Maybe one day the studios will figure out how to actually work with the toy companies when it comes to how (and when) to best roll out certain pieces of merchandise. Until then, there isn't a provider of major spoilers quite like action figures.
The folks over at SlashFilm have posted some pics of four upcoming Pop! Marvel toys that tie in with this summer's release of "Iron Man 3" and couldn't help but notice that at least one of them reveals something we haven't seen or heard of before in regards to Tony Stark's third stand-alone adventure. We all know the Iron Man suit extremely well by this point, we're familiar with the War Machine get-up and we've seen plenty of production photos featuring the oddly ominous Iron Patriot armor.
But what we haven't seen before is the "Deep Space Suit."
It makes sense that Stark will be leaving the Earth's atmosphere in "Iron Man 3." He briefly did it at the end of "The Avengers," after all. And the new "Iron Man" is, of course, setting the stage for a brand new Phase of Marvel movies ... including "Guardians of the Galaxy," which features characters that aren't of our planet and do most of their work out there in the, well, galaxy.
Whoa, wait a minute ... does this mean Tony Stark might find himself face-to-face with Rocket Raccoon in the now-obligatory post-credits scene? (We can't wait to hear Robert Downey Jr.'s reaction to that bizarro character in particular.)
One thing's almost for sure -- Iron Man is headed for outer space (deep outer space, at that). Leave it to the toys to ruin everything ... and get audiences even more excited for what might be in store.
"Iron Man 3" opens May 3.