Monday, January 31, 2011

Iron Man Rolling Battle Headquarters (Custom)

Last year, at the height of the Iron Man 2 hype, Habro released the Iron Man Rolling Battle Headquarters. In a nutshell, it's an armed rolling one-man truck mobile base from which Iron Man can customize his armor and be launched into action. I liked it because it was reminiscent of the G.I. Joe Rapid Heli-Integrated Neutralizing Offensive Vehicle (RHINO) and the Rolling Operations Command Center (ROCC). I looked at it and saw its potential to become a custom Joe vehicle. 

The only problem was the Iron Man colors which was closer to colors used by Cobra then by Joes. Still I promised myself that I'd have to get it - not because I'm an Iron Man fan or collect Marvel toys that are that small, but because customizing it for my Joes was worth looking into. I waited quite a while though because I was hoping it would go on sale. So I was disappointed when it started to disappear from the local Toy Stores without having gone on sale. So I forked over the store price, bought a can of paint and a lot of masking tape and here it is. 
On its own, the Iron man Rolling Battle Headquarters gives testament to the sheer arrogance behind Iron Man: It's a mobile base that only fits one; It comes with stickers that you can attach to the side panels of the vehicle that literally screams Iron Man's name; It has a HUGE front that says "Get out of the way or I will rule you!!!!" and Tony Stark painted it in Gold and Red. You don't get any more ostentatious than this.

The Iron Man Rolling Battle Headquarters comes with a single gattling cannon that can fire its four spring loaded missiles individually by turning a knob at the back. The cannon swings a full 360 but cannot elevate. The Iron Man Rolling Battle Headquarters is also battery operated and pressing a button on the vehicle's right side activates lights and sound-effects. 

And here it is after a P200 can of Metallic Blue Paint and with most of the stickers applied. I actually also wanted to paint the rims of the tires, but I could not remove the tires, so till I own an airbrush, they're Gold. 

Here's the new interior. A few notes:
  • The "armory" side panels has room for six items. In the picture below, only the rocket and laser rifle backpacks are from the original playkit. The jetpacks are from G.I. Joe. When you transform the playkit back to vehicle mode though, no amount of positioning will allow the side panels to lie flat against the sides of the mobile HQ. If you want the sleek look of the pictures above, dump the cargo before transforming the vehicle. 
  • There are figure pegs that fit modern G.I. Joes, Star Wars and Marvel 5 1/2" figures
  • Lifting the front clam shell reveals room for one driver. However. when everything is folded it is possible to fit two or more figures inside in semi-prone positions - as shown by Duke below. 
  • The central elevator follows a positionable radar dish. The aforementioned gattling cannon can also be repositioned next to it on top. 
  • The central elevator has a rotating dais allowing the crane better access to whoever is standing on it. Note however that the crane is short and cannot possible reach everything on display. 

  • The vehicle comes with a positionable arm and a pop-up "status" computer to monitor Iron Man's armor - unfortunately I have yet to take the time to replace the Iron Man cards with cards that display the status of Duke's Accelerator Armor. Pushing the two buttons in front of the display activate more lights and sounds
I have to say though, even after going through the full customization process that I wasn't as satisfied with the Iron Man Rolling Battle HeadQuarters as I thought I'd be. Not because my work sucked - which it didn't - but rather because of the simple defects that came along with the toy i.e. it only fits one driver - great for Iron Man, bad for the teamwork heavy Joes (The ROCC folds but there's room for five or six people in the cab); The robotic arm doesn't reach everything; and - quite frankly - that's a puny weapon system. 

The Iron Man Rolling Battle Head Quarters retailed at PhP 2,599.75. I do believe that I will take this through one more level of customization - introducing better military decals. If you have the time and the money, go for it. It's nice to have. It's just not "Joe" enough. 

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