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THOR Week Reviews
Marvel Universe’s Wrecking Crew

For Wednesday’s entry into Thor Week, I’m going to take look at the Marvel Universe line’s Wrecking Crew! You have to buy three two-packs and a single carded figure to put this four man-team together, but you get a complete roster when you’re done! And in comic toy lines, you should never overlook a complete team.

My affiliation with the Wrecking Crew is limited in the comics (the only issues that I’ve read in which they appeared were Secret Wars), but the toys appealed to me when I ran across them despite my lack of knowledge about the characters. I think it’s because, for the most part, they’re generic. That may sound silly, but there is something interesting to getting some guys in basic jumpsuits with no logos. I mean no disrepect to who they are in the comics, and it’s something I intend to learn more about very shortly, but their simple looks ended up making for some great toys.

The Wrecking Crew has a relatively simple origin. Dirk Garthwaite, a.k.a. the Wrecker (that’s him below, if you’re not familiar with these dudes), was a two-bit thug that, by virtue of being in the right place at the right time, received a crowbar enchanted with Asgardian power. Moving up from thug to supervillain, he went on to battle Thor & other heroes successfully, but ended up in prison more often than not. It was there that he met Brian Calusky, Henry Camp, and the disgraced physicist Eliot Franklin. When it came time for Wrecker’s perennial prison escape, he brought the three men along, recovered his crowbar, and with the help of a bolt of lightning, imparted his power to his comrades to create the Wrecking Crew.

The de facto leader of the Wrecking Crew is also the only of the quartet to receive a single figure (which garnered him a stand and H.A.M.M.E.R. file) and a completely unique sculpt. The sculpt is spot-on to his more recent appearances and, while it’s certainly skin tight in some areas, there are plenty of fabric folds and details to give the appearance of it being the looser suit featured in the comics. In addition to all the right details, he has a great snarl. I’m not usually in favor of open mouth figures, but Wrecker looks great here. I also had no paint issues on my figure. The colors contrast great and everything is well done.

By benefit of his new sculpt, Wrecker also has improved articulation. The standard compliment is there, but the much needed thigh swivels are added, the wrist swivels are deftly hidden at the edge of the gloves, and his head features a two-piece ball-joint that greatly increases the range.

After learning about the characters, Thunderball became my de facto favorite. He’s a brilliant nuclear scientist hanging out with three thugs. I’d like to see these guys hang out in their down time. What do they talk about? How does Thunderball feel about his buddies most days? It probably amuses me too much.

Since Thunderball has a generic costume, he also utilizes a generic buck. It’s the larger, bulkier MU body and it works perfectly for him. His only unique piece is his head sculpt. Since this Thunderball features his afro sticking up through his open cowl, you can tell he’s based on his classic design – unlike the Wrecker. I don’t mind the mismatch and consider the team complete, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a hardcore Wrecking Crew fan waiting for a classic Wrecker…

The articulation is standard for the line, but paint was a problem for me on Thunderball. Most of the ones I’ve seen at the store were at least a little sloppy. Just some general fuzziness where the yellow meets the green on the collar and boots and the black paint on his hair spills over on to the cowl here and there on the back.

Like Thunderball, Piledriver is built on the slightly bulkier MU buck. In fact, they’re the same figure from the head down. That’s mostly okay, except that Piledriver’s power is that he’s really strong and can beat you down with his “oversized hands” – a fact that even the packaging points out. And yet, Piledriver has the same hands as everyone else.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, Piledriver did leave the team for a bit and was replaced by his son. So, it’s not like we have every member of the Wrecking Crew, but we have the “all-time” Wrecking Crew roster and his son just didn’t make the cut.

