – just like the ML version, the plate blocks the ability for Iron Man to raise his hands in a repulsor ray pose.  The figure is lacking a mid-calf swivel, although I haven’t missed that at all.

Wolverine actually picks up a few additional points of articulation.  His left hand includes individually articulated fingers.  The Icons Wolvie also fixes the split belt that is my biggest complaint for the ML figure. If I had to nitpick something on Icons Wolvie, it’s that his head doesn’t have much range of motion, due primarily to how the cowl sits on his neck.


The "Evolution of an Icon" posterbooks that come with the figures are pretty much it.  The first couple of pages are like an entry in the Marvel Universe Handbook – which made for a quick read instead of an immediate toss – and the rest feature covers and splashpages.

Iron Man also comes with 2 translucent blasts that fit in either his heels or his palms.  Because his wrists don’t allow for a repulsor ray pose, these blasts have limited value for me.

Other than that, nada.


I don’t know what more you could ask for.  These figures are just as articulated as their smaller counterparts.  And while there are only 3 Icons to start with, they work pretty well with the Build-A-Figures from the Marvel Legends line, so they’ll have playmates.


For a first series of a new toy line, Icons has hit it out of the park – Toy Biz knows it has a good thing going with Marvel Legends, and they took it and scaled it up, while keeping the basic formula the same. 

I’d like them to keep the price low, and pump these series out like clockwork.  On top of that, give us customizers a nice blank base body to work with, so we can start building out our 12" Marvel universe!


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