Marvel Select Ultimate Hulk

There's a new guest reviewer tonight - Matt Bradwell - and he's feeling mighty strong about the Ultimate Hulk.  But I'll let him tell you...

Nearly two months ago I attended Wizard World East in my hometown of Philadelphia. While there I visited Diamond Selects booth just to see what they had in store for summer. Before I even opened my mouth the clerk said to me “Would you like to see most exciting figure Diamond Select has ever produced”. Normally I would have said no, but, I figured since the guy was so eager to show me this figure, I would humor him. I thought that whatever he was about to show me was probably nothing more than a $150 bust of Spider-Man that I would never be able to afford. I was quite wrong. He led me to a display case containing the entire Marvel Select line up to that point and 4 figures I had never seen before, The Black Cat, Ultimate Iron Man, Ultimate Venom, and Ultimate Hulk. I was ultimately awestruck. Felicia, Tony, and Eddie all looked impressive, but it was Robert Bruce Banner that really caught my attention. He was huge! The figure towered a good couple of inches above the others and had a very detailed look of constipation on his face. Without shifting my eyesight the slightest bit I asked, “When will The Hulk be available”. I then peered over at the clerk and with a satisfied grin on his face he said “In August”. Needless to say I couldn’t wait.

Last Wednesday I headed over to the local comic book store, Showcase Comics, to pick up the weeks crop of new issues. Before checking out I went over to where they stocked toys to see if the new Marvel Legends figures had arrived yet. When I was 10 feet away I saw The Ultimate Hulk in, what seemed to be at the time, all his glory. Apparently in advertising, August 2003 really means late July 2003. Excited as I have ever been I grabbed the figure and rushed to the check out counter. I never found out if the new wave of Marvel Legends had arrived or not. The anticipation was driving me insane the entire car ride home. When I when I finally arrived it was like Christmas in July as I opened the figure, but sad to say all I got was coal…

Packaging - **1/2
Pretty basic stuff here, nothing too impressive or too grotesque. My only complaint is that, just like others in the Marvel Select line, it is overly difficult to remove the figure from the box, and once that is accomplished you have numerous twisties to deal with. By the end of it all you will have collected an irritatingly large pile of torn cardboard, plastic, and twisties. One plus I found was the pictures of old issues of The Incredible Hulk pictured on the card. I found it mildly entertaining to look at them and internally recall the events of the issue shown. But that’s just me, I’m easily entertained.

Sculpting - **1/2
At first glance The Hulk is a very well sculpted figure. He is in an exciting pose, has a very detailed face, and generally stays true to the way he appears as drawn by Bryan Hitch in The Ultimates. So, why the low score?

Let’s begin with the Hulk’s torso, arms, and legs. These are the figures major drawbacks. Instead of the rubber/plastic mix that was used in most of the Marvel Select figures up to this point, Diamond Select chose to make the Hulks body out of a cheap feeling (and presumably cost effective) light weight plastic that makes it feel like an oversized ping pong ball. That coupled with 6 very noticeable mold lines (legs, torso and shoulders) is enough to keep the sculpt score down. 

It’s not all bad though. The expression the Hulk’s face is highly detailed and his shorts, hands and head are made of the aforementioned rubber/plastic mix. Still, this is not enough to salvage the sculpt of this figure.

Paint - **
Most of The Hulk is grey with the exception of his blue pants, black hair and yellow-white teeth (someone’s been forgetting to floss). Diamond chose to have his skin be multiple hues of grey instead of just one flat color, and the results are very good. Except…

…Scrapes and scratches everywhere! The back and shoulders seem to have taken the most punishment. It looks as if the figure was dragged around the factory before being packaged. There are bright blue lines on the underside of Hulk’s left arm and a very noticeable scuff mark on the front of his right shoulder. If the figure did not appear so abused right out of the box I would have scored this at least a ***˝, but unfortunately it is not so.

Articulation - ***1/2
The first Marvel Select figure I bought was Ultimate WWII Captain America. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered the figure’s very limited articulation. Following Cap I bought The Punisher. Same story minus this disappointment, that time I knew what I was in for. A week before purchasing The Hulk, I bought Ultimate Iron Man and was very impressed at how Diamond Select had managed to make Tony look like a statue and still articulate like an action figure. The Hulk continues this uphill trend. 

The Hulk has eleven points of articulation, a Marvel Select record. He is cut at his neck, wrists, and legs, has ball joints in his shoulders and feet and horizontal pivots at his thighs. Sure, he can’t compete with Marvel Legends, but in his own right has very good articulation, and if Diamond Select plans to continue giving its figures more and more points of articulation, Ultimate Venom could be the first to live up to the $18.99 price tag. Hopefully.

Accessories - 1/2
I’m afraid I can’t even give this a single star. The only thing included with the packaging is a flimsy double sided cardboard cutout. On one side is Giant Man’s hand, and on the other is Captain America and The Wasp. WWII Captain America came with a brick wall, a flag, and a shield. The Punisher had two guns and a man being tortured. And my personal favorite, The Black Cat came with a script, a wall, and a perverted Spider-Man. What makes it all worse is that there are so many things that could have been included with The Hulk. Maybe a destroyed wall, or a model of Giant Man’s hand, or even a pile of bricks! But no, instead all we get is a cardboard cut out.

Value - **
Nearly twenty bucks for a shoddy figure with no accessories and multiple scratches on the paint!? I don’t think so. This Figure would be more reasonably priced at, say, $10-$13. It’s sad too, because I really thought that this would be the first Marvel Select figure to be worth the full $18.99.

Overall - **
At the end of the day Ultimate Hulk is the exact opposite of every other Marvel Select Figure. Poor quality material, poor paint job, many points of articulation and no good accessories. Unless you’re hell-bent on collecting the entire line of Marvel Select figures there is no reason to buy this one. Save you’re hard earned cash for Ultimate Venom, or, do as I wish I had done, and for the price of The Hulk buy two of the very cool Warcraft 3 wave 2 figures.

Where to Buy:
Don’t you get it, don’t buy this figure!
If you absolutely must, most comic book shops carry them as well as MusicLand stores (Suncoast, Sam Goody etc.) and Tower Records.

The Rater: My name is Matt Bradwell, i'm 16, im live in west Philadelphia (not far from where Will Smith and Wilt Chamberlin grew up) and i attend LaSalle College High School.

Figures from the collection of Matt Bradwell.

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