Feature Article

Hot Toys Neon Tech War Machine Review

The Neon Tech version of War Machine from Hot Toys is a sleek and imaginative reimagining of a Marvel icon.

What happens when you combine fluorescent painting with mechanical precision? You get a replica of an armored Avenger that combines screen-accurate detail with nuanced creativity. On the surface, the Neon Tech War Machine diecast figure has everything that you'd expect from one a Hot Toys sixth-scale release--LED light-up function, movie-accurate proportions, and extra parts--but it's the luminous reflective patterns and a sleek application of paint that makes this replica stand out.

War Machine's default look emphasizes the character's design as a walking arsenal packing an absurd amount of firepower. Combining Iron Man's bleeding-edge technology and an infinite ammo cheat code in a first-person shooter, the War Machine armor introduced in Iron Man 2 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe reflected the military origins of the character. A modified Iron Man Mark II suit, dressed in black and grey armor, and sporting a shoulder-mounted mini-gun that looked like it was ripped straight from the comic books. That's an iconic look for the character, but one that could be improved.

Day or night, War Machine looks great with this color scheme.

Sure, the Civil War suit streamlined the armor that was rendered around Don Cheadle's portrayal of James Rhodes and he was equipped with a more patriotic suit by the time that Avengers: Endgame had hit the cinema, but have you ever wondered what would an electronic dance music-inspired War Machine would look like?

That's probably the only way to describe this alternative version of his armor, as Hot Toys has been tinkering with those designs as part of its Neon Tech line of Iron Man figures. In case you missed out on the original War Machine release, the Neon Tech armor is a fascinating alternative that is instantly eye-catching. The most obvious attention-grabber is the color scheme for this sixth-scale figure, using a combination of glossy and matte black panels as well as UV-sensitive orange highlights that illuminate the figure without you needing to install any tiny batteries for the LEDs.

  • Hot Toys Neon tech War Machine
  • Type: Sixth-scale figure
  • Price: $407
  • Release Date: Available Now

However, batteries are still needed, for the other light-up functions within the suit. Like every other Hot Toys figure built around Stark Industries technology, War Machine comes equipped with LEDs in his eyes, arc reactor, and palms. It's still an absolute pain to unscrew multiple panels and insert tiny batteries that require surgical precision to properly insert, but once that ordeal is over, it's hard to argue with the end result: A figure that just looks great with its minimal use of color.

A glossy black finish would have been all too familiar, which is why the matte accents are such a nice touch. The effect is subtle but striking, and further enhanced by the neon lines spread across the figure. Shining a black light on the neon highlights makes them even more luminescent, a neat effect that works well in the dark provided that you own a blacklight flashlight.

Iron man sidekick, sold separately.
Iron man sidekick, sold separately.

It's a gimmick, but it's a cool one that works surprisingly well with the other Neon Tech Iron Man suits that Hot Toys has released, ultimately creating what can rightfully be seen as a militarized quartet of Daft Punk fans who are on their way to an anniversary screening of Tron: Legacy.

As a figure though, this War Machine is still one of the best thanks to some clever engineering. You'll want to be careful when handling it, as the glossy black paint is a fingerprint magnet, but this particular replica is mechanically solid thanks to the numerous diecast metal parts inside of it. You'll be able to strike a range of moves with War Machine, from screen-accurate battle poses to the iconic three-point landing thanks to a torso that can be stretched and shoulder parts that can be manipulated to make the bulky soldier more flexible.

Use caution with those pauldrons though, because the support system does feel a bit fragile. A ham-fisted posing section is not advised, but considering the price for this figure, you'll likely be treating it with kid gloves anyway. Other cool parts of the design can be found in the torso, where rocket launchers can be popped out, although you'll need to manipulate the mini-gun placement to accommodate these internal weapon systems.

The suit also has a few other panels that can be flipped up or removed to reveal more internal details, such as extra booster jets, hidden rockets, and thrusters that give this figure a flight-ready appearance. That makes for a figure that's surprisingly and reassuringly heavy.

Don't expect too much in the way of extras though, as the figure's only accessory is a themed display stand that should have been bigger to more easily accommodate the figure,. On its own, however, War Machine is as complete of a figure as you'd expect straight out of the box. The default fists can be exchanged for hands with articulated fingers or hands in a repulsor blast position, while the included mini-gun and rubber ammo belt will naturally be permanently attached once you have him on display.

So who is this particular figure for? For anyone who missed the original War Machine, there's a second chance on the horizon right now to grab that figure in the classic color scheme. For completionists, the allure of having yet another Iron Man-related figure that can be used to create the ultimate House Party Protocol is understandably tempting. But for anyone looking for something more unusual and unique, the Neon Tech War Machine is a fascinating addition to any collection.

Whether you're looking for your first sixth-scale figure to have on your desk while you work or you're a seasoned collector wanting to spice up your shelf, this variant of the classic Marvel hero combines some terrific collectible figure engineering with a head-swiveling design that stands apart from anything else around it. I should know, because between my Mark 85, Spider-Man: Homecoming Mark 47, and the Age of Ultron Mark 43 Iron Men I have in my display cabinet, my eyes always lock onto this dubstep-powered War Machine.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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Darryn Bonthuys

Darryn Bonthuys has been covering video games since 2011 and joined GameSpot in 2020 so that he could sneak a few Onyx-pected puns into Pokemon news stories.

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