Die cast metal. That was a stamp of approval all premium toys in the 80s received. But not now. And if there is a modern set of toys that deserves to be metal, its the official line of Hasbro made IRON Man toys: an action figure, nerf machine gun and mask/repulsor glove combo. He's not called Plastic Man for a reason, you dolts! Was metal cheaper then? Were there one too many cases of schoolyard bludgeoning with imported Voltron? I don't know and I'm too lazy to look it up, but in any case, these plastic Iron Man toys, which at first disgusted me, actually came out all right. Begrudgingly, I will agree that plastics are the future.
The first toy is the action figure. Yes, it's plastic, but it stands about a foot tall and the glossy paint'll have you fooled for a second. Powered by a triad of AAA batteries, the Iron Man has a LED repulsor in one hand that triggers when you articulate the shoulder joint upward, or fire the plastic missile blaster in the right palm. Either act is accompanied by noise. There is a heel switch which when lifted off of, triggers flying noises that do not stop until you put the suit's foot down. Can head's eyes do not glow, but his chest plate does when you press it, and a synthesized voice (not even Downy Junior's in disguise) repeats a few haughty phrases more like a Decepticon and less like the charming drunk billionaire inside: "I am IRon MAan!", "REpulSOR Blasts ", "Target Enga-ged!" Unfortunate. I would have liked for him to quip about needing to refill the suit's martini maker.
Kid sized Mask and Repulsor Gauntlet
The mask fits adults. I tried it. But unlike the incredible Optimus Prime voice changing helmet, this one is dead. No lights, no speakers, no mics. Just an elastic band and a disclaimer reading "CAUTION This is not a protective device." There isn't even any plastic over the eye slits. And that's probably best because this thing gets steamy.
Accompanying the mask is a gauntlet that fires six plastic discs (think casino chips), sequentially, using a spring loaded mechanism. It is totally fucking lame. Because each disc flies in a four-foot arc that can best be described as limp. Even more stupid, they engineered a safety that stops the gun from being fired when off wrist. It's a weak gesture at safety because it's so easy to overstep, and goddamn it, if kids want to shoot their eyes out with this thing, it's their American right. Plus, again, there is no way this underpowered toy will ever hurt anyone. Nor will it entertain.
Stark Industries N.R.F 425 Blaster: Nerf Repulsor Machine Gun
Here's a good one. This nerf-designed gun has a magazine for 10 darts, which it can dispense up to 30 feet at an alarming pace. It's all air powered, with the clip being driven up by spring in between shots. It fires one at a time, but to empty the clip in one rapid evacuation, you fill the air chamber with 20 pumps and hold down your itchy finger. The entire thing blows its load in less than five seconds. Very satisfying, and included is a easy wall mountable set of targets that feel a bit like shrinky dinks.