Then there's World War Hulk, who hit the right spot but is far from your classic-looking, Gamma irradiated, cuddly giant with torn stretchy pants.
I didn't like the head sculpt of the classic Green Goliath like most people (ditto with the repainted Grey Hulk variant), but I kinda dug the Secret Wars head sculpt with that body. The neon-like green they moulded that figure with was an eyesore to some though. And Red Hulk isn't really our dear, sweet Dr Bruce Banner at all. (He had a great head sculpt though.)
So this figure was an eventual must-produce for Hasbro. And I'm glad to say they made it a must-have for us fans too despite they long wait.
In fact, I'm sure they were deliberately taking the time in doing this, milking the success of the extremely popular World War Hulk figure and of course, the recent Avengers movie Hulk. Because of these two things, any 3.75" Marvel Universe fan will probably want this Hulk, and that's on top of those of us who wanted him anyway the first time he was revealed at last year's San Diego Comic Con 2011!
Funny thing about this Hulk is that he's got no name other than "Hulk". No Gamma Smash or Classic or Avengers or even a colour. Since it's Hasbro's second go at the classic mainstream character, he's technically Hulk 2.0. But I think I'll call him..."Worth the Wait" Hulk! (Or WtW Hulk for short. Hah!)
Like: Sculpt. Hulk's proportions are great and he's the best Hulk yet along with WW Hulk, which is very similar in sculpt. What's refreshing is that Hulk isn't top heavy--his chest and arms aren't insanely big compared to the rest of him (or anyone else). His legs and feet are just as big or in some parts even bigger than his arms--and this works!
Hulk's also got new parts sculpted to match the existing ones they re-used from World War Hulk (torso, neck, right arm). These include a new head, left arm, lower torso groin area, legs, and feet. Now that's a lot of new parts! They may not be noticeable at first glance, but they're there and I'm glad they've made the effort to sculpt them,"ordinary" as they may look. :)
Like: The Articulation with a capital "A". This is how a large figure should be done. Bravo!
Like: That Hulk has nice leathery textured skin! His pants also have cloth-like tooling and even the knee joints haven't been left out!
Like: The way they've handled the tooling of his torn pants, especially around the knee joint. His knees are left bare with the cloth torn all around. He's also got pant seams down the sides as well as a seam for his zipper.
As for the wear and especially the tear, he's got two back packets, with the right one half-torn off.
There's also sculpted tear around the hem of the legs as well as around the waist. There's also a burst button at the top of the zipper, with a slight gap that should be showing green skin underneath. But this hasn't been picked out in colour--we don't want a R-rated Hulk now, would we?
Well, we don't, right?...
Like: New, deeper leg balls. These solve the problem of MU legs popping off all the time and eventually becoming a loose fit. It can still pop off, but you'd have to really twit the joint right to the extreme for that to happen now.
Dislike: The new leg balls restrict the sideways movement of the leg, so much so that the legs can only be raised sideways maybe 30 degrees tops. Thank goodness for the thigh swivels, so you can rotate the entire upper leg segment inside out on the new leg ball without it popping off, and then swivel the thigh so that you can get the angle on the legs and bend on the knees you want. I can see how many people might be quite bothered that they have to fiddle with the joint to get maximum movement. And there's nothing like the Avengers figures' hinge/ball legs joints here--those move freely without the need to finagle.
Like: The head. It's the same size as WW Hulk's and has the same features. So yeah, it's basically the same guy. (Really? Really? I question myself sometimes. :P) The growl/grimace is excellent too, with the teeth and eyes picked out really well. The green skin also gets a nice dark wash just like the rest of his skin. But the best part? The head is mounted on a neck hinge with a ball-joint on top and enjoys a full range of motion--his chin can touch his chest, he can look up and also tilt his head--and these are the things lots of figures struggle to do.
|Same sculpt? Very close, but not really!|
Dislike: That Hulk comes without any accessories. That "collector's mini card"? That's just a neat bit of cardboard packaging. Sure, we can do without Fury Files. We can do without armour cards. (Not that Hulk would have any, but just sayin'...) We can even do without figure stands. So perhaps some cloth goods? Nah, Hulk not need any clothes. How about an interchangeable head? Hmm...Cool but Hulk like handsome face. Interchangeable hands? Now that hulk like. Then Hulk can smash, Hulk can grab, Hulk can smash then grab then smash then grab then pick some flowers. Ahh...
|L to R: Series 1 Hulk, Series 4 Hulk, Avengers Movie Hulk|
Though this Hulk is definitely way less chunky than the original buck they used for the Series 1 release, he stands just as tall. But where the original had the weirdest proportions, this Hulk is a model for not just proportion, but the right amount of muscle and the correct level of intensity of his face.
If only Hasbro had put this much effort into the sculpt of the Avengers' Gamma Smash Hulk!
Poseability: 9/10 - This is one of the best things about Hulk right next to his awesome sculpt. He's go the improved leg ball joints mentioned above to go with recent additions to the MU large figure PoA arsenal--thigh cuts, double hinge knees, and the ball-hinge head. But there are a couple of drawbacks, though.
Firstly, he can't close his arms in front of his chest too much because his massively ripped chest gets in the way of his shoulders. Secondly, he's got no gripping hands, which on a basic "smash" level, Hulk doesn't need, really. But compared to World War Hulk, I realized that gripping hands means holding things means access to more poses--holding (of course), lifting, grappling. But you know what? Giving this classic Hulk a gripping hand is just a heat and pop away, since the WW Hulk right hand is otherwise a plain ol' green gripping fist!
Fun: 9.5/10 - A good-looking Hulk that can pose? Sign me up! Oh yeah, I already bought the guy! Well then, sign me up for another! ;P
Value: 8/10 - No stand, no Fury Files, no accessories. But still, Hulk's large figure and has the best PoAs the line has to offer. They've also been improved upon, with corrections to the leg ball joints, with new parts in addition to great tooling--that's an "A"for effort for sure.
Still, I'd like to see Marvel Universe give us some interchangeable body parts. In Hulk's case, some grappling hands would be cool, while a pair of thunderclap hands would be the dream.
Overall: 9.25/10 - I'd Take and Arm and a Leg (non-plastic) For This Figure! - Hulk looks great, plays great and is one of the iconic characters of the Marvel Universe. This means he's a must-have! But fret not if you haven't seen this guy in your area--he's due for a repack in one of this year's cases after his initial release. He's also available in Hulk vs Wolverine Comic 2-pack or as the Red Hulk in the Heroic Age Team Pack.
|Hulk vs Classic Hulk: The Secret To Getting Ripped|