Peril in Paradise Iron Anvil
For the longest time, the original Joe Con Iron Anvil was a big hole in my collection. I had just learned about the GIJCC in college and really wished I’d been able to get to Joe Con in Minneapolis that year, but it wasn’t to be. When I was finally able to go to my first Joe Con in 2009, I was incredibly happy to be able to purchase a M.A.R.S. Invades con set to get the Iron Anvil. When it was announced that Iron Anvils were going to be a part of the Peril in Paradise con set, it sparked the first inkling that I might want to buy a Homefront Hero package for the first time. Usually, I just wait until the con sets show up in the GIJCC’s store, but considering how quickly this year’s con set sold out, I’m very glad I bought the Homefront Hero package. The modern Iron Anvil is a great representation of this GIJCC original figure and I’m absolutely thrilled to have three copies of this particular figure..
Like most con set figures, the Iron Anvil is based around a lot of reused parts, but the GIJCC paired a lot of great parts together to make this figure. It’s not a literal update of the original Iron Anvil, but the modern version still looks great. The original Iron Anvil used the Battle Corps Viper in its entirety, so it was running around in a high tech combat suit. Parts to fully recreate that look aren’t available, so the GIJCC improvised and they did a great job of it. The legs come from Pursuit of Cobra Firefly and that’s a brilliant call. The original Iron Anvil filecard talked about how the Iron Anvil gear allowed them to jump from a plane without deploying their parachutes thanks to the high tech leg reinforcements built into their pants. The Pursuit of Cobra Firefly legs sell this idea really well and make the Iron Anvil look combat ready after he hits the ground as well. Around the legs, the Iron Anvil has the same leg harness that was used on Retaliation Airborne. It’s a nice little addition that helps bring him more in line with a paratrooper. Don’t get me wrong, the original Iron Anvil figure was cool, but truthfully, the body didn’t look that much like a paratrooper. The torso is shared with Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper, though you won’t see it because the Iron Anvil gets the 25th Anniversary Alley Viper vest to wear over it. The Pursuit of Cobra Shock Trooper has a nice generic look to it, and the belt buckle actually looks like something would make sense as part of a parachute harness. I’m on record on how much I love the 25th Anniversary Alley Viper vest and I think using it here was a good move. The original Iron Anvil’s torso was pretty big, but he felt just a little under equipped. With all the pouches and other gear that’s built into the Alley Viper vest, that’s not an issue. He still gets a relatively bulky look, but he looks a lot more ready for battle than the original Iron Anvil. The arms were originally used for Retaliation Ninja Duel Snake Eyes and once again, I see a lot of parallels with the original Iron Anvil arms, but with a lot more detailing. The shoulder armor reminds me of the pointy shoulderpads the original figure’s torso had and the gauntlets this version of Snake Eyes had stand in very well for the gloves from the Iron Anvil. The arms also have the added wrist articulation that everyone loves. The wrist joints are solid but it’s nice to get some added movement out of them. Topping off the figure, Boss Fight Studios tooled up a brand new head that looks like the Battle Corps Viper and I’m blown away by it. Had you told me even two or three years ago that this piece would exist, I would have laughed at you. I’ve always felt like a decided majority in my love of the Battle Corps Viper so I figured for sure that the GIJCC would engage in some clever reuse (perhaps involving a modified Para-Viper helmet) to get the feel of the Iron Anvil head rather than go with a full on recreation. I’m super glad they didn’t because this head looks great. The helmet looks sleek and aerodynamic, which makes a lot of sense for a paratrooper. It’s still got the rebreather canister on the front of the helmet and the very open visor makes a lot of sense for a paratrooper as well. I’m already wondering if the GIJCC is going to make a crazy choice and redo the Battle Corps Viper somewhere along the lines in an upcoming FSS series. That would absolutely blow my mind, to be honest. I doubt that will ever materialize, but the GIJCC will need to recoup the costs for this new head somewhere.
