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Thor: Ragnarok
by yo go re

At the end of Avengers 2: A Geo Fultron, Hulk absconds with a Quinjet, running away from the team because... reasons? Anyway, the movie originally would have shown the Quinjet heading up into space, but they changed that because they didn't want fans to think it was a clue that they'd be adapting "Planet Hulk" - they had no plans to do so, and figured we'd all feel cheated by a misdirecting tease. Then, of course, they got the idea to do that story after all, but to do it with Thor instead; eventually, they decided to bring Hulk into the movie as well, which was clearly the right choice, but raises an interesting question:

If Hulk took the Quinjet to Sakaar, then what was that mysterious Banda Sea splashdown Nick Fury reported at the end of Avengers?

The Thor: Ragnarok line wisely made Hulk its Build-A-Figure: buy the six figures in the line, and you get all the pieces to assemble this big, gigantic brute. That includes six bodyparts, two weapons, and two pieces of clothing! Fully assembled and dressed, the toy stands more than 9¼" tall.

This Hulk is not the same sculpt used on either of the previous two movie Hulks - nor is it shared with any other BAFS. Even beneath the armor he's wearing, this is a new mold. It certainly feels like Hasbro has an eye toward reusing it in the future, though, because there's no kind of "skin" texture on the body, just muscles - but he still doesn't look as unfinshed as the Avengers 2 figure. He's very blocky and wide, just like he looked in the movie.

Hulk's gladiator outfit is a blend of the two costumes he sported on Sakaar in the comics: from "Planet Hulk" he gets the shoulder pauldron and the crested helmet, and from "World War Hulk" he gets the loincloth and the strappy sandals. Of course, the specifics of the design are very different, because Ragnarok unabashedly leaned into the Jack Kirby influences, so the skirt here looks like something you'd see in Journey Into Mystery or one of the Fourth World books: geometric shapes, needless embellishments, layers upon layers... if it were some bright color instead of being brown, muted purple, and dark silver, the parallel would be complete. All the armor is detailed incredibly well, and the pieces on his arms are separate bits of PVC slipped into place, rather than just being molded on. Even without being so tall, it's easy to see why this figure may have been too expensive to sell by himself.

Hulk still has the identifiable Ruffalo face, probably the best we've gotten from Hasbro yet. There's white paint on the right side of Hulk's face, chest, and upper arm, and some drybrushing on his chest to represent his body hair. There are gaps in the war paint where the straps of his pauldron cross his chest, suggesting they were ceremonially applied after he'd gotten geared up. Meanwhile, he has paint above his eyebrow, but under his helmet.

The articulation is just as good on this BAF as it is on the regular figures, with a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles for those extra-wide stances. Hulkspreading. The skirt blocks the legs a little bit, because that's what skirts do, but it's molded from PVC so it can flex. Ditto the rest of the armor.

Like we said, Hulk comes with more accessories than a lot of normal figures do: there's the pauldron and the removable helmet, of course, but also his humongous hammer and his smaller-but-still-large axe. He can hold them in either hand, but the heads of the weapons are so heavy that the handles can tend to get bent. Oh, and just in case you forget to put the chest armor on before assembling the figure, Hasbro has you covered: the straps unplug in the front, so you can still slip it on and off.

It's kind of a shame that there was no way Marvel could have kept Hulk's appearance in the movie a secret - imagine how audiences would have popped when he burst through that door! Pretty much the same way Thor did, honestly. The decision to include him in the movie was absolutely the right one, giving the God of Sparkles someone to play off of in a way that wasn't societal or familial, and giving us more of the Hulk we love. Plus, if nothing else, this figure makes up for the lackluster Sakaar Hulks Hasbro released a decade ago.

Thor | Loki | Hela | Thor | Odinson | Ares

-- 07/11/19

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