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Battle Damaged iron Man MKVII and Hulk
Avengers - Hot Toys


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."
OK, here we go again with another Avengers double whammy! Mike already gave his thoughts on the jolly green giant a couple of weeks back, but with a character and indeed figure like that being so important within the Avengers line-up, there was no way he was gonna slip away with out me sticking my 2 cents in!

The Avengers is proving to be almost as big a cash cow for Hot Toys as the Iron Man series. I know I listed the figure line up in the past, but for the uninitiated it’s worthy of a recap.
So far we have-

Nick Fury
Hawkeye (I coverd them together here)
Black Widow
Thor
Captain America (also covered in a treble whammy here)
Iron Man MK VI (a repackaged version from IM2, sadly not in my collection, but is made up of various bits of previous releases)
Iron Man MK VII (battle damaged special movie edition, also not in my collection… yet!)
Iron Man MK VII (regular + special edition versions)
THE HULK (the last duo are the ones I look at today)
Loki
Agent Phil Coulson (I’ll be on these two soon)
Chitauri foot soldier (still waiting on a release)
Bruce Banner (no official spec released yet, but I have high hopes for some cool accessories)

Of course that is just the present state of play, there could very easily be more announcements of other figures before they crack onto A2- The Age of Ultron.

In a surprise outcome (that I didn’t see coming) the figure of Black Widow became my favourite figure from the movie, well, in terms of how they look translated into a 12” figure… but could that be about to change? In the popularity stakes, the HULK was always going to be a much desired figure, and the fact we have never had a truly 1/6th fully articulated and fabric dressed representation at 1/6th scale gave him an instant kudos that sent his pre-orders soaring. Though to be fair it was also probably something to do with the prices people were seeing the earlier Avengers achieving on the secondary markets. Whether folks were buying as a scalpers delight/short-term investment (I hope not) or as a strategic purchase to avoid any inflated prices on eBay in a few months/weeks time still remains to be seen. Whatever the rationale, those secondary market prices are certainly holding and beginning to creep north already.

Likewise the MK VII was always going to be popular, but with the power suits being a variation on a theme, there would always be people who could ‘live’ with their other versions if push came to shove.

But lets get on with the show. Now that all of the key members of the Avengers initiative have been released, it’s time to look at two of its most iconic members, both as essential characters in the Marvel Universe and also as two of the most memorable players in the movie!

Packaging - MK VII  ***1/4 HULK ***
I made it plain from the offset that the Avengers packaging wasn’t rocking my world. Nothing is intrinsically wrong with it, it just doesn’t excite me too much either! So these two cartons do a fine job in looking pretty enough and ensuring there are no breakages while winging their way to you. They do however just lack a certain something, that creative flair that Hot Toys is so good at capturing, is somehow a little lost on these offerings.

The MK VII box is following an identical route as all the others that came before it, so we get the same kind of dot-matrix image of the character on the slide off sleeve (as we do on the HULK as well), and the window fronted box nestles within. Inside this the figure comes fully assembled with his various accessories packaged in the usual vac formed trays, so all is present and correct!


































The HULK however has a slightly different configuration, because of his humongous size… and he truly is HUMOMNGOUS! He comes in a brown shipper with a carry handle (which shows a cool sense of purpose in getting this bad boy home). But once inside, we have a box that is more similar to the Iron Monger than the rest of his vengeful comrades. The outer box is printed with a design that fits in with the rest of the range, but instead of an outer sleeve, this forms a sturdy outer carton. Open the top flap and you can slide out a large Styrofoam tray with a vac-formed lid that holds the big guy in place next to his accessories. For me this type of design makes total sense in keeping everything safe from harm, but it does also feel just a little deflating after such a long wait for this guy to turn up.

So, we end up with two perfectly serviceable boxes that fit effortlessly in with the rest the rest of their heroic brethren, and I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who love them, but they just don’t get me too excited!


