You know that iconic green armor that Lex Luthor used to wear? The stuff that's so identified with the character that it keeps popping up in comics and cartoons even today? A lot of folks think it was designed by George Perez for the massive Crisis crossover. Not so. Perez designed it, but he did it for the Super Powers toy line. So it's not that odd for a comic character's sojourns into other media to influence what we see later.
Mecha-Hulk was a character created specifically for Hulk Classics, just as Cyber Spider-Man was an invention of that line. He was designed by Art Adams and sculpted by Steve Kiwus, but he certainly looks like something you might have seen in the pages of the book some time.
The figure is 7 1/2" tall and has enough articulation to get him into any pose. Yes, all the typical ToyBiz joints are there - head, shoulders, biceps, fingers, et cetera - but there are also lots of other moving bits scattered about, as well. Looking closely you can find dozens of pistons, boosters, gears and rockets that would make this behemoth ambulate, if it were real.
The sculpt is intricately detailed with all sorts of robotic tech:
panels, rivets, cables, hinges and all the other sorts of embelishments you'd expect on a massive robot. Since Mecha-Hulk is non-organic, the articulation all blends in perfectly. Press a button just behind his neck to reveal his mighty nipple-cannons: the front of his chest flips open to reveal two spring-loaded rockets.
This figure was one that pleased folks on both sides of the company/consumer divide. For their purposes, ToyBiz got another Hulk figure to put in the line, while on our end, we were getting a villain we'd almost certainly never see otherwise, the diminutive Gremlin.
The Gremlin is a twisted little wretch, son of a Soviet spy known as the Gargoyle. His father was dosed with heavy radiation, leading to the Gremlin's malformed nature. While the big suit was sculpted by Steve Kiwus, Phil Ramirez handled this little guy, and he managed to pack in almost every physical deformity imaginable.
The figure is only 2" tall, but has a club foot, hunchback, lazy eye, cauliflower ear, cleft palate, crooked teeth, malformed hands, a huge bulbous head and acne on his purple skin, as well. He only moves at the big five, but it's enough for such a tiny guy.
A hatch on the back of the Mecha-Hulk opens so that the Gremlin can ride inside. Original plans were for a partial, non-removable Leader to be inside the suit, but we've already got figures of him - switching to the Gremlin was a nice idea.
Mecha-Hulk could have been a pegwarmer, easily, but thanks to the hard work of everyone involved with its creation, it's a figure worth owning. Who knows, maybe one day it'll even show up in the comics.
What's the worst idea from another medium ever adopted into the regular comics? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.