A kindergarten pupil in eastern China had the last laugh on her classmates who scoffed at her claims that her father was Iron Man, the Marvel superhero.
Bao Jianguo, 34, saved the day for his daughter Lele, when he turned up at her kindergarten in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in a home-made costume based on the cartoon character, the Qianjiang Evening News reported on Sunday.
"Iron Man is here! Iron Man is here!" the children shouted at the unnamed school, according to the report.
Bao, whose day job is designing robots, is a comic book fan and decided to make the costume after he saw other people online creating their own.
He took more than two years to design a prototype that would fit his body shape and assemble the 300 plastic and resin parts needed for the look.
"In my old house, the conditions for making the costume were tough - I had to wear a protective face mask and run the fan whenever I used spray paint," Bao was quoted as saying.
"Afterwards I moved to a new house where I had a small studio for myself."
Bao's studio also contains small replicas of other comic book superheroes such as Spider-Man and Captain America. His studio has specialist equipment such as extractor fans and even a 3D printer to make models.
He has even made Spider-Man masks as well as other 3D-printed toys for his two young children, who are also Marvel fans.
"The thing that makes me the happiest is playing with my children," Bao was quoted as saying.
Marvel Comics, with its lucrative franchises of comic books, spin-off TV series and films, has enjoyed huge success in China in recent years. After its release in May last year, Avengers: Infinity War alone made US$358 million at the Chinese box office.
But Marvel's relationship with China has not been without controversy. In December, Chinese audiences reacted angrily after the company made its first Asian superhero the son of Fu Manchu, a fictional supervillain commonly associated with racist and xenophobic "Yellow Peril" stereotypes.
This article was first published on South China Morning Post.