#2599: Joe Fixit

JOE FIXIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

In my review of the most recent Marvel Legends Grey Hulk (which was *a year* ago; boy how time flies), I discussed the printing process issues that led to Hulk’s coloring being changed from its intended grey into the traditional green that the character’s become so tied to.  In the ‘80s, thanks to improvements in the comics printing process, the Grey Hulk was brought back by writer Peter David, who established that he was a separate entity from Banner and Green Hulk, expanding on his less beastly characterization in Hulk #1 to create a unique personality, and attaching to him a name, “Joe Fixit.”  Fixit was not the brute that Green Hulk was , but was instead a morally ambiguous Las Vegas enforcer.  It was certainly different, and it’s become a fan favorite incarnation of the character.  Fixit serves as an alternate appearance for the Hulk in Square Enix’s Avengers game, which serves as a solid reason to give him the Legends treatment.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Joe Fixit is the Build-A-Figure for the second Avengers-themed Marvel Legends assortment of 2020, and serves as a nice bridging of the comics and game aspects of the assortment, seeing as he’s a figure that technically counts for both.  Fixit’s never actually gotten a proper Legends release before, but did get a release in the Toy Biz days as part of their short-lived Hulk Classics line.  The figure stands about 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Fixit is an all-new sculpt, something that was a little surprising to me, as I’d expected him to at least borrow a few parts from Kingpin.  I guess Hasbro decided that just wouldn’t do.  It would have probably made the figure a little shorter, which I can see being the main issue.  There are a couple of different Fixit designs to go with, but this figure opts for the full suit and hat appearance, which is also what the game is using.  It results in a figure that’s a bit more restricted on the posability side of things, but ultimately not terrible for what he needs to do.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and certainly gets the size of him down.  I do like some of the little touches, such as only one of his suit jack buttons being done.  I’m not super crazy about the tie and collar, which are free-floating pieces, and have a tendency to pop up during posing.  That can get a bit frustrating.  Also, my figure’s jacket has a few imperfections, two on the front and one on the back.  They’re all minor, but still a little annoying.  In terms of paint, he’s pretty straight forward, with most of the work  being molded plastic.  The skin tone is a little bit greener than I’d like; it would have been cool if had matched the last Grey Hulk.  It’s still plenty grey, though, so it’s not the end of the world.  I just prefer some consistency.  I do quite like the pattern on his tie; it could have just as easily been a straight red, but Hasbro went the extra mile here, and it helps.  Fixit’s an accessory himself, and subsequently gets no accessories of his own.  After getting extras with a few recent BaFs, it’s a shame we could’t get maybe an extra head without the hat, but given Hasbro’s track record, I have to wonder if there might be another Fixit in the works down the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I’ve personally never had a notable attachment to Fixit as a character, he’s nevertheless a cool concept, and the kind of thing I don’t mind having a figure of.  I was a fan of the old Toy Biz figure, so getting an update was certainly on the list.  Ultimately, this guy’s okay.  Nothing special or amazing, but certainly nothing bad.  If you don’t have the Toy Biz one, or just really want an update, this one’s solid.

In contrast to the rather middling nature of the first Gamerverse Avengers assortment, and also the unfortunately middling nature of the last small batch of figures from it, this assortment actually is a pretty strong one.  Sure, Cap and Iron Man are a bit unnecessary, but both offer something a little more exciting than the prior Gamerverse releases.  Fixit is a serviceable Build-A-Figure, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The real gem of this assortment is the comics side, which is pretty much all win.  Kang, Jocasta, and an updated Falcon have all been on my list for a while, and they’re some of my favorite Legends from the last year.  Thunderstrike may not be my personal cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad figure at all, and he’s another character that definitely needed to be added to the line.  Definitely a strong line-up here.

#2578: Red Hulk

RED HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“General Thunderbolt Ross transforms into the Hulk, a creature he swore to destroy.”

