Saturday, June 26, 2010

Marvel Legends Hulk Series: King Hulk

I got this Hulk after reading and falling in love with the Planet Hulk graphic novel--it's gotta be the most original and off-the-beaten path Hulk story arc ever!

Besides the literally otherworldly story line, the Hulk's look changes distinctly and yet retains the old familiar characteristics of the Big Green Behemoth.

The same goes for this 6 inch scale figure--one look and you'll know it's the Hulk and yet you'll also realize that his attire can only mean he's been through some unique situations that have forced him to adjust and adapt.  Even if you haven't read Planet Hulk, you'd notice that he's not like other un-accessorized Hulks--this bad boy comes with a broad short sword and battle axe.  More juicy details later! ;)

I bought this guy about a year-and-a-half ago and only recently opened him.

Why?  Because I had the sudden urge to build the wave's Build-A-Figure: Fin Fang Foom.  What with all the Iron Man buzz about a month or so back, and me making a nice sum off some exclusive toys I didn't really wanna keep, I decided to go for the rest of the Target Exclusive Hulk Series.

I only had this Hulk and the Grey Hulk then, and the Absorbing Man and Doc Samson were rather cheapish, so I went for it.  Savage She-Hulk and End Hulk were tougher to find and expensive, but I figured that since I'd always wanted Hulks of all shapes and sizes, some supporting cast wouldn't hurt.  Oh and I'd have a giant ass dragon as well. ;)

And so I present to you the King of Sakaar himself, the one they call Green Scar, the one who's the World Breaker!

Like: Hulk look good, kingly handsome.  The circlet, the leather skirt, the one arm and shoulder armor.  The tall upper lip.  The heavy, heavy scowl and ultra low brow ridge.  All these capture the character perfectly.  They've nailed King Hulk in terms of comic book accuracy, and credit to the Planet Hulk artist, Carlo Pagulayan, for coming up with the design.

Like: I love all the extra tooled bits that comes on this guy.  There's the leather sash, which can be removed (you'll have to cut it though..., the leather belt and skirt combo, and then there's the gladiator style boots and strapping. They're all sculpted with creases and wrinkles like real leather.  It's a pity that they barely have any pant on them if at all.  The best example is the fur trim on Hulk's skirt front--I would've liked to see that picked out with a little bit of off-white paint to make it stand out a little.

Like: The large and chunky sculpt.  I always feel it's a bonus to get bulky characters just because they cost the same at retail but are so much more massive.  It's a value-for-money thing, I guess.

But what makes King Hulk's sculpt really special is his skin.  It's got texture!  Every inch of him that's green feels rough, like you would expect Hulk's skin to be.  This also helps to make him look less plastic.  In fact, the combination of the texture and the shading gives him a distinctly matte look.  And shiny skin can be a real problem for Hulk figures in this scale, like the Movie Hulks or even the Face Off Legends Hulk.

Like: The (little bit of) paint.  Not only did they get his proportions right, they also cast him in this wonderful shade of deep green which has an oh so wonderful hint of darker green spray shading.  It's subtle, not so much so that you can't see it, but just the right amount that it blends well with the original green of the plastic.  His eyes are also perfectly done, with black pupils on green irises on whites.  The eyebrows then follow the ridge of his brow wonderfully.

Hulk's also got little bits of silver paint on the studs of his leathers as well as the buckle of his sash.  These are done cleanly but not all that sharply, but I think this gives the studs a little bit more of a worn effect which befits the character.

Like: That he comes with accessories despite being large and chunky. He's got a big-ass machete/broad sward.  It's cast in grey plastic with the black of the grip painted on.

King Hulk's other weapon of choice other than his fists and his blade is a crude axe.  Again, this weapon combines the characteristics of various axes.  It may look like a hand axe but it's huge for a 6 inch scale figure.  Not the Hulk though--he makes it look tiny.  The axe is cast in a slightly lighter grey plastic, with nicks and chips all over the axehead.  The haft is painted brown with a deeper brown wash to bring out the highlights.

