I promised some better pictures – and here they are. The Marvel Universe has become one of the more successful figure lines in Marvel history (and I base that statement on nothing, even fact) and it is a shame that the “re-branding” had to happen. To me it means almost certain backward steps for this 3 3/4″ Marvel figure line. Here’s why: with every series you have to have the heavy hitters like Cap, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk – we all know this and are aware of the earlier series doing just that – and we wait. We wait until the line continues and we start to see the more unique and random figures – case in point – “Bag Head Spider-Man” – this was a figure that I loved. I was ecstatic to find it on the pegs! But, the point is, we always have to wait for a line to mature until we get some of the great figures!
I will say that the MU line wasn’t as Hulk friendly as it could have been. The Marvel Legends line at least gave us a few Hulks every few series, including Maestro! The MU line, until more recently, served up very little Hulk to anyone. We had the original releases from Wave 2 in 2009 that were the stand alone Hulks in the whole line until Wave 12 in 2010 (and please don’t give me that “you missed the Red Hulk of Wave 4 in 2009” because that is not the same character – they are two separate characters – just because Marvel wasn’t imaginative enough to give him a new name does not mean he gets lumped in with the actual Hulk) when we were given a World War Hulk. That sculpt was not used sparingly as it spawned another green, (the red) and then finally another grey. As far as the Hulk family goes we had to wait for a while but they finally started surfacing and we were given such gems as Skaar, First Appearance Wolverine, Doc Samson, She Hulk, even Constrictor got some love, and now – after all this time – an amazing Abomination figure. Even the variant A-Bomb is pretty impressive!
We also had the treat of having some of the better Marvel villains – some I consider Hulk adopted villains – like Juggy, Absorbing Man (with an awesome metal variant), and the classic Rhino. MU was really soaring high, in my opinion, which is why I am also so dismayed at the sudden re-branding. The Avengers Assemble line is taking over – and while it already gave us a bad-ass new Hulk figure – it has some of the planned future MU figures tagged onto its early series. The Leader, for example, was a planned release for the MU and is now coming out as a Avengers Assemble figure. While this is still great news I wonder what kind of plans are changing here. The Leader comes with a Gamma Cannon – and if you take a look at the pictures it looks like an accessory geared toward children. Please, let the sarcastic “these are toys made for children!” backlash begin – but while I know this is an action figure line and that they are toys – not very many MU came with “childish” accessories. It seems to bring the line down a notch, in my eyes anyways.
One of the biggest things I will miss is the is the fantastic card art – not to mention, when displaying the figures all together, they look better when they seem uniform. Unfortunately, those days are coming to a close. So, let me throw some grades out there – and see who agrees with me:
This is one of the best that MU has offered. Big and bulky and truthfully, a great representation of the Hulk’s most historic villain. This is a must have for Hulk fans and MU lovers. It seems to be harder to find than the A-Bomb at the moment – so if you do snag one consider yourself lucky! Grade: A
Another home-run from Hasbro. This bulky figure might just be better than Abomination – but he gets a slightly lower grade because of the horrible character he plays in the new cartoon. Is that fair? Probably not – but life is not fair, so deal with it. Grade: A-
MU Grey Hulk:
The disappointment in this figure is that it is just a simple repaint – with the same card art and everything – that the classic Hulk had. Nothing more to offer – it’s still a great sculpt though – and the paint application is spot on. Grade: B-
This figure certainly is amazing as I have been waiting for a long time for a new Leader figure. Here’s to hoping a classic “tall head” variant is going to be released. The more savvy will recognize the body as the one used for the Skrull Soldier from the Avengers Movie line. That doesn’t take away from the figure itself though. Grade: B+