By Hervé St-Louis
October 20, 2007 - 14:01
Maestro Hulk is an alternate future version of the character introduced in Hulk: Future Imperfect #1 in 1993. Set about 100 years from the present, he is the older Professor Hulk persona that inhabits the Hulk and scientist Bruce Banner. Having survived a nuclear war that has destroyed much of the world, he has become the ruler of much of what is left. The present day Hulk was sent in the future to defeat him, but he is much stronger and experienced than his younger self.
This is a bare chest version of the Maestro Hulk. The highbrows and the face are directly inspired from the comic book and capture the character’s expression very well. The beard and the bald head are also similar to the comic book appearances.
Maestro Hulk’s body is huge but looks like that of an old bodybuilder. He feels more chunky than muscular. His legs, for example, are like little balls at the thighs and the calves. I don’t like the chunky aspect of Maestro Hulk’s limbs. One wonders how the character even moves. The actual action figure, although quite articulated, feels limited in motion. It’s also full of warts, but they add another dimension to the older Hulk. Stripes also covers his skin, a bit like an old leather hide.
The paint on his skin is well done. It has a general green base with various green washes on top. Now, the paint on the right-end back shoulder, which is a separate piece of plastic, from the front torso don’t match up. This means, that they were painted separately. The other side does match up. The paint on the pants feels cheap and dirty. Black washes cover shadowy areas, giving a comic book inking look, which doesn’t work for a three-dimensional action figure.
Although listed as eight feet, the Maestro Hulk action figure, is about eight inches tall, which is proportional with the Marvel Legends’ feet to inches proportions. He is shorter than the Planet Hulk and First Appearance Hulk action figures, but as an aged Hulk, he still has the presence of an imposing character, thanks to his large stature.
Maestro Hulk is sturdy on his legs. His soles are not flat but they don’t hindrance his balance. His weight is well distributed all over his body. His chest is hollow, making his upper body weight lighter. Because Maestro Hulk’s articulations are tight and his body and limbs short, it might be problematic to pose him in anything but a standing position and have him stay put.
There are about 33 articulations on Maestro Hulk, at the shoulder blades, the shoulders, the biceps, the elbows, the wrists, the palms, the fingers, the thighs, the hips, the knees, the ankles, the toes, the abdomen, the waist, the neck and the head. The shoulder blade articulations, which in theory should allow for greater motion of the arms, seem fragile and don’t extend the arms very far. The neck which is separate from the body and head, looks as if it could move, but is hard to get a grab on because the Hulk has a hunched back. Other problems lie with the hips’ areas, where the sash makes it hard to move the legs. In general, the articulations are tight, but don’t offer much play value.
The material in Maestro Hulk’s chest is hollow PVC that has a brittle feel. However, his limbs, sash and head are made of rubber-like PVC. There is no colour variation between the two variant plastics. With all the discussions about lead in toys lately, it’s hard for this reviewer to verify anything about this. But play it safe with your kids, and don’t let younger ones put parts of this action figure in their mouth. The suggested age for Marvel Legends action figures is five and up, anyway.
Maestro Hulk comes with the left arm of the large Apocalypse action figure. He also comes with a removable helmet with horns that doesn’t always stay into place. It’s one instance where a peg hole in the character’s head - like the DC Direct Golden Age Flash, comes in handy. There are reports that some of the early Maestro Hulks released, were missing a tube that would attach to Apocalypse’s arm. Contact Toybiz / Marvel Toys at 1-800-728-2018 or 1-800-634-7539 if this is the case with your action figure. They may be able to help. There is also a copy of a Hulk comic book with the appearance of Maestro Hulk.
Like all Marvel Legends action figures, Maestro Hulk comes within a bubble pack with a backing board. The action figure and the arm of Apocalypse are surrounded with moulded plastic that encase them to avoid parts from moving within the package. There now exist specific cutting knives that are great to open packages such as these. Yet, parents should open them and not let kids play with them. The shards can cut.
Prices for the Maestro Hulk vary if it is sold in package or loose and without the Apocalypse arm. If only the Maestro Hulk interests you, you’ll find him easily for a few dollars at auction sites. If you are looking for the figure in package, it may cost more than $10.
All Marvel Legends action figures have been discontinued as of December 31, 2006. Stock can only be found from merchants who had ordered before. There is no clear information, on whether Hasbro, the news licensor, will re-release this action figure. However, collectors should be able to find this action figure easily on auction sites and action figure retailers. For many, the only reason to purchase this action figure is to obtain the left arm of Apocalypse, as the toy is not essential to a collection nor great.
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