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Zadzooks: Barbarian Hulk action figure review (Diamond Select Toys)

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Since 2002, Diamond Select Toys has brought legendary super heroes and villains to three-dimensional life through its Marvel Select line of collectible action figures.

Averaging 7 inches tall with impressive sculpting detail and articulation, just some of its latest group of plastic pop art stars includes Avengers enemy Ultron, X-Men's Storm, Flash Thompson as Venom (a Disney Store exclusive), and a famed Green Goliath named Barbarian Hulk, inspired by artist Marc Silvestri's work on the Incredible Hulk comic book series.

Figure profile (paraphrased from the box): While the public believes the Hulk to be a savage monster, he has only ever sought freedom — freedom from fighting, freedom from being hunted, and freedom from his alter ego, the scientist Bruce Banner.

His wish came true when Doctor Doom agreed to perform the procedure that would separate them into two bodies, each with their own mind.

The Hulk sought peace among the Moloids, in Subterranea, but Banner did not see his freedom as a blessing and desperately sought to re-create the Hulk process.

Accessories: Towering at nearly 10 inches tall, this green-skinned, muscle-bulging, bearded brute comes simply dressed in a rubber loincloth and offers 16 points of articulation. Hulk gets a removable necklace of animal skulls that helps highlight his scowl and disheveled, almost dreadlock-styled hairdo sitting atop his noggin.

Price: $21.99

Read all about it: Marvel Entertainment's 2011 reboot of the Incredible Hulk monthly comic book series featured the writing of Jason Aaron and incredible illustrations by legend Marc Silvestri (Mr. Silvestri drew the first three issues). Look for the first volume of the series in trade paperback ($24.99) that collects the initial seven issues and features plenty of Barbarian Hulk in action.

What's it worth: Sculptor Jean St. Jean really outdoes himself with this effort on Barbarian Hulk. The musculature detail, popping veins throughout and faithful adaptation of Mr. Silvestri's vision are perfect. With an edgy, brushed paint job, it makes Hulk look like a comic book illustration come to life.

By the way, I've seen many an impressive action figure take on Bruce Banner's alter ego over the last decade, including the Marvel Select Ultimate Hulk from 2008, Toy Biz' Marvel Legends Hulk from 2002, Marvel Select Zombie Hulk from 2007 and, maybe my favorite, the Toy Biz' Stretch n' Roar Hulk from 2003.

However, this big guy from Diamond Select Toys outshines them all.

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