Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marvel Secret Wars Hulk and Cyclops!

More specifically, Comic Pack #4, which is the 1st of three two-packs in the 2nd wave.


Now, I know lots of Marvel Universe fans have been waiting for these packs to hit shelves, especially this one with Hulk in it because he has a more "regular" Hulk head sculpt compared to the individually packed Green and Grey Hulks.

But everything else is the same: same body, same arms, legs, fists, feet. So is this Secret Wars Hulk truly better than its predecessors?  Hit the link to find out!!!

Oh, wait. I almost forgot about Cyclops, everyone's favourite one-eyed super hero. He's got one power, and one power only.  Firing a powerful laser blast from his eyes. And he can't even control it.

Ok, you can hit the link now.

Like every Hulk fan, I couldn't wait for this version of Hulk to hit the shelves. And it's taken a while to come over to Singapore, and it hasn't hit the department stores yet, but the specialist toy shops and Ebayers have it, so I snagged this 2 pack along with the Magneto/Black Spiderman one from raulscollection. Great guy and his prices were about S$3-4 less than retail (maybe more, since they're not out in retail yet. Har!)

Now I shan't lie--I was disappointed with Hulk's head when I saw him in the package for the first time in person. I thought he looked worse than the pre-release photos (of course he did, but one can hope, no? :P)

First off his eyebrows seemed painted a little short, away from the centre of his forehead.  And then his jaw seemed a little longish and not square enough. And then his hair started seeming a tad shapeless.  Worse, I look to Cyclops and the guy's all nice and bright, but there's paint slop around his visor and there's  paint rub off from his wrist and ankle joints.  The horror!  Was this ultimate classic Hulk about to be yet another sub par rendition of the Jolly Green Giant, with no consolation to be found in his one-eyed companion whatsoever?

Well, no.

Just look at that beautifully Gamma-irradiated face:

Once out of the package, Hulk just looked so mad in his Gamma Green and Purple Stretchie Pants. Suddenly, his shapeless hair had meaning, his eyebrows were but a shadow compared to that scowl. And his jaw was nice and square and open wide in a roar of rage.  He really reminds me of the very first time I saw and was blown away by TV's most famous (and onliest) Incredible Hulk, played by none other than the fantastic Lou Ferrigno!
Honestly, I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. (If I were six.) I have to also admit, while I initially thought his green was a tad to neon compared to the 1st release of the figure, I found that Secret Wars Hulk's colour was perfect for photos. His skin seems to glow as if still emitting Gamma radiation and his purple pants just completment the bright green well.  These were his original colours betowed upon him by the great Stan Lee, so somehow they magically turned out right.




Hulk's molded green plastic has a nice matte finish.  Smooth to the touch yet somehow a little sticky.  Not a bad sticky, mind you. Just that if you happen to be playing with the Hulk all day you'll smell him on your hands if you don't wash 'em. Strange, that. Maybe it's a special hidden feature from Hasbro to simulate Gamma radiation coming off the Hulk. Kinda like Stinkor for the old Masters of the Universe toy line from the 80s. Duh!

It's also worth mentioning that Secret Wars Hulk has two fists, like Grey Hulk and Red Hulk. Only the original Green Hulk has an open hand.  Which do I prefer? The open hand...at first.  But now that Gamma Green Hulk has become my new favourite, it's two fists! Anyhow, it's a better fit with his raging expression. The previous incarnation has a sort of agitated look so I guess one hand open and one closed fist sorta fits.


Hulk's paint isn't perfect, unfortunately.  There's some purple paint slop from his pants on his calves, as well as some purple rubbed off from his right knee.  But nothing major, and his face is painted superbly, especially the teeth.  I also like that they used minimal spray-shading so that the Gamma Green comes through a whole lot.  There's just enough of the dark grey-green to bring out the detail.  I really love how angry he looks in every picture!

And of course, Secret Wars Hulk also comes with Secret Wars Cyclops!

First thing I did after freeing these two from their plastic prison (Besides snifing the wonderful smell of factory fresh plastic and playing with Cyclops and Hulk) was to flip through issue #4 (of the twelve part Secret Wars series) that come packaged.  I found the cover so unfamiliar because I has read through the series at least twice after someone had given all his single issues to me. It was then that I ralized I was missing issues #2 and #4.  Well talk about Cosmic Coincidence of Mighty Marvel proportions!

So now I wanted to re-read the whole series.  I'm still missing issue #2 (so I'll have to pay a visit to my local comic store), but right now I'm on #4 and enjoying it.  For some reason I'm finding the series very refreshing and I think it's the tone of the Stan Lee style that writers back then all used for Marvel comics.


