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Review of Avengers Bruce Banner sixth scale action figure

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

There are several movies coming out this year that have real potential, including three just this month - Godzilla, Maleficent and X-men Days of Future Past. But it's going to take a lot for any of them to out do my surprise favorite so far, Captain America 2. The Marvel license is being done right, and not just with one or two films, but repeatedly over a long span of time and over a wide range of main characters.

One of those characters is the Hulk. Treated badly in two previous films by directors, screen writers and actors that simply didn't get this particular man's pathos, he finally got his due in The Avengers. I personal believe that is due in large part to the talents of Joss Whedon, who's particular brand of dialog and wit lends itself to this property.

But it was also the casting of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. As an actor he's proved he can handle laid back, he can handle smart ass, and he can handle intelligent. Turns out, he can handle 'anger seething just under the surface' pretty damn well too!

Hot Toys produced their own Hulk figure based on his appearance in the Avengers last year, and they've followed it up with the much requested Dr. Banner. You can pick this figure up on his own for around $190, or if you missed the Hulk's release, you can grab them as a set from Sideshow for $509.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
This is about as basic as Hot Toys packaging gets. It's collector friendly of course - no need to damage anything in removing the figure from his plastic prison, and if he's naughty, you can always stick him back in a toy time out.

The outer slip cover has a photo of the actor in character, and that's about it. Under this cover is a simple window box with a single plastic tray holding the figure and accessories. There's a lot of green, but that's about it.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***
In hand, this is a decent portrait of Ruffalo as Banner. You'll recognize him, no doubt about that. It also exhibits all the scary realism that we automatically expect with a Hot Toys head sculpt.

But it's not quite perfect. From certain angles he looks a bit bloated, with his head wider and shorter than the actor. Compare the final product with the photo on the box, and you'll see what I mean.

The head is also set down fairly low on a relatively short neck. Add in the collar of the shirt and coat, and you exacerbate that stumpy impression.

Perhaps my favorite part of the head sculpt is the hair itself - not only does it match the on screen style nicely, but the detailing is quite impressive.

The hands look great, and work well with the accessories. The shoe sculpt is terrific, another area that we've come to expect exceptional work.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
This is a Hot Toys figure, so there should be no surprise that this guy looks amazing when it comes to the production paint work. Perfect eyes, lips and eyebrows, and a realistic skin tone that makes me envious. There's never a large number of paint ops on a figure like this, but what's here is outstanding.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ****
This is the usual TrueType, and he's wearing a pretty basic, non-restrictive costume. That means you get all the advantages of the well designed joints, including the neck, wrists, waist, ab-crunch and ankles, joints that are often restricted by more complex outfits.

While his choice in clothes doesn't really lend itself to extreme fighting stances - he looks like a community college professor teaching a Saturday class - you can certainly get him in some cool poses. Thanks to the great engineering on the ankles and the low cut loafers, you can get him into deep stances and keep both feet flat on the ground, which provides two benefits. First, it gives him much more stability in a much wider range of stances, and second, it looks far more realistic when he's in those stances.

This body makes him slightly shorter than the standard Hot Toys hero, coming in at about 11 3/4".

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - **1/2
For a figure at this price point, he's pretty basic when it comes to his extras as well.

He does have four sets of hands in total - he comes wearing a relaxed pose set, and has a set of fists, a set of splayed hands, and a third set for specific poses.  This third set has a right hand to hold the Chitauri weapon and a left hand to hold his glasses.

These hands swap with the right amount of effort, not so much that you fear breaking a wrist peg (they include a couple extras just in case), but not so little that they fall off every time you move them into a new pose. They also work with a fairly wide variety of poses, and hold the accessories properly.

He has his silver specs, and the stems are shorter than normal, designed to fit in two very small indents in his hair at the temples. I applaud the design, but in practice the glasses tend to fall off too easily. Thankfully, they are done in a proper scale, and don't look goofy or over sized.

He also has a wrist watch that fits nicely on his right arm.  Pop the hand off, pop it on, and you're good to go.

Banner spent some time working with - and coveting - a Chitauri scepter in the film, so including it here made sense. However, as far as I can tell this is the same short scepter that came with Loki, making it a bit redundant for those that already have the earlier figure.

Finally, there's the usual black display stand with his name and the logo.  Not necessary for a figure that can remain standing like this guy can, but nice for consistency sake.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***
Along with basic packaging and basic accessories, Bruce has a basic costume. There's a brown suit with jacket and pants, a purple shirt, and his loafers. There's some padding in spots to improve the overall fit, but that's pretty much it.

While the cut and tailoring on these items is fine, it's quite simple. There's no closure on the front of the suit jacket, and I have to admit that I like him much more in just the shirt. As you can see in the photos, he comes out of the box pretty wrinkled, so this is a figure that will need an undressing, shirt wetting/drying (or ironing if you're careful), and redressing to really look good. You can also roll the sleeves up on the shirt, and I've provided a couple photos with them up and with them down.  I think he looks a bit better with them up, but you'll be able to see the obvious wrist joints. I duplicated the Hulk/Banner shot with them up and down to provide the best comparison.

While the fit is reasonably good overall, I did find that the shirt collar tends to ride high on his shoulders and neck. You can pin it down a bit with the jacket, but when he's just wearing the shirt it can get a bit frustrating.

The best part of this costume is the shoes. The loafer sculpt is excellent, very realistic in appearance, and they are low cut to avoid restricting the ankles.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***
With the excellent articulation, free of costume restrictions, you'll have plenty of fun finding your perfect pose. It's nice to work with a figure free of frustration in that regard.

On the flip side, for most people this is a dude in a suit. And not a very interesting suit at that. Without the Hulk to back him up, he doesn't add a lot of pop to the display.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - **1/2
It's true that Bruce is on the lower end of the current Hot Toys pricing scale. It might not seem like it at $190, but that's a bargain for them these days.

Still, there's almost nothing here, certainly when you compare him to a normal release. Glasses, a watch, a couple extra hands, a re-used accessory, a basic outfit...it's hard to justify almost $200. Less than a year ago, they released Agent Coulson, another dude in a suit. He was $20 cheaper, and had a ton of accessories, making it even more difficult to buy in with this higher price point.

Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Nothing major - pay attention to the minor notes in the instructions, but you should be fine with normal handling.

Overall - ***
The overriding theme here is 'basic': a basic box, a basic costume, and some very basic accessories. This is an unusual figure, one that feels more like a convention exclusive than a regular release.

That being said, this is still a figure any fan of the Avengers needs to add to the display. He's a main character, and will only get more important with the release of the next Avengers film. He might not be perfect, but he's still necessary.

This is one of those occasions where you just might want to hit the secondary market and see if you can score a deal. While he may eventually rise in cost (especially if it's a long time before we see another version), over the next several weeks you may find some decent deals.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ****
Articulation - ****
Accessories - **1/2
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- is at $180.

- has him for $190.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Of course you'll want to check out the Hulk, one of the coolest figures Hot Toys released last year. Other Avengers team members include the die cast War Machine, Tony Stark as the Mechanic, the Mandarin, Agent CoulsonBlack Widow and Loki. Other key Hot Toys Marvel figures include the recent Iron Monger, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, the Mark V, the Secret Project version, the MKVI, the very cool War Machine, the hot chick Black Widow, Whiplash, the Mark III figure, Mark II figure, Mark I figure, and additional Tony Stark men's suit. There are also guest reviews of the Battle Damaged Iron Man and Mech Suit Tony Stark.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Avengers Bruce Banner 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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

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