Friday, June 8, 2012

The Avengers: Marvel Select Hulk

As I write this review, I'm running around the house screaming like a little kid on Christmas morning who just got exactly what he wanted from Santa.  Except that it's not Christmas but Fathers' day soon.  And I'm not really running around the house, but more like lying around, imagining what it would be like running around.  And there's no Santa this time of year, but an awesome wifey and son--because this is what they surprised me with just a few days ago!

I'd already put down my order with my fave specialty store (Toyrealm at China Square central ;P) but I'd been going on and on about how I'd still snag Hulk if I saw him for sure if I saw him anywhere else, how I regretted not picking it up about 2 weeks back when a guy at the local "flea" market had a couple of the Jolly Green Giants selling at a pretty high price (about 120% of retail), and how this Hulk would make me the coolest father on the planet along with the rest of the people who also had him.

The specialty store's shipment wasn't due in until later this month and I was resigned to not truly being cool for another few weeks.  So imagine my surprise when the wife shows up with a huge bag with not one but two Marvel Select figures in it and hands it to me!  Happy Father's day indeed!

What was the other figure?  Movie Loki, of course  "So that I could re-enact the 'Puny god' scene from The Avengers for a chuckle or six until The Avengers 2 rolls around in 2015."  That's how she explained it.  But I suspect it might have been to shut me up from talking about Marvel Select Hulk every waking minute.  And probably sometimes in my sleep too.  ;P

No guesses how the figure turned out.  But why let me stop you from checking out the review and the awesome photos? ;D

Like: The sculpt is perfect!  One look and there's no doubt that this is the Avengers Hulk.  The blockbuster of a summer flick really made him recognizable again among the mainstream audience.  I say really because I suspect our parents' generation (or at least the guys) knew their superheroes.  That's how I knew them too. ;)

This sculpt cements the movie look superbly.  One of the key things too is that this Hulk focuses on being big and powerful as opposed to being extremely chiseled and cut, a fact pointed out to me by my partner-in-plastic-crime the Rangerlord. (No, he's not a blow-up doll).  In fact, one of the thing I actually didn't like from the glimpses we got from the movie trailers was that he looked less cut.  But boy was I wrong about liking him less overall.Kudos to Joss Whedon and whomever else was involved in the CG design.  And also hats off to Mark Ruffalo, who's personality as Bruce Banner really shone through even when he was all Hulked up!

Special mention goes to the toes--they're sculpted separately from each other!  Not many 6" figures done this way, if at all!

Like: The excellent head sculpt.  If I could sum it up in one sentence/math equation, I'd say: on-screen Hulk looks like Mark Ruffalo looks like this head sculpt!  Though his sort-of grimace isn't the expression I'd pick as first choice, it's better than a dour look or anything else neutral.

What makes the head a winner are details like the sculpted teeth, the wrinkles and creases, and the unevenness of things like his lips, the size of his eyes, and the number of lines on each side of his face.  But what I really dig most of all is the hair!  It's a separate piece and thus very neatly painted.  It's spiked and ruffled, as is fitting for an actor named Ruffalo!

Like: The paint is near perfect.  The colour is great and as near to the movie Hulk green as I can tell.  There is some paint wear around his neck area, and shoulder though.  But I think it was down to me moving his head and arms around a little too much.  The wear is inevitable if like me you like to play with your toys, especially when you have joints as neat and solid as Hulk and most Marvel Select figures do.

A lot of Hulk is painted but you can't tell unless you look really closely because the paint and sculpt colours are a dead match.  Even up close, i have trouble telling what's painted and what's cast in colour.  So far as I can tell, the lower thighs above the knees are sculpted in brown to match his pants (also sculpted brown), with the skin areas painted green.

There are some messy edges like his trouser line and some spills from the green onto the torn edges of the pants, but these are very slight and don't detract from important parts like the face and skin.

Like: The number of points of articulation is superb.  For a figure this size from Marvel Select, he's got more than the norm that they usually give their action figures.  Hulk's got 24 PoAs and is very DC Universe Classics-like in this area.

Like: The hinge/swivel ankle joints.  These are like the new 3.75" Marvel Universe ankles.  Their really solid but not so tight you feel like you're about to break other parts just trying to move it.  Unlike conventional swivel/hinge ankles, the hinge is in the lower leg as opposed to the foot.  And the swivel post is plugged forward into the foot like you would wear a shoe.  This allows the foot to rotate around the base of the leg like a real ankle would.  And it allows stances with feet flat on the ground or on the toes.  As a result, most figures (and humans!) can only dream of doing what Hulk can do.

Dislike: That his legs can hinge forward and back only about 45 degrees.  That's great for backwards but not much so for forwards and prevents Hulk from fully going down on one knee (To propose, of course.  What else?  Nah, to propose destruction!!!  ;P)  This stops him from really getting his body weight forward onto the front foot for when you want him throwing all his weight behind  punch or a double-fisted "Hulk smash".  It also prevents him from doing a classic hunched over look while standing.

