MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
After a poignant absence in Infinity War and Endgame‘s opening act, Hulk makes kind of an understated reappearance after Endgame’s five-year time jump, having progressed from simple-minded brute to a hybrid of Banner’s brains and Hulk’s brawn at some point in the gap. It gave the character a decidedly different arc for the film, and though fans had guessed at the change happening, it was still a pretty well-kept secret as a whole. The Professor Hulk merch proper took a little while to make its way out, but he’s showing up in full force now, most notably as the central Build-A-Figure of the latest assortment of Marvel Legends.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hulk is the Build-A-Figure for the second assortment of Endgame-themed Marvel Legends. There are a number of looks to choose from for Professor Hulk, but Hasbro’s opted to go with the one that stays closest to comfort for Hulk: shirtless with tattered pants. He looks this way when he goes back to the battle of New York, so it’s accurate to the film, but it doesn’t feel quite as true to this particular iteration of the character. Personally, I’d have liked to see his cardigan-sporting look from early in the film, but his jumpsuit from the end of the movie would have been cool too. This one is fine, but seems like an off choice given what Hasbro *didn’t* do with the figure. I’ll get to that in a moment. The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. After doing an awkward sort of rework to the Avengers sculpt for Age of Ultron, and then doing an all-new sculpt for Ragnarok, this Hulk gets another all-new sculpt. It’s the most balanced and realistic Hulk sculpt we’ve gotten to date. The proportions are solid, the limbs hang naturally, and the articulation is well worked-in and has a solid range given the general sizing of him. There are two different heads included for this guy. The main one is a more neutral expression, which works well enough, since it lacks that usual Hulk intensity. The likeness on the face is actually a pretty decent match for the CGI Ruffalo, but the hair does seem to be a slight bit off; it lacks a lot of Ruffalo’s distinctive waviness. Hulk’s second head has a smirk. What’s interesting is that, even though a grin of some sort should feel more proper for this version of the character, but for whatever reason, he seems to be back to the Avengers facial model, while still sporting the Endgame hair. It’s an odd combo, and honestly it would have been better if they’d just gone full-on first movie styling for the second head, since that would do a bit to justify the costume choice for the figure. Hulk’s paintwork is pretty solidly handled. The chest hair detailing is pretty well done, as is the printed face detailing. I’m also glad to see they included the greying at the temples like he’s got going on in the film. Hulk’s only extra is that second head I mentioned, but it’s more than most BaFs get, so there’s no complaints from me.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve always been a fan of the Professor Hulk concept, and I was very happy to see it turn up in the film. I figured we’d be seeing him pop up in this spot, so the only thing that really surprised me about the announcement was the costume choice. I wish they’d gone with a different look, and I’m holding out for some sort of follow-up release, but purely as a figure, this guy is pretty nice.
Unlike some recent assortments where the line-ups were more centralized in quality, there’s a wider spread on these guys. Loki and Rock Python are definitely some of the weaker Legends releases as of late, but on the flip side, War Machine, Rescue, and Union Jack are some of my favorite recent releases and are just solid figures all around. Through in some solid middle-ground figures with Beta Ray Bill and Shuri, and there’s certainly enough good in the assortment to outweigh the bad.