Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marvel Universe - Heroic Age Heroes Team Pack

Hey look, new Marvel Universe product.  That hasn't happened in a while.  Is this box of repaints worth its cost?  Find out after the jump.

I'll preface this by saying that yes, everything in this set is a repaint, there is zero new tooling, BUT... they're pretty sweet repaints.  Or maybe I'm just a sucker for these sculpts.  In my opinion, these are by far the BEST sculpts of Thor, Hulk and Iron Man to date in the MU line.  So while I absolutely wish there was at least one new sculpt in this set, I have a hard time being too upset by the figures included here.

The packaging mirrors the rest of the Marvel Universe Team Pack series, now in its second year.  We've got a nice window box displaying the three figures, unique character artwork on the front and side, and a surprise on the back, Deadpool telling you to "collect them all".  And something about tacos.  Mmmm, tacos.

Thor is a repaint of the awesome Series 2 Thor Reborn figure.  This is the fifth unique paint version of this figure.  This time, his tunic and boots are completely blue, and the cape is good deep, but not dark, red.  I dig it, the color pops, and is well applied.  Mjolnir has a nice bronze wash which really adds to the metallic texture.  My only complaint with Thor is the plate mail armor over his arms and legs.  It lacks any sort of metallic paint or paint wash, both of which would've taken this paint job from good to great.

Iron Man is a repaint of the badass Series 3 Bleeding Edge Iron Man (Hasbro called it the "Modular Armor" on the card).  This is the third paint version of this figure.  This time, Hasbro uses bright metallic gold and reds, similar but different from the original carded version.  It's notable that only the main chest RT includes the white "glowing" detail, and the hand repulsors are not painted.  These are minor details, but their exclusion keeps this figure from surpassing the original release.  Where this figure IS better than its previous versions is in the quality of the paint application.  The carded release and the light-up base version were both plagued by sloppy paint apps.  This version is nearly flawless, with clean, crisp lines, and no smudging.  That, combined with the great articulation (rocker ankles, fool!) make this pill easier to swallow.

The star of this set is the Red Hulk.  This figure is a repaint of the brand new Hulk mold, which was originally set to premier in Wave 18, but wound up making it out first in the Walmart-exclusive Avengers Comic Series box set.  The sculpt is still every bit as awesome as it was on the green version; there's a ton of detail and texture in the skin and fabric.  The paint is well applied, and this guy looks menacing.  But I have two complaints.  The first is minor:  The face features a dark paint wash (which brings out the detail and looks good), but the rest of the body does not.  This would've really brought out the detail in the sculpt.  The second is more significant:  The head.  Rulk should have a different head than Banner Hulk.  The original Rulk figure in this line, despite being a repaint of green Hulk, at least had a unique, General Ross Red Hulk head.  Simply repainting the Bruce Banner Hulk head is a cheap cop-out on Hasbro's part.  If there were any new tooling invested in this set, it should've been a new head for this figure.

Originally, this didn't bother me too much, because I planned to head-swap a Series 1 Red Hulk head onto this body, but, after looking at the two figures side by side in person, it's clear that the Series 1 Rulk head is too big and disproportionate compared to this newer sculpt.  So for now at least, the new, superior Red Hulk body is stuck with the wrong head.

Despite those two gripes, this is still an enjoyable figure, and an enjoyable set.  If you want the new Red Hulk and don't mind the Iron Man and Thor repaints, this set is now available from BBTS, or you can order the whole case and also get the new Fantastic 4 variant with clear Invisible Woman (that review coming next).  So far, these sets have not shown up at big-box retail.  And with all the Guardians of the Galaxy sets clogging shelves (in my area, at least), it may still be a little while before this newest wave makes it out to retail.