While Marvel Studios has made off with over a billion dollars of the world's currency thanks to their awesomely addicting film, "The Avengers", Diamond Select Toys has also decided to get a peace of the pie (sweet, sweet, money-flavored pie) with the latest release in their Marvel Select action figure line: The Hulk! He punched his way into comic and specialty stores last week, and like Juggernaut, Thing, Red Hulk, and the rest of DST's previous over-sized figure offerings, this movie-based Hulk is a hefty chunk of plastic that looks like he can dole out punishment to any of your figures-- or your friends, should you choose to throw that big hunk of green at them! We've had many Hulk figures in our day (including a smaller version from "The Avengers"), but will this one smash all of our lofty expectations? Read on to find out, as we review the DST Marvel Select Hulk!
Let's start things off with the bio from the back of the package for you folks that have yet to see "The Avengers" and/or don't know the basic origin of the Hulk. *cough*Losers!*cough*
When a scientific experiment involving the U.S. government's super-soldier program went wrong, scientist Bruce Banner was dosed with gamma radiation, triggering an uncontrollable physical transformation whenever he became stressed or angry. Growing in size and stature, Banner became the Hulk, a green-skinned behemoth who would lash out at whatever stood in his way. After years on the run from the U.S. military, learning to control his emotions and avoiding stressful situations, Banner was tracked down and recruited to the Avenger Initiative. Now he's their blunt instrument in the war to save humankind, as long as he can maintain his own humanity in the heat of combat.
The sculpt for this Hulk figure is very accurate to the computer-animated rage monster seen in the film. He clocks in at a little over 8 inches tall and towers over the other Marvel Select figures like Thor and Captain America, and even stands just above the previous MS Hulk-- although just barely, and he doesn't have nearly as much overall mass. In the movie, Bruce Banner is played by Mark Ruffalo and the animators added his features into the final version of the Hulk, and this figure's head sculpt shows that off perfectly. The hair on Hulk's head is actually a separate piece that has been applied after paint, and to our elation, it is on straight. From the veins in his chest, to the tattered pants, the body of the figure looks spot-on and we really can't find anything to fault.
In the paint department, Hulk comes off looking like a
million billion bucks. Normally a figure like this would be molded in green plastic since that's his most prevalent color. However, it appears DST has gone a different route by molding the figure in what appears to be (after scratching through some of the paint with a razor knife) black plastic. The green of his akin has then been added, giving the figure the look of a black wash to show off the sculpted details. His familiar purple pants are present and accounted for and benefit from the same type of paint application. The face is particularly well done with clean applications to his eyes, brows, and especially his teeth and gums. The only problem with the paint is around the waist of his pants. Green is showing through in a couple of spots due to the purple not going on thick enough, and it seems kind of hurried. However, this isn't something that can be noticed from the shelf-- or if Hulk's fist is in embedded in your eye-socket.
The articulation on Hulk is pretty extensive for the Marvel Select line, and even moreso among his fellow oversized figures. The Hulk has a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, ball-joint torso, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles which when combined, is one helluva articulation model! The joints all work well on our figure and Hulk has no trouble holding his position. Also, toppling over isn't much of a concern since he has been gifted with the incredible ankle articulation that we've been seeing on recent Marvel Legends. It's not all sunshine and purple pants though, since by keeping the hinge in the shoulder hidden from view on the top, it causes some loss in range of motion when posing the Hulk with his arms up in the air. Other than fixing that, our only personal suggestion to make this the perfect articulation model for one of these figures, would be the addition of hinges in the wrists.
While we're yet to find one of Hasbro's Wal-Mart Exclusive 6" scale version from "The Avengers" to give comparison, so far this figure of Bruce Banner's uglier side is one of the best Hulk figures to date-- regardless of the media it's based on. From the sculpt, to the articulation and size, this Green Goliath is worth your hard-earned green backs! For more info on this guy, plus tons of upcoming Marvel Select figures, be sure to check out Diamond Select Toys' official website!
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