Like: That he's got two gripping hands!  This has gotta be a first for a Hulk figure.  The best part is when he's not holding any weapons, his hands still look like fists, so King Hulk here can fight armed or barehanded! :)

Like: Has articulation, all 22-26 points (depending on your level of math genius).  The best points are the swivel/hinge head which grants Hulk full motion of his noggin', the ratcheted hinges in the shoulders and legs--those are extra stable without being tight--and the perfect swivel/hinge balls at his hips/legs. Honestly, I've never seen or played with such fluid leg joints before.  They're not even intuitive--they're better!  They move any which way you decide to bend his leg, forward, back, twists on the end--you name it, he can do it, and smoothly at that.  Smooth without being loose. It really feels like the joint is gliding when you work his legs.

Dislike:  King Hulk's ankle articulation could be better.  He doesn't have very good pivoting/pointing because of the sculpt of his lower leg getting in the way.  However, his left leg is much poorer than his right, and it's down to the heel of the left foot being slightly chunkier.  It's kinda weird when you think about it, and I you could only tell the difference when I looked at the feet really hard. (Yeah, my eyes now hurt.)

Dislike: The Green Scar's arm armor arm is sculpt in a plastic-looking silver, not painted.  If they were going to sculpt the arm in silver, they should've made it look like it was in armor and not just a silver Hulk arm with a shoulder plate and spikes stuck on.  The good thing is that they sculpted bands for the armor on the arm.  I think the problem lies more with the lack of paint than with the sculpt, though that could also have been given better treatment.

Dislike: For all the special tooling they gave him, they decided to not pay any attention to his shorts.  Hulk's ass is a plain ol' smooth brown plastic. But to enhance the illusion of shorts, his legendary hip/ball joints are also made from the same land brown. This area's problem, unlike the armored arm, is the sculpt.  The blandness of the plastic really stands out against all that brilliant tooling of his leathers and his wonderfully textured green skin.  It's most evident when you look at him from the front and his super textured thighs end in plain brown ball joints.

Dislike: The hollow bottoms of his boots/feet!  What's up with that?  Not adding detail there is one thing, but casting them hollow?  Talk about cost cutting...

Dislike: Tip of the tail for the BAF.  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful he comes with some much as it is, but the tip of the tail?  Really?  They could've packed it with another character or just simply not split it from the lower end of the Fin Fang Foom BAF. Oh well, I guess they needed some insurance just in case King Hulk ended up as a peg warmer. Like that's ever likely to happen. Heh.


Aesthetics: 8/10 - He scores great here but he could've been greater. From a distance, you wouldn't notice his flaws.  Once you bring him up close, you'll realize the lack of paint on his armored arm and less-than-detailed shorts.  Big deduction on points there.  His look is great, his proportions are right, and he's got the trademark sulky demeanor of The Green Scar/Gladiator/King Hulk--but no proper shorts. :/

Poseability: 9.5/10 - He's got a ton of PoAs and can deliver the poses--It's rare to find a 6 inch figure that doesn't have double hinge knees and can still kneel on one knee.  The amazing ball swivel/hinges are the best I've seen on a figure, and his joints are all tight.  And you gotta give props to the swivel/hinge head as well.  It's especially crucial for this guy because his torso is sculpted slightly hunched over, so he needs that extra head movement to look elsewhere besides down all the time.  And what's a gladiator without hands to hold weapons?  I just love that both his hands are gripping hands.

Fun: 10/10 - He'll be extra fun to pose/play with because he goes with just about any creature that is spoiling for a fight.  Heck, he even goes with those that are not.  A gladiator Hulk in a strange world who has all sorts of aliens and monsters thrown at him to battle.

It'll be tremendous fun setting up a gladiatorial arena scene and have him fight the Silver Savage.  He'd even look great fighting Fin Fang Foom.  Even if you only ever collect Hulk figures, this guy is one of the few who not only looks great, but also plays very, very well.
Value: 9/10 - Two accessories, one BAF (even if it is the small tippy tail), and one huge hunk of a figure.  Throw in some uniquely tooled pieces like the crowned head and the studded/plated armor arm and leather skirt, and you have a winner.  At retail (if you luck out and stumble upon him) he's a steal.  Online, he's worth the US$15-20 that he usually goes for, especially since he's from a limited edition wave.

