GREY HULK – TRANSFORMING & IRON MAN – MK29 ARMOR
So, one of the cool things about the Best Of sub-line of Marvel Minimates is that it’s a great way for Diamond to fix some issues with previously released figures. Figures that were almost there, but just the slightest bit off. They also can offer some much needed updates to important looks of popular characters. Both of these can be seen in today’s set, Grey Hulk and the Mark 29 Iron Man.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Hulk and Iron Man were released as a two-pack in Series 3 of the Best Of Marvel Minimates line. Like yesterday’s set, both characters featured here have had a previous figure in the Best Of line.
GREY HULK – TRANSFORMING
The story of Hulk’s skin color is kind of an interesting one. See, he was originally supposed to be grey (and he is in his first appearance), but the printing standards of 1960s comics weren’t up to the task of consistently printing the color, resulting in Hulk coloring changing a few times in his initial appearance. So, they decided the color had to change, and they went with green, as it was the accidental coloring they liked the best. And so, green became the Hulk’s distinctive color. It’s worth noting that Hulk’s change in palate was never mentioned in the comic itself, but it also came coupled with a slight change in the beast’s personality, which was used by writer Peter David to bring back the original look as a separate personality. As such, Grey Hulk has claimed a place as one of the key looks for the character. The last real Grey Hulk Minimate was released back in Series 7 of the main line (and even then, it was just a rerelease of an exclusive released at the same time as Series 1-4), so he was definitely in need of an update. The figure is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and he sports 12 points of articulation. He makes use of the standard issue Minimate body, with an assortment of “bulk-up” pieces. All of these pieces have seen use on previous Hulks. The torso, upper arms, upper legs, upper legs, and feet are from the series 41 Mega Rage Hulk; the hair is from the TRU exclusive World War Hulk; the torso extender is from Series 27’s Ultimate Hulk; the hands are from Series 45’s Movie Hulk. The torso cover is also a re-use piece, which has seen use on countless figures over the years. This is the best assortment of Hulk pieces available, so DST definitely chose well. The paint on Hulk is pretty great, but perhaps not as exceptional as some of the others in this series. There is a tiny bit of bleed over on the ends of his pants, and the black detail lines seem just the slightest bit muted. Underneath of the torso and waist covers, there are fully detailed pieces, which, with the addition of a spare set of hands and feet, as well as a new head and hair (courtesy of Tomb Raider’s Roth), allow Grey Hulk to be displayed as Bruce Banner, mid-transformation. It doesn’t work quite as well as the previous Series’ fully civilian Bruce, but it still looks pretty cool, and the angry face is a wonderful addition to the range of Banner emotions. In addition to the transformation pieces, Grey Hulk also comes packed with a clear display stand.
IRON MAN – MK29 ARMOR
Sometimes, Diamond, for all their efforts, doesn’t get a figure quite right on the first try. Such was the case with the original TRU release of this armor. The figure featured a unique set of upper legs, but the sockets for the hip joints were too shallow, giving the figure an odd look and making it virtually impossible to keep the legs on. Fortunately, Iron Man’s a popular enough character that a second release wasn’t unwarranted. This figure represents Iron Man’s Mark 29 armor, which is one of the iterations of his Extremis armor from the comics. Not one of my favorite looks, but he did sport this general style of armor for a while, and it’s not too far off from his movie look. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. The figure makes use of the typical body, with character specific upper arms, as well as add-ons for his helmet, upper torso, belt, gloves and boots. The helmet, upper torso, belt, and boots are from the Iron Man in the 14th TRU exclusive series, and the upper arms and gloves from Series 45’s Iron Man Mark 7. These pieces all mesh very well together and present a nice amalgamation of the various Extremis designs. The only real issue is the feet, which are at just the slightest angle, making the figure fall backwards if he’s not posed correctly. The paint is another dividing factor from the previous release. Where the last one used metallic red and gold, this one goes for a more straight red and yellow. This is a bolder look, and it makes the figure pop a bit more. It also does a nicer job of showcasing the sculpted pieces. All of the paintwork is nice and clean, and the detail lines don’t suffer from the washed-out appearance of those on Hulk. Underneath of the helmet is a Tony Stark face. It’s clearly a modern Tony, and it has just the right amount of self-assuredness. Iron Man includes a spare hairpiece (first used on Series 27’s Ultimate Cap), a flight stand molded in clear orange, and a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like the other three sets in this series, I picked up Hulk and Iron Man from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. My primary reason for picking up the set was Hulk; for whatever reason, I never picked up the original Grey Hulk. This figure provides an exceptional update to that figure, and brings Grey Hulk up to the same quality as the Green Hulk offered in the previous series. While this Hulk’s Banner look doesn’t excite me the same way as the earlier version, it’s still a fun extra look, and it adds extra value to an already awesome figure. While I’m not the biggest fan of this particular look for Iron Man, this is still a solid figure, and he offers some much needed fixes to the previous version. The third series of Best Of Marvel Minimates is a solid addition to the Minimates line-up.