Review Archive: Iron Fist by XM Studios

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Danny Rand proves he is worthy of becoming the Iron Fist by literally punching a dragon in the heart! But, is this statue worthy of being in your collection? Check out this review from our archive, going back to August 2017, to find out!


STATUE FACTS

Retail Price: $990 SGD
Edition Size: 600
Release Date: July 2017
Approx Size: 20″ H x 19″ W x 12.5″ D
Approx. Weight: 30 lb.
Design Team:
Daniel Bel (Sculpt)
Studio HIVE (Design)
The XM Studios Design & Development Team


FUN FACTS

Real Name: Daniel Rand
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 175 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde
First Appearance: Marvel Premiere 15 (May 1974)
Trivia:
Stranded as a child and left to freeze to death on a mountain in China, Danny Rand was fortunate to be rescued by the warrior monks of the mystical city of K’un-Lun.  K’un-Lun is one of the seven heaven;y capital cities, and while it exists on another dimensional plane, it phases into alignment with earth once every 10 years.  In K’un-Lun, Danny trained his martial arts skills to perfection, and was given the chance to take on the mantle of the Iron Fist – the champion of K’un-Lun (the title of Iron Fist has been held by many great warriors over many generations).  All he had to do was defeat the fire breathing dragon, Shou-Lao the Undying, and steal his mystical disembodies heart…sounds easy, right?  Yeah, Iron Fist is a total badass.


SCULPT

Daniel Bel has proven himself to be one of the very best sculptors in the business, having done Black Panther, Electro, Weapon X, and of course, this Iron Fist for XM Studios.  There is just a natural fluidity to his anatomy and poses that other artists can’t quite seem to grasp.  The physique on Iron Fist is exactly to my personal liking…suitably more ripped and muscular than a normal human being, but not ridiculously huge or defined…sort of reminds me of Jean Claude Van Damme’s physique, so there is an element of realism here. The suit has a fine texture and wrinkles to give the appearance of real cloth, and the taped shins and forearms also have a very realistic texture to them. The mouth and teeth draw my attention as looking particularly realistic as well.

The base is also a feast for the eyes.  The stone and wood textures are quite pleasing, and the brass dragon ornamentation on the door and carved dragon in the stone floor add some great thematic details.  There really aren’t enough great things to say about Mr. Bel’s sculpt on this piece.


PAINT

The paint job is ultra clean on this piece with basically no missteps to speak of.  Skin tones look good, with slight bluish veining to add some realism.  I do believe the piece could have used a brighter and more saturated colour scheme, particularly on the suit and the Iron Fist flame effect.  The dragon marking on the chest is likely done by stencil.  It is very cleanly applied; however the dragon’s tail should perhaps follow the contour of his abdomen…a minor quirk, but one of those things that you can’t “unsee”.


DESIGN

Although similar to the Hard Hero piece released years ago, this design from XM takes things no the next level and then some.  The statue captures the power and grace of martial arts perfectly, and the exploding stonework around his extended foot lend such a sense of action to the piece.

The statue comes with swap out torsos.  One utilizes the classic green shirt with extended yellow collar from the original comic appearances.  The clothed torso is leaning back, with both hands in the “tiger claw” formation…to me, this option depicts grace and agility.  The alternate option is shirtless and incorporates the flaming Iron Fist effect on the right hand.  With the rippling physique fully flexed and on display here, this option exudes power.  All in all, the two torso options not only give two unique costume options, they also completely change the feel and tone of the piece.

The one complaint about the design is the comic accuracy of the Iron Fist effect.  XM has chosen to extend the flames almost all the way up his arm, stopping just below the shoulder.  Rarely is the Iron Fist draw this way…typically the mystical power is limited to the fist or part way up the forearm.  So…artistic license on display here…Marvel approved, so obviously they are ok with it, but many long time fans will be scratching their heads.

The base has elements of ancient stonework and the thick wood door is obviously of great importance…perhaps the entrance to the dwelling of Shou-Lao, the mystical dragon that grants Iron Fist his power?  The base could also easily be a temple of some sort in the heavenly city of K’un-Lun, where Danny honed his martial arts skills for decades.  In short, the base totally works on a thematic level in addition to looking very cool.


PRODUCTION & BUILD QUALITY

The statue is actually quite easy to assemble and disassemble.  The base comes in three large slabs: the floor and each wall are all separate pieces that easily slot together.  Iron Fist’s lower body slides into the stone wall with a large metal peg, and each torso fits into the waist with a strong magnetic connection (very strong actually, takes a bit of oomph to take it out).  On the classic costumed torso, each forearm is a separate piece that is secured to the arms with a magnet.  The head is also a separate piece…the seam somewhat noticeable along the jaw line, but not overly distracting.  The exploding stones come attached to the left foot, which in turn slots into the left leg with a metal rod.  Lastly, the belt tails fit onto the waist with a magnet, and the bandana tails slot into the back of the head…the seams around this connection could have perhaps been better hidden, but since it is at the back of the statue it is not a deal breaker.

The shirtless torso does incorporate a light-up feature for the Iron Fist effect. The light is restricted to the fist alone, which actually looks quite neat when turned on.  The on/off switch is at the back of the torso on the piece that slots into the waist.  So, the switch is totally hidden when the statue is on display, while at the same time it is kind of a pain to access if you want to turn the light on or off.


OVERALL

XM Studios, Studio HIVE, and Daniel Bel have together produced on of the most dynamic and unique statues in recent memory.  Complete with two totally unique display options and a pleasing light-up feature, this statue will surely have something for all fans of the character.  A thematic base adds elements from the character’s unique, mystical background, helping this statue to tell a story.  The overall blend of action, story, and incredible sculpt on this statue is truly an amazing sight to behold, and has allowed it to quickly become one of the favourites in my collection.


PHOTO GALLERY

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