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Marvel Universe Hulk, Thing and Captain America

Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro

From last week's quarter scale Marvel Mystique that cost hundreds, we go in the exact opposite direction tonight...but stick with Marvel! We shrink down to about 4", and get below a ten spot with three more of the Marvel Universe figures.

I covered several of these when they first hit, and while I liked them, it wasn't a series I ended up getting hooked on. However, when I saw these three on the pegs, I couldn't resist. Tonight I'm looking at the Thing, Captain America, and the Hulk. This is the more common green version, but there is also a gray version out there.

You can find these at most mass market stores, like Target or Toys R Us, and they run around eight bucks a pop.

Packaging - ***1/2
I like the look of these cards, especially the specific personalization. The small size works well for MOCers and doesn't have much waste, and they show off the figures well. They aren't super fancy, but for mass market packaging, they're well above average.
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro
Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro

Sculpting - Captain America, Thing ***1/2; Hulk ***
When I saw these on the pegs, I was pretty impressed. In fact, that's why I picked them up. Out of the package, some of the blush wore off, much like that third date where you find out they look better in clothes than out.

Still, these three are some of the better in the series. I really do like the Thing sculpt, although the work on the face is a little softer than the deeply cut rocky body. The stoic expression works, and the extra size seems about right scale-wise. The long neck looks a little weird from the side, although from the front it's not nearly as noticeable. He clocks in at about 4 1/2 inches tall.

The Cap is a little skinny, but the height is decent and the musculature is well done. The costume texture looks great, and there's lots of small detail work on the belt and boots. He stands about 4 1/4 inches tall.

The Hulk ended up disappointing me the most, although he's not awful. In the package, I thought he looked pretty good, but once I had him out and could check him out better, there were some obvious issues.

From the neck down, I'm still pretty pleased. The body is thick and extremely defined, just as you'd expect. The hand sculpts work for lots of poses, and there's nice detail work on the skin and clothing. He's a little short, standing only 4 5/8 inches tall, and looking a lot like the Thing in statue, but I can live with that.

The head sculpt is a bit weird, though. He reminds me more of the zombie Hulk than regular Hulk, especially around the eyes. The hair ain't doing much for me either, as I'm not a huge fan of the Moe. This is a aesthetic thing though, so your mileage may vary.

All the figures stand great on their own, in plenty of poses. I'll talk a bit more about the articulation in a minute, but the sculpt and articulation works pretty well together.

Paint - Cap, Thing ***; Hulk **1/2
The paint work on Cap is particularly well done, at least in terms of general quality. The cut lines around the star, the face, and even the red stripes are good considering the small scale, and you will only notice issues under magnification.

He does have a very heavy wash over the legs and the textured shoulders/chest. It's a bit too much for me, making him look dirty and actually hiding some of the better sculpt detailing.

The Thing is also fairly clean, once again taking into consideration the small scale. He has a wash over the stone skin, which works a bit better, although some of the stones are distinctly different than the others.

I was most disappointed in the Hulk. The wash is heavier on his face, making it look very different than the rest of the figure. The black hair is also rubbed off (on purpose) at the high points, and the effect doesn't work for me. Finally, there's a slight (but only slight in person) difference in the green color between the chest and arms. It's more noticeable in photos, but it's there in person as well.

The heavy wash on the face is the biggest issue for me, since it accentuates that weird dead zombie look.

Articulation - Cap, Hulk ***; Thing **1/2
Of the three, Cap is the most articulated. He has a ball jointed neck that works pretty well, as well as traditional pin/post ball jointed shoulders with a cut joint on the bicep side of the ball, single pin elbows, double pin knees, single pin ankles, cut wrists, waist and calves, an ab-crunch joint, and ball and socket ball jointed hips.

That's quite a bit, but as is often the case, it doesn't mean he can handle all that many poses well. The ball joints at the hips don't turn, and with no cut thigh the knees can't move very far off center with the torso. I really hate that, and much prefer the pin/post style of hip that allows greater movement.

Still, in this scale, that's a lot of joints. The Hulk lacks the ball jointed neck - his is just a cut joint. He has the pin and post ball jointed shoulders, but there's no cut on the bicep side. The single pin elbows have less range of movement than Caps, and the knees are pin and post style, also with less range of movement. However, because they are pin/post, they can turn, giving the legs a bit more natural stance.

There.s the ab crunch, cut wrists, single pin ankles, and ball/socket hips. That means no cut waist, and because the hips are set deeply in the pelvis, they can only turn side to side, with no real forward and backward movement.

While the Hulk has technically less articulation than Cap, I was able to work with it to get more natural stances, so he managed to get just as good of a score.

Take what I just said about Hulk, and apply it exactly to the Thing. He lost a bit in the score though for two reasons. First, there's too much gapping on several of the joints, in particular the shoulders and knees. It's visually distracting, and the Hulk doesn't have this problem.

Second, the lack of a ball neck joint here is inexcusable. With the Hulk, the sculpt and design really doesn't allow for it. But the Thing has this extra long neck, and the head sculpt even has a perfect ridge line around it where it meets the neck. Adding a ball joint here would have been possible, and it's a disappointment that they skimped on it.

Accessories - Cap **1/2; Hulk, Thing *
All three figures come with a some paper extras, and you know how I generally feel about paper extras. They have little trading cards that are decent enough, a top secret file sheet, and a code you are supposed to enter at Fury Files online. I tried entering the code for The Thing, but couldn't get it to work - denied. That was frustrating for me, so I can bet it would really piss off a kid. There may be some opportunity to use these codes to get mail away figures at some point, at which time it would become more useful.

Cap has his shield as well, with both two elastic bands on the back as well as a snap to attach it to his forearm. It looks great, and he holds it pretty easily.

The paper extras are it for Hulk and Thing though, which nets them a much lower score in this category.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
These are toys, first and foremost, and kids who love the characters should love playing with them.  Decent sculpts with decent articulation make for decent toys. They are also well built, and should be able to handle most normal play situations.

Value - **
At eight bucks a pop, these are still a bit expensive. At least Hulk and Thing have some bulk to them, but without any additional accessories, these are really still $6 - $7 figures. I feel for kids right now, since getting their parents to cough up eight bucks a pop for such small figures is probably one tough sell.

Things To Watch Out For
Paint, of course. You'll probably be picking these up off the pegs of the store, so look for the best paint you can.

Overall - ***
These are decent toys, due to the reasonable sculpts, paint and articulation for this scale. They're miles above the disappointing Infinite Heroes, and don't even try to compare them to the weak offerings currently out from Playmates for Trek and Terminator.

That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, and that doesn't mean that all the selected sculpts are going to satisfy everyone. But I'd sell my soul for a line like this for DC.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Captain America, Thing ***1/2; Hulk ***
Paint - Cap, Thing ***; Hulk **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - Cap **1/2; Hulk, Thing *
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is Target or Toys R Us, where these have been hitting pretty regularly now.

Related Links -
As mentioned earlier, I covered several of these little guys earlier, split between this review and this one.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Marvel Universe Hulk, Captain America and the Thing action figures by Hasbro



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

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