After watching the awesome spectacle that is The Avengers, I rushed out to my local Toys R Us to pick up some toys... and I was thoroughly disappointed. The line was limited to the 4" scale, some figures had crappy paint apps, and the assortment was lacking with no Black Widow, Hawkeye, or Chitauri to be found. Fortunately, I did discover that two 6" lines would be available: one from Hasbro and another from Diamond Select. And Hulk, given his performance in the movie, was the clear choice to start my Avengers action figure team. But which to choose.. the Hasbro or Diamond Select version?
Competition between toy manufacturers working on the same property is always good for collectors because they can pick the figures that best fit their preferences. It's clear that the Hasbro figures have better articulation (see PoeGhostal for comparison shots), but articulation isn't the end-all, be-all for me. For one thing, articulation should never screw up a figure's look. If a joint messes up the appearance of the figure, it should be either redesigned or left out completely.
And that's what made my decision easy. Although the Hasbro Hulk has better movement, the joints totally wreck the figure's look. The ball-shaped hips are awkward (and more than a little like Microman figures) and the awful double-jointed elbows and knees segment the limbs into three unnatural pieces.
Marvel Select Hulk has less articulation but it's still pretty good: limited ball-socket neck, swivel-hinge shoulders, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, limited ball-socket chest, swivel-hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinge knees, and perpendicular-hinged ankles (two hinges moving perpendicular to each other). Some joints feel more breakable than others, in particular the hips, so try not to force anything. But most importantly the articulation works with the sculpt to keep the figure's appearance intact.
Diamond Select figures also tend to have better sculpts and paint apps than their mass-produced counterparts. This Hulk is a great example, with precise paint apps and a fantastic sculpt that makes the figure look like it jumped right off the movie screen. The detailing is fantastic. In particular, I dig the messiness of the hair and the veins in the bulging muscles. Even each of the toes was sculpted separately. This dude is greener than Hasbro's olive 4" Hulk, and I would say that the MS Hulk has a more screen-accurate coloration.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the mailer box was how huge this figure is. I was expecting a 6-inch figure but this Hulk is 6-inch scale, which means the figure clocks in at an appropriately huge 10 inches tall. That's a lot of plastic for $20.
But Hulk comes with no accessories. Some smashed bits of scenery would be great, or maybe some miscellaneous Chitauri body parts. As it is, having no scenery and being one of the very few Marvel figures in my collection, it looks a little out of sorts until I can get more Avengers.
But get more I shall! Marvel Select Hulk is a great start for any Avengers collection. Between this and the Hasbro Hulk, I think I got the better of the two. Still, if I see Hulkbro in the stores, I might be tempted to double-dip if it's a comparable figure.