From the second appearance of the character, the Hulk’s been no stranger to changes in color.  Originally shifting from grey to green, and then back to grey, and then green again, there’s certainly been some back and forth.  In 2008, Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness through another color into the mix, shifting the Green Goliath into the Crimson Goliath.  Of course, this new Red Hulk wasn’t just a recolor of Bruce Banner, but was instead someone else, whose identity remained a mystery for over a year…and then it turned out to be Thunderbolt Ross, in one of the most convoluted, fake-out-filled reveals in comics history.  Nowadays, of course, the reveal’s common knowledge, and gets used for toy packaging bios like that one above.  But hey, toy bios mean there’s a toy to go with them, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Red Hulk is a Target-exclusive deluxe Marvel Legends offering.  This marks Red Hulk’s second time in Legends form.  The first time was as a Build-A-Figure way back in 2008, and he was actually a Target-exclusive that time as well.  They sure do like those red exclusives, don’t they?  The figure stands 8 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Red Hulk is our fourth use of the 80 Years of Marvel Hulk body, which is, again, not much of a surprise.  It’s a good sculpt, and it’s no surprise that Hasbro wants to get more uses out of it.  As with Grey Hulk, this guy changes the body up a bit by adding a new head sculpt into the mix.  This one’s got Red Hulk’s spikier hair style (which, by the way, never really made much sense, since it’s not like this is anything like Ross’s usual hair style…and where the hell does his mustache go?), and also changes up the expression.  He’s still angry and screaming, but it’s a slightly different looking angry and screaming.  It’s more like someone barking orders, which feels appropriate for the character.  He ditches the torn shirt piece that the last two Hulks had, which is sensible, since I don’t believe Red Hulk’s ever really done the torn shirt thing.  The paint work on this guy is pretty basic, and that’s honestly a little bit of a let down when compared to the other two Hulks I’ve reviewed on this body.  He lacks any real accent work, apart from a little bit on the face.  That much is at least pretty cool, but his body ends up feeling, I don’t know, unfinished, I guess.  In terms of accessories, he gets two sets of hands, one in fists, and one in open gesture.  They make for some nice variety for posing.  In a perfect world, I’d have liked to see maybe another head sculpt as well, maybe with the grin the character frequently sported, but I suppose that, given his size, just the extra hands are acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Red Hulk hasn’t exactly been the most readily available figure, at least in my neck of the woods.  I’ve not seen him at retail myself, and Target’s site’s really not been much help.  I spent a good chunk of time looking for him, but with no luck.  Fortunately for me, my former co-worker Jon Nieto, who knows how much I like Legends, happened to catch them while they were in stock on the website, and was kind enough to snag a second one for me.  That sure made my life easier!  Thanks Jon!  There’s not a ton new going on with this figure, but the updated Hulk body is still always cool to see again, and he sure does contrast nicely with the 80th Hulk.

#2539: Grey Hulk & Rhino

GREY HULK & RHINO

MARVEL MINIMATES

Last week, I took my first glance into the hopeless abyss Series 7 of Marvel Minimates, an assortment that’s not generally looked at as one of the line’s best, largely due to its overall lack of actual new stuff for the line.  This issue is really at its worst with today’s offering, which in notable for offering absolutely nothing new, a first for a specialty assortment offering for the line.  So, without further ado, let’s try not get too bored as we look at Grey Hulk and Rhino.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Grey Hulk and Rhino were released together for Series 7 of Marvel Minimates.  Previously, both figures had been the “hidden” figures in TRU’s Hulk/DD and Spider-Man 5-packs respectively in 2003.  Grey Hulk was also packed with Ultimate Spider-Man for an SDCC-exclusive pack, also in 2003.  Rhino, for his part, was also paired off with Captain America for the Target/Walmart packs.  What I’m getting at is that these guys were hard *not* to get.

GREY HULK

Grey Hulk (or “Franken Goblin” as Super Awesome Wife has decided he’s called in our house) is a fairly standard Hulk variant, and a pretty simple one at that.  He’s pretty much the same set up as the regular Hulk, being the standard long-footed body with a hair piece.  His hair piece is notably a different one than the standard.  This one attempts to go for Hulk’s earlier hair style, where it was all just on the top of his head and he had the more prominent brow.  It doesn’t quite work out as well as they’d hoped, and ultimately just ends up bulking up his head, making his body look even more puny by comparison, just further pushing the main issue that plagued the first release.  The paint work on this guy is again pretty similar to the original, with a but of a color swap, of course.  He also gets a slightly different facial expression, and one that I kind of like a little bit more than the standard’s.  It’s a shame it didn’t get ported over to green.

