The Metal Men were created as a last minute filler feature and proved to be popular enough on their own right to get their own title. Each of the Metal Men, artificially intelligent robots, inherited their traits and abilities from their namesake metals, so whereas Iron is super strong, Lead is slow-witted and can block radiation, and Gold is their leader with the ability to stretch himself almost infinitely. As the first of the Metal Men to receive the DCUC treatment, lets see how Iron stacks up.
Professor Will Magnus invented the Responsometer- A microcomputer capable of imbuing pure elements with a semblance of life, intelligence and emotion. Implanting samples of gold, iron, lead, tin and mercury with their own responsometers, Magnus watched the metals take on humanoid shape and personalities. Iron quickly emerged as the backbone of the team. In all the challenges the Metal Men take on, Ironâ€™s super strength and ability to withstand tremendous punishment put him on the front line of action.
Design & Sculpt: Mattel has made the backbone of this line reusing parts, and reusing them again and again. With a character as unique as Iron, this could have spelled very bad news. Fortunately, while Mattel is reluctant to sculpt new parts, they seem fine with adding new armor/accessories.
Hence we get Iron in a standard DCUC buck with a full body tunic starting with his neck and extending down to his upper thighs. The tunic certainly beefs him up and makes him look thicker around the neck and chest. I doubt anyone would make fun of this guy for wearing a “skirt.”
But what really makes this figure a winner is the facial sculpt, which really accentuates his features and makes him look like a guy with whom not to mess.
Plastic & Paint: Metallic paint can be hard to pull off right, but they’ve gone a great job with Iron. Depending on how you look at him, he’s grayish-bluish-silver, he’s got just the right blend of sheen and texture to give him a truly metallic look without looking too toyish. The subtle wash accentuates the blemishes and imperfections to make him look a weathered and worn.
Articulation: No major surprises here, standard DCUC articulation: ball-and-hinge joints at the shoulders, H-hinges at the hips, standard hinges at the elbows, knees, torso, and ankles, and swivels at the head, biceps, wrists, waist, and lower thighs. His torso joint movement is impeded by the tunic, and like DCUC Ares his hips are severely limited by the tunic.
Accessories: There seems to be a trend with most waves of DCUC, one or two figures feature the lion’s share of the accessories, and the rest have nada. Fortunately for Iron, he benefits from the generosity of the toy gods.
Iron’s right hand fits the wrecking ball and features the as-advertised die cast parts; the chain. A crescent wrench fits nice and snug into Iron’s left fist, and get this: it works! Just turn the knurled wheel and the wrench actually moves.
Finally, Wave 12’s Collect & Connect figure is Darkseid; Iron comes with Darkseid’s left leg.
Overall: I jokingly refer to DCUC as DC University College, because many of these characters I’ve never even heard of. Prior to collecting DCUC the extent of my knowledge of the DC Universe came mostly from Batman: The Animated Series and the live-action Batman films. In fact, the reason I first got into DCUC was Classic Detective Batman and The Penguin from Wave 1.
I only tell you this so you can understand what when I say I had never heard of Iron prior to the announcement of this wave, I truly mean it. I’ve certainly enjoyed being schooled in DCUC, and twelve waves into this line, Iron stands out as one of the best looking and most unique figures.