War Machine -Iron Man 2 (Movie Version)

March 28, 2010 | By More

After being truely enthralled with the comic version of War Machine, I couldn’t help but pick up the movie version of the character.

The early photos and promo materials show that on screen War Machine is much like his comic book  namesake. He’s bigger and more heavily armed than the armored suit that Tony Stark wears. We got a pretty nifty sneak peak of the two of them working together in the film’s trailer.


Where the comic version looks to be a combination of armor and muscle, this version of Rhody is fully armored. That’s exactly what you would expect for a true to life version of this armored hero.

While Tony Stark is streaking through the skies in his attention getting red and yellow suit, War Machine is getting the job done in more subdued silvers, greys and blacks. If I was going out to take on the bad guys in a powered armor suit, that would be my choice.

There are a couple of samll painted details that deserve mentioning. He’s got numbers painted on both of the shoulder pads. These appear to be some sort of ID number, like a tail number on an air plane. The number “001” is also repated on his right flank. While the numbers aren’t perfectly crisp, I think they are more than acceptable at this scale. And I think without them, the figure would look naked when compared to the actual film suit.

The paint areas that I’m a little disappointed by are the ARC reactor and eyes. While the comic version has red eyes that looked lit up, this version has blue eyes that blend into the silver of the faceplate. The reactor doesn’t have the lit up look that some of the Iron Man figure do, although I really think part of the reason is its’ depth. The poster shows War Machine with red eyes, so I’m wondering which is the more screen accurate?

The one thing cool thing about this line is the articulation never really seems to show up. Because of the mechanical nature of all of these suits, the articulation is able to be camouflaged in to the overall design. Yes, on this figure there are some large pins in the knee joint, but they blend right in. One area the movie version improve on is the shoulder pads. The joints on these work the same as the comic one, but are blended in better.

Everything blends right in until you get to the weapons carriers. Where as the comic version’s shoulder mounted arsenal tucked neatly behind him, the movie version has much less success in that regard. The angle and height of the carriers does not lend itself to a sleek look. The weapons end up looking very stuck on and stick out way to far. The “up” position fares better, but still seem a little high to me.

One slight design issue I have runs across the entire line that I’ve looked at so far. The right hand is a fist on all of the figure and the left is open with splayed fingers. While I get that Iron Man and War Machine don’t run around picking up a lot of stuff, it would be nice to have a little variety.  And a few gripping hands in the line wouldn’t hurt anything.


Obviously, as a movie tie-in this line is meant for kids to have fun with. This isn’t Hasbro’s first time at the rodeo for movie figures, and they know they have to cater to the older collectors as well.

This figure is once again built on the Marvel Legends style of articulation. The hip joints work much better on this figure than they did on my comic series War Machine. The articulation is a bit hampered by the armor design in a couple of places. The wrist are limited out by the fore arm weapons.

Most notably, the head is limited to left and right and the shoulder weapon harnesses limit that. There is a ball joint under the helmet, but it’s use is severely limited. This is a bit disappointing since the movie poster shows WM looking over his shoulder at Tony.

Like the  GI Joe: Rise of Cobra line, every figure in the Iron Man 2 line seems destined to come with some sort of projectile launcher. In this case, the launcher is one of War Machine’s shoulder mounted guns. The problem is most of these action feature gimmicks are oversize pieces, and this one is no exception. Now, I’m sure somewhere there is a comic panel of War Machine with that big of gun coming over his shoulder, I just doubt the movie version looks like that. The piece looks like a mini Gatling gun and wouldn’t look out of place on a tripod in a GI Joe display. It comes with not one, but two projectiles. One completely silver and a translucent red one with some silver on it. I’ve got no idea how a machine gun would shoot those, but what do I know?

The machine guns easily pop on and off small ball joints on the carriers on his back. While I appreciate the need to have an action feature for the kids, I wish they had included a third weapon of him. A second non-firing weapon would have been a better choice over a second missile.

The other accessory piece is a flexible square cable. It fits into a square on WM’s back and into a plug in each of the weapons. I’m impressed with the fact that it is flexible enough to work and they made it work with either of the guns.

The second gun is a smaller machine gun that is very similar to the one that came with the comic version. As a matter of fact, the machine gun “fire” that came with the comic version fits nicely on this one. While I really liked the little missile add-on with the comic version, I think the machine gun fire looks better with this version. (The picture shows the one from the comic version, the movie version does NOT come with this piece.)

Lastly, War Machine comes with the cards and base that the rest of the line has had. While I like the idea of figures coming with bases, do we really need this card thing? The novelty wore off after about ten seconds for me, and I can’t imagine it’s much longer for a kid. I know I saw an Iron Man 2 Operation game when surfing the other day (Check it out here). Could Iron Man “Fashion Plates” be far behind?


While I’m impressed with the general character design, articulation and paint, the execution of the shoulder weapons let me down.

I was fairly impressed with the comic version of War Machine, and the movie version just seems a little less perfectly executed. The shoulder weapons don’t tuck away nearly as nicely and the lack of another realistic weapon are the biggest differences. (The bottom picture shows a comparison of the two for you to judge for yourself, dear reader.)

I suspect we will see at least one or two movie War Machines come out closer to the film. I’m strongly suspecting flip up face plate version of Stark and Rhodes before long. Maybe they will improve War Machine’s arsenal at the same time.

Engineernerd Score 89/100

War Machine 12-inch Figure - Iron Man 2

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  1. Errex says:

    Definitely a cool figure, despite the oversized launcher.

  2. Henry says:

    I don’t mind the missile launcher. going by the hot toys version of this armour, this suit only has the one cannon on his back, so the misile launcher gives us a second mount for the regular gun, and an element of customisability with the comic WM’s guns.

  3. Errex says:

    Fortunately so.

    I’d still want the open-face version to come with a reasonably sized gun for the left slot.

  4. plainsliced says:

    i enjoy this war machine than the comic version. the comic version’s shoulder pads and lack of real ab joint really bothered me. this version rocks!