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How Much Money Did Tony Stark Spend Being Iron Man In The MCU?

While he was alive, the MCU's Tony Stark felt the weight of the world on his shoulders. Once Loki and his ruthless army of Chitauri arrive in 2012's Avengers, the once-careless playboy sees his genius and his vast resources as the best defense against whatever alien threat is coming next. Opinions differ on 2013's Iron Man 3, but if nothing else the movie did a wonderful job proving that — between fighting off two Extremis-fueled goons without his suit and infiltrating Aldrich Killian's compound with nothing more than what he bought at Home Depot — Stark's mind and character have as much to do with him being a hero as his suits. 

Still, being Iron Man isn't cheap — and it seems unlikely Stark could be Iron Man without his billions, not to mention the question of who would fund the Avengers. Since the release of 2008's Iron Man, multiple writers, tech experts, and financial wizards have worked hard to find out just how much money Tony Stark spent being Iron Man. Keep reading to learn the surprising totals they've compiled.

In 2010, you could be Iron Man for $100 million

In 2010 — the same year Iron Man 2 was released — io9's Annalee Newitz wanted to know if the different components that make up Iron Man's suit either existed or were in development and, if so, what they cost. The number she came to is surprisingly low. The total for all the parts came to around $100 million which, Newitz pointed out, was around $12 million less than the cost of an F-35 fighter plane. You probably wouldn't find them in a big box store, but hypothetically it wouldn't be out of the reach of the U.S. military.

The story is a decade old, so why aren't there already fleets of Iron Man suits? Well, probably because of a couple of the story's missing pieces. First, Newitz comes to the figure with only five components of the hypothetical suit — a helmet-mounted display, an exoskeleton, a portable nuclear power source, a jet pack, and wearable computers. No weapons are mentioned, which are crucial to being Iron Man. There are many other missing suit capabilities, like Tony's, uh... waste filtration system. 

Second, even if it were a complete list, the story is missing a critical component: the research and development necessary to make all these different pieces of tech work together in one suit. You can buy a car and you can buy a plane, but that doesn't mean you know how much it costs to make a flying car. 

In 2012, Iron Man made Batman jealous

A couple of months after the 2012 release of Avengers, MoneySupermarket.com designed an infographic that made its way around the web, giving the cost of being Iron Man a much heftier price tag than io9's quote. The site estimated the cost of living as both Tony Stark and Iron Man would be well over 15 times greater, putting it at $1.6 billion. 

Unlike the 2010 story, MoneySupermarket.com's infographic took into account things like the anti-personnel guns on the suit's shoulders ($400,000 each), the rocket launchers in the wrists ($1.5 million), and the development of the artificial intelligence program known as JARVIS ($10 million). Tony's Mark 7 suit debuts at the end of Avengers, and this infographic gauged the total cost for all the suits combined at that point at $1.5 billion.

The site also went beyond the suit and looked at Tony's lifestyle. They put his mansion at $25 million and his fancy car collection at $3.4 million. So while most of that $1.6 billion goes toward the suits, it's good to know he gives himself a modest amount of cash to just have a little fun.

MoneySupermarket.com (via Mashable) also put together a similar infographic for Batman, putting the cost of being the Dark Knight at $682 million. So either Bruce Wayne is just way better at spending than Tony, or Wayne Enterprises needs to sell more of... whatever they sell.

In a single year, being Iron Man got a lot more expensive

You thought inflation was bad for you?

A little less than a year after MoneySupermarket.com released its infographic putting the cost of being Iron Man at $1.6 billion, the same site released a new estimate (via Mashable) of $10 billion.

Of course, if you've seen Iron Man 3, then the increase isn't a mystery. By 2013, Stark's collection of suits increases from seven to 42, adding $7 billion to this estimate, and honestly, that's probably a little low. Their infographic only counts seven of Tony's 35 new suits (along with erroneously counting the Iron Patriot suit, which at that point was the property of the United States government). Iron Man 3's final battle and Tony's "House Party" protocol clearly shows way more than seven new suits, so if seven suits cost $7 billion, you can likely add around $30 billion to the total. And whatever that total is? Well, that's what Tony throws away on a romantic gesture to Pepper by ordering the surviving suits to self-destruct...only to have new suits ready to go by Avengers: Age of Ultron

Forget the suit, Iron Man's crib would break the bank

In December of 2013, the real estate blog Movoto decided to figure out what it would cost to live as Tony Stark for a year. Not how to be Iron Man, but just the annual living expenses for Tony Stark's Malibu mansion that winds up at the bottom of the ocean in Iron Man 3. Illustrating how they came to the number in an infographic, Movoto estimated Stark's yearly price tag for living at $10 million. 

Movoto's numbers, if they're accurate, are stunning. The infographic tells us Tony's annual property tax would be just shy of $1 million, security would cost around $550,000 (which becomes moot when you invite terrorists to your home on TV), and paying for his internet would be in the ballpark of $1.8 million per year.  

Now, to be fair, we might take issue with a big chunk of that number. Movoto's infographic puts Tony's annual mortgage at $5.5 million. Real estate experts would certainly know better how much a mortgage would cost, but while none of the Iron Man movies get this specific about his spending practices, it seems doubtful Tony Stark has a mortgage. It seems much more in character that Tony would've hired an architect himself (or had Pepper do it for him), built the house, and paid for it all at once. 