So Cyclops here is a nice bright blue and yellow with really dark washes.  In the series he's got a darker blue for his costume, but I think the colour on the figure works better for a toy.  And the wash is done superbly, as is the one spot on the front of his forehead that's spray-shaded. Unfortunately the yellow around the top his visor is sloppy and the yellow arund his wrist and ankle joints has rubbed of a little, as has the bottom bit on his visor.  It's not a complete rub-off, but it does make those spots look dirty or simply under-painted.

What I do love about him besides the great job they did o his blue, is the hand mold, which is sculpted in a pointing/visor activating, 3 finger salute of sorts. Wonderful for firing off his eye-beams, pointing, and ordering his X-Men around.


The other thing I love and am just discovering about this sub-series is that premary colours work really well on these 3.75" figures.  They just stand out beatifully in photographs.  Cylcops' articulation is also nothing to be sneezed at.  He's got the standard Marvel Universe 22 points of articulation.  But unlike some of the older figures, his leg joints allow his him to raise his thigh almost 90 degrees.  You'd be lucky if some of the older figure could go even close, and with one leg at that.

Just check out all the action shots I managed to snap of the X-men's fearless (and some would say one-dimensional) leader:



So now that I have Cyclops, one more piece to the X-Men puzzle is complete.  There's tons of Wolverines to choose from, there's a movie Gambit, and in MU series 2 Hamaer Files, in which we have just seen a glimpse of here a few posts ago, there's a Jean Grey.  The 4 core members would look real nice together and will be especially reminiscent of the 90s cartoon series. All that would be needed would be a Colossus, a Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Professor X (who should all be coming soon since they're also in Secret Wars. Fingers crossed.)



RATINGS

Aesthetics: 

Hulk - Re-used sculpt, but a very good one nonetheless. Head is done right this time, with an angry espression. Green is nice and vibrant, paint is well done. Pants now also have white paint on torn edges. Minimal spray-shading. Face is painted superbly, Teeth, eyes, eyebrows and hair all done withoout slop, splash, or spills. 9.5/10
Cyclops - Sculpted fingers on right hand are excellent, almost like an accessory.

Blue is well done, bold and deeply washed.Colours are vibrant but too many spillovers from the yellow parts. Also wear of paint on certain joints right out of the package. Pity, because head sculpt is also very nicely done and the visor should be painted best but has major spills. 9/10

Poseability:

Hulk - Arms are flexible despite their size.  Stretching them out to full span is no problem.  His head is a swivel and he's hunched over, so it looks like his neck is broken when turned past a certain point. The legs are the main problem.  Despite a swivel hinge leg joint, the lower torso and the size of his thighs restrict him to just swivels.  His knees bend back 45 degrees at most but his ankles rotate 360 degrees and his feet can pivot and point well. Despite his problems, Hulk still manages to pull off plenty a pose, with his huge feet giving great balance. 9/10

Cyclops - He's right up there with the best!  But if you take Captain America as the benchmark, Cyclops is missing boot-top and waist swivels--and that's it.  He can actually look up and down with the ball-jointed head, tilt it side to side and all, let alone turn it left and right.  He can pull off most any pose you can think of.  It's one of this figure's strengths. 9.5/10
 Fun:

Hulk: - Hulk's fun cuz he can fight and beat anyone, so the rest of the figures can get in line to get busted up.  Two fists are fun on a Hulk--but only if he looks angry enough to pull it off.  And this Hulk does it well and practically glows while he's at it.  10/10 
Cyclops - Just check out his moves! "Nuff said. 10/10 
Value:

Hulk: - Doesn't come with accessories, never did, never will.  This one does come with a comic, which sort of puts the toy in context for the buyer.  Suddenly Hulk has got a backgorund beyond just the Fury Files, which wasn''t a bad idea in itself, just a little brief.  Thing with Hulk is that he's a big character, so he'll always be worth his weight in plastic.  And I got him for S$30 in a 2-pack, which means S$15 for just him alone.  That's almost four whole dollars cheaper than singles sold at retail. So yay! 9.5/10
Cyclops: He's probably half the weight of Hulk and also comes with nothing other than the comic.  But that doesn't mean he isn't worth it. Two-packs in and of themselves are especially worth it when you want both figures. And the Wolverine: Origins verison of Cyclops is pretty hard to find.  What's more, this guy looks happier!  And his articualtion is splendid. 9/10

Overall: You just gotta love their colours!


Hulk: 9.7/10 - He's got everything you'd want in a Hulk this size.  He does have his flaws, like his swivel head and reduced leg articulation, but his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses, no pun intended. And he's the HULK!!! SMASH!!! GGRAAARGGGH!!!


Cyclops: 9.4/10 - It's a pity about his paint slops, otherwise he'd be a very, very close to a must-have figure, especially if you like the X-men or if you just want someone Hulk, Wolverine, Jean Grey, and anyone in the Marvel Universe with more than one power, can beat up on.


3 comments:

  1. I'm really close to gain the complete collection of Marvel Universe. I just need Deadpool action figure and Cyclops, but I already have the other ones.

    ReplyDelete

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