Overall: 9.25/10 - He's as great as I wanted him to be despite the flaws he has.  As a Hulk, I never expected him to be super poseable.  But he's exceeded my expectations.  I do expect and want him to have a strong look.  This character does.  The problem is they skimped on his paint and it does show.  He's still an excellent Hulk to own, though.  Just as the Marvel Legends Face Off Hulk is the best standard Hulk of this scale, King Hulk is the best variation of "costumed" Hulk in my book.

And whaddaya know?  Like Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Hulk's a King! ;P


  1. Nice review, Sir! Much like Juggernaut figures, Hulk figures are always fun!

    Planet Hulk was a great story, I read it back when I was following comics monthly and it was one of the best arcs. I missed out on the later stories as I stopped buying comics in single issue format soon after.

    What did you think about the animated movie?

  2. Yeah, I was really feeling back before Planet Hulk came about that there was a real need for a good Hulk story arc, then BAM! And my wish was granted. His having gone through the whole Warbound experience adds some neat depth to his character. It's a pity it feels like they ignore it through the Red Hulk arc though...

    I quite liked the animated movie! :) Hulk vs Wolvie was the better of the two, I felt. The Thor one was a little "Huh?" because it was more like Loki/Thor story. But I think Hulk Vs is the best animated Marvel has put out so far.

  3. Oh, I was referring to the "Planet Hulk" movie. I enjoyed Hulk vs Wolverine, but vs Thor was kind of boring and too grim for my taste, haha. "Planet" was well done and entertaining.

  4. This is a cool Hulk from a cool story arc that ended too soon. I can really get behind a Conanesque direction for him.

    Hah! Love the Holy Grail reference in your last shot!

    All we need now is the Marvel Knights who say ...



  5. @3B - Oh right! Duh. I'd forgotten I'd watched it and got it confused with Hulk Vs. I guess that doesn't say much of how much of an impression it made on me. Heh. I liked it, insofar as an animated movie goes. There was a lot of stuff they left out, like him being weak when he first crashed on Sakaar, or his fighting the change back to Banner. But yes, it was well done in general. :)

    @Rangerlord - Good one about the Marvel Knights who say "Ni!" Lol.

    Yes, I wish they tapped the Conanesque angle you mentioned more. Really make it a part of his character. I mean, the whole story arc is probably the biggest thing to happen to him since he actually became the Hulk. Fingers crossed! ;D

  6. Missed this one at the time: Marvel Legends were $15 a pop, so I only got Doc Samson from that wave. And am kicking myself now. Hell, I still need that Silver Savage...

    And great cartoon!

  7. Yeah, I don't know why they cut out the whole Banner stuff. I'm guessing it was edited out for time. I hate that all the movies in the new wave of animated features, both Marvel & DC, are restricted to 70-75mins.

    Many times they end up feeling rushed. Planet Hulk could have been epic, but it was entertaining, nonetheless.

  8. @3B - Yeah I'm not sure why they have to restrict the time on those things. And I agree, Planet Hulk had enough material to be its own animated series. It'll never happen, at least not now, but one can dream...Heh.

    @googum - Thanks! Coming from the master of the One Shot over at AD, that's a great compliment. ;)

    Sad thing about the Hulk Wave is that ppl in the Philippines say that it's so abundant that no one wants it, even on clearance. And these are whole, complete waves. You could build Fin Fang Foom for free! (Close to it at least. Felt the need to alliterate. :P) I guess if you're ever in the country or have a contact there who could hook you up... ;)

  9. Great looking figure, how does he look with Marvel Universe. Nice reveiw.

  10. @Prowl26 - Thanks! You know, that's an excellent suggestion. I'll put in some size comparison photos with MU figures when I review the Silver Savage, which should be soon... ;P


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