Sculpting - MK VII  **** (Tony Stark portrait ***1/4), HULK head ****, body ***3/4

For the uninitiated I am part of an unholy quadrant of folks who get together and record a podcast and chat about our love of toys… mostly 1/6th, but we’ll discuss anything that takes our fancy! In our last recording (which was number 11 in case you are reading in the year 2167 from the archive, we should have a good few more episodes under our belt by then, and we’ll all be living in tanks of oxygenated viscous liquid on the moon) we managed to get the hugely talented Trevor Grove (sculptor extraordinaire) on for chin-wag and catch up on what he’s been doing lately (can find it here). We talked about all things sculpting and the issues that can arise in getting a prototype sculpt approved for market. Of course it first has to please the artist creating the portrait before he passes it on to his direct boss for feedback and revisions. At this stage it may or may not take some tweaking before the licensor is happy to show it to the licensee. But once it has left for approval, you are in the hands of the gods. Many a spot on portrait has been turned down at this stage for all manor of reasons, but one can’t help but speculate that one of them is vanity!

I mention this because it has become evident with Hot Toys releases that Disney/Marvel/Downey Jnr have become hard taskmasters in what they want released. So what we end up with here is a masterful piece of work as always by KoJun, one that is undeniably a good likeness of Tony Stark, but it has to be said that he has been shown in a very favourable light. This is a Tony Stark that looks just a modicum younger, a tad more toned and displays a little more of the classic matinee idol looks than Mr Downy Jnr actually possesses (especially with that sad facial topiary). For that reason he ends up just shy of a full mark, as ultimately I need to review what we end up with in our hands. However I’m going to fathom a guess it has little to do with KoJun’s abilities (which have proven themselves on many occasions), and has more to do with what Disney/Marvel/Downy Jnr’s people want us to see.

So now that is out of the way lets get on with the rest. The MK VII suit is of course a solid piece of armour, so the whole thing is sculpted from head to toe with a whole mess of articulation and working parts thrown in for good measure. There is something about this version of the suit that is more substantial, robust and meaty. I thought it as soon as it appeared on screen, this was the suit that looked like it meant business, the suit, that had it been available to Tony in the first movie would have wiped the floor with Iron Monger in a few mere seconds. But that is part and parcel of the evolution of the armour. As new threats arrive, the engineering by Stark needs to advance to rise to their challenge! And so it is that with the threat of Loki and the ensuing Chitauri alien invasion the MK VII is packing even more firepower than ever before. I’ve said in the past when breaking down the power-suits that the sculpting and engineered articulation kind of go hand-in-hand in a way that is almost indistinguishable, but I’ll try!

One of the challenges thus far has been getting all the details of the screen seen suit correct whilst staying true to the silhouette the figure should display, whilst also shoe-horning in all the moving parts (that are easy to show in the movie as a CG effect, but a different kettle of fish on a fully articulated 1/6th depiction). Lets face it there are things that can be shown to emerge from a power-suit (stop the dirty sniggering at the back) that in real terms could never physically fit within the confines of the panel from which they have emerged. As fan boys we just go “Whoaaaaa, cool!” like when Tony suited up into the MK V from a suitcase… we just go with it, its what we do. But then we expect Hot Toys to translate that to an articulated figure. Well that’s when things can get just a little trixiewoowah! However once again Hot Toys have pulled off a masterstroke. The detailing is just phenomenal, and the way they have engineered all the moveable parts and swap out battle-damaged details is a work of art. I’m also really liking the new air-break flaps on his back, and the swap out mini missile silos on his shoulders and thighs are pretty sick!

It’s fair to say that in essence this figure looks fantastically screen accurate, but his USP is the sheer amount of different display options he delivers, but I shall go into that further in the articulation and accessories categories!

So enough enthusing about the MK VII, lets tackle the HULK. This guy is a polar world away from the disciplines that the MK VII demands because this guy is all flesh and blood with a modicum of fabric thrown in to cover his dignity!

