View Full Version : REVIEW: Hasbro & Diamond Avengers HULK Figures
05-27-2012, 07:27 PM
WE HAVE A HULK
"Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
I've been a Hulk fan for almost 25 years. I grew up watching reruns of the 70s TV series starring Bill Bixby as Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk. I loved the show. In the 90's, Hulk was seeing a lot of TV time between the 70s series once again being reran heavily and a new cartoon series emerging. I was a big fan of the cartoon as well, so between that and the TV show back on the air, I was having a blast. When the 2003 film by Ang Lee went into production, I got very excited. I wasn't sure what to think about the Hulk being a big, CGI creature and not Lou, but I was excited at the prospect of new live action Hulk. While I really enjoy the 90s cartoon, my main Hulk fandom is for the live action series and a few select comic designs from the earlier days of Hulk. Ang's film was very unique, and not the greatest Hulk film that could be done, but there were some cool action sequences in it, and Sam Elliot and Jennifer Connelly gave great performances as Betty and General Ross. That said, when the announcement came for the 2008 reboot, I was excited by the idea of a new Hulk movie and the potential to correct areas where the Ang Lee film went wrong. Casting of Ed Norton as Banner held great promise for me and as pictures came out of the new CGI design, I really got excited, the movie looked great as did Hulk, and when I finally saw it, I was very pleased, I think it's a great movie and it saddend me that Marvel saw it as a flop and abandoned following up with a sequel. That left me with Avengers as my only hope for seeing more live action Hulk. Initially, I was really bothered by the casting of Ruffalo and replacing of Norton as Banner since I thought Norton did a great job. The earliers images of the Hulk didn't help any, as they showed strong traits of Ruffalo in the face. I liked the 2008 Hulk a lot and wasn't necessarily happy with them redoing the CGI desing, but I especially didn't like him looking so much like Ruffalo. However, as more images came out, less Ruffalo came out in the design and more of Jack Kirby's early art for Hulk showed, and I liked that a lot. While I would still say the 2008 Hulk is my favorite movie design, the Avengers Hulk has really grown on me.
So, three movies with Hulk in them, lots of merchandising, great collectibles to acquire, right? Well, sadly, no. Unfortunately, no one's ever seen fit, until now, to make any collectibles, like statues or figures, based on Lou Ferrigno as Hulk, and the merchandisers for the 2003 and 2008 films opted for more stylized looking collectibles, no one was making things that accurately depicted the movie designs. I kept hoping Hot Toys would come out with a Hulk figure as their style would finally offer a faithful figure, and while they are offering a Hulk from Avengers, other companies have also finally gone the route of depicting Hulk as he appears on screen.
As you can see in the image above, it's been an evolution. While Toy Biz made the 2003 Hulk figures, Hasbro was still off when it took over with the 2008 movie. Each of the figures above are the super articulate figure for their respective film.
I have purchased 4 Hulk figures from the Hasbro and Diamond Avengers lines. I consider these the best offerings from both companies and some very cool Hulk figures. I'm glad I have all of them, especially the Walmart Exclusive Hulk as that is a pretty hard to come by piece.
Now, onto the reviews of the individual figures.
05-27-2012, 07:27 PM
Hasbro – Gamma Strike Hulk (4”)
Packaging - ***
The packaging is your typical Hasbro 4” scale carded figure, easy to open. The artwork for the Avengers line is really nice, fairly photo-realistic illustrations accurately depicting the characters and nicely composed.
Sculpting - ****
The sculpt work is fairly simply, as one would expect on such a small figure, the body is very soft, minimal muscular definition. However, the overall shape and build of the Hulk matches the film look very nicely. Even at a 4” scale, the portrait perfectly captures the movie Hulk, a nice blend of Mark Ruffalo and Jack Kirby’s early Hulk designs.
Paint - ** ½
While this is a 4” figure, I feel like Hasbro is particular about which products to put their best work into and which ones it’s ok to turn in ok work. The Star Wars figures tend to have really nice paint jobs for this scale, but at this point, Hasbro’s aware that a lot of adult collectors buy them and care about the paint quality. Hulk reflects an attitude that the majority of these figures will end up in kids hands being beaten up and the paint job won’t be of much concern. So there’s sloppy, rough paintwork here. It’s not Hasbro’s fault, but, the Hulk’s pants are khaki color as that’s the color used in the early marketing art, despite Banner never wearing pants of that color in the film. That didn’t factor much into the score, however, the super dark green skin color does. The Hulk is far from being as dark as this figure, even the marketing art wasn’t this dark and truer to the CGI Hulk.
