Review: Iron Factory IF-EX11 Evil Lord

Back in my Doombringers review, I mentioned how Legends scale toys were becoming a popular market for third party products, headlined by the companies DX9 and Iron Factory. DX9’s War in Pocket line seems to be focusing on G1 cartoon characters, with their products offering multi-packs of Legends-scaled figures. On the other hand, Iron Factory’s focus seems to be more on self-contained playability rather than just character choice. Their first release, Turrets and Manacle, was a showcase for the line’s versatile 5mm compatibility first, character homage second. Though their releases now tend to be more “big-name” characters, that focus on internal playability is still the company’s focus. Today we’ll look at my first Iron Factory figure, Evil Lord, who happens to look a lot like a certain Wreckers adversary.

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Vehicle Modes

Evil Lord looks a whole lot like Overlord, and like Overlord, he splits into two separate altmodes: a tank and a jet. Evil Lord is very much based on Nick Roche’s LSOTW design for Overlord, thus the jet mode is a bit wider and a lot less SR-71 than the G1 toy, and the tank mode has its distinctive fins and turbines. Considering the scale, the accuracy to Roche’s design is pretty impressive.

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Both modes are very solid, though they don’t do much other than look pretty. The tank barrel can swivel up and down a bit, but the turret can’t rotate. The jet has front landing gear, as well.

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Base Mode

The base mode… is a thing. Not that the G1 toy’s base mode was anything special, but the limitations of being a Legends scale figure are very apparent here. An effort is being made, but it really doesn’t look like much of anything. The fact that the folded-up legs don’t even tab into the side ramps just enhance the “afterthought” vibe that this mode exudes.

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Robot Mode

Now this is what we’re here for. After a bit of inevitable partsforming (those teal ramp panels have nowhere to go in the vehicle modes, sadly), you have a very impressive miniature Overlord. The proportions aren’t perfect, but for the most part Evil Lord continues to be faithful to the Roche design (though the face sculpt isn’t quite as lip-centric as it could be). I love how the figure manages to look as big and imposing as Overlord should, despite being roughly the size of a Scout class figure.

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Equally impressive is the articulation: ball-jointed head, hinged and ball-jointed shoulders, bicep and thigh swivels, hinged elbows, double-hinged knees, and ball-jointed ankles. Furthermore, you can untab his pelvis from his back to allow for a waist joint as well as an ab crunch, which also allows for side-to-side movement. All of his joints are tight and don’t feel like they’ll loosen up anytime soon.

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Evil Lord comes with quite the suite of accessories, which is actually pretty low for an Iron Factory release. Unfortunately, the biggest flaw of this figure is that very few of these accessories actually have places to store on the toy. The forward ramp piece is the biggest offender, only being used for the base mode. It can tab onto Evil Lord’s back (loosely), but the jet mode cockpit has to be removed.

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Speaking of which, the front of the jet can remain clipped onto his back in its vehicle mode position, but it can also mount on his arm for a comic-accurate shield. Unfortunately, this requires the wing part to be removed and set aside. Both parts (as well as the turbines mounted on his calves) use 5mm ports, but unfortunately there aren’t very many places on Evil Lord’s robot mode to store spare parts, so no matter what you do you’re left with a few pieces laying around.

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Aside from the purple rifle, Evil Lord comes equipped with a chromed sword. Overlord doesn’t usually wield a sword… unless he’s stealing Drift’s greatsword in order to stab Ultra Magnus through the spark. The hilt detailing is accurate, and it’s a nice and completely unnecessary addition to Overlord’s armaments. Alas, it has nowhere to store in any mode.

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It’s also worth noting that the build quality on Evil Lord is exceptional. The plastic is dense, the construction is solid, the paintwork is top-notch, and nothing about him feels fragile. This is in contrast to one of Iron Factory’s earlier releases, Iron Giant’s Maiden (not-Windblade), which had solid construction but felt very frail and breakable. It also puts Iron Factory above DX9 in terms of overall feel; Evil Lord feels much more polished and durable than any of the Doombringers, and IF’s plastic quality is far superior. 

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Overall

After Last Stand of the Wreckers in 2010 and his reappearance in MTMTE two years later, demand for an Overlord figure skyrocketed, and even now the demand is still well in orbit. After years of teasing, Mastermind Creations has finally unveiled their take on the comics villain, but it is very expensive and takes its own liberties with the Roche design. Evil Lord may only be to scale with Legends figures, but if you want an excellent Overlord toy for less than $50, you can’t go wrong here. He fulfills Iron Factory’s quota by being a fun figure with a ton of playability and a fair amount of accessories, and he’s got the build quality to boot. Evil Lord is one of my favorite third party releases to date, and I would highly recommend him.

Where to Buy

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