- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hasbro helps bring Tony Stark’s latest movie adventures to a child’s hand with its line-up of Assemblers action figures.

Offering a collection of 3 3/4-inch-tall, multi-articulated mini masterpieces composed of armored and weapons variations of the Iron Man technology, each figure allows the swapping of its snap-on head, appendages and parts to produce hundreds of hero combinations.

Building such warriors as Stealth Tech Iron Man, War Machine, Star Boost Iron Man and Iron Patriot takes a new meaning to the phrase “Avengers Assemble.”

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Figure profile (paraphrased from the box): When Tony Stark’s good friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes (played by Don Cheadle) was given the chance to live every soldier’s dream, he jumped at the opportunity. With his armor repainted in new, patriotic colors, and a new pride in his step, he stands tall in defense of freedom in his inspirational high-tech and high-caliber suit.

Accessories: A lack of articulation in the arms, legs and torso quickly eclipses the impressive red, silver and blue paint detail of the figure.

Still, what’s to admire of this Assembler is his interchangeable armor system. Owners of Iron Patriot torso get two pair of arms (one with added shoulder armor), legs and a head.

Now lets add an M124 minigun mountable on his back to peek out over his shoulder, a shield with a spring-loaded missile (you’ll poke an eye out) inserted into holes on his arm or back and Iron Patriot is ready to save the day against the Mandarin.

Most important, the pieces pop in and off with little effort and will keep the creative youngster in the family busy for hours.

Price: $9.99

Read all about it: James Rhodes was not the first person to wear the Iron Patriot suit. Rather, in comics mythology, Spider-Man’s arch enemy Norman (Green Goblin) Osborn wore the armor during his alliance with the Dark Avengers.

Seek out the Marvel Comics’ trade paperback Dark Avengers: Volume 1, Assemble ($19.99), compiling the first six issues of the series and starring the prose of Brian Michael Bendis and art of Mike Deodato Jr., to learn more.

What’s it worth: The Iron Patriot won’t appeal to collectors still enamored with the much more impressively detailed Marvel Universe line of 3 3/4-inch figures. However, the Assemblers are not really for the 40-year-old action figure connoisseur, now are they?

The collection offers a sturdily built, role-playing frenzy for the 7-year-old in love with the Iron Man mythos and ready to let his imagination take control while building his favorite armored heroes.

Note: Parents should quickly find a small container to house the collection of small parts for the figures or they might find a Stealth Tech arm embedded in the bottom of their foot when sneaking down stairs for a midnight snack.

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