Starting with the head, which here is the work of Kim Hyun (under KoJun’s art direction), this is the HULK that most looks like the actor who portrayed him on screen, and though we end up with a snarling ball of seething energy, it still looks unmistakably like Mark Ruffalo. The mouth is twisted in a grimace with the bottom lip slightly protruding, but the detail on the teeth within the mouth is jaw droppingly well executed. They appear to have been inserted from behind, inside the head and this gives a great sense realism, not only because of the incredibly intricate detailing on the actual teeth and gums, but also because of the depth it creates. Then we have the classic expanse of upper lip before it meets his button nose. The brow is furrowed in an intense grimace, and coupled with the mouth position you can practically hear him snarling! All the lines and creases that the expression creates are beautifully rendered, and his deep-set eyes stare out unflinchingly! The eyes themselves don’t actually use the PERS system, instead of a tiny control stick that moves to position the eyes at the same time, this has two independent eyeballs with a small stick attached to the rear of each, so you can position manually into any arrangement you like. As I said, the brow is very prominent, making the eyes very deep set, but the ability to position the eyes is still a cool feature on a figure that is so light on accessories!

To access the eye mechanism the hair lifts off of the top of the head. It’s held in place by two magnets, one of mine had come loose, but a tiny drop of super-glue gel later and all was well again! The magnets are strong enough to hold the hair in place firmly without being so strong that you need to prise the hair off, and I found that with a little futzing it was a good fit. The front section where it falls over the forehead even stands proud a miniscule amount that allows for a small shadow to be cast, that like the teeth in the mouth offer another element of implied depth, and the feeling that this is not just all one piece of solid moulded plastic… nice work!  

However, being the HULK the sculpting doesn’t stop there. As this guys entire body is pretty much on show, and the job of creating his massive frame fell to Joseph Tsang. I’m happy to report that the quality of reproduction here is fantastic, and the physique, as depicted in the movie is beautifully realised. The musculature is anatomically correct, with all the strained sinews and throbbing veins that erupt from his neck and arms beautifully crafted. The only slight falling down here could be the visible joints… well, for some folks anyway! I admit that I like the engineered articulation to be as unobtrusive as possible, but ultimately I want a dynamic poseable figure, not some dull naff statue! And this manages to find a reasonable compromise. You will find that the shoulder joints are the most obtrusive, but they can be easily disguised. After finding the arm pose you want, just futz and push the joint until any gaps close up. There is enough well-engineered and well-disguised articulation under the rubber/silicone skin to accommodate virtually any pose that the joints are capable of. So ultimately I am pretty darned happy with the way the HULK turned out, and even though I’m pretty forgiving, I only keep the body shy of a full score because of the visible joints and the way his bulky frame ends up impacting on his articulation!

Paint - MK VII  **** HULK ***3/4
Ahhhh, with the deft hand of paint control maestro JC Hong on duty you just know there is at least one constant from the Hot Toys stable. Admittedly there are some jobs that turn out stronger than others, but it is generally a given that the paint apps will be incredibly strong. And I’m happy to report that here we have some awesome paintwork on show.

I’ll kick off with the green guy, as lets face it, it ain’t easy being green, and it can’t be that easy painting someone green either. The HULK here needed to display all the usual deft touches and lightness of hand that we usually get on a ‘normal’ flesh toned figure, but also translate those familiar hues to a vibrant green palette, and lets not beat around the bush, this guy is a very, very green. The entire surface of the skin is obviously highly visible apart from in the place his ‘expando’ trousers cover his last vestiges of modesty. The body shows a beautifully applied tone with convincing mottling and graduations wherever they are needed. His fingernails, chest hair and indeed nipples are delicately rendered to bring just the right note of definition without becoming too prevalent, the chest hair seems to have been gently hinted at with a dry brush to enhance the underlying sculpt without labouring over individual hairs, which works well. It’s not perfect, but short of inserting separate chest hairs it’s a solid solution. However, as impressive as his body is, it is the head that really shines.

As I already said above, of all of the HULK’s we have seen on screen so far, ranging from the early depiction by Lou Ferigno, who lets face it looked like Lou Ferigno rather than Bill Bixby… (did Stan Lee choose Bill Bixby’s name?) and through the combined efforts of the CGI depictions that represented Eric Bana and Ed Norton, this is the HULK that most manages to resemble the actor portraying him before those Gamma rays kick in!

