MARVEL LEGENDS (TOYBIZ)
Countdown to Avengers: Age of Ultron: 10 days remaining.
The original, founding members of the Avengers are an interesting bunch. Iron Man and Thor made sense. They were two of Marvel’s more popular heroes of the time. Ant-Man and Wasp, as minor as they may be now, also had a decent following. Hulk? He was the oddball. The character was only moderately successful, and his whole thing was not playing well with others. In fact, he was also the first member to leave the team, quitting after only two issues. Officially, his founder status was given honorarily to Captain America, and the Hulk remained separate from a team. In the last few years, thanks in no small part to The Avengers movie, Hulk has found his way back to the team, but only after moving away from the whole green rage monster thing. But that’s less fun, so let’s look at a figure of the more rage-y variety.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hulk was released as part of the ninth series of ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends, also known as the “Galactus Series.” In case you hadn’t gathered, the series featured Galactus as a Build-A-Figure, and it’s noteworthy because it’s actually the series of Marvel Legends that introduced the concept. This particular figure was officially dubbed “1st Appearance Hulk” and he was offered in two different color schemes: Grey and Green. The green version, which I’ll be covering today, is the variant of the grey version, and it’s actually NOT a 1st appearance Hulk, due to the coloring. The figure is 8 inches tall and features a whopping 38 points of articulation. The sheer size and bulk of the figure means that most of that articulation is rather limited in range of motion. In fact, the joint in his torso is almost completely inert, making you wonder why they bothered at all. From the neck down, Green Hulk’s sculpt is identical to that of his grey counterpart. It’s rather typical of a ToyBiz Legends sculpt of the time. There’s lots of detail and texturing, which is really great, but the figure also suffers from some odd proportions, and some spots where the articulation interferes with the quality. The feet are probably the worst offenders. The ankles are set too far back and the toes are too wide and flat in comparison to the rest of the foot, resulting in something that looks more like a duck’s foot than Hulk’s. At the very least, I guess they make him stable. The head is unique to this particular version of the figure. It’s not much different from the grey version, but this one is showing teeth, while the other had a closed mouth. Apart from that, it’s actually a very nice translation of Jack Kirby’s version of the Hulk, in his more Frankenstein’s Monster-like state. It’s definitely the best part of the figure. Hulk’s paintwork is really quite well done, and features some nice subtleties. The basic green and purple are admittedly a little dark for my tastes, but they aren’t bad. In addition, there’s some brown airbrushing on the green parts, which help to make him look a bit more organic. Hulk’s only accessory was a piece of Galactus.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When Series 9 was first released, I quickly assembled a complete set of figures so that I could get my Galactus just as quickly as possible. However, given the scarcity of Legends figures in general at the time, I picked up the regular grey version of Hulk first. A little while later, I was walking through my local Walmart. There weren’t any Legends on the hangers, but I happened to bend down to check something on the bottom shelf, where I noticed a stack of Marvel Legends. The stack was three each of the variants for the Series 9 Hulk and Bullseye. So, I grabbed one of each for myself and placed the others in their proper spot (because I certainly wasn’t going to scalp!) While the figure hasn’t aged spectacularly well, I still really like this version of Hulk, and it remains my go to Hulk for Legends set ups.