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Figure profile: From box insert  While traveling overseas on business, Tony Stark is gravely injured after being ambushed and taken hostage. While in captivity, Stark is ordered to build a superweapon capable of worldwide devastation. Instead, determined to escape and ultimately confront the demons of his past, Stark constructs a nearly invincible suit of armor and escapes. Upon his return to America, he becomes the red-and-gold warrior Iron Man, vowing to don his powerful armor to protect the world.

Accessories: Take a deep breath; the highlights to this 1:6 scale ode to Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark include 34 points of articulation; cloth outfit; interchangeable shoes, mechanical boots and gauntlets (the micro detail with the wiring and faux mechanics is phenomenal); a belt with a pair of cloth pouches; a battery pack; and two pairs of detachable gloved hands.

Some extra magic involves LED-lighted boot beams, palm repulsars and a chest arc reactor (batteries included). This trick relies on flipping a switch on the figure’s back and plugging a box containing batteries into a socket on the web of wiring covering Stark’s torso. I’ll note that extreme caution is necessary when handling and manipulating the wiring.

Stark can pose on a translucent display stand, appearing to hover next to his trusty robotic assistant wielding a fire extinguisher. That little robot is its own marvel, with wires attached to the base and offering ridiculous detail and 360-degree swivel motion. Add the included backdrop and 6-inch-square piece of flooring for an incredible diorama.

Price: $159.99, available through Sideshow Collectibles (

Read all about it:Marvel Comics delivers a pair of Silver Age retrospectives devoted to the Crimson Avenger with Iron Man Omnibus hardcover books ($99 each).

Volume 1 compiles Tales of Suspense Nos. 39 through 83 and Tales to Astonish No. 82, while Volume 2 includes Tales of Suspense Nos. 84 through 89, Iron Man & Sub Mariner No.1 and Iron Man Nos. 1 through 25.

The issues highlight classic writing from Stan Lee and Archie Goodwin along with legendary art from Gene Colan and George Tuska.

What’s it worth? Only collectors need apply here, as this incredible version of Tony Stark must be relegated immediately to a museum-quality display case. The figure will dazzle visitors with a dead-on likeness of Mr. Downey and may elicit a gasp when his chest lights up. It’s one of the best Hot Toys figures I have seen.

Pop Vault

A look at more items devoted to the pop culture of superheroes.

Batman and Joker Mez-Itz (Mezco Toyz, $40)  These 6-inch rotocast vinyl figures offer a comic-book-style design of two archenemies from the DC Comics universe.

Think miniature plastic versions of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons as Batman comes in a blue-and-gray costume with cloth cape and puffy Batarang to hold while the Clown Prince of Crime wears a purple suit with removable plastic fedora.

Five points of articulation offer some limited posabilty for the figures, which will look great in a home-entertainment display mantel or office cubicle.

DC Universe Squatz (Wild Planet, $9.99)  About the length of Shaquille O’Neal’s toenail, these bizarre comic-book-themed micro-figures offer odes to familiar comic-book heroes and villains.

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