RHINO

Rhino is an interesting character to pair off with Hulk.  It’s not that the two have never fought, because they have, but it’s infrequent, since Rhino’s typically a Spidey villain and all.  It’s also perhaps not the most exciting color pairing either, since both of these guys are mostly grey.  That certainly can’t help with the overall meh feeling on the set.  Rhino was another pretty basic ‘mate.  He’s the standard body with an extra piece for his helmet.  The helmet’s actually pretty nice, and does a solid job of capturing Rhino’s look.  Like Hulk, Rhino looks a little scrawny without the add-ons to bulk him up, but it was the style early in the line.  Rhino’s paint work was pretty detailed, with musculature on his torso, and even some slight detailing of his “hide” on the legs.  That’s a cool touch.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember how I said you had to try *not* to get these guys?  Yeah, well, I somehow managed to not actually get them for 16 years after they were release.  I know, I’m a bit shocked too.  Like I was mentioning in my Chameleon/Spidey review, I think I just got a little put off by most of this assortment at the time, and just never had the drive to track them down after the fact.  Ultimately, I snagged them from All Time last fall.  They aren’t that bad, but they also aren’t that exciting, and getting them as many times as we did didn’t help things.

#2439: Leader

LEADER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Gamma radiation turned Samuel Sterns into the hyper-intelligent menace, the Marvel’s Leader.”

Brains vs Brawn is a fairly common trope when it comes to super hero comics, so it’s not a huge surprise that Hulk, kind of the ultimate “brawn” character frequent finds himself facing off against equivalent “brains” villains.  Probably the best example of this is Samuel Sterns, aka The Leader, a character whose story is a pretty clean inversion of Banner, with a gamma radiation-induced mutation that takes him from a man of average intelligence and makes him a super genius.  Well, now he’s a super genius with a new Marvel Legend.  How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Leader is the last of the comics-based figures in the Abomination Series of Marvel Legends.  This is Sterns’ second time getting the Legends treatment, but the last time was under the Toy Biz banner, so it’s been a while.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Leader is built on the Reed Richards variant of the Pizza Spidey body, a fairly reasonable choice of body given how Sterns is usually depicted.  It does have the unintended play feature of removable arms, which makes for some entertaining posing options with other figures.  Leader gets a new head, harness, and belt piece to round out his classic design.  The head’s definitely the best piece, and makes for a solid rendition of that ’70s/’80s pre-further mutation head.  It’s non *quite* as classic as the Toy Biz variant was, but it’s a nice middle ground.  It feels really appropriate for the character.  The paintwork on Leader is pretty bright and eye-catching…though why a green guy decided that orange and yellow were his best options is really anyone’s guess.  The head is again the best work, as they even put some slight shading under his eyes, which really helps them pop, and pushes that whole villain thing a little bit more.  Leader gets no character-specific extras, but he does get the right leg of the Abomination BaF, which is at least a pretty sizable piece, so he doesn’t feel too light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Leader is one of those characters that I’ve never found a need to own in figure form, so I actually haven’t before this point.  But, since I’m more or less going all in on this Legends stuff, I guess it’s as good a time as any to add him.  There’s not a ton of new going on with this figure, but he’s another solid formula figure from Hasbro, and a good way to add another character to the Hulk’s rogues roster.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2308: Hulk

HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Jennifer Walters struggles to control her anger, and keep the powerful Hulk at bay.”