Like the other Iron Grenadiers in the Peril in Paradise set, the Iron Anvil doesn’t use a lot of colors, but they’re used very effectively and make for one very sharp looking figure. The base of the Iron Anvil body suit is done up in black but with all the red detail work, it’s a very eyecatching figure. The red is applied quite well throughout the figure, though you will need to keep an eye on the red trim up on the helmet. The coverage on that spot isn’t uniformly great. I’ve got one Iron Anvil with perfectly done red trim, so that’s the one that’s staying on display. The other two aren’t badly done, but I really only have display space for one, so the best looking example stays out. The boots are painted gray as a nod to the original Iron Anvil. Since he’s an Iron Grenadier, the Iron Anvil has a bit of gold trim, but it’s wisely used sparingly. The gold is restricted to his kneepads, the knife and grenade on his chest and the visor of his helmet. The gold on the helmet is a great choice because the gold glass reminds me of amber polarized lenses. Considering the Iron Anvil is going to be dropping in from altitude, it makes a lot of sense for them to have polarized glass in their helmet to make it easier for them to see as they’re plummeting towards their targets. There’s a little bit of white on this figure as well. Both shoulders get the Iron Grenadiers logo tampoed on them in white. The white pops well against the red shoulder armor, though I do kind of wish the tampo was done in gold instead. Gold is a very Destro color and I think it would have fit the overall look of the figure just a little better had the logo been done in gold instead of white.
The one place the GIJCC completely recreated the original Iron Anvil figure was with his accessories. I’m kind of torn on this. I really like how good the vintage-inspired accessories look in the modern Iron Anvil’s hands, but at the same time, I’ve always thought the Iron Anvil’s gear load was a bit light and I would have liked to have seen a little better equipment for him. Since he’s a paratrooper, the Iron Anvil comes with a parachute pack. I’m not 100% sure where this piece originally came from but I think it first showed up with 30th Anniversary Renegades Ripcord. It’s not a piece I already have, so I like seeing it here. Also, considering the Iron Anvils don’t generally need to use their parachutes to survive a landing, I like the concept of them only having a small emergency parachute instead of a full parachute rig. Since the Iron Anvil uses the Alley Viper vest, he gets a small knife to fill the sheath on his chest. However, that’s not the only knife the Iron Anvil has. The original Iron Anvil came with the lightning bolt knife that Hasbro used a lot towards the end of the line. There’s not a knife exactly like that in the modern tooling library, but the curved knife Pursuit of Cobra Shadow Tracker came with is a decent stand in. It’s still got a fairly jagged silhouette, but it seems a bit more realistic than the old school lightning bolt knife. The Iron Anvil’s primary weapon hasn’t changed since 2006 and while I appreciate the call back, I kind of wish he had something a little more interesting. The original Iron Anvil came with the Annihilator submachine gun, and that’s a piece that was recreated in the modern line for 25th Anniversary Specialist Trakker. Since the modern figures are larger, it does mean that this gun looks a little more in scale than it used to, but I’m still not wild about the piece. I get why the GIJCC used it since it is the original weapon the Iron Anvil had, but I’d rather see them equipped with something like 30th Anniversary Renegades Law’s submachine gun or even one of the Rise of Cobra Paris Pursuit Baroness guns. Those are all slightly more effective weapons that also don’t look a bit dated. Regardless of my opinion about the Annihilator submachine gun, the gear is good, even if the Iron Anvil feels just a tad under equipped.
I’ve been a fan of the Iron Anvil since I first learned about it in 2006 and my opinion of that figure hasn’t changed at all in the intervening years. The original version was an incredible repurposing of one of my favorite figures into a subteam that I love in a far superior color scheme. The modern version is a great con set army builder that expertly reuses a variety of parts to create a more modern take on that figure. The new head really finishes things off nicely and the Iron Anvil is a great addition to the modern Iron Grenadiers. I thought it was a great idea to add a paratrooper into the Iron Grenadiers ten years ago and the modern iteration is great because it looks a lot more like a paratrooper than the original version did. The filecard did a great job of explaining the design and I love that the GIJCC incorporated reactive armor into the Iron Anvils as well. It’s a nice nod to Rise of Cobra and it’s a great in-universe explanation for the Iron Anvils’ body suit. The figure is great and the GIJCC did an excellent job recreating one of my favorite con exclusives.