Welcome to Figures & Speech, Nerdist’s regular column by, for, and about grown-ups who still play with their toys but might want to know more before they buy. From product reviews to informed editorials, these are most definitely the articles that’ll make you want to strike a pose.
I have a really big head.
No, really. You know how most baseball caps you can order with logos on them say “one size fits all”? It’s not true. Not for me.
My head is so big that one time when I went to a drift car race to write about what it’s like to ride in one, they spent all day looking for a size 8 helmet I could wear. And by the time they got it the track was about to close, so I only got to ride around one curve.
How is this relevant?
Realizing that he’s bigger than my head, on the other hand…
Alternately, there’s the realization that you can pose him with people-sized things and it doesn’t look so far off. Really, he’s bigger than a small baby. NECA did a Lord of the Rings Balrog once that took up more space because of its wingspan, but this is the most massive action figure they’ve ever done (they’ve made foam replicas that are larger, but nothing hard plastic).
Hulk retails for around $230, so you’re not going to find him in your local toy store. Indeed, because of this, NECA has managed to keep the price from going any higher by not designing a logo box for him. He comes in a double thick cardboard box that looks something like this:
I should emphasize: if you are a collector who likes to keep toys in the box, you might as well save a lot of money and buy a cardboard box, then stuff it with heavy stones. You cannot display this figure in package, if you want to see any part of the figure, ever. I would also suggest that if you buy him from a dealer at a convention, be prepared to open him on the spot and make sure you didn’t get sold a box of bricks. There’s no way to be sure without opening.
This is what’s inside:
It’s like looking at Megatron in that first Transformers movie, when he was kept frozen. You will need scissors or nailclippers for the zip ties, which look as big as the ones used to cuff actual puny humans.
The first thing to notice about Hulk is the likeness. Because he’s solid, and lacks the liquidity of CG, I’d venture to say the figure may have a better likeness of exaggerated Mark Ruffalo than even the movie model does. The eyes and inner mouth are separate pieces, with a shinier gloss to look moist.
Hulk includes two sets of hands, with fists and open hands for both left and right arms. They pop on and off easily, and if you’re like me, you’ll probably go with one of each.
While most NECA quarter-scale figures are heavily articulated, it’s always harder to do super-muscular characters like Hulk in that style without sacrificing the musculature. So he’s a bit more basic, but effective. Ankles rotate (he’d collapse if they were ball joints, as he is a top-heavy guy), and shoulders/elbows/knees/wrists/hips are ratcheting ball joints that click into place. The neck is a ball joint that’s very restricted by the neck and hair sculpting, and the mid-torso might be a ball but I don’t want to force it too hard to find out.
This is the Age of Ultron Hulk, which means he comes with SHIELD-issue purple stretchy shorts. They’re insanely detailed, with the full web/mesh pattern, and chrome metallic rivets.
My guess was going to be that under the shorts, NECA might have sculpted blue jean remnants to make him the Avengers 1 Hulk. Nope. Under his pants, he’s a big ol’ Ken Doll. No wonder he’s always angry.
Oh come on, don’t pretend you weren’t curious. Or that you don’t wanna know what Hulk butt looks like.
You may notice it’s a slightly different color. It’s also a softer texture, to allow for the hip joints to have a full range of motion.
Okay. so odds are that if you’re paying the big bucks to get this guy online, your motivation for doing so is to complete your NECA Avengers team, or rather, complete the “Core Four,” as NECA have said they’re not really planning on the rest of the group. So you’ll want to see how they look like…assembled. Bear in mind, again, that those other figures pictured are 18 inches tall.
NOW do you have some idea how much space you’ll have to clear? Also, let’s talk about stands. If you look closely, you’ll see I use metal Kaiser doll stands, as recommended by NECA, to keep them standing straight. And you will never, ever get one of those to clip around the Hulk’s waist.
You can, however, clip one to each leg. I’m not entirely sure if that’ll work long term, but it may be worth a try. If you collect and love NECA quarter-scale figures as much as I do, you’ll always have some on hand anyway.
Did I mention yet that he’s big?
Also, he has little sculpted chest hairs.
Finding space for this guy will be the challenge, but if you’re any kind of Hulk fan, it’s well worth it. The facial detail is incredible, as is the detail in the shorts, and the hands and feet even have a slight brown tint to imply he’s been getting dirty in battle. Yes, $234 is a lot for a toy, but much smaller figures from Sideshow and Hot Toys already cost that much. This thing is a conversation piece (trust me, it already has been). He looks like a movie prop, but you can play with him. I suggest leaning him back on something, though, as he tends to fall forward if he falls.
Is it appropriate for kids? I’d posit that if they are old enough to pick it up with ease, they’ll be fine (it weighs approximately 21 pounds). So long as they’re not still in a phase of hitting people, animals, or anything else with their toys, because this Hulk will smash things that way, and nobody wants that.
Hulkamania is indeed running wild, brothers and sisters.
Image credits: LYT/Nerdist
Nerdist Weekend Editor Luke Y. Thompson is always up for talking toys on Twitter. Tweet your figure pics at @LYTrules.