After pretty much only being Bruce Banner’s alter-ego for five decades, in the last couple of years, the name “Hulk” has been shared by a handful of other people.  The first being Thunderbolt Ross (who admittedly did put “Red” in front of it to distinguish himself a bit), then Amadeus Cho (who stuck with “Totally Awesome” as his lead-in), and then eventually Hulk’s original spin-off, Jennifer Walters, previously a Hulk of the “She” variety.  I mean, I think she’s still of the “she” variety, but it got dropped from her name.  Also, she’s angry now, so there’s that.  And now, there’s a figure of this new incarnation!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk is figure 6 in the Super Skrull Series of Marvel Legends.  Though not super linked to the FF in her most current incarnation, Jen is nevertheless a good fit for an FF-themed assortment, given her history with the team during John Byrne’s tenure, and how that helped shift her into the spot-light.  Of course, I’d still like a proper Byrne FF She-Hulk one of these days, but that’s an issue for another time.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  Unlike the last ML She-Hulk, this figure is an all-new sculpt, and a rather impressive one at that.  Since her transition to just being Hulk also had her picking up some of her cousin’s temper issues, this new sculpt depicts an angrier, more savage Jen.  The face is an intense, teeth-baring snarl, which you don’t often see on female figures, and the hair is wildly blowing, with a stray stand even blowing across her face.  It’s quite a dynamic head, and I really love that about it.  The body goes to the proper Hulk roots of tattered clothing remains.  Like the last two comic He-Hulks we got, this one has a separate rubber tattered shirt piece, although this one isn’t designed to be removed.  She’s also sporting a pair of jeans with enough holes in them to make a clothing designer jealous, and with a ton of really nice texture work to make them feel like a real piece of clothing.  All of its on a body that has a great build to match most depictions of Jen in her Gamma-induced form.  I’m sure some of these parts have already been ear-marked to crop up again.  Jen’s transition to an adjective-less Hulk was accompanied by a change in color from her usual green to a grey more in like with her cousin’s earlier appearances.  This figure replicates that, but does keep enough green in there to make her still look more like a half-way point between Bruce’s two forms.  The paintwork on this figure does some solid work, especially on the hair, which has that nice green highlight to it.  I also really dig the bright green scars.  Hulk is packed with two sets of hands in fists and open gesture, as well as the right arms to Super Skrull.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The A-Force She-Hulk was a better figure than I expected, but was still a rather dated piece even when she was new, which definitely left me wanting a more properly updated version of Jen.  While I’ll admit this one might not have my first choice of design, and I’m certainly still holding out for a Byrne version, I can’t deny that this is a very nice figure, and would it not for the figure I’m about to review tomorrow, she’d probably be my favorite in the set.

Hulk came from my sponsors at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2244: Grey Hulk

GREY HULK

MARVEL LEGENDS: VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“Accidentally exposed to gamma radiation, scientist Bruce Banner gains super strength, stamina, and invulnerability…at the cost of his genius!  Dubbed “Hulk,” Banner first transforms only at night before realizing that it’s actually his anger that gives him his super abilities.”

Did you know that the Hulk is only green-skinned because of poor quality print techniques?  If you’re at all familiar with common place comics trivia, then you probably did.  Congratulations, you don’t need me anymore.  But I’m not writing reviews for you, so ah-ha, I’m gonna keep writing anyway.  You can’t stop me!  …Where was I?  Grey Hulk.  Right.  So, Hulk was originally grey, but the comics printing techniques of the ’60s being what they were, getting a consistent grey was very hard to attain, and the end result was a main character that shifted colors multiple times throughout his first appearance.  To avoid further issue, he was made green.  Well, at least until printing techniques improved enough to bring Grey Hulk back  in the ’80s.  Yay, second life for Grey Hulk!  And now he’s an easy action figure variant, hence the coverage here today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Grey Hulk is a standalone “80 Years of Marvel” Marvel Legends release, originally intended to be con exclusive (the counterpart to the Retro carded Green Hulk from SDCC), but ultimately re-purposed as another Fan Channel exclusive.  This marks our third Legends Grey Hulk, and the first one since the Fin Fang Foom Series in ’08.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  He uses the same body as the other 80 Years of Marvel Hulk, which isn’t really much of a surprise, since Hasbro generally likes to get some mileage out of a new sculpt.  It helps that it’s a really strong body, and I liked it a lot the first time I looked at it.  This one gets an all-new head, though, since Grey Hulk never sported the lengthy ’70s locks of the prior release, and also tended to have a far more pronounced brow than later incarnations.  It doesn’t make for a very pretty looking figure, but I guess that’s appropriate for someone belted by gamma rays.  Ain’t he unglamorous?  Glamorous or not, it’s certainly a sharp sculpt, and well-suited to the body.  He includes the same torn shirt piece as the prior figure, which is the same set-up as before; it’s not super securely held in place or anything, but looks decent, and can be easily taken off if it’s not your speed.  In my review of the last Hulk, I remarked that his paintwork was surprisingly nuanced.  This figure is a step up even from that.  The skin tone still has some subtle variation to it, but he also gets some very impressive work on his pants, which have that proper broken-in denim appearance to them.  Hulk is armed with a crushed pipe, a fact that package proudly proclaims.  It’s admittedly a pretty fun piece.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When he was still rumored for a con-exclusive release, I didn’t pay this guy much mind, and I certainly wasn’t planning to jump through any hoops to get him.  When he made the shift to Fan Channel, and therefore became far easier to acquire, I was a much easier mark.  I went in with no real expectations, since he was never going to be my primary Hulk, but he’s honestly a pretty fun figure, and does some cool stuff that the prior release didn’t.