Ruffalo’s features subtly come through in the sculpted portrait, and the paint here manages to enhance that likeness even further. We all know JC Hong has made some kind of soul selling pact with an unnamed third party to achieve the spooky realism he achieves, especially in those small shiny, glassy and wet eyes he manages to paint, but here we have positionable eyes… I talked about their functionality above. What that means is we get tiny replica eyes inserted into the head, these appear to be some kind of plastic or acrylic and resemble miniature glass eyes, with beautifully rendered pupils and irises with radiating lines of colour. The big guys eyes are pretty deep set, but the inclusion of this small detail does ad to his finished look… and the devil, as JC knows is most certainly in the detail.

As far as the actual paint on the head goes, the outstanding area is the mouth with its incredibly detailed work on those snarling teeth. The paintwork here greatly enhances the way the teeth have been fabricated, and the subtle work on the colouration of the teeth and the gentle graduation where the paint literally bleeds into the gums is a masterstroke!

The only slight downside I have noticed, though to be fair it was my wife who first picked up on it, is the way the paint app and colouration can change slightly under different lighting conditions. It really is ever so slight, but the different materials used to construct the hands and feet mean that under some electric light they can appear a tiny shade lighter than the limbs they are attached to… as I say, it is only a very subtle difference, but worthy of note!

The MK VII is however a whole different kettle of fish, this is a figure that depends a whole lot less on subtle flesh tones, be they green or otherwise. No, this figure is all about being able to look like a state of the art sports car crossed with a fighter plane, with just a little Transformer and Gundam thrown in to round it off! I guess it would be fair to say that this is in many ways more of the same in the way Hot Toys have tackled painting the genesis of the power-suit, but that doesn’t diminish its impact and the quality of finish!

Just like the suits that came before it, this has beautifully applied clean colours with crisp division lines and some skilfully executed weathering and battle damage to the swap out battle damaged sections. So as to avoid confusion, it’s worth mentioning to those readers who perhaps don’t follow the releases of Hot Toys as closely as some of us mildly obsessed others, there was a second version of the MK VII. It was however the much rarer special ‘movie promo’ edition that was released to celebrate the release of Iron Man 3. It showed the suit in an even more battle damaged state after it had ‘ejected’ the empty missile silos etc, you can see the spec on it here.   

We also get that extra Tony Stark head I mentioned above, and even though the sculpt might be overly sympathetic to Downy Jnr’s actual features the paint app is as always virtually faultless! It once again shows JC Hongs adept touch at spookily bringing these figures to life. The expression here is more relaxed, one might even say cocky, compared to the portraits we have had before, and that expression is enhanced with the delicate skin tones and twinkle in the eye that has been captured here.

Articulation - IM  ***1/2, HULK **1/2
The Hulk was always going to be a tough call, he’s basically more than half nekkid, the size of two brick s**t-houses stuck together and is famous for his iconic power poses, and Hot Toys needed to translate that into a believable 1/6th depiction. It stands to reason there would be compromises afoot! I was originally a little miffed that they hadn’t just scaled up the fantastic body they developed for King Leonidas from 300 (as reviewed here. but as soon as I unpacked him, and truly comprehended his scale and weight, I realised it wasn’t a realistic option. The human proportions of Leonidas allowed for a fair range of motion, but if you scaled that up to HULK proportions, the thickness of the rubber/silicone would have hade any shoulder articulation a moot point! That’s not to say that I don’t think the problem solvers in the HT R&D department can’t come up with a better solution, but I can live with what we have here.