Like:  The bulk of figure!  There's no shortage of plastic here, unlike the Ultimate Hulk, which is one of the few figures to have been rotocast.  Avengers Hulk is heavy!  And woe be the person who drops him on a toe!

Like: I love the real tightness of the joints.  His leg/hip and knee hinges are ratcheted, making it near impossible that he'll ever fall over.  When the joints are not tight, they're smooth.  For example, the head, the arms, the wrists and the feet.  All are solidly put together.  Safe to say that hulk will never have any loose joints out of the package.

Dislike: His chest pivot is limited.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all.  While it rotates smoothly, you can only turn it just about 45 degrees left and right.  But here's the trick: if you pivot backwards first and then rotate, you can get almost 90 degrees out to each side without damaging the paint or sculpt.

Also, the chest pivots backwards and forwards a lot less than I'd like.  So he can't really crunch down or arch back.  For poses that need those, he has to rely on his leg/hip hinges, which are decent, but not good enough to cover up for the limits of the chest.  I can fully understand the decision though--it looks as if giving him more flexibility here would really break the sculpt, and Marvel Select is all about a good-looking figure, so they would've compromised on their own standards of quality.

The Hulk: Ultimate, Avenger, Legend.


Aesthetics: 10/10 - There's no way you wouldn't at least pick this off the shelf to take a second look.  There's also no way you wouldn't be impressed with the Hulk even when he's separated from you by all that plastic, let alone when he's been busted out of the plastic carbonite.  There are figures that make you think twice when you see pictures or even when have them in hand.

Hulk was one of those I wanted to get right from the 1st time I saw online pics.  A perfect and accurate movie sculpt, great paint apps and details (look at those eyes too!), and sheer size!--he's really got them all.  And he isn't too big either, meaning he'll fit in perfectly with any 6" Marvel Legends scale figures, movie line or otherwise.

Poseability: 9/10 - Marvel Select figures are not known at all for being super articulated, but Hulk is a fan's dream come true.  Sure, he's got certain PoAs that are limited (his head also can't move upwards or downwards fully), but he's super flexible for a figure this bulky.  I also have the Thing and Ultimates Hulk and they don't even come close to what Avengers Hulk can do.  Heck, most 3.75" scale figures can't even do what he does.  And those are made to be played with more than for sitting pretty on a shelf.  Hulk can do both and then some!

Fun: 10/10 - A fully poseable figure that looks this good?  Can't be anything else but fun.  Hulk plays really well with other figures from the Marvel Select and Legends lines and I'm sure DCUC figures will also look great alongside if a crossover's your thing.

Having Hulk makes me want to carry him around with me wherever I go, which is what I did when I met up with the Rangerlord recently.  He wasn't at all keen on picking this guy up initially, but one live demonstration later and he was converted. ;)  That's what a figure can truly do if it's fun!

Value: 10/10 -  Hulk doesn't come with any accessories or bases, which is what Select usually packs in with their figures.  But heck, he's a hunk of plastic that will probably put a hole in your window if you decide chuck him at one.  With the amount of detail and paint in and on the sculpt and the articulation that he's got, some are saying this is the best Hulk figure ever.  Ever!  I'll have to agree, though I also would add that the movie portrayal of our green friend has something to do with it too.  Get him before his price shoots up!

Overall: 9.75/10 - I'd almost give an arm or a leg (plastic or otherwise) for this figure! (But I'm lucky I didn't have to to.  Lol.) -

If he's not the near perfect figure, then he's the near perfect Hulk figure.  And I think he sets a new high score for the reviews right here on Chase Variant!  Ha!  Any closer to perfect and you'd probably have to replicate the Gamma Ray incident that made Banner the Hulk.

Even if this guy wasn't the movie Avengers Hulk, he's hands down the best hulk there is.  His design is near generic enough to pull this off, yet he's uniquely the Avengers/Mark Ruffalo Hulk .  Though I didn't get the next most recently release Marvel Select Hulk (I really didn't dig the look), I do have Marvel Legends Face Off Hulk, King Hulk, and Marvel Universe World War Hulk and Classic Avengers 3-pack Hulk among others.  I consider those some of the best Hulks made but there's no doubt which Hulk is my favourite now. ;)

I couldn't resist!  And apparently, the Hulk couldn't too!


  1. Nice! I feel bad for the Thing in these pictures.

    1. Lol, thanks Mario. I think feel bad for the Thing in general, seeing as how he's so sad over his appearance most times.

    2. Me too. But it's nothing like a Hulk Ben Grimm fight. This is a great review, almost as good as the one you did on Shadow Tracker. The pics are great....I enjoyed this one Bane.

    3. Thanks, dude! Yeah, for some reason I like Hulk fighting other heroes--Thing, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine--something about his villains that don;t quite let them match up to him. Just look at Loki, for the most recent example...Shortest fight ever! Lol.