I picked up this guy from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2217: Bruce Banner & Hulk

BRUCE BANNER & HULK

MARVEL MINIMATES

The very first assortment of Marvel Minimates is perhaps a bit odd-ball when looking back on things.  No Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, or even X-Men.  Nope, it’s two sets of Daredevil and one set of Hulk.  Why this particular line-up for the debut?  Well, the first series of Marvel Minimates hit in the summer of 2003.  Do you know what else hit in 2003?  Movies for both Daredevil and Hulk, and though those films may not be looked back on particularly fondly these days, they did make their title characters recognizable to a general audience, thereby making them a moderately reasonable starting point.  Today, I’m looking at the slight outlier of the line-up, the one Hulk pack in the lot, pairing off both the Hulk and his human alter-ego, Bruce Banner.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Bruce Banner and Hulk were, as noted above, part of the first series of Marvel Minimates.  It’s worth noting that the numbering was really little more than clerical on the first three series of the line, with all of them hitting pretty much at the same time, but nevertheless, these guys were technically among the first.

BRUCE BANNER

Alter-egos were popular fodder for the early ‘mates, with Hulk, Spider-Man, and Wolverine all getting their civilian counterparts right out of the gate.  Banner makes the most sense, I suppose, though, since he’s so visually different, and the internal struggle between the two halves is so important to the story.  While Bruce has had a lot of different appearances over the years, this one opts for something more in line with how he looked on the cover of his first appearance, with glasses and a lab coat.  It’s certainly a bit more visually interesting than just plain civilian clothes.  The figure uses the old-style ‘mate body, complete with long feet, so he stands roughly 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He’s got two add-on pieces: one for his hair/glasses, and one for his jacket.  The hair/glasses combo is different from how things would be handled later, since glasses tend to just be printed on the faces now.  Additionally, the glasses are opaque, which gives him a very different, far more stylized appearance than later figures.  I myself have always been a pretty big fan of this look.  The jacket’s a little on the bulky side, but if you don’t like it, the shirt and the arms are both white, so you can remove it without it looking too weird.  Banner’s paintwork is rather simple, with some detailing for his face, his tie on his shirt (complete with tie clip), and a belt buckle on his pelvis.  Banner included no accessories.

