By Herve St-Louis
September 24, 2007 - 18:07
Planet Hulk is the current version of the old Hulk character from Marvel Comics created in 1962 in his own title, The Incredible Hulk vol. 1, #1. Planet Hulk was banished to planet Sakaar by Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Black Bolt and Mister Fantastic, also known as the Illuminati. The Hulk enters the gladiatorial life of the planet’s inhabitants and eventually becomes their king after removing the past emperor. The Planet Hulk action figure is a direct tie-in to current storylines in comic books published by Marvel Comics and part of the first wave of Hasbro’s new Legends series of action figures, continuing the effort of previous license owner, Toy Biz.
The planet Hulk action figure is not an exact replica of the character found in the comic books. He sports running track pants and wears no sandals, metallic arm bands or leather belts. However, he does sport a large rectangular shield, and armour plates on his left shoulder. I find the Hulk’s and body sculpt rather generic and not based on the work on any particular artist.
This sculpt could be used as the basis of any Hulk action figure and there lies the problem with it. There have been so many interesting Hulk action figures in the last few years, each with something unique, that this one looks dull. Sure Hulk is a large menace with a grim and aged face, but there is particular charm to this figure. It’s only saving grace are the props which enhance the action figure’s look. As a really original depiction of the Hulk, the designers missed a great opportunity to add diversity.
The colour scheme on the Hulk looks fine. His entire body is toned, although with too dark colours that don’t give a gradual sense of change. His pants are the same colour as his armour, which is odd. There are paint blemishes too so it’s not perfect. The paint line does not match the sculpt line on the pants and that is amateurish for Hasbro.
Planet Hulk is about seven-inches tall and about the same height as previous Hulk action figures such as the First Appearance Hulk and the Maestro Hulk action figures. When put next to them, one sees the difference in built and sculpt. Planet Hulk’s head is much smaller than the other Hulks although the build is about the same. Of course, this action figure will fit well with both Marvel Legends and Hasbro Legends action figures.
Due to his flat feet, Planet Hulk is stable and will definitely not fall even if part of his body leans in one direction. The legs are well anchored in the ground. He does have peg holes in his feet, but they are useful only for dioramas.
Planet Hulk has 33 articulations. Having movable biceps add to the posing, but reduce the appeal of the sculpt. Although he has ball joint shoulders, he can still rotate his arms up and down. The articulations are still but usable. Other articulations are found at the elbows, the wrists, the palms, the knuckles, the waist, the thighs, the knees, the toes and the neck. The articulations in the palms allow the index fingers to move independently than the other digits. The hips have ball joints and the ankles move both forward and sideways through a combination of independent articulations.
Hasbro’s choice of plastic is durable and ideal for kids. The props are in lighter material that will easily break, but this is a strong action figure. As such it is much more a generic Hulk action figure and kids may get rid of all the props to use it as a standard Hulk.
The rectangular shield, the helmet and the shoulder protector are all the same dull brown colour with no toning. They remain easily to the action figure, although the helmet may fall if Hulk’s head is pushed backward. The shield offers a good grip to Hulk’s hand and one of the straps stays close to his arms very well. Planet Hulk comes with the head of the Annihilus action figure.
Hasbro’s packaging is more attractive rectangular package that is easier to open than previous Marvel Legends’ products. It features beautiful artwork related to Planet Hulk in a cardboard base with a plastic bubble glued on top.
Planet Hulk is more expansive than previous Marvel Legends action figures. In fact, some stores sell him for as much as a DC Direct action figure. Even large retail stores sell this action figure for much more than previous Marvel Legends toys. This is not a good way of continuing this line of popular action figures.
There exists a variant of the Planet Hulk action figure with a silver coloured arm, similar to the comic book. But as it’s not real metallic sculpt but just paint, it’s not as interesting and I would not suggest spending large amounts to get this earlier and rarer variant. Since Hasbro makes these toys, do not go crazy hunting for them. No matter what tricks Hasbro or retailers use to sell these, there are available in sufficient amounts and will be so for the next two or three years. It would not surprise me to see some Planet Hulk action figures in the cheap bin of some larger retailers in a few months.
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