Sometimes, as reviewers, we are called upon to lean into a pitch, to take one for the team. For instance, I had to watch Pearl Harbor four times for a DVD review. I may never be clean again.
As Poe said in his review of N2's Tick figure, there really aren't very many negative toy reviews out there. When I saw the Hulk figures ToyBiz released for their upcoming movie, I knew that a negative review was sure to be on its way. Sure, the big 13" Rotocast Hulks were great, but the smaller ones? Ugh.
Looking at the figures in the packaging, they were at once too small and too large. The toys themselves were undersized, with plain humans set to be in the 4" range. Viewed from the side, they were incredibly skinny, yet from the front they looked too short and stocky, a common problem when toy companies try to make big bulky characters (in fact, McFarlane Toys are the only ones who've tried to make their biggest characters proportioned all the way around). The faces varied greatly from figure to figure, to the point that they might as well have all been different characters.
I wanted to pick up one of these Hulks, just to let people know how awful they really are. The $8 price tag, however, was much more than I was willing to pay for such a terrible toy. When they reached the half-price bin at the electronics store in the mall, I finally had my chance.
Bruce Banner endures a life without a past, yet filled with dreams. As a genetic scientist, Bruce studies the effects of gamma radiation on damaged tissue. Unaware that there is a monster inside him, Bruce continually struggles with fits of anxiety, embarrassment and rage. One day during a freak lab accident, Bruce's inner beast is unleashed and he becomes the most powerful being on the face of the earth - The Hulk!
I already talked in general about this Hulk line, and Superposeable Leaping Hulk is no exception; he, too, is short, stocky, thin and ugly. He doesn't actually have any action features (aside from the super articulation); the "leaping" action is provided by the odd turbine engine included with the figure.
A string is tied to a molded plastic loop between Hulk's shoulderblades. The string disappears into the engine, where a spring-loaded flywheel allows it to be drawn out and retract. The engine is sculpted with good details, but it's still (theoretically) permanently attached to the figure. When you untie the string, the loop will still be on the figure, but it is hardly a major distraction.
Out of the package, Hulk isn't nearly as skinny as he looks. His bulk may not be evenly distributed, but he's not terrible, either. The figure moves at the neck, shoulders (four joints each), elbows, wrists, mid hands, torso, hips (two apiece), knees and ankles. Of particular interest are the post-balljoint hips, which will soon be the standard for Marvel Legends. The hips look more naturalistic than big balljoints, but still offer the entire natural range of motion. This a nice movement forward.
Overall, Superposeable Leaping Hulk isn't a terrible figure, but it's also not terribly good. At deep discount prices, I'd almost recommend him, but at retail he's just not worth it.
Before I leave you, a bonus: download a great Hulk MP3 here.
Do you think Ang Lee will do a good job with the Hulk movie? Which version of the character do you like the best? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.