HULK

Definitely the selling point of this set, and honestly the more dated of the two offerings.  Hulk represents the old style of doing things, back when ‘mates were still firmly planted on the philosophy of using the least amount of extra parts possible for each figure.  For larger characters, such as Hulk and Venom, this left them looking…kinda small.  Compared to Hulk, puny Banner wasn’t very puny.  Hulk’s only add-on was his hair piece, which is a decent enough part, although it does come off a lot, since the pegs weren’t implemented until Series 8 of the line.  It’s simple, but feels classically Hulk.  His paint is a little more involved than Banner, with detailing on the front and back of his torso, as well as remnants of his torn shirt running all along the sides of his pelvis, and torn legs to his pants running along the shins.  The feet and lower legs are painted green, rather than molded, which looks noticeably of a different shade.  Also, for some reason, the shade of purple on the pants is different between Hulk and Banner, something I never really understood.  Like Banner, Hulk had no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When my dad brought home the Yellow Daredevil and Elektra set for me back in 2003, he also brought with him a Hulk and Banner set for my younger brother, which gave me a taste of the set.  I would eventually get a pack of my own as a birthday present from some family friends that same year.  I still have those two, but they’re a little worse for wear these days, so I actually picked up a replacement set when All Time got in a Minimate collection a few months ago.  If I’m honest, the Hulk in this set never did a lot for me, but conversely the Banner has always been one of my favorites from the early line up.

#2165: Hulk vs. Wolverine

HULK VS. WOLVERINE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

First debuting on the final page of The Incredible Hulk 180, and then making his proper first appearance in the following issue, Wolverine was designed from the very beginning with the intent of spinning him out of the Hulk’s series, though the decision to join him up with the X-Men would come a bit later.  Though Wolverine and the Hulk have largely become separate entities entirely, they still do have the occasional run-in as a throw-back, and their first battle has definitely become one of Marvel’s most memorable moments.  Fitting then that Hasbro would commemorate the meeting in their “80 years of Marvel” sub-line of Marvel Legends.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hulk and Wolverine are one of the two comic-based “80 Years” two-packs, each of which pairs off one smaller figure with one Build-A-Figure sized figure.  The two figures here are more or less patterned on their appearnces in Hulk #181, albeit filtered through the line’s already established style.  Interestingly, while this is hardly our first time getting a first appearance Wolverine, this *is* the first time he’s been packed with a Hulk.  Kinda crazy.

HULK

“Powered by gamma radiation, the incredible, rage-filled Hulk smashes his way through any challenge and clobbers any enemy.”

While we’ve had a decent number of Legends Hulks in recent years, but they’ve mostly been movie-based.  Overlooking 2015’s Indestructible Hulk (which was a repainted movie figure), our last proper comics Hulk was the Ed McGuinness Hulk from the fan’s choice packs in 2010.  It’s about time for some updating.  The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  This Hulk uses a newly-implemented body, which has already technically seen use on two exclusive Hulks, but was designed for this figure.  Given the various larger bodies we’ve gotten for some recent Build-a-Figures, I was expecting to see some sort of reuse, but I’m not unhappy to get the new body, especially since it gives Hulk butterfly shoulders, something you don’t usually see on larger figures, and definitely a huge plus when it comes to posing.  The general design of this figure’s sculpt is very reminiscent of Hulk’s ’70s design aesthetic, rather than more recent roided out takes on the character.  The figure includes a torn up shirt as an add-on; while he didn’t sport this while fighting Wolverine, it was a common place item for him to be wearing.  It’s held in place only by gravity and perhaps the back of his head, depending on how you have him posed, meaning that it’s also very easily removed if it’s not your speed.  The paint on Hulk is fairly nuanced in its application, with the skin in particular showing some really solid work on the accenting.  There’s a slightly lighter green hue which shows itself throughout all of the exposed skin.  Hulk is packed with two sets of hands, one in fists, one in open gesture.

WOLVERINE

“A super-powered agent of the Canadian government, the Wolverine is a skilled fighter with razor sharp claws and a fierce temper.”

