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…