The Hulk That Never Happened…

Uh-oh… someone took Hulk’s Ju-Ju…

This is a great story – so stick with it – and let me know what you think.  Back in May, Syco announced a brand new license.  The Lou Ferrigno Hulk statue!  I know many of Hulk collectors that had been waiting for something from the late 70’s TV show.  But many hurdles must be cleared to get this license – for one, Lou Ferrigno has property rights to his likeness.  Marvel has rights to the Hulk, of course, and even the network that originally aired the series has parts of the rights.

Here comes the Hulk!

So, in other words, it’s a bitch and a half to produce anything to do with this classic show!  That’s why we haven’t seen figures or other statues or most anything else!  It’s not because it wouldn’t sell – it’s because too many hands are in the pot already.  So how did Syco get the rights to produce the statue?  Well, read on…

Alternative shot

BUT FIRST!  We must address the statue itself.  Amazingly, a sculptor named Chris created THIS Lou Ferrigno Hulk statue:

The original Hulk kit!

Everyone, as you can imagine, loved it!  When Syco announced the license most everyone who knew about the sculpt hoped that it was Chris’ Hulk that they picked to produce.  Well, according to Cris himself, pictures of his sculpt were used to obtain the license.  Syco denies this – but the sculpt looks oddly similar:

Hmmmm….

And by similar I mean not as good.  So, now, back to Syco and their Lou Ferrigno statue.  That’s how they listed it – a “Lou Ferrigno statue”.  They claimed that Lou himself own the rights to his likeness as the Hulk.  Even though many people talked to Syco about this project – telling them that it doesn’t make sense.  Marvel doesn’t have a say in producing a Hulk statue?  Any Hulk statue?  That just can’t be!  Well, things moved forward.  Big Bad Toy Store listed the statue as a pre-order.  Soon, Syco even announced that there would be a Gamma Glow version!  The Hulk never glowed green in the TV show – but whatever…

And then, just last week, the BOOM was finally lowered.  Anyone who ordered this statue received an email like this :

“Hi – We unfortunately need to inform you that the Lou Ferrigno Statue has been cancelled. Syco Collectibles created this item and licensed it with Lou Ferrigno’s company – Ferrigno Fit. Syco informed BBTS that Lou Ferrigno has the rights to his likeness, and that this item was licensed and approved. There apparently was confusion between Syco & Ferrigno about the scope of the license; while Ferrigno does own rights to his likeness, Marvel owns the rights to his likeness as The Hulk. We were contacted by Marvel about this situation yesterday and asked to remove this product, and we are happy to comply with them. Marvel is one of the strongest brands BBTS carries, and we would never intentionally carry an item that infringes on their intellectual property.

We have cancelled your preorder, no charges were made to your card, and we have removed this item from our site. We apologize for the inconvenience on this item”

The unapinted version of the produced piece did not look so bad…

So, it turns out that, yes indeed, you do need Marvel’s permission.  Something a whole lot of us already knew.  I was sort of waiting for this day – I knew it was coming – but this is certainly a cautionary tale.  So to recap – allegedly, some people stole some photos to obtain a license – and then turned around and had someone else create a less stellar and cheaper imitation of the same sculpt.  Then they added a disastrous paint job, and overcharged people for it.  But karma really is a bitch because it all came crashing down on Syco’s head.  Too bad.  It would have been fun to see this license open up again!

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7 responses to “The Hulk That Never Happened…

  1. That’s crazy! Personally, I never cared for the TV show. In fact based on Ferrigno’s look I thought the Hulk was lame. Fortunately I picked up issue 288 in a gas station on a family road trip, and became hooked.

  2. And he was totally ripped like that!

  3. This entire project was a comedy of errors and poor business decisions on the part of Syco. The statue done by the original sculptor (and poorly copied by the subsequent sculptor) was perfect.

  4. Syco seems like a really shady company in general. There’s been some controversy because apparently their Mortal Kombat rights only extend to certain regions, but they’ve been selling the statues worldwide anyway.

  5. I’m the sculptor of the original. Hope you don’t mind that posted this in a recent discussion on fb. You told the story beautifully.

  6. Chris, We’d like to commission a few for Lou’s bodybuilding show the Ferrigno Legacy. I may be reached at chris@FerrignoLegacy.com

  7. Hello. My name is Anthony Martinez and I am the owner/operator of Collectiblefiguresstore.com and I was wondering if anyone has information about the artist, Chris, who created the initial Lou Ferrigno Hulk statue (unpainted version). If anyone has his information it would be most appreciated. Thanks all!

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