It has been a very slow year for the Marvel Legends line. Series three hit stores at the very begining of the year, but
that was over seven months ago. We had the Iron Man movie figures to fill a bit of that void. But for comic based figures,
it has been a very slow year. That has finally started to change with the release of the latest wave of Hasbro's Marvel
Legends style figures based on characters from the Hulk comics. As you can probably guess, the series has multiple variations
of the Hulk himself, four in total, as well as four other characters and a long awaited character as a build a figure. The four
versions of the Hulk include a Savage Grey Hulk, The End Hulk, King Hulk and Son of Hulk. The other four characters are a new version
of the She-Hulk, Wendigo, Doc Samson and Absorbing Man. And if you buy the entire series, you can build a large Fin Fang Foom figure.
I have mixed feelings about the character selection for the series. Hasbro has already produced versions of both She-Hulk and the Hulk in his Planet Hulk gear. And there have already been figures of Wendigo, grey Hulk and Absorbing Man in the past Toy Biz lines even if they were hard to find or variant repaints of other figures. It still feels like we are only getting three new characters plus the Fin Fang Foom build a figure.
Packaging - 8/10, San Diego Comic Con Set 9/10The packaging for the Hulk Legends figures is of the same design as previous Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro. Each figure is well displayed in the bubble along with the Fin Fang Foom piece with which they come. There is a large insert showing off what FFF looks like when completed and exactly which piece comes with that figure. The little bit of the card that is left exposed at the top features an image of the character taken from Marvel Comics artwork. The back of the cards show the figure along side a brief description of the character and some of their stats. But the majority of the space is reserved for showing all of the figures in the series and the completed Fin Fang Foom figure. It should also be noted that not all of the figures shipped together. So the final three figures: Doc Samson, Absorbing Man and Savage Grey Hulk are all shown only in silloutte on the back of the cards of the other five figures. In the end, Hasbro's packaging design is attractive, shows off the figures well and seems to hold up to wear and tear well which would be important if all of my figures weren't liberated shortly after purchase.
While the packaging for the individual figures is nice, they went a step beyond for the San Diego Comic Convention 8 pack. You are still getting the regular retail figures in their normal packaging. But rather than just shipping them in a plain shipping case, Hasbro packed each set in a large box with a drawing of Fin Fang Foom wrapping around it and with a handle attached to it. It is a simple design, but it does serve to set the San Diego sets apart slightly from the regular release as well as tieing the set in to the comic con exclusives from last year. It's only drawback is if you decide to keep the set mint in a sealed box, there is no way to see the actual figures. But that is easily solved by opening your toys up.
Sculpting - She-Hulk 5/10, Absorbing Man 7/10, Savage Grey 8/10, The End Hulk & Wendigo 9/10, others 6/10The sculpting for the Marvel Legends line has been rather erradic since Hasbro took over the sculpting duties. The Hulk Legends figures aren't any more consistent in either quality or style. The End Hulk and Wendigo are both extremely well scultped with a great deal of detail. I find the toenails on The End Hulk equally impressive and disturbing. They did come up short where the articulation is exposed such as on the shoulders or hips which are ribbed for some reason. The Savage Grey Hulk also looks good overall. But when you get down to the details such as the edges of his pants, he can't measure up to The End Hulk. The Absorbing Man has the level of detail down. I am particularly pleased with the way they transition from the "normal" areas of the figure to the "transformed" left arm and leg. But the likeness doesn't match the artwork of Crusher Creel that I've seen. The figure may be bigger than an average ML figure, but it is still not as bulky as Absorbing Man probably should be. And the head sculpt looks more like Lex Luthor than Crusher Creel. Doc Samson is alright. It would be hard for a figure that has such a simple costume design to be really impressive. But they could have still paid more attention to the details that are there such as the collar of his shirt and his belt. But the biggest problem with the figure are the rather large gaps between the arms and hands. King Hulk could be a good figure. It doesn't have a lot of extreme detail like The End Hulk, but the costume details of the boots and loin cloth look good. And the texturing that was applied to the face, torso, right arm and upper legs adds visual interest where there wouldn't be any otherwise. Only the left arm keeps this from being a great sculpt. It looks more like a metal, mechanical arm than the Hulk's arm with some armor on it. The Son of Hulk figure is a decent looking figure on its own. But the sculpting style doesn't fit well with the other figures. The details are much more subdued. There is little texturing on the figure. That would be fine for another line. But looks out of place here. On the plus side, the head sculpt looks like a perfect candidate for a Metalocalypse Nathan Explosion custom figure. Finally we come to the new version of She-Hulk. Based on her early appearances where she usually wore little more than the torn remains of a white dress or blouse, the figure itself is the same sculpt as they used for the Shanna in the Savage Land box set. They then added a cloth dress to complete the look. The dress works surprisingly well. But of course it doesn't have anywhere near the kind of detail that a plastic sculpt would have had. The biggest issue with She-Hulk is her size. This version is about half an inch shorter than the previous She-Hulks. Technically, that makes it the correct size based on She-Hulk being 6'7" tall as she is listed on Marvel's site. But in reality, it makes her the same size as all the other females and therefore seem too short.
