Okay. You’ve stolen the original Iron Man suit. The prop, I mean. From the first movie. Not the actual multibilion-dollar piece of flying war metal that Tony Stark created. That would be weird. And dangerous. No, you just have the prop. But still.
What do you do now?
Let’s back up. The Iron Man suit is missing. The original prop from the first movie — or at least “the head, chest, legs, and arms,” valued at $320,000 according to the LAPD — was last seen in its storage unit in February and was reported missing in April. Now, maybe your first reaction to that news is something like “Well, if no one checked on it between February and April, maybe it just got misplaced sometime in March. Or maybe someone moved it for reasons having to do with the release of Infinity War.” Well, I am pleased to report that you are both unimaginative and wrong. According to Syfy Wire, the authorities are treating it as a burglary. That’s right.
Iron Man suit heist.
Iron Man suit heist.
But that gets us back to the problem. What, exactly, does one do with the stolen Iron Man suit?
I’ll tell you what you can’t do: Tell your friends. It’s not even because they’d rat you out. Your friends would never rat you out. Your friends are cool. Except maybe Trevor. (Never trust anyone named Trevor.) But no. That’s not the issue. The issue is that they absolutely would not believe that it’s the real suit. No chance. Especially not if it’s just sitting in the Hefty bag you used to smuggle it out of that storage facility, with no authentication. Think about this: Would you even believe you in this situation, if you were not you? I don’t think you would. You’d think you acquired some decent looking fake at a yard sale and are now trying to pass it off as the real thing. You’ll be roasted into oblivion. I know because one time when I was younger my neighbor Larry told me he went to New York and met the Ninja Turtles in the sewer and we roasted him about it for years. Your mom wouldn’t let a 9-year old boy crawl around the sewer, Larry. Everyone knew you were lying.
You also can’t just wear it around town to do errands. I mean, you can, if you want to. It would be a little hilarious. But you’d run into two problems. The first one is the same problem from above, where everyone would assume it was just a cheap knockoff suit and they wouldn’t believe you if you said it was real. Also, they’d think you were crazy. Imagine a stranger walking up to you in Trader Joe’s and just saying “You know, I’m wearing the real Iron Man suit.” You’d call security.
Which brings us to the second problem: Even if you pull off “wear the Iron Man suit to do errands” once, and make it a cute and fun goof, that’s about the end of that, because doing it a second time would be weird. That moves you from “the guy who wore the Iron Man suit to Panera one time” to “That guy who always wears the Iron Man suit.” You don’t want to be that guy. That guy definitely does not get invited to cookouts. Never do anything that jeopardizes invitations to cookouts. Cookouts are the best.
You can try to sell it, I suppose. But selling a one-of-kind item like this is really hard, just because whoever buys it can’t do much with it, either. There’s always the possibility that whoever stole it was hired to do so by a fanatical billionaire collector (please do picture Mark Zuckerberg here), who just wants to have it for his or her own personal reasons (and now picture Mark Zuckerberg wearing the suit and strutting around his house pretending to shoot his houseplants, “pew pew”-ing with every imagined blast). I like to think the person who stole it got paid $150 but then saw all these news reports about how it’s worth of $300,000 and is now changing the terms of the deal.
“Do you have the item?”
“Oh, it’s safe. You’ll have it soon enough. But first, I’d like to renegotiate my price.”
That’s definitely the most fun option. Because if it wasn’t a prop heist for hire then that means it was most likely a crime of opportunity, committed by some poor schmuck who knew people liked The Avengers and realized no one was keeping close tabs on a prop valued at roughly the price of Rolls-Royce’s new SUV. You can see the logic there. But if you don’t have a buyer lined up, it’s not like you can find one on eBay or Craigslist with a headline like “Stolen Iron Man Suit. Non-Functioning. $320k Or Best Offer.” That would be bad. Funny, sure, but bad.
As for me, as always, in a situation where something valuable was stolen with murky reasoning, I choose to believe this is a Thomas Crown situation and some bored billionaire just stole it himself for the rush of it. It’s even funnier if you picture the person devoting many months and millions of dollars on planning and gadgets to create an elaborate scheme and that entire scheme being unnecessary because no one was guarding the facility that closely at all. Picture Elon Musk — tired of space travel, yawning at hyperloops, doing anything to feel truly alive — lasering open the roof and rappelling into the facility in a black turtleneck. Then, picture the facility just dusty and unsecured, with no alarm and a single yellow light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Going full Mission Impossible in an empty warehouse.
Yeah. Let’s go with that. Elon Musk did it. Seems like the most reasonable explanation.