In his first appearance, Wolverine was sporting a wildly different mask than the one he would have for the rest of his career.  He was meant to keep it, but Gil Kane accidentally changed it for the cover of Giant-Size X-Men #1, and interior artist Dave Cockrum decided he liked it enough to keep as the character’s permanent look, thereby making this particular design more of a novelty then anything.  It’s gotten one Legends release before, courtesy of Toy Biz’s Face Off sub-line, but it was due for an update.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. This Wolverine is built on the same upgraded body as he last few, with a new head and shoulderpads to more properly capture the earlier design.  They’re sufficiently different enough from the normal pieces to make him stand out as his own variant, which is always a good thing.  For his color scheme, Wolverine very closely matches the brighter colors of his initial appearance, again giving him a nice standout appearance from other Wolverine figures, especially the tiger-stripe Wolverine.  The figure is packed with hands with and without his claws, which weren’t 100% retractable at the time of his first appearance, but are still a nice extra to have.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With all the announcements for the 80 Years sub-line floating about, this one got a little buried for me.  I knew it was coming, but I never really had the chance to focus in on it.  Its arrival was also jammed in alongside several other Legends releases, but I was happy enough to get it.  The Hulk is the definite star here, and will serve as the definitive version of the character for most collectors, myself included.  They really brought their A-game for him.  Wolverine’s more of a place holder to justify the larger set, but I can’t complain about getting him, nor can I say he’s not a good figure.  He’s formula, but it’s a good formula.

I grabbed this pair from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2102: Hulk

HULK

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.

#2078: Gladiator Hulk

GLADIATOR HULK

MARVEL SELECT (DST)

After exiting stage right at the end of Age of Ultron, and thereby skipping the pseudo-Avengers outing in Civil War, Hulk’s return to the big screen came not in his own film (because the two lukewarm performances from before showed that audiences just aren’t there for a solo outing), but in the third film of fellow Avenger and fellow Civil War abstainer Thor, which served to (at least loosely) adapt Planet Hulk, specifically Hulk’s turn as a space gladiator.  It’s a distinctive visual to say the least, and one that pretty much every toy company jumped on, including Diamond Select Toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Gladiator Hulk was released a few months after Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters in November of 2017.  Though slightly delayed, he wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the Infinity War figures.  The figure stands over 8 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  Hulk was a brand-new sculpt, and a pretty darn solid one at that.  DST had already done some solid work on the Avengers and Age of Ultron Hulks, but this one really takes things the the next level, but in terms of detailing and in terms of how the sculpt and the articulation work together.  Mobility on this figure pretty much the same as you’d get from the equivalent Legends release, and it’s all very well-worked-in on top of it.  The design is quite close to Hulk’s renders from the movie, with only one notable inaccuracy, and that’s even limited to the alternate head.  The detailing on the figure is definitely top-notch.  It’s sharp, and there’s plenty of texturing all throughout, even on the heads, which is an area where DST can sometimes have a little trouble.  His main head is sporting his gladiator helmet from the movie, which is quite well-defined, and by virtue of being a permanent fixture escapes some of the issues that Hasbro’s BaF ran into.  The alternate head removes the helmet, revealing a head of hair that’s…not quite right for the movie.  He’s got a pretty distinctive cut there, but in DST’s defense, pretty much none of the promotional material had his helmet off, and they really aren’t *that* far off.  Perhaps my biggest complaint about the figure, still has to do with those heads, namely how difficult it is to swap between them.  The intense detailing is really awesome, but it, coupled with a tight neck joint, meant I tore up my hands a fair bit trying to get them off and on.  He also comes wearing the un-helmeted head, meaning you encounter this issue right out of the box, which can be a little off-putting.  The paintwork is some of the best I’ve seen on a Select figure, with a clean base application and a ton of accent work on pretty much every piece of the sculpt.  While he may not have the fancy face printing of a Hasbro release, he’s still quite lifelike in that regard, and just generally looks like an occupant of the lived-in world of Ragnarok, as he should.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Hulk is also packed with two sets of hands in both fists and gripping poses, as well as his hammer and axe from the movie, which, like the figure, are superbly detailed.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the Legends figures for Ragnarok were released, I wasn’t in the financial position to collect every Legends BaF as they hit, and Gladiator Hulk was one I ended up skipping.  Several months later, when I was looking to fill in some holes in my collection, this figure was released, and I felt like he was the much easier alternative to trying to find all those BaF pieces.  He’s probably the happiest I’ve been with a Select purchase, though I do have to admit he’s one of those figures I kept forgetting I had (which is why it took me over a year to finally get around to reviewing this freaking thing).  He integrates amazingly well with my Legends, and is just one of the better Hulk figures out there.