Tony could trade in six suits for a new Stark Tower

A lot of the research into the hypothetical costs of Tony Stark forgets that Iron Man isn't the only superhero Stark funds. He's also the benefactor of the team he helps found. As of the end of Avengers — when the only remaining letter on Stark Tower is the A for Avengers — Stark Tower is Avengers Tower.  The building is not only a technologically advanced skyscraper, it's on prime Fifth Avenue Manhattan real estate. In May 2013, Go Banking Rates estimated it would cost Stark $600 million to build what Steve Rogers called "that big, ugly building."

While the $600 million is a big number, it's likely missing a few things. It may cost $600 million to buy the land and build the thing, but what about property tax? Utilities? Insurance rates must be insane. By the time Stark sells the building in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming, the tower's been assaulted by gods, alien warriors, and sentient robots. Hell, just allowing a guy there who can turn into a huge green monster potentially capable of destroying the entire building has got to play havoc with your premiums.

Launching one of Tony Stark's satellites could cost up to $400 million

There's one big-ticket item just about everyone forgets in their assessment of Tony's spending — Veronica, a.k.a. the Hulkbuster suit. 

In particular, there's the method of the Hulkbuster suit's delivery. When Tony activates Veronica in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, we learn he isn't keeping the armor in Stark Tower or a compound in upstate New York. The Hulkbuster armor waits in orbit to be deployed by a satellite. That means that along with developing and building the suit, Veronica needed to be attached to a satellite which needed to be launched into orbit. 

So while we can't tell you how much it would cost Tony to build the Hulkbuster armor, we do know launching a satellite would cost him between $50 million and $400 million all on its own. While we don't work for NASA, we're going to guess that — considering that satellite needs the added capability of launching Veronica back to Earth at a moment's notice — Veronica's costs would be closer to the high end of that estimate.   

In 2017, Tony Stark got a lower estimate

In 2017 — the same year Tony acted as Peter Parker's father figure in Spider-Man: Homecoming — the billionaire got some good news from a new estimate of his spending needs. According to a video made by Coinage, Time Inc.'s personal finance video company, being Iron Man would cost $8.4 billion annually — a $1.6 billion drop from MoneySupermarket.com's 2013 estimate of $10 billion. 

Coinage's explanation isn't nearly as comprehensive as far breaking down exactly how they arrived at that number, so it's curious how that $1.6 billion went missing. In fact, at least one expense — Tony's mansion — gets a much higher number from Coinage. MoneySupermarket.com put the mansion at $25 million, while Coinage puts it at a staggering $117.2 million. 

It's also noteworthy that Coinage must be missing more than any of the other estimates we've looked at, considering it came out later than the rest. MoneySupermarket.com can be forgiven, for example, for not including estimates for the upstate New York Avengers compound or any of the suits Tony made for Spider-Man since their estimates were put together in 2013 — two years before we'd see the Avengers compound at the end of Age of Ultron, and three years before Tony makes his new Spidey suit for Peter Captain America: Civil War. Maybe the Coinage guys need to see more movies?

Tony Stark could fight the Hulk at a convention for just $60,000

As we mentioned earlier, no tech or financial experts have bothered to give an educated guess as to the cost of the Hulkbuster Iron Man suit, but at least one person can tell us how much it costs to make an incredible facsimile. 

In 2015, the year the battle between Tony and the Hulk trashed half of Johannesburg, Thomas DePetrillo spent $60,000 to make a 10-foot-tall Hulkbuster Iron Man suit that he showed off at that year's New York Comic-Con. DePetrillo said that the suit weighs 100 pounds, it takes two people to help him put on, and it's "about 12 feet across, armtip-to-armtip." 

We don't think DePetrillo or anyone else should go looking for green monsters to fight in the suit, but it's still an amazing accomplishment. The Inside Edition video of DePetrillo walking around Times Square in the suit shows just how impressive it is, as well as how much the 10-foot-tall suit makes the horses for NYPD's mounted units nervous.

And there's so much we can't even count

As comprehensive as any of the analysis of Tony Stark's costs may be, there's a lot missing. 

No one knows, for example, the cost of the Avengers compound in upstate New York that gets demolished at the end of Avengers: Endgame. We don't know the cost of the Spider-Man suits Tony makes, the Hulkbuster suit, most of the 42 suits he'd made by Iron Man 3, or the automated arms used to peel the armor off. We don't know what Age of Ultron's Iron Legion cost, the new nano-fiber suit Tony debuts in Infinity War, or the time machine in Endgame.

Then there are personnel costs. Tony has to pay for all the food and other amenities provided for the Avengers at their compound, not to mention that he presumably pays them salaries. He's got Quinjets and helicopters, he's got multiple satellites, he buys a giant stuffed bunny for Pepper in Iron Man 3, and he also has to pay for that dude's phone he smashes after he threatens the Mandarin.

Then there's maintenance. Remember: if you buy a car, the cost of the car isn't your only expense. There's insurance, fuel, oil changes, new tires, and other maintenance. You think Tony can build one of these insanely advanced Iron Man suits and not bother with tune-ups? Every high-tech thing Tony invents is an ongoing investment, so it's arguably fortunate they usually get destroyed after only a couple of uses.