Articulation - ***
This isn’t a super articulate figure, but considering it’s a Hulk, it’s pretty well articulated where they could have gone more statuesque. They have a fairly well hidden joint in the midsection to allow him to hunch over, impressive for this scale, as well a number of joints in his legs and arms and a ball jointed head. The only lacking joint that I think would benefit Hulk would be articulate wrists.
Fun Factor - ****
While adult collectors won’t be tapping into the fun side of this figure, it does deserve a high score, lots of articulation plus a smashing action where tension in the arms snaps them at objects when pulled back, this is surely a lot of fun for kids to play with.
Value - ***
While this figure is pretty cheap, for adult collectors, it’s close enough in price to the other figures I’m reviewing that it’s worth passing on this to put the money towards one of them.
05-27-2012, 07:28 PM
Hasbro – Movie Series Hulk (8”)
Packaging - ** ½
While the package features the same nice art as the rest of Hasbro’s Avengers line, the actual package here is pretty crude, just a basic cardboard display that Hulk stands in with a few strings holding his arms and legs to the cardboard. I’m not a big fan of packaging like this, as it allows people, particularly kids, to get their hands on it in stores. It’s not even as if this figure has features to expose, it’s more or less a statue and could easily be placed in a plastic bubble package.
Sculpting - ****
Hasbor does it again in the sculpt department. To me, this is probably the best sculptural depiction of the Avengers Hulk from any company. He’s got the bulk and also the subtle muscle tone. Avengers Hulk features a softer look compared to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. At times, his muscles really show, but overall, he looks like a big, bulky mass of muscle instead of a ripped body builder. This figure really captures that. The portrait again nails the look, though they went with a fairly passive expression on his face to go with the body pose. This figure is almost an exact 3D duplication of one of the marketing art images of Hulk for Avengers. The pants have a really nice amount of wrinkling to them as well as a texture to them. The skin also has a faint texture, not sure if they intentionally tried to give him skin texture or if it’s just a texture formed from the material, but it looks great.
Paint - ** ½
You’d think with a piece like this, which seems more geared towards teen to adult collectors, the paint job would be a bit stepped up, but, it’s still a basic Hasbro paint job, some slopping or areas even missing paint. It’s not bad though, what hurt this piece more so is the shading on his skin. It seems like a lot of Hulk pieces, from statues to figures from numerous manufactures, feature a paint job where dark tones are applied to highlight his muscles. This is a great concept, however, if not executed properly, it can look kind of ugly. Hasbro doesn’t do this very well, and this goes back even to the 2008 The Incredible Hulk figures. It seems like the dark tones are just sort of slapped on in production, sometimes putting it in spots where it’s not needed and just generally having an inconsistent look. It’s really all over the place on this Hulk, at least the one I got. I still like the overall look of the figure, but it’s definitely the weak point of this piece. Also, this figure features the same khaki pants color as Gamma Strike Hulk.
Articulation - **
The articulation is where I feel like this figure, and the others in the series, were meant for teen to adult collectors. This figure isn’t an action figure, it’s essentially a statue, There are swivel joints at the hips and shoulders and a ball joint at the neck and that’s it. I appreciate that a figure like this was done as the lack of articulation allows for a smoother, nicer looking body sculpt.
Fun Factor - **
Since there is hardly any articulation, I don’t see a lot of kids wanting this figure or having much fun with it. His arm poses are also nothing particularly special, he’s in a fairly passive pose so with no articulation, it’s hard to get excited about making this Hulk smash.
Value - ***
As an adult collector, this figure’s about $15 and I think that’s a good deal. You get a nicely sculpted, film accurate Hulk figure, and at the 8” scale, that’s a pretty good size too.
05-27-2012, 07:28 PM
Hasbro – Walmart Exclusive Movie Series Hulk (8”)
Packaging - ***
While this figure is about twice the size of the Gamma Strike Hulk, the package is basically the same, card back with a plastic bubble encasing the figure and the same artwork on the packaging. Easy to open and remove the figure.
Sculpting - ****
The portrait on this figure is the best depicture of Avengers Hulk I’ve seen on any figure or statue seen so far, with the exception of the upcoming Sideshow statue based on the model used for the film. The angry grin looks great, the forward protruding lower jaw is captured very well, it’s just all great. The body sculpt features Hulk in a flexing state with all of his musculature very well defined . Hulk features lots of fine detailing to his muscles and veins, really great work. A highlight of the sculpt work, besides the portrait, is the ripping of the pants at his knees, somehow the thigh pieces are cast in a material that feels solid but is soft at the rips so you have pieces of his pants flapping away from his legs, and the rips were designed so that the knees pose without any element of his pants being on his leg and looking out of place in some poses. Some Hulk figures suffer in this area, but Hasbro really put a great effort into working this out and set the bar for what is possible and should be done with figures like this.
