Ivan “Whiplash” Vanko

November 14, 2011 | By More

When the visual checklists for the upcoming Iron Man 2 waves of figures were made public, around summer 2010, I was actually excited by the possibility of getting a figure of Whiplash in this collection. Sure, the movie had some issues, but the villain, played by Mickey Rourke, was mildly entertaining, so I made a mental note to be on the lookout for him.

Months went by without seeing new figures on the pegs and I my interest got pretty much diverted to other things, but just after Christmas I learned of some discount sales at some local chains and decided to go have a look and see what I could find.

Lo and behold! I found one Ivan Vanko at about 50% Off. Sure, pickings were slim, but the paintjob seemed OK at a glance, and really, How much can you debate getting a figure this cheap?

Whiplash’s character design was actually interesting by virtue of not being clad in armor like pretty much all of the other figures in this line. He comes dressed in the remains of the jumpsuit he wore before activating his plasma whips at the Monte Carlorace, intent on attacking Tony Stark. Under the rags, you can see the torso harness and the cables running all over his body from the chest reactor to the crude exo-frame he used to mount his invention on.

The sculpted detail on the figure is actually very intricate and even the rags he wears look realistic enough. The bits of charred clothing that covered his torso form a sort of skirt that in the figure is replicated by a rubber piece pliable enough to be removed if you want to.

The base body sculpt looks OK and has the mechanical frame bits sculpted on. The face doesn’t really resemble Mickey Rourkeall that much, but I feel the difference has more to do with the paintjob than with the actual sculpting.

In terms of articulation, Whiplash has:

  • Ball jointed neck. Which works mostly as a simple swivel
  • Peg & hinge shoulders.
  • Peg & hinge elbows.
  • Swivel wrists.
  • Floating torso. The rubber cables that connect to the waist kind of limit the movement range a bit.
  • Double peg & hinge hips. These have serious issues.
  • Double jointed knees
  • Peg & hinge ankles.

As one would expect, the rubber skirt piece does limit the range of the hip joints, but additionally, the ball at the right hip hinge was sculpted with an inexplicable wrinkle that pretty much blocks the upper joint rotation. Sure, it can turn in a 90° arc, but since this “malformation” is normally covered by the rubber skirt, one is left wondering why the joint would not turn the same way as the other side joint, thus paving the way for potential breakage.

Paint applications are mostly average as the figure is molded in two colors, flesh from the waist up, and brown below the waist. The brown bits, including the skirt, all have a slight paint wash to provide subtle shading, although it also produces a rather toy-like sheen. The right knee piece is painted in flesh color with a silver metal plate, but the details is not very convincing.

There is additional details on the torso in the form of solid black tattoos and sculpted straps. The sculpted mechanical frame bits are painted in bright silver, but the tattoos are way too dark to look even remotely realistic. The edge lines on the silver bits look rather sloppy, driving the overall look down a notch.

The paintjob on the hair itself is serviceable, although it could have had a little more gray in it and follow the hairline a little closer. The mustache looks rather crooked to one side, but that can also be overlooked since Ivan Vanko wasn’t a particularly well-groomed man in the movie.

The eyes, however, are painted way too big and someone at Hasbro decided to give Ivan catchlights on the pupils, resulting in a rather freaky anime-like stare that is baffling given Hasbro’s extensive experience in painting eyes on 1/18th scale faces.

The accessories included consist of a plastic silver display base, three Whiplash armor cards, and a couple of bendy plasma whips accessories.

These whips are identical and are molded in a white flexible plastic, with some silver and black paint apps to them. Like on the figure itself, the silver paint apps have trouble covering the lighter plastic underneath, but the material feels pliable enough to allow the wire armature into several configurations.

All taken into account, this Ivan Vanko figure is decent enough add to a collection and if you are feeling industrious, you can squeeze some extra hours of fun tweaking the paintjob a little bit.

Errex Score: 70/100

If you want a second opinion check out what Engineernerd thought:

Engineernerd’s Review

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Category: Iron Man, Marvel, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

Comments (1)

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  1. arthur says:

    Can you help me? I want to fix my toy’s right let ball joint like you did in the fourth picture, I’ve already removed the skirt, what’s next?