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. Some of these numbers are surprisingly low — and some of them are straight-up astronomical — but one thing's for certain: Being the Iron Avenger ain't cheap.
In 2010 — the same year Iron Man 2 was released — io9's Annalee Newitz crunched the numbers and learned that the total for all the parts comprising Iron Man's suit came to around $100 million. Newitz pointed out that this 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. That kind of brain power comes with a hefty — and unknowable — price tag.
A couple of months after the 2012 release of Avengers, MoneySupermarket.com gave the cost of being Iron Man a much steeper sum 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 data took into account things like the anti-personnel guns on the suit's shoulders — $400,000 each — the rocket launchers in the wrists, which would clock in at $1.5 million; and the development of the artificial intelligence program known as JARVIS at around $10 million. MoneySupermarket gauged the total cost for all of Tony Stark's suits combined by the end of The Avengers at $1.5 billion. Keep watching the video to see how much it really cost Tony Stark to bankroll Iron Man revealed!