Paint - ***
With this Hulk, we finally have a paint job to be happy with. Of course, this figure being an exclusive, and from what I can tell, quite limited, it’s no surprise he features the best paint work from Hasbro amongst their Hulks. The skin is monotone, but considering how poorly Hasbro handles shading, that’s a good thing. The shade of green is also pretty spot on to Hulk tone in Avengers. The pants finally capture a tone more like his movie pants.
The pants color on this figure matches Banner’s pants from the earlier portion of the film and the first Hulk out when Hulk attacks Black Widow and ends up fighting Thor.
The paint job is very clean all around, and no noticeable spots of missing paint. The work on the teeth is really nice, strong pink for his gums to contrast against the white of the teeth. The hair features green highlights which is kind of cool, though the movie Hulk’s hair colors matched Ruffalo’s, even the hints of grey.
Articulation - ****
There’s not many points on this figure you could put articulation that Hasbro didn’t and the places that have it are done very effectively. The head is on a ball joint like most Hasbro figures today, the shoulders hinge and swivel articulation, the biceps rotate, the elbows have hinges at the bicep and forearm to allow super bending of the arms, the wrists have swivel and hinge joints for great posability, the hips have hing and swivel articulation like the shoulders, the thighs rotate, the knees feature the same double hinge setup as the arms, and the feet have hinge and swivel joints like the hands. The midsection also seems like it’s on a ball joint or something as there is a good range of front to back and side to side posability. There are so many pose possibilities with this figure.
Fun Factor - ****
How can you not have fun with a figure as posable as this one, there’s nothing you can’t do.
Value - **** / **
I have listed two scores because there are 2 prices to pay for this figure.
If you are fortunate enough to find this figure at Walmart, the price is $15, which I think is a great deal on an 8”, super articulated figure, especially when some smaller figures will run you $7-$10.
Now, if you are forced to go to eBay to find one of these, you can expect to pay about triple the retail price. I had been following many auctions on eBay figuring I’d never luck out finding one in my local Walmarts, and they all seemed to end up around $60, some a bit less, some even more. At the time, I was talking myself into that being acceptable, it’s a great looking figure and I really wanted one, but now, having scored it for retail, looking back, $60 for this figure is a lot, a bit too much. I wouldn’t spend that much unless you really like the figure and truly feel you must have it in your collection and can’t get it in the store. However, if you’re just looking for a cool movie Hulk figure that looks like the movie Hulk and has a lot of articulation, I’d suggest saving your money for the next Hulk I’m going to review, Diamond Marvel Select Hulk, as it’s bigger, overall feels like a much nicer piece, and can easily be purchased for around $20, a third of the eBay rates for a bigger and better figure.
05-27-2012, 07:28 PM
05-27-2012, 07:28 PM
Diamond – Marvel Select Hulk (10”)
Packaging – ** ½
While this is a 10” figure, the packaging is basically like Hasbro’s figures, plastic blister on a card back, same artwork Hasbro used. Why do I score it less then, because of the challenge of getting the figure out. This figure comes loaded with twist ties. I get that Diamond is marketing this as a higher end figure, but it sucks getting this figure and being all excited to open him up and having to take the time to free him from his plastic prison.
Sculpting - *** 1/2
I would say that this figure does a better job depicting the defined musculature than the Walmart Exclusive Hulk. The Walmart figure almost looks like Hulk from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, perhaps a bit more defined than we ever see Avengers Hulk. The Diamond Hulk has the bulk of Hasbro’s Movie Series Hulk with just a bit more definition of his muscles, fitting for an overall sculpt that depicts Hulk ready to kick ***. All of Hulks anatomy is really well sculpted, nice work on veins and such, the poratir is probably the second best I’ve seen, and the hair is a separate piece which gives a better feeling of hair than on heads where the hair and face are all one piece. The angry grin and showing teeth are also really well sculpted. The only weak area is the pants, there’s no texture to them and minimal wrinkling compared to the Hasbro figures, which almost makes the pants seem made to fit Hulk rather than being stretched out. Also, the way the rips at the knees were handled pales compared to the Walmart Exclusive Hulk. They work better than other Hulk figures I’ve seen, but again, that Walmart Hulk really sets a bar for handling this area and sadly, Diamond couldn’t hit it.
