Marvel Universe Green/Grey Hulk
Originally posted on slangards.multiply.com on Apr 13, '09
I was never one of those fanboys who jumped on the hate wagon when Hasbro go the Marvel license. After all, these are the guys who brought us boys GI Joe and Transformers. If not for them, we'd be stuck playing with our sisters' Barbies or My Little Ponies. What would your childhood have been like if all you had were Care Bears?
However, I never accepted that moving the Marvel line to the 3.75" scale was the way to go. When they announced that the Marvel Legends line would be slowing down to make way for the Marvel Universe line, I was adamant that I wouldn't be moving my collection to the new, smaller scale. Yes, with smaller figures you get many more, cheaper toys, but quantity usually comes with a sacrifice of quality.
While many of the other collectors were selling off their 6" scale figures and jumping head first into the new Universe line, I decided to wait for the figures that would at least fit in with my existing single character collection; The Incredible Hulk. The second wave assortment had both a Green and Grey version, and when they came out in Toy Kingdom, I went ahead and picked up the pair.
Packaging for the Universe line is alright. Nothing especially great, just a card back and blister. The graphics are so-so. I prefer the last incarnation of Legends packaging.
Once out of the blister, I was under-whelmed. Since they're smaller than the Legends line, the Hulks have abyssmal articulation. They're necks are cut joints for god's sake! The worst of it is that their leg articulation is totally useless. Despite being gifted with that annoying Hasbro ball/hinge joint they use one knees and elbows, the bulkiness of the legs defeat the purpose. To make matters worse, the hip joints are totally immobile.
The one thing I do like is the body sculpt. As a statue, Hulk would look great. His torso is HUGE! and if it wasn't for his ridiculous face, he'd be a great display piece. His height is enough to allow him to tower over the other Universe figures and the green Hulk's open hand is perfect for grabbing other figures and slamming them into the ground.
According to 3.75" proponents, the scale has the following main advantages:
1) Cheaper Figures
2) More Characters
4) More Accessories
3) Possibility of Vehicles/Playsets
Let's deal with them in order. Price. These things cost P550.00 each here in the Philippines. That's about $11.00 ($2 or $3 above suggested retail price in the US). Now, for a 6" figure, that would be a great price. For one that's only 3.75" tall, not so much. Granted, the Hulk stands about 5" tall, so he's a pretty good deal, plastic wise, but he's the exception.
You'd think for that extra money, Hasbro would have put in alot of extra into quality on paint, engineering, sculpt, etc. Nope. Paint is pretty blah. There's a light wash of brown on the green Hulk, and a light wash of darker grey on the grey one. The pants have a light wash as well, but it's one that does nothing to improve the look of the figure. The hair is weird. The paint leaves some "highlights" unpainted, but they just look... unpainted. The face is the worst. The applied shadows are so dark, they give the hero a sunken, ogerish look. The way the eyes are sculpted (wide-open and staring straight ahead) doesn't help. It looks as if he's a bug-eyed crack addict.
Nope, even at P550.00 (about P300 less than the current going rate of a 6" figure here), I don't think these guys are worth it. If I wasn't a Hulk collector, I wouldn't have bothered.
Two, more characters. Yes, there is the possibility of more characters, but lets examine the first two waves. Wave One; Iron Man, Human Torch, Silver Surfer, Black Panther, Spider-man, Wolverine, Daredevil, Punisher, Bullseye. Wave Two; Iron Fist, Hulk, Captain America, Ronin, Green Goblin. Now who in that list has NOT had a Marvel Legends figure? None you say? Why that's right! Let's try wave 3; Black Spider-man, Thing, Punisher, Ironman, Ms. Marvel, Hand Ninja. Finally! 2 new characters! Now we're talking. How about Wave 4? Blade, Hobgoblin, Moon Knight, Red Hulk, Union Jack. What? But there aren't any new ones again! So that's 4 waves, and two new characters. Even at 3.75", Hasbro isn't going to sacrifice salebility to give you a figure of your favorite obscure character.
Heck, even with the Hulk figures, they couldn't be bothered to give you unique sculpts. The two toys are exactly the same in most respects. The only difference (aside from the obvious one) is that the grey one has two fists, while the green has an open left hand. whoop. pee. Both have the same weird face, both have the same awful articulation. Despite the included file cards saying that the grey Hulk is significantly shorter, they're both the same size. sigh.
Three, more accessories. Let's face it, most super heroes don't NEED accessories. Yeah, a web effect for Spidey is cool, or a repulsor blast for Tony, but for the most part, Marvel characters have always relied on super powers. Yes, Wolverine has used swords in the books, but does he need to have one included with him? Do I want to pay more for that? There are some characters that have their signature armories, like Goblin's flyer and bombs, or Punisher's guns, but this isn't GI Joe or Star Wars.
Expectedly, both Hulks comes with squat. However, they do come with a file card and a tiny dossier. Fun for the kids... until they toss it in the trash.
Last but not least, Playsets and Vehicles. This is the argument that holds the least amount of water for me. Let's say they do come out with playsets for the Marvel Universe. To accomadate these things, the vehicles and buildings would still need to be HUGE. Take the recent Millenium Falcon toy for Hasbro's Star Wars line. The thing is Ginormous. You need a Dinner Table to display the thing. Good luck hanging it from your ceiling. While it'd be cool to own, it's impractical and it's expensive. Lord knows parents don't want to pay that much for toys, and collectors aren't a big enough market.
And Hulk can jump. He doesn't need a stinking airplane. And he can always use Transformers to smash.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this figure or line to anyone, unless they were a Hulk fan like I am. It's nice to have a mini Hulk I can keep at my desk at work, but with so many drawbacks, I'll stick to 6" scale and up.