Paint - She-Hulk 3/10, King Hulk & Absorbing Man 7/10, The End Hulk & Wendigo 8/10, others 6/10There are some very well painted figures in this series. Both Wendigo and The End Hulk use their paint applications to bring out the details of their sculpts and look terrific. Absorbing Man has some impressive paint work. The bricks that make up his left leg look great. But the transition areas between his transformed portions and his unaltered form can get a bit inconsistent in places. King Hulk has a paint wash across most of his body and face. But things go awry when you get to his left arm again. The lack of paint wash on it means that it doesn't match the rest of the figure well. Even worse, they painted the fingers for the left hand and the color doesn't match the rest of the figure. Son of Hulk, Doc Samson and Savage Grey Hulk all have decent paint applications but they don't have much detail work. Finally there is She-Hulk. Her figure doesn't have much paint work. And about half of it is hidden under her dress. What is left are painted toe nails and the paint work on her face and those didn't turn out very well. They seem to have been trying to go for an angry sneer, but it doesn't really work well. She looks more deranged.
Articulation - She Hulk 6/10, Doc Samson & Absorbing Man 5/10, others 4/10Hasbro seems to be slowly reducing the amount of articulation on the Marvel Legends figures. Absorbing Man, She-Hulk and Son of Hulk all share the same twenty seven points of articulation:
Accessories - Absorbing Man 5/10, Son of Hulk 6/10, King Hulk 7/10, others 0/10Of the eight figures, only three come with any accessories. Wendigo, Doc Samson, The End Hulk, She-Hulk and Savage Grey Hulk are all empty handed unless you want to count She-Hulk's dress which is removable but not easily. Absorbing Man comes with his ball and chain which is molded as a single piece of plastic with no paint work. It wouldn't be the Absorbing Man without the ball and chain. But this is a rather half hearted attempt compared to what they have included with previous Absorbing Man figures. Son of Hulk comes with a sword and a dagger. The sword looks nice. The dagger is basically a waste. It can't be removed from its sheath to be used as a weapon. And the peg that connects the sheath to Son of Hulk's loin cloth isn't very big causing the dagger to fall off easily. King Hulk comes with a battle axe and a sword. They aren't particularly impressive either.
Build-A-Figure - Fin Fang FoomThe build a figure for this wave is one that a lot of fans have been waiting for since the build a figure concept was introduced into the Marvel Legends line: Fin Fang Foom. Standing over sixteen inches tall when fully upright, Fin Fang Foom represents a return to large scale build a figures. I don't know much about Fin Fang Foom beyond his appearances in the old Iron Man cartoon. But from the images I have seen, it seems to be more or less on model. The paint work on him is decent. But there are a few of the light green areas that are a bit spotty. Fin Fang Foom's thirty three points of articulation sounds more impressive than it is. The range of motion is very limited. But at least the design keeps the figure fairly stable. I was very surprised to se that they did not find a way to incorporate a bendable neck and tail. Still, it is nice to have the giant dragon to add to our collections.
Value - Wendigo & The End Hulk 6/10, King Hulk & Son of Hulk 4/10, She-Hulk 3/10,
There is one big change to the Marvel Legends line with the Hulk Legends series, the price. Because of the combination
of the larger figures and the inclusion of a large scale build a figure once more, the price was increased to $15 each
for the Hulk Legends series. While the increase makes some sense, a 50% increase still seems excessive. An increase of
$2 or $3 would have been much more reasonable. As it stands, a lot of the potential value depends on whether you have
any of the previous versions of Wendigo, Absorbing Man, She-Hulk or Planet Hulk.