Paint - *** ½
This Hulk is a very impressive piece of paint work and definitely my favorite overall paint job amongst all of these figures. The skin tone is a bit more vibrant a green than it perhaps should be, and a tad darker, but, it looks great, and where Hasbro fails with adding the dark tones to highlight the anatomy, Diamond did a great job. It’s there enough to boost the sculpt, but faint enough you hardly notice it, and it’s done with balance and consistency to a level where you feel a solid effort was put into the work. The pants are a dark, purplish brown color.
The shade of the pants matches the color of Banner’s pants from the final battle of the movie more than anything.
However, this shade doesn’t really matche anything in the movie, but, between this and the khaki pants, I like this shade better. For one, purple is Hulk’s color, and two, I like the darker color. Though I will admit, I kind of like the khaki as that was a common color for Banner’s pants in the 70s TV series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, which I love.
One weakness on the paint, Diamond seemed to try to give his nails a dirty look, but it ultimately looks more like black nail polish. It’s weak enough it doesn’t stand out so badly you can’t enjoy the figure, but it is a weakness in the paint job nonetheless.
Articulation - *** ½
This Hulk is pretty heavily articulated, though not super articulated like the Walmart Exclusive Hulk. He features many of the same style joints, like the shoulders and biceps,and the ball jointed head. His midsection is jointed, but on this figure, it’s mostly for side to side motion, it doesn’t go far front to back. The hips work well but look a bit ugly, they have cut joints instead of a ball shaped joint like the Walmart Hulk, and the thighs have a cut swivel joint subsequently. The knees have a single hinge, and the feet have a double hinge like Walmart Hulk. Sadly, the wrists just have a cut swivel joint, but at least the pose of his arms, if you line the anatomy all up properly, looks really good. The highlight of the articulation for me is the head. Hasbro tends to elongate their necks and cut out their heads to get a bigger range, which is fun, but looks ugly except from a few angles. Diamond offers a pretty healthy range of motion while making the neck anatomy look good and keeping a fairly seamless transition from the head to the neck.
Fun Factor - *** 1/2
With all the articulation in this figure, there’s a pretty wide range of pose options, though it is a bit limited, so it’s not as fun as the Walmart Exclusive Hulk. Also, with it’s weight, this figure is not ideal for children.
Value - ****
This figure retails for about $20, and in my opinion, that’s a great deal. I’ve shown you what $15 gets you with Hasbro, for another $5 you get a bigger figure with better overall production quality. I would easily pay $40-$50 for this figure and feel that I got my money’s worth. I expected something like the Walmart Exclusive Hulk when I preordered this and it cost so little. I didn’t even realize how big he’d be. When the figure showed up, I was blown away. This figure looks and feels so cool, he almost makes you feel like you don’t need any other Avengers Hulk figure, like he could stan as your lone representation of Avengers Hulk in your collection. Key word being could, but since I own all of these, clearly there’s no such thing as enough for me.
05-27-2012, 08:36 PM
Amazing review, Sean :clap
05-27-2012, 08:43 PM
Very comprehensive reviews, Sean! Some great Hulk figures came out of this movie. Makes me want to go hunting for the Walmart Ex, but at this point the shelves are probably bare.
05-27-2012, 09:35 PM
Nice review MF, finally got to see side by side comparison with MS and WM Hulk. I just picked up the MS Hulk and well worth the $22 I paid for it. I'm still gonna hunt for the WM Hulk and I have a feeling that my local WM will charge around $20 for it.
05-28-2012, 01:51 AM
nicee review michael crawford.
05-28-2012, 05:42 AM
damn!! nice review and photos !!!
you really put alot of time into it !
05-28-2012, 10:11 AM
Really like this review.
07-14-2012, 02:27 AM
Anybody know where I can pick up that 8 inch movie series Hulk at all? I've seen him selling for ridiculous prices but I am aiming to only spend maybe a smidge over what retail is.
Any help is appreciated.
07-14-2012, 06:21 AM
VERY cool reveiew MF :rock
I've copied it across to the Review section for easy access, here:
07-14-2012, 11:48 AM
Awesome Review Maulfan. Wish I could find this awesome figure in Stores. :(
07-14-2012, 07:27 PM
Nice pics! I like this figure but still waiting for HT. I'll probably pick one up eventually since HT most likely won't have their Hulk out until almost 2014.
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