So what actually moves, firstly his eyes, which I went over in sculpting followed by his neck, which has a fair degree of motion to tilt and look in all directions. The shoulders have a good range on concealed universal joints, but just remember, once you have found the pose you want, if needed you can push the joint up and or in to hide any gap that might have opened up. The elbows have a concealed hinge joint that can close to about 90 degrees and the wrists have push on pegged ball joints. These only offer a small amount of movement because of the guys physique. There is no articulation in his trunk but he can turn and swivel at the waist. The hips have ball jointed universal joints that can also afford a reasonably good range, but like the rest of this guys articulation it is somewhat hampered by his huge frame, and even though his wardrobe is limited, the combined efforts of wearing two pairs of pants also impacts on his movements. The knees have a pegged hinge joint that can bend to about 50 degrees on a ratcheted mechanism. Lastly his massive feet seem to be on a concealed ball joint, so can also tilt and swivel to a small degree in all directions. So to sum up the HULK’s articulation I would say we have a more than acceptable range of movement to get some killer poses, but you do need to approach with realistic levels of expectation. You certainly wont be getting any squatting power poses as he semi kneels and thumps the ground, but there are plenty of other options to have him looking mean at the rear of the Avengers massed ranks!

The MK VII is such a different beast from the HULK that they are virtually incomparable. Where as the big guy is all about muscle, bone and sinew, and the best way to disguise his movement, the power suit is all about shiny hi-tech engineering. And lets face it, every place this guy moves there is actually MEANT to be a joint, so you don’t need to disguise it, you just need to make it work in a convincing manner. And that in and of itself is the big challenge. I shall give a brief breakdown of this guys range of mobility, but he is so covered in small working parts, you could write an essay and still leave something out! So, lets start from the feet this time and work our way up.

We have a hinged bend mid foot, a ball jointed ankle that is disguised below layers of articulated panels. The rear of the calf can lift to show the inner workings and the knee, oh the knee is a thing of rare mechanical splendour! The way the layers overlap, but then separate as the joint is bent is a thing of simple but exquisite beauty (well it is to a simple minded geek like me). The hips have a fair range, but take care to ensure the vinyl ‘trunks’ are pushed up and out of the way when you raise the thigh acutely, and don’t force anything, the range here is a little limited. The waist can swivel to a degree and the abdominal area can be puled apart and separated so as to afford a better range and an abb’s crunch/lean backwards and twist. A small detail, but it is smoother and improved upon from the Mk IV- V and VI. It’s worth saying here that everything is subtly better than the earlier versions, both in terms of production and performance.

The shoulders have the same universal joint as has been used before, with the free moving pauldrons and disguised cut joint in the upper arm. The elbow can achieve just over a 90 degree bend and the wrists are a pop-on ball joint that elegantly disguises the light up function. He comes with a selection of hands, but the best pair (IMHO) are the fully articulated ones. We have been getting these ever since the original battle damaged MK III, but the miniature working joints still work fantastically. The neck post is also a big improvement and offers the best range of all the power-suits to date, in that it can finally look up more acutely for convincing flying poses.

So that is all the major articulation covered, but there are also fully functioning air breaks that can be deployed on his back, kind of like the wings of a mecha-beetle. Depending what shoulder armour you choose there are four of these and the top ones have a secondary steel coloured set concealed in the top that can open. They all simply lift up and display the inner metal flaps (which in the past were laser cut metal) but here are painted on the inner workings.

So a good range on a fantastically engineered figure. The upper half offers a fantastic choice of display options, but hips are just a little limited so work gently with what is on offer to find the pose you want!

Accessories - MK VII  ****, HULK **1/2
It’s fair to say that the HULK doesn’t need a whole mess of stuff as accessories go. This is a guy that travels very lightly most of the time, and as such we get all we truly need. However, with his $299.99 price tag he does seem a little too lightly equipped. So what else could we have got?

Well another facial expression/head might have been cool, or maybe even some debris from the devastation of NY, maybe a manhole cover or traffic light stand, anything for him to hold and demonstrate his scale. However it was not to be, all we get is an extra pair of bendy/poseable hands that are soft vinyl with a wire metal armature concealed inside. That is literally it, there is not even a stand included, but to be fair he stands just fine without one!

My only other hope is that with the Bruce Banner figure that HT have hinted at, we might get an extra HULK head as an accessory… but I guess its more likely we will get some of his lab from on board the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier.

