It’s no secret that the work of Diamond Select Toys is a mixed-bag in the eyes of collectors. Their handling of the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer line led to over 100 figures, though some were less favorably received than others. Marvel Select, their second most extensive line, has endured a similar history. DST’s latest offering in the Marvel Select line is a new version of the Incredible Hulk… and he’s one of the finest figures Diamond Select has released. I originally saw this version of the Big Green Mean at Toy Fair International earlier this year and I salivated like an Ang Lee Hulk dog when I caught my first glimpse. Luckily, the figure has lost none of his detail from the initial prototype to final product. I know this is a bold claim, but he may be the best Hulk figure I’ve seen thus far and I see no need for other versions of this character in the future.
The scale of figures in the Marvel Select line has always been slightly larger than standard 6” superhero releases This is a great asset for the Hulk as he is enormous. When I first got him, I could not believe how heavy and sturdy the figure was. Despite his enormous size, he fits in the standard DST Marvel Select packaging and looks sensational. His size in the standard packaging creates a neat optical effect too, for it appears that the bubble can barely hold him. The Hulk is in relatively full view, less an odd radiation signal and black triangle on the front of his bubble. This is kind of a bummer as it’s both unnecessary and view-inhibiting. For the ‘in package’ collectors, he’s still a solid display piece.
Of course, once this guy is out of the package, the real fun begins. Whether you collect 3 ¾” or 6” scale, this Hulk WILL smash every figure in your current collection. With only the largest build-a-figures standing taller than him, Hulk is bigger than several 25th G.I. Joe vehicles and pretty much every hero on the 1/6 market. Despite this, his size does not in any way diminish his detail. This figure looks sensational. His expression is fantastic, his muscles sculpted to perfection and his purple pants are good and torn. Given his articulation, which includes ball-hinged elbows, shoulders, hips/knees, hinged ankles, swivel waist and ball-jointed head, this Hulk can smash in a variety of poses and look awesome in all of them.
Hulk’s coloring and details are excellent as well, which is of significant importance on a figure this big. Bad paint apps stand out on much worse on large releases, but this figure suffers none of these pitfalls.
The only thing I don’t love about this version of the Hulk is his base. He does not fit on it adaquitely and frankly, I think the figure is almost better served without it. However, given that Marvel Select is one of the few lines that still consistently includes a base, I won’t complain and will just put G.I. Joes on it instead. The base could have actually benefited most with a scale piece such as a stop sign, fire hydrant or tire to give this Hulk some point of comparison. Again, this is a minor gripe. The base is still a well done piece on its own, I just don’t think the figure fits well on it, despite sculpted footprints in the cement.
The bottom line on this figure is that any super-hero collector should have him… he’s that good. Diamond Select must have used gamma radiation or voodoo magic to make this figure cost effective. Looking practically like a statue given his sculpt, size and paint, this version of the Hulk is a steal at $20. He’s an amazing value and well worth hunting down.
You can read more of C.J.’s musings on film, toys and music over at stunksstage.com.