With rising oil prices and a collapsing trade, making action figures is becoming tricky business. Even fans are lashing back at the once-celebrated happening of Build-A-Figures, in which action figures would come with an additional accessory - a piece of a larger figure - which would snap together with all the other pieces when you bought the full set to make another, usually bigger toy. ToyBiz revolutionised their Marvel Legends line with excellent - and huge - BAFs, featuring larger characters that could never be packaged up on regular card or in a normal clamshell, but these gradually became smaller and smaller, until their final Marvel BAF could nearly have fit into a regular clamshell. When the line became Hasbro's, they tried to make slightly bigger BAFs for each series, but even these don't hold a candle to the bigger ToyBiz BAFs - until now.
The Hulk Legends line achieves a monsterously huge BAF splitting the parts across two series, four figures each, focusing on Hulk characters. The unfortunate drawback with this is availability, and repeats - it seems Hasbro is having difficulty finding unique characters in the Hulk universe that haven't had several plastic productions already, and have settled upon many toys you've already bought before - a pain,
as you have no choice but to pick them all up if you want the BAF. Fortunately, there are some characters here who have never seen toy form, but even they haven't been so well received.
Only son of the Hulk and Sakaarian Shadow Warrior, Caiera the Oldstrong, the son of Hulk was abandoned and left for dead by his father after his mother was killed while he was still in the womb. Even as a mass of undifferentiated cells invisible to the naked eye, the nearly unlimited power of his parents manifested, keeping him alive, sustaining him, letting him grow into the boy that thrived among the shattered remains of the world of Sakaar. Influenced by the mingling of his father's gamma power with the ancient Old Power of his mother, he grew rapidly into the young man that emerged from the wilds to battle the clashing tribes of survivors, and learn about the legacy left by his legendary parents.
Skaar is being introduced in this line as the "Son of Hulk," but his name is Skaar,
so we're using that here. Standing a skosh over 7" tall, Skaar is totally ripped, bulging all over with thick muscles and long flowing locks of hair as sculpted by John Cleary. And ridiculously long legs. The sculpt is excellent, but the paint isn't so complementary - although not terrible, Skaar is painted the same light blue all over with green highlights, then touched up with a tattoo design and then detail all over his armor. This detail is unfortunately splotchy - his boots are especially not good, and it's curious that there's no wash on the hair parts of the figure, which would make everything stand out.
Skaar is loaded with articulation, including
balljoints at the arms, shoulders, wrists, legs, knees, feet and midsection - pretty much everything. He's also plenty durable, feeling quite hefty and strong. What's missing? Neck articulation - which he does seem to have, but weirdly the hair seems to keep his from moving his head anywhere but down. Foolish design! Frustrating, because everything else is cake.
Skaar's accessories are limited to two weapons - his coveted sword, and a sheathed dagger that fits onto his loincloth via a peg. This sheathed dagger unfortunately cannot be unsheathed,
and is thus for decoration only - which makes it completely senseless to be separate to the figure rather than permanently attached to the loincloth - however the sword's awesome makes up for this disappointment. This is a big mofo cleaver of a weapon, fitting into his hands nicely and looking wonderfully imposing. And, of course, he also features a piece of the big daddy himself, Fin Fang Foom, in this case the upper torso, which you're definitely going to want to complete your big-ass awesome dragon.
Overall, Skaar is an oddity in this line - although this is the first figure we've seen of him, he's too new to be a must-buy for
many comic collectors, and yet not another repeat just to fill up the line. There's been a lot of unhappy buzz about this fella, and I don't think that's founded - he's well sculpted, and although he lacks a lot of fine detail in the paint department, he's shaded nicely enough. His long hair, angry face and large build remind me of the Masters of the Universe figures - those displeased about having to purchase this fella to complete their Foom may want to consider giving him a custom job to turn him into a Faker or something similar. Everyone else can be pleased that they have a unique figure in a line that's mostly composed of repeats that isn't bad at all.