Iron Man on the other hand comes with a whole bunch of extra goodness. I’m reviewing the exclusive edition, so like the recent MK I (V2.0) if has a scaled holographic figure of the MK VII armour made out of a translucent green plastic. It’s a cute extra, but not an essential one. It will however add another detail and layer of depth for those that plan to build a display laboratory for Tony.
Many of his accessories are swap out pieces of armour, and they are-

- One unmasked Tony Stark portrait
- One extra collar for above head
- One extra battle damaged mask/faceplate
- One pair of open missile launchers with airbreaks attached for upper shoulder
- One pair of shoulder panels (for when missile launchers are removed)
- One swap out damaged chest armour
- One pair of detachable forearm rocket launchers
- One pair of separate arms with wrist lasers attached
- One pair of extra damaged armoured pauldrons attached to extra arms
- One pair of fully articulated hands with poseable fingers
- One pair of open hands with wrist bent acutely for palm firing poses
- One pair of extra wrist/hand armour for above hands
- One pair of closed fists
- Three sets of interchangeable thigh armour (missiles open, damaged armour & regular styles)
- Figure stand with Mark VII nameplate and movie logo
- One MK VII hologram (only with the exclusive version)

Lets face it, if you are a purist, and money is no problem, it’s worth having at least two of these, as the display options are just so numerous. I mean, what do you go for… helmet on, helmet off, battle damaged or concourse and do you want a neutral stance or an action one with a whole mess of weapons deployed and ready to strike?

So all in all he has a pretty impressive haul with the extra head sculpt always adding a lot of value in my book. All the other bits and pieces are additions to his armour, and I found they all swapped over just fine with the minimum of fuss. It’s a slight departure from some of the earlier power suits where they endeavoured to make sure all the missiles etcetera could be deployed from positions concealed within the workings of the suit. This time they have kept his silhouette more streamlined (for that read accurate) and made most of the change out elements separate pieces that need to clip on or be swapped out completely. This adds up to a figure that looks very accurate when compared to his screen seen persona.

I have to admit that I’m one of those old fashioned dudes that thinks a physical effect will look better than a digital one 76.9% of the time, depending on the way it is shot and used. However that remaining 23.1% is what is evident whenever they get Downey Jnr to dress up in the suit for the movies… lets face it, he just looks plain bad, fat and clunky! Which is why these figures work so well. These actually manage to do a decent job of looking like the slick CGI versions complete with articulation and working parts. And its those working parts that we are looking at in this section.

The battle damaged faceplate swaps over using magnets that allow it to lift off easily (but not too easily) and the unmasked head comes with an extra collar to use when fitting. The extra shoulder missile silos simply swap over, just lift off undamaged and un-deployed set first (a tool is supplied to make this easier). There are also two plain red panels that can be fitted to cover this area if you want that look. The battle damaged shoulder pauldrons supplied on the extra arms can be swapped over onto the original ‘light-up’ arms if needed, or you can simply un-pop the them at the shoulder and swap the entire arms, this extra set has the wrist lasers extended (it’s worthy of note that these arms have no light up function). The chest plate simply pops off (easier if you use the tool provided, but I found it came away fine without it, and the red panels that fit over the pectoral area also simply pop off to expose the gold areas beneath. Then lastly there are the pair of extra rocket launchers that attach to the lower arms. The attached forearm covers simply lift off, and the launchers can be placed into the slots left.

The only real omission here is a stand that can be used for flying poses, as the crotch hammock designed one included is little use if you want to show off the thigh and shoulder silos open in mid flight attack mode.  However, I’m willing to cut a little slack on that last item, as I virtually never use a stand unless 100% necessary!

Outfit - MK VII N/A, HULK ***1/2
There is no outfit ‘per se’ for the Iron Man figure, as his whole ensemble is a sculpted and engineered affair. However, the HULK does of course have his obligatory ripped trousers. Those oh so magical trousers that seem able to accommodate any degree of rapid growth expansion that explodes within their seams. Of course as a life long comic book fan it is just an accepted part of the HULK mythos, and lets face it, we should be grateful, as none of us want to see what the guy is packing down below in his enraged state!

