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Marvel Universe
Hercules Review

4” Appreciation Week rolls on! It was a little tough figuring out what to review for this week. I haven’t bought any new toys at retail in nearly five weeks (my Joe Sub & Matty Sub toys were some of the only new toys during “No Toy February”). I didn’t want to review all Joes, so I was looking back for any Marvel Universe, Star Wars, 4” DC figures that I bought over the last year and didn’t review. Sadly, that made it not that difficult! There’s a lot of stuff that hasn’t made it on the site for one reason or another.

In my Marvel pile, I had a few choices, but ultimately went with ol’ Hercules because he’s one of the more fun, and more well done, figures out of the crop I have sitting on my shelves. I haven’t bought a ton of MU since ML came back, but I’m always down for Thor-related figures and Hercules fits the bill. He first appeared in Thor’s first annual, way back in 1965. (A Herc had previously appeared the year before in Avengers, but he doesn’t count.) Hercules, a great Lee & Kirby creation, has been Thor’s rival ever since that First Appearance. I haven’t followed the character religiously, but make figures of characters that first appeared in Journey into Mystery, and I’ll surely bite.

My favorite thing about Hercules is that he’s so hilariously ripped that Hasbro had to make an all-new buck for the figure. Seriously. They had a bigger, more muscled buck and still had to say, “nope, not good enough”. Now, I’ve got no problem with “buck”-based toy lines. I understand the times we live in, but the flipside is that it’s special when a figure gets an all-new sculpt. This is the son of Zeus, the mightiest Olympian, and the sculpt shows it. The other great thing is that Herc creates a new buck to be used in the future. Some smart add-on parts like the harness and the belt, along with his unique bracers and sandals makes the figure absolutely Hercules while also making it available for re-use. Gotta love it.

There is one funny thing though – this isn’t Herc as he originally appeared (we did get that in a so-so Hasbro Marvel Legend), this is He-Man Hercules from the 1980s. I don’t mind one bit, it still looks cool, but I’ve never been able to shake off the He-man vibe. Maybe it’s the giant H on his belt. Which, I mean, obviously stands for Hercules. I think one thing I appreciate about the 80s look here is the Secret Wars thing. If Herc had gotten a Secret Wars figure, it would’ve looked like this, except y’know posed in that odd “taking a step” stance.

Even better, the articulation lives up to the great sculpt. The ball-jointed neck is great. There are also ball-jointed shoulders, wrists, hips, and inverted ankles; swivels at the biceps, thighs, and shins, single-hinge elbows, double-hinge knees, and the ab-joint. Everything works great (except maybe that ab joint, Hasbro does weird things in these torsos) and it’s what makes Hercules really sing. He’s bulky and can pose great. That’s awesome. Continue to Page 2…

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15 comments to Marvel Universe
Hercules Review

  • BumblebeeZ3

    I love that last picture.

    • Great! I was worried it was too obscure a reference, like all of Family Guy. 😛 LOL

      • ero

        No way, BBATB is cherished by a great many DC fans. I still wish we’d have received a DCUC Aquaman in his BBATB style to hang out with my Legacy Golden Age Batman.

      • Adam

        Nope, I could actually hear John DiMaggio in my head when I read that.

        (I’m a voice acting nerd.)

        I have really mixed feelings about ML because I really loved my Marvel Legends, and most that I’ve acquired aren’t nearly as nice as this Hercules. However, they seem to be willing to mine more classic looks than the new Marvel Legends will, and there’s no insulting build-a-figure gimmick urging me to buy stuff I don’t want in order to get stuff I do. Still, replacing my ML collection with something that takes up less space is a little tempting.

  • Brainlock

    #TeamBeard!! 😉

    Herc is one of the fun characters still around, like Shulkie and, yes, even Deadpool, but the crucial element is he doesn’t break the fourth wall like those two. I got into Marvel when he was a regular in the 80s, so he’s always been one of “my” mainstay Avengers.

    Mine seems to have a bit light/thin paint on the head, as well, and it doesn’t help that the belt keeps riding up, revealing his speedo crotch. Trimming the skirt off the ML reveals a smaller crotch, too. LOL
    (I think ActorJez turned an Ult.Spidey/Peter hoodie into a “diaper” to bulk it up? wait, no, Jez did his before Hasbro took over, didn’t he?)

    I don’t have that many MU, so I was not aware his torso was new for this figure. However, I seem to recall that Herc’s bracers were full wrist straps, not half-straps as seen here or on several MOTU forearms.

    Not a fan of those boot sculpt, either. I know I tried a couple customs from JAKKS WWF/E figures before the ML came out, and repainting the solid wrestling boots looked better, but the proper style of sandal-type boots is hard to recreate for someone who just does mostly repaints and part swappage.

    I’m also still annoyed that Hasbro couldn’t give him this harness as an added pack-in for the ML figure, and removable kilt/skirting (what IS the proper name for a Greek kilt?), so we could make this look. I know it was a popular custom for many when it was released.
    (I know some used rubber bands, but I could never get them to hold paint, and knew they would crumble in a few years, anyway.)

    So who would you like to see play Hercules in a MCU movie?
    -Galifianakis has the beard, humor, and Greek heritage, but getting Peaches into fighting shape will take a year. or two.
    -Tyler Labine (X-Files, Reaper) has been discussed, and he has slimmed down from his usual fat stoner dude appearance sometime between Super Clyde (the Ron Weasley pilot with Sir Stephen Fry) and Best Man Down, and seems to have a couple more movies and another series in the works?
    -random WWE wrestler? Paul Wight? maybe if he grows his hair back on top. nah, Show is too tall, but maybe he could be Executioner?

  • Mark

    I owned a few Marvel Universe figures last year and Hercules was one of them. Out of all of them Hercules was definitely the best sculpted and most fun to pose. I still prefer 6″ scale figures but the Marvel Universe version is superior to the Legends version in almost everyway.

  • Nice nod to TB&TB there at the end.:D

    This turned out to be an amazing figure. For most fans, it’s their best remembered version of Hercules given how well the 80’s Stern/Buscema/Palmer run has aged over the years. It’s got me wanting characters like Captain Marvel, Starfox, and Doctor Druid now to round out that era’s roster. 🙂

    • Brainlock

      yup!
      and did Black Knight get a proper 80s figure? I know the ML version left a lot to be desired, but I could have sworn they did a BK from that era in MU?

  • Sandman

    A very nice figure with great sculpting and poseability, which captures Herc’s fun-lovin’ personality well.

    Also an absolutely vital part of a “classic” Avengers lineup, along with Black Knight who just came out. Now we’re just missing Mantis and we’ll have had every Avenger from the start up until the Shooter era in MU.

    Well.

    Other than Rick Jones, of course.

    Unless we count A-Bomb.

    Which i’m pretty sure we’re trying not to.

    Anyway, great review and great pics as usual, that last one is amazing. 😀

  • J. Lee

    I kept seeing him but don’t recall if ever bought him. I did have the MLs one and yes this lilbHerc blows it outta the water. I still see him hanging around but have to find out if didn’t buy him already. I know have a couple annuals with Herc in them. One big 4 parter that has the FF and Avengers teaming up to battle a group in the end. I know Herc and Thor were at a bar and slamming back a few in one part.

  • ero

    I really love my Hercules, and between him and my Amazing Spidey Friends set, they keep my MU shelf from being dismantled.

  • stack32

    MU can be pretty good when Hasbro actually puts in a little effort. It’s too bad they insist on using so many of the inferior bucks they produced.