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Marvel Universe Galactus

Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro


Way back at SDCC 2009, Hasbro released the huge 19" Marvel Universe Galactus as a show exclusive. The people were thrilled.

In the fall of 2010, about 6 months ago, Hasbro released a mass market version of the figure, boxed this time instead of on a giant cardback, but otherwise pretty much the same figure. There was much rejoicing. In fact, he earned a nomination on the ballot for Best Male Figure 12" - 18" for last year.

So why am I reviewing him tonight? Is this some sort of weird time travel anomaly? Nope, but there are two specific reasons. First, the collectibles selection is drier than Tucson in August right now. I do have a bunch of items hitting the porch this week, so the drought will finally be over for awhile, but today things are still a bit scarce.
Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro

And two, this figure is popping up at Toys R Us stores again, in case you missed it the first time around. Considering how cool he is, he's worth another mention.

There's the regular version you'll see in my review, and a darker paint scheme variant that you can pick up. I have links in the Where to Buy section where either can be had for around $55.

Packaging - ***1/2

The large box has a flap front with terrific comic art. The artwork is slightly different than what was on the box for SDCC, and of course there's no SDCC exclusive logo. Also, while the first version came carded on a huge blister pack inside, this guy is just inside a plastic/cardboard tray.

Another plus as far as I'm concerned is the use of cloth ties, rather than traditional twisties. These are less likely to damage the figure and are easier to remove - just cut them with a knife.

Sculpting - ***1/2
This guy is based on the look from the Ultimate Alliance game, a game that my youngest son loves. There's not a ton of detail, but that's fitting with the overall comic book style. There's also more detail here than on the older BAF, especially on the head, boots and belt.

There is some great work on the head, especially around the vents. The edges are all very sharply defined, which gives them a much more realistic, metallic look.

This guy is big too, standing over 19" tall. He towers over the 4" figures, and is just about the right size to be in scale, something that's pretty unusual for characters like these. I included a shot with the small 4" Stormtrooper and a 12" Marvel Legends figure, and of course the last shot shows him with the included Silver Surfer. There's also a photo with the 18" Beetlejuice and Robocop for comparison.

He stands great on his own, and the sculpt and articulation work pretty well together. The sound and light features are pretty well hidden, and yet you can swap the batteries without too much effort.

The shoulder/chest armor and skirt are made from a softer, more pliable rubbery material. The overall effect works great, and he's a truly impressive figure on the shelf.

Paint - ***1/2
As I mentioned earlier, there's a darker colored version out there, but I went with the bright comic book style of red's and blues.

There's not a ton of paint detail, with most of the work pretty broad. Things are still pretty well done though, with just a little slop around the face at the edge of the mask. Overall, the work is certainly above average for a mass market toy, although if the SDCC version had this same bad edge on the face, I would have docked it further - I expect a bit more when it's an exclusive like that.

Articulation - ***
He has plenty of articulation, especially for such a large scale figure. There's the usual ball jointed neck, complete with plenty of personality inducing tilt action. There's ball joints (pin/post style) at the shoulders, wrists and hips as well, and double pin elbows and knees. The waist is a cut joint, with a swivel at the bicep and cuts also at the thighs and boots. The pin ankles are the 'ratchet' style, so that they hold a position tightly. They don't have a tremendous range of movement - in fact, the legs in general are somewhat restricted - but they work well enough to get plenty of menacing poses. 

Accessories - ***
With a figure this large, it's unusual to get any accessories, but the Big Man gets the perfect extra - his herald of note, Silver Surfer. This is the Marvel Universe figure, with all the usual MU articulation. He comes with his board of course, and there are small foot pegs on the board to hold him in place. In the final photo you'll see the clear plastic material that they use to keep him in place in the package, and I found that it worked quite well.

There's also his Marvel Universe top secret file, just like the paper work that comes with the smaller figures. However, his is much larger, matching his much larger scale. Thinking about it, this seemed odd to me - since the files would be the 'property' of the smaller 4" scale figures, shouldn't it still be small? Then I realized I was thinking about it too much and had another beer.

Sound Feature - ****
Pressing the center of his chest emblem activates a number of cool lines and sounds. These are spoken in a booming, threatening voice, complete with condescending attitude:

"Who dares defy Galactus?"
"I am the devourer of worlds!"
"Behold - the world eating machine!"
"Who is so ignorant as to confront Galactus?"
"Know me, mortal...know me and know fear!"
"I hunger"
"You serve me now"
"To me, my herald!"
"So speaks Galactus!"
"You will witness the end, for I am power incarnate!" (complete with crackling energy)
"Tremble at the might of the power cosmic!" (with some more lightening or energy sounds)

That's 11 sounds in all that I heard, and who knows - there might be more that he pulls out for special occasions. They are all loud and clear, and quite intimidating, particularly for those that are under 4" tall.

Light Feature - ***1/2
Pressing the same button on his chest lights up his eyes and head with a cosmic energy glow. It's a cool effect, and he comes with three AAA batteries, always a plus. However, all the ones on the shelf at my local store were very dim, and you can see that in the lighted photo that the eyes are pretty bright, but the head lacks punch. I suspect swapping out the batteries will help, and the "Try Me" capability is probably the cause, but it does hurt your first impression of the feature a bit.

Fun Factor - ****
There isn't a kid alive that wouldn't have fun with this huge action figure. He's tremendously sturdy too, with little chance that he'll break under normal play conditions. Add in the Silver Surfer, the cool sounds and lights, and the fact that he works great scale-wise with just about any 4" series, and you have a terrific toy.

Value - ***1/2
Paying $55 all at once for this guy is going to see like a lot, until you think about what you're getting. He's huge, as big as the large quarter scale Mezco and NECA figures we used to get. Those, as well as the large Diamond Select figures that had sounds, cost quite a bit more than $55. Considering that they also came out several years ago, the price on this guy starts looking better and better.

Add in the multiple lines and the light feature, and you're getting an even better deal. Way back in 2005 when you had to build the Marvel Legends Galactus, you had to buy 7 figures to get all his parts and pieces, and each of those figures cost between $7 and $9, depending on the retailer. So the 13" version, smaller and without the Silver Surfer, no lights, no sound, cost between $49 and $63 to obtain. Sure you also got 7 cool Marvel Legends figures, but did you really want all 7? Either way, I think you see my point that this massive bad boy is a far better deal than it might first appear.

Things to Watch Out For -
Zippo. You'll probably need to swap out the batteries fairly soon after you get him, but there's no other potential issues that I see.

Overall - ***1/2
I skipped this guy at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, and never saw him at any of the local stores last fall. I'm glad he is popping up again, because he really is an outstanding action figure, and the inclusion of the sound and light feature really ups his value. I loved the old Marvel Legends Build A Figure of Galactus, but this guy is going to be replacing him in the display. I might even have to pick up a few of the Marvel Universe Fantastic Four figures to give him some heroes to battle.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Sound Feature - ****
Light Up Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
I found this guy at Toys R Us, but you can snag him online as well:

- Urban Collector has him for $53.

- Big Bad Toy Store has both the regular and dark variants for just $55.

- Amazon has him at $55.

Entertainment Earth does as well. 

- Things From Another World has both versions at $81.

-Of course, you can search ebay for a deal as well.

Related Links -
Related reviews include:

- back in 2005, we got a smaller Build A Figure version of Galactus as part of the Marvel Legends series.

Discussion:
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Galactus Marvel Universe action figure by Hasbro


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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