The History of Iron Man Figures: A Case Study for Action Figure Resource
Iron Man, like so many of other Marvel superheroes was created in the early 1960’s Silver Age by Stan Lee along with Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Every incarnation aside from the Ultimate version has had points of constant similarity. He’s always been Tony Stark, an irresponsible weapons dealer, who has his outlook on life changed by injury and imprisonment. He’s always developed the armour himself and being a futurist, he always seeks to improve it.
The 60’s was not the best time for licensed action figures so it wasn’t until 1975 when the first Mego Iron Man emerged in their World’s Greatest Super Heroes line along with the Hulk, Tarzan and Falcon. Iron Man was clad in a one-piece jumpsuit and with a smiling helmet and became something of a favourite with Mego fans.
These figures were considered a benchmark release for Mego as,for the first time it seemed that they had made a serious attempt to capture the likeness of the characters. In fact they even went a step further for Iron Man and added creative details such as "fist" gloves and a sewn on chest piece for him.
However, one area of contention among fans has been the fact that this figure included a nose, but many comic fans will point out that for a brief period in the seventies Iron Man did have a nose in the comics.
These figures came in their own store counter display box, which has become almost impossible to find in mint condition as only a few have survived the ravages of time.
Iron Man was released with both the Type 1 and Type 2 Mego bodies, originally with the type 1 but this was quickly replaced by the type 2 body making the early versions a lot more difficult to find.
Originally only released as a boxed edition the Iron Man figure was briefly released on a carded version before being dropped from the line. There were two version of the boxed figure, the first featuring the 'old' Mego logo and the second featuring the newer Mego logo.
This version has therefore become incredibly hard to find mint on card ( MOC ) today, selling for thousands of dollars and thus highly prized by collectors. It's also important to note he was only available on a regular card and NOT a Kresge card. This is probably in the top 3 rarest of all the carded Super Hero figures and has sold for as much as $10,000 on auction!
There was also a printing error on the carded version as the red drop shadow was missing on the "A" of Iron Man and was left white.
There was also a Mexican version of this figure produce by Lili Ledy’s called Hombre De Hierro, which also doubled up as a fist fighter!