It's been a while since I've reviewed any of the awesome Movie Masterpiece figures from Hong Kong collectible toy company Hot Toys, mainly because it's been a while since I've actually gotten one. Not for lack of want, mind you, but the cost of the individual figures puts quite a dent in my wallet.
Since releasing the Avengers line of figures that I capped off with my Hulk figure followed by an Agent Coulson figure that I did not acquire (dammit), Hot Toys has moved on to the Marvel Phase 2 movies with their figures, making a brief U-turn with the recent release of the non-Hulked-out Bruce Banner figure.
This was a pleasant surprise, not only because I felt this figure was sorely needed for a complete Avengers collection, but also, when initially announced, the figure was set for a late 2014 release which Hot Toys managed to bump up to April — something that they rarely manage to do, so massive props for the effort, guys.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
- Bruce Banner in his snazzy brown suit
- 4 sets of hands in various positions
- Glasses and watch
- Loki's magic mind stick
- 2 extra wrist joints
- A bunch of extra buttons for Bruce's purple shirt
- Stand with base, post and figure grip
WHAT I LIKED
High Quality — As always, Hot Toys pulls out the stops with their figures when it comes to details. The small wrinkles and blemishes in the skin are freaking uncanny. I especially liked how you could see the small graying bits in Bruce's hair.
My Compliments to the Costume Department — It's not something you really think about when it's something that comes naturally in our full scale world, but the fact that Bruce's 1/6th scale jacket actually had lining really stuck with me the first time I removed it to pose the figure jacket-less. This is something that the makers didn't have to do, but they did it anyways, and it looks great. It's these little things that count.
Thanks for the Backup — This is more of an extra note, but the extra shirt buttons were very much appreciated. During my little photo shoot, one of the buttons on Bruce's shirt popped off and I lost the little bugger in the carpet. Thankfully, Hot Toys included a little bag with extra buttons in it for just such a situation. A little dab of glue and Bruce was back in action.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
It's Not Perfect
The figure looks like Mark Ruffalo... Kinda. Generally, Hot Toys get the likeness of their figures pretty damn close to the mark. On a scale of 1 to 10, most figures land in the 8 to 10 range. Bruce here, however, probably gets a 6.5 to 7 on the likeness scale. It's a good likeness, but what isn't similar stands out more than what is, making the figure look less like its real-life model. It's rare for Hot Toys, but it does happen.
What Can He Play With? — One notable disappointment was the lack of accessories. Aside from his watch and glasses, the only real piece of equipment for Bruce was Loki's mind-control staff.
You could argue that Bruce himself had very few items in the Avengers movie, but it would have been nice if the figure came with a little more. Maybe a stand for the staff, or that hand-held radiation sensor Bruce used, or one of those transparent data pads, or maybe even a second set of clothing for a different look. I know I'm being a little picky here, but when you've been spoiled by figures that come with so much, you kind of come to expect it.
When it comes down to it, the Hot Toys Bruce Banner figure feels like a completionist's item — something you get just so you can have a full set regardless of necessity. While the figure is somewhat lacking in terms of accessories, I'm ultimately quite happy with my purchase, but I would hesitate to suggest my friends run out and get one for their own unless they were like me and their Avengers lineup just doesn't feel complete without a human version of the Hulk.
Hot Toys Bruce Banner is currently on pre-order in the West through Sideshow Collectible. There's also a Bruce Banner/Hulk combo set for anyone who wants both the mild-mannered scientist and his muscle-bound green alter ego. Now all I need is a 1/6th scale psychiatrist's couch so I can recreate the after-credits stinger scene from Iron Man 3.