Piledriver’s head is a nice sculpt and accurate to the comics (if you wanted to customize an MU Amalgam Super-Soldier, this head is perfect) and leaves the paint to do most of the costume specific work. The paint on mine was decent enough. Again, I ended up with some slop on the hairline, but the main QC issue here was the dark wash on the left leg that didn’t match up with the other pieces. Continue to Page 2…

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20 comments to THOR Week Reviews
Marvel Universe’s Wrecking Crew

  • dayraven

    you know, in an interesting sub-note, and as a burgeoning thorophile, you too will soon join us noisy… no ulik. not in MU, not in ml, not even in the retardedly expansive 90’s TB line… ulik is an often-relied-upon villain, and a good one at that. this would be like the FF never getting mole man, or iron man never getting titanium man, or the x-men never getting mister sinister… and yet, here we are. really, thor has had consistant cock blockage on his rogue’s gallery, almost as egregious as hulk’s… no, wait, strike that, i just remembered, hulk has had wolverine, wendigo, juggernaut, abomination, red hulk, and absorbing man. thor’s gotten loki. just loki. no kurse, no hela, no set, (i suppose we’ve gotten galactus, and thanos in MU, so those count…)

    • I’ll keep an eye out for Ulik in the comics. It’s unbelievable that the 90s line didn’t even bother to get into Thor? I know a lot of one-off and “G” list X-men villains because of that line.

    • JamesLynch

      Thor’s also got almost zero supporting cast members. There will finally be a few of them in the movie line, but there’s little hope of ever getting a comic-based Sif, Odin, Heimdall, Balder, or Warriors Three (I don’t think we’re even getting half those guys I just listed in the movie line).

      Thor’s always going to get the shaft in the figure line department, it seems.

      • Brainlock

        Destroyer had the ThorBuster IM variant, and is getting a couple figures from the movie line, too.

        as for the Crew, I had to pass, as the 2pks came out with no announcement of a Wrecker coming at that time. Now, I can’t find ANY of these guys, Wrecker or the 2pks. sigh…

      • I wonder what’s up with that too? Even the movie line is not helping in that department. If you want characters from the movie, very little offerings in the first wave really.

  • U-Hawg

    I love that fight pic at the end!!

    I’ve seen all these guys at the store except the orange one, they do look interesting, but I only buy figures of certain characters I follow so these were an easy pass.

    • Thanks, I was really happy with how that one turned out!

      I think Bulldozed was the one I saw the least throughout the last year.

  • Actua

    Great pics as always, Noisy!

  • Vic Stagg

    Great review! I still can’t believe these guys never got Marvel Legends figures. I hope that Hasbro rectifies that in the new line. There’s tons of great Thor characters.

  • Globulus

    Just a minor nitpick the three members of the ‘Crew don’t have the exact same body as Bulldozer has different boots. Great review though!

    • Thanks, I glossed over that a bit. I suppose I should’ve thrown in that the bucks are the same with one minor difference. 😀

  • Prophet924

    I really enjoy your reviews. For the most part I have the figures you are reviewing. I can see all the things you speak of first hand. I just enjoy reading your commentary that blends character history with how much you enjoy the figs. It is a fun read every time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Motorthing

    Whatever the cheesey appeal was of this mob they were always a childhood fave of mine – they always talked tough, looked badass and got their teeth handed to them – usually in a single issue and even by the likes of Spider-man. So getting this neglected corner of the MU into …well….MU was pure gravy. Until I saw Bulldozer. They didn’t make the guy squat enough by half and he looks pretty underweight compared to the comics. The Juggernaut buck would have been a little too tall, but that’s the kind of build he needed.

    And it’s ironic you pulled Piledriver up on his hands because withe the number of figures that have stupidly oversized left/right mitts in this line (guardian anyone?) I’m thinking maybe they only made them that size so they could get an accurate Piledriver out of it someday!

    That aside it’s a great team and another terrific review. Definitely more Thor please.

    • Doh. I should’ve looked into scale. I saw a few pics that looked like they were all about the same size and ran from that. That’s a shame if they didn’t do him quite right.

      LOL on the hands. I didn’t think about it until after the pics were done or I could’ve had some of the shots where the widest part of the hand is turned flush with the thinnest side of the arm. It can look pretty bad in some poses.

      There will be more Thor in the site’s future…

  • Probably some of my favorite Marvel Villians, they lose all the time but are tough and can showcase the heroes ability to win. While they lose it’s not like they lose by much.

    Great Review.