I said in my last Marvel Legends related review that it had been a slow year for the line. While it may have started slow, it certainly isn't going to
end that way. In addition to the Hulk Legends that are still shipping, Hasbro now has two series of store exclusives as well as new two packs and
potentially another series for mass market release by the end of the year. This fall has suddenly gotten a lot more expensive. While I'm still waiting
for the Walmart exclusive series to show up in this area, the Target exclusive, Red Hulk series has finally begun to show up in greater numbers
here so they get to jump to the head of the review line. Dubbed the Red Hulk Series after its RedHulk Build A Figure, the figures in this series were
not selected around a certain theme. Instead we received an ecclectic mix of characters including Spiral, Union Jack, Adam Warlock, the Silver
Surfer in is Planet Hulk, Silver Savage outfit and the ubiqutous Spider-man and Wolverine. There is also a variant of Wolverine available which is the
one which I purchased. The regular figure features Woulverine in his yellow and blue costume. The variant is black with yellow stripes to match
his new X-Force look.
Packaging - 7/10The Red Hulk Series figures have the same packaging design as we have seen since Hasbro's second series of Marvel Legends figure. I like the design. The variety of images taken from Marvel Comics for each character tie the figures back to their comic book roots nicely. The back of the cards provide some information about the characters, though in the cases of Adam Warlock and Union Jack it wasn't all that informative. As usual though, the bulk of the space on the back is used to show off the completed Build A Figure and all of the figures in the series. There was one change made, and that was to cut back on the quality of the card stock used. Unfortunately that means that these figures are far more proned to damged packaging and warped cards than any of the other Marvel Legends figures Hasbro has produced to date.
Sculpting - Spiral 10/10, Silver Savage 8/10, Union Jack 6/10, Adam Warlock 4/10, others 5/10The highlight of this series has to be Spiral. The figure deserves a perfect score just for accomplishing the incredible feat of fitting six arms onto a figure and still have it turn out well. The fact that they did this on a female figure which has a much smaller form. They did cheat a bit by expanding the shoulders back behind the figure. But that is covered by the hair so that it isn't very noticable. Even when you get past the arms, the rest of the figure is a brand new sculpt and looks very good. The only qualm that I have with the figure is that when you remove her helmet, she has quite a case of helmet hair. Of course, since she does wear a helmet, that is only fitting. I'm also quite happy with the Silver Savage figure. They reused the Silver Surf mold from the Fantastic Four wave that came out last year and added new forearms and calves and a loin cloth. The new additions work well. But the best improvement is the addition of the chest armor which both covers most of the excessive detail on the chest and adds bulk near the shoulders so that the neck seems better proportioned to the rest of the body. Both Union Jack and BC Spider-man use Hasbro's default male body which was originally used for Quicksilver and Yellowjacket. With new lower legs and forearms added, it makes a pretty good Union Jack. (Of course, I know nothing of the character so I'm not the best judge.) But for Spider-man the body is just too bulky. Wolverine at least does not reuse that same body. He is a bit shorter and stockier which the character should be. But he could still stand to be a bit shorter. Adam Warlock is a new sculpt. And much of it turned out well. The details on the small skull that forms the clasp on his cape should be more clearly defined. But otherwise the basic sculpt looks good. Unfortunately the sculpt does not incorporate the articulation for the elbows and knees well. Actually it doesn't really incorporate those joints at all. It looks like they just sliced the original sculpt at those points and then stuck the joints in. I'm usually not that critical of articulation breaking up a sculpt, but Hasbro's eforts here are truely sad.
Paint - Spiral & Silver Savage 9/10, Adam Warlock 4/10, others 6/10The paint work on most of these figures is quite well done. Both Spiral and the Silver Surfer are nearly perfect. Union Jack looks great as well. But there are a few areas where the white border on his costume thins out revealing the blue plastic underneath. The X-Force Wolverine variant has a bit of sloppiness for the yellow trim on the boots, but it is within the normal tolerances for a mass market figure. Black Costume Spider-man is one figure which comes down to a matter of taste. The white for the eyes, spider symbol and web shooters all turned out well. But the figure has a blue wash applied over it. It is an interesting idea with a basis in the comics where blue was often used to add highlights and "shadows" on black costumes since they couldn't use black. But on a three dimensional toy, it isn't really necessary. And the wash doesn't transition properly from one area of the figure to another in most areas. In the end, I prefer the simple, clean look of just having a black costume which worked well on the various black costume Spider-man figures that have been produced in recent years. The one disappointment in this series is Adam Warlock. With such a simple design, every error and stray mark stands out. And there are a few problem areas. The worst are a couple of paint splotches on the face of my figure. But even beyond those, the borders of the red areas on the cape and at the hips should be much sharper.
Articulation - Spiral 9/10, Wolverine 8/10, Adam Warlock 6/10 others 7/10The body that was used for BC Spider-man and Union Jack has thirty eight points of articulation which includes:
Accessories - Adam Warlock 4/10, Union Jack 6/10, Spiral 8/10 Silver Savage 10/10, others 0/10There are a lot more accessories included with this series of figures than I am used to seeing with Hasbro's Marvel Legends figures. Wolverine and Spider-man don't come with any accessories. That's fine for Spider-man who doesn't need any. But Wolverine's wrists seem to be designed to accomadate interchanageable hands, but they were not included. Adam Warlock has a staff included with his figure. Union Jack has a dagger and a pistol, both of which can be stored in his belt. Spiral comes with a removable helmet, a broad sword, a curved sword and a sheathed version of the curved sword. I wish they had been able to pull off a working sheath, but this is an acceptable compromise. The Silver Savage comes with removable chest armor with a loop to hold his sword, a long broad sword, a mace and his surf board turned shield.
Build-A-Figure - Red HulkThe Build a figure for this series is the Red Hulk despite him being a fairly new character to the Marvel Universe. The figure itself is quite large compared with the regular sized figures, standing almost eight inches tall. The sculpt is relatively simple compared to some other recent Hulk figures, particularly the torso. It actually borders on being a problem with the torso not matching the rest of the figure. The same is true of the paint work. The legs and arms have a paint wash to add shading. The wash was also applied to the body, but is so light on the front that it is hardly noticable. His articulation clocks in at twenty seven points of articulation. But as is the case with many larger figures, the bulk of the sculpt means that the range of motion is limited. Ultimately the biggest qualm I have with this figure is the character selection. With the Red Hulk being such a recent addition to the Marvel Universe, there are many other characters that I would rather have seen take his spot.
Value - Silver Savage & Spiral 6/10, Wolverine & BC Spidey 3/10,
The value of these figures is going to depend greatly upon when you bought them. When they were first released, this series of figures
was sold at the same price as the Hulk Legends figures, a whopping $15 each. They did eventually correct the price. But even
at $10, there is little reason to want yet another Black Costume Spider-man. This was even more true when the figures were
first released since there was already another BC Spidey on the pegs at that time as a part of the Spider-man line. At least the
Wolverine variant has the advantage of being a close representation of his new X-Force costume. Both Adam Warlock and Union Jack
are not steller figures, but they do have some added value thanks to their obscurity as characters. Both Spiral and Silver Savage are
just great figures, some of the best that Hasbro has produced in the line.