Marvel Universe Doc Samson

It looks as if Hasbro has plumbed the depths of Marvel's character catalog and has finally decided to let some of the B-list guys run around. I don't know what it is about geeks and obscurity, but you won't find a forum board out there that doesn't have some nerd expressing his love for a character that has appeared in a single panel of an exclusive book with a limited run that was only available on the first day of an out-of-the-way convention that was closed around lunch due to a bomb scare.

Ok, maybe not THAT obscure, but you get the picture.

Anyway, for the past few waves we’ve been seeing more and more characters that haven’t yet been given the 3.75” treatment. Wave 12 (or Wave 1 of Series 3) came out in December 2010 and included some characters that are nowhere near as popular as Marvel’s big guns (though we still saw a Spider-Man, a Hulk, and an Iron Man). Spider-Woman gets some plastic love, as does Captain Marvel. The last B-lister is Dr. Leonard Samson, the Marvel Universe’s shrink.

Though Samson is ostensibly an Incredible Hulk character, I first remember seeing him in an X-Factor issue by Peter David where the team had to undergo psychiatric evaluations. It was an amazing comic that gave you some great insights into the characters. I only bothered to learn about Samson himself later on when I saw him in some back issues of The Hulk comic. Get this: His power was once tied to the length of his hair.

I shit you not.

Nowadays, his power has “stabilized” so he doesn’t have to worry about gamma-powered barbers trying to give him a bowl cut anymore, but he still wears his hair long like his biblical namesake.

I love the head sculpt on this figure. He looks like some beefy, Fabio wannabee, straight from a romance novel’s cover. He’s got what I’d call chiseled features with a prominent nose, big lips, a chin (!) and a simian forehead worthy of Norville Barnes. The face looks like it has a sterner look than most action figures which is great. That “dull surprise” look gets tiring really quickly. Is it any wonder people don’t trust shrinks?

I like what they did with his hair. Toy makers always seem to sculpt long hair close to the nape of the neck as if the character is standing still. This sucks for two reasons; 1) Action figures, as the name suggests, should be able to be placed in some kind of action pose. Hair in an action pose is not still. 2) It normally means that you’re stuck with a swivel neck joint at best because the hair blocks all other movement.

Thankfully, they’ve moved his hair off his neck so that he has some movement up and down. A big gamma-irradiated “yay” from the gallery.

This Marvel Universe figure doesn’t come with any accessories except for his requisite figure stand. Personally, I’d have loved it if they had given him a cloth lab coat. If they ever make a Hank McCoy/Beast figure, they must must MUST give him a lab coat. You hear me, Hasbro?! I said “LAB COAT”!

The rest of him is mostly a re-color of the old Wrecking Crew body, except for some new boots, I think. I don’t mind the body much, but I hate the ham fists. They look so puffy and doughy. One of them is open as if to hold something, but he’s got nothing to hold. They didn’t even give the poor schmuck a clipboard.

The old body also means that he doesn’t have thigh cuts or the swivel joint under the hips. This limits his chance of pulling off a wide stance, but it’s less of an issue at this small scale. I do hate that they continue to manufacture their ankle joints in two different colors.

The foot of the figure is attached to the boot by a flat disc that allows the foot to move up and down. The boot is yellow. The disc is red. What. The. Fuck.

They’ve done this with the new Jim Lee Cyclops as well as several more figures I remember ranting about. It pisses me off, but it’s not enough to stop me from buying the figure.

While Doc Samson isn’t required for anyone’s collection, he’s great as a standalone toy and I love the garish color combination that just shouts comic book superhero. He was pretty scarce locally, coming in after Playkit had started cutting its orders on Marvel Universe, so if you do find him at suggested retail price (Php 500.00 – around $12 US), then consider yourself lucky.

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