      Ah, Shadow Tracker! I haven't looked at it in a long while--and I just made myself laugh doing it. ;P I'm glad you brought it up. That review was a ton of fun! And here's the shameless plug for all who are curious!:

  2. Lucky! I hope they will release a new 3.75" Hulk. Hahaha, btw, was the Thor in the 3.75" scale? :))

    1. Yes, there will be a new Hulk coming in the next wave of Marvel Universe. It's gonna be a good one. ;)

      You mean the Thor in the pics? No, he's the Marvel Legends scale Thor, meaning 6" scale. But if you go by exact measurements, Thor's 6.5 inches tall. :)

  3. Hahaha I love the last pic! And last year's fathers day gift makes an appearance too I see ;)

    1. Yes, it does! I completely forgot to mention the Thing. Coincidence that I used him too. Meant to be, I guess. ;)

  4. Wow! Awesome review! I so want this figure, but I don't know if I have the stomach for another fruitless search. I may just have to hold out for the Marvel Universe version, since I'm more of a 1:18 scale guy. Have a happy father's day!

    1. Thanks Reis! Yeah, you're probably better off looking for it online if there isn't a specialty store near you that you can order from. I realize that's much easire to do for Marvel Select. And yeah, I'm looking forward to the Marvel Universe Hulk too! I can;t get enough Hulk! Lol.

    2. Oh and Happy Father's Day to you, too! ;P

  5. They're releasing a 3.75" Avengers Nick Fury! I hope I can spot one in the toy stores around. :)

    1. Yes, they are! And hopefully he's as good as the Iron Man 2 4-pack version:


    2. Yeah, I really would like a Nick Fury figure! But it's unlikely that they'll have stock in any of the toy stores around (and if they will, maybe just 2 or 3 and collectors will beat me to it). Avengers Black Widow and Hawkeye didn't even appear in the pegs. Or is it too early to say? Do you have Avengers Black Widow or/and Hawkeye now? :))

    3. Yeah, it's still too early. None of the three hasn't shown up in my neck of the woods. Either that or the scalpers are fast! Widow is actually the shortpacked figure, so that one will be the toughie. Hawkeye is a 2 in 12, and Nick is newer, so he'll take more time to appear.

  6. Awesome figure, dude. I live in Ireland, so the Avengers selects haven't hit retail here yet, but I'm waiting on a Hawkeye. Will you be getting him?

    1. Thanks! I'm gonna wait and see for Hawkeye. I haven't seen him in retail here yet, but then again I didn't go out of my way to hunt him down/pre-order him. I want to see how tall he is because I think the 6" Avengers Movie version might be more in scale with this Hulk. As you can see Hulk scales nicely with 6" Movie Thor. But yeah, from what I've seen of Select Hawkeye, he looks pretty darn good too!

  7. I finally found the Walmart exclusive 6" Hulk! I got him home, ripped open the package, started posing, and......immediately became disappointed.
    I had heard a reviewer online say that the figure felt a little cheap, but I decided to take my chances, and boy does he feel cheap. His joints are all rubbery, and his chest and torso are very thin and hollow feeling plastic. I feel like I'm going to tear something.
    Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because I had him out of the package for about an hour before I got online and ordered this bad boy. I should get him Thursday, and can't wait to have a much more solid feeling Hulk in my hands.

    1. I don't have the 6" Legends version yet, so thanks for the tip. I've seen lots of positive reviews of that Hulk, but it just takes one person to point out an obvious flaw and those who feel the same come out of the woodwork. Unfortunately, Wes Dennis has found ML Hulk for me--maybe I'll just have to pawn it off. Lol. ;P

      But yes, this Hulk is one helluva hefty! Drop him on your toe, pets, babies or any glass coffee tables at your own risk! :P Ok, don't drop him on any babies. Or living things. I hepe he comes sooner for you--enjoy it and lemme know if he lives up to your expectations! ;)

    2. So I have both of the hulks standing side-by-side. I could see the argument for each figure being the better. My personal preference: I'll take the Marvel Select Hulk.
      Hasbro's figure has more articulation, and more of a toy feel, which I don't really like, but some may like to know they don't have to worry about him scratching his paint or anything. Obviously the Marvel Select Hulk is much larger, but I think he also has the superior sculpt, and I think his proportions are much better. For me, I will sacrifice the articulation (although I do wish the hips had more range going forward) for the more solid feel and shelf presence.

      I think you will like the Hasbro Hulk. Although he is smaller, and I don't like the softer joints and hollow upper body, I don't think most people would let it bother them. So I'm looking forward to seeing your review of ML Hulk, and which one of these two you prefer.

    3. I think so too! And yeah, I can't wait to get ML Hulk and have them side by side like you do with MS Hulk. Looking at all the Hulk figures I have, I realize that the only ML Hulk that had both a great sculpt and articulation was the Face-Off 2-pk one. And that was done by Toybiz, not Hasbro! (If I'm not wrong...) Even their Legends King Hulk, though a very good figure, pales in comparison to the 3.75" version. Hopefully ML Legends Hulk ups the standard, even if it's slightly.

  8. j'adore ! i love it your style fron france, i am fan !!!

  9. HELLO!!
    I Finally grab my own Marvel Select Avengers HULK!!
    Happy as a puppy with two tails!!

    Saludos from Chile!!

  10. Hello,
    Where can I buy this toy?


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