However, even though the trousers are his only visible garment, he does have a pair of lightly padded, tight fitting, lycra type cycling shorts concealed beneath them. These are never intended to be seen, but just offer some padding to help disguise the hip joints when you put him in a more extreme pose. The trousers them self are pretty nice, with working pockets and belt loops, even in their raggedy state. They have a Velcro fly and the waist button has popped its moorings to give his substantial girth just a little more breathing room. I will admit that in real terms the HULK’s outfit does seem minimal, but hey, it’s the HULK, that’s how he rolls!

Fun Factor - HULK ***1/2, MK VII ****
There is little doubt that people will be buying these figures for different reasons. Some will want them as stand alone items, some will be exclusively be building up a collection of the power-suits while others still, will be attempting to assemble the full Avengers line-up. I am in the later category, and with this pair finally in my clutches the group is complete. And that in and of it self is where a lot of the fun is to be had! The MK VII comes out even better than I expected and truly offers the best proportions, articulation and finish of all the mechanised suits to date. Don’t get me wrong I still love the sleek lines of the MK V, and it will take a lot to usurp the MK I as my all time Iron Man favourite. But in terms of how the toy is physically produced this one takes the crown. The HULK does suffer a slight loss of articulation, but that can be forgiven in that at last we actually have a 1/6th HULK!

Is there a downside… well only in so much as you need to choose which display option to go for with the MK VII, there are so many options its tempting to get a second figure. But it’s hard to penalise for offering ‘too much’.

Value - MK VII  **1/2, HULK **
These figures both have their own unique challenges in bringing them to life, but even with the HULKS massive frame it is obvious that the power suits need a whole different and more complex level of engineering.
Their official RRP’s on the Sideshow site were-
HULK- $299.99
MK VII- $249.99
So to put that in context, if for whatever reason you wanted two of each, you wouldn’t have any change from a thousand bucks… ouch!

Of course not many of us will want multiples of these two, and even fewer could justify it, but I’m just saying!

For me the HULK feels like he should really be a $220, maybe $240 figure, but I would imagine the sheer amount of resources needed both artistically and physically to bring this figure to life have boosted that RRP to the $299.99 that we are presented with!

Likewise the MK VII feels like a $180 to $200 figure, meaning he loses some of his score from me. However, I guess we all know that there is a rabid fan-base of collectors out there who really want a complete Avengers line-up… so where these prices will head on the secondary market is any ones guess… but my guess would have to be upwards!

Any way, it’s all moot, as the official distributor Sideshow sold out quite some time ago, and the secondary prices are of course rising rapidly!

Overall - both ***1/2
If you are a Marvel fan, or more importantly an Avengers fan, these two are pretty essential to your collection. Of course if you already own the MK VI that might make the MK VII a little less indispensible, but there is no denying that you NEED a HULK!

For all the reasons gone over above, I love both of these. If push came to shove and I could keep only one, then it would have to be the HULK, but luckily I don’t. The only thing keeping these guys from the full score is yet again price. Those prices are a bone of contention for many and will sadly keep many folks away. However there seems to be a hard-core of old school collectors and a constantly emerging new generation of buyers who are just taking it on the chin and placing their orders. And lets face it, there’s little or no chance of the prices ever coming down dramatically!

Where to Buy -
Just like all the other Avengers these two have of course sold out… so I guess anything I said earlier about their price proves that the public vote with their wallets!

The Hulk does still have a waitlist (at the time of writing). Sadly the MK VII has sold out, with no chance of a waitlist. However, there is still a waitlist for the exclusive battle damaged version.

I looked them up on the sites sponsors with little success, well, no success if you are looking to save some money.

Fanboy Collectibles does have the HULK for 379.99 And they have the MK VII for the same price

You can find the HULK at Big Bad Toy Store as well for the same price here 

Apart from that, you’ll have to hit ebay where the HULK is going for $370 to $430 and the MK VII has an asking price of $355 to $450 for the regular edition and $480 t0 $665 for the special edition. As for the movie promo edition, well at the time of writing there were only two for sale at $575 and $850… make of that what you will!

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

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