Speaking as someone who’s considered spending nearly $1,000 on a full Stormtrooper costume multiple times, I’m very interested in a new crowdfunding project designed to build and mass produce a complete Iron Man suit with electronic features like an automatic sliding faceplate. The Iron Man Mark III project from Iron Man Factory, which must violate at least 80 licensing agreements, also just looks so damn cool that I’m going to hope beyond hope it somehow gets made.
The prototype in the video is fully 3D-printed, and also features a number of light-up aesthetic features, powered by AAA batteries. It’s lightweight, weighing in at only 3kg (6.6 lbs) and features metal joints with a carbon fiber/polymer body. Anyone under 5’6″ or much over 6’1″ need not apply, according to the specifications, which means even if I want it so badly my entire body burns I’d be taking a risk on not quite fitting within.
The creators of the Iron Man project are a team with an injection moulding factory out of Shenzen, the company tells me, including engineers with over 15 years experience in die casting manufacturing. The factory employs between 30 and 40 people, and currently produces toys, routers, smartphone parts and more. They’ve been working with designers in Beijing on the Iron Man project, and began producing small runs of the Iron Man helmet alone via 3D printing. To get costs down and volumes up, they’re looking to cover the costs of initial setup for a full-scale, injection moulding production run.
Backers can lay down pledges for either the full injection moulded suit ($1,999), a helmet alone ($1,800) or the full, 3D-printed suit ($35,000). The latter two will ship within three to four months, while the production run suits are expected to arrive between six and eight months out should the project prove successful. No cards will be charged until orders ship, with payments managed via Stripe.
The company also tells me that it’s working on a space-grade aluminum version of the suit, too, which it plans to put into mass production provided the initial campaign is successful. They declined to comment on licensing, indicating this isn’t a project with Marvel’s official blessing, but that probably won’t stop the superfan from drooling over this. And yes it’s $2,000 and it doesn’t even fly, but imagine the faces the next time you walk the con floor.
Update: Marvel has unsurprisingly requested the project’s creators to stop selling these unlicensed works, so from now on it’ll be unavailable to buyers outside China.