BAF Piece: Left Wing
Hercules finally becomes a Marvel Legend, so how did Hasbro do?
So far, the Hasbro Marvel Legends figures seem to have a love it or hate it reputation with the collectors. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is not the case with Hercules. I think collectors will either like this figure or feel indifferent about him. Hercules was definitely hated when we got the first look at him from Toyfair Magazine because of his "big stupid grin". It seems, maybe a tweak in sculpt or just the right paint app that he doesn't look so stupid anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather have him gritting his teeth fiercly at an enemy but for what it is, it's not so bad. Some out there, for example the "X-Men only" types of collectors out there (I used to be one) won't know much or care much for a Hercules figure. Aside from the grin, let's see how the rest of the figure scores.
Sculpt / Design
Hercules' design is dead on. There is not one massive flaw that I've seen that can take that away. Respectively so, the sculpt delivers in every way it needs to. The hair, the beard, the chest, arms, bracelets, strap, tunic, leg guards and boots are all top-notch. Great sculpt all the way around, veins popping out of the arms a dynamic slightly wind blown tunic (thankfully not too windblown eh?) and the paint job nor the sculpt takes away from this figure's sculpt and design. My only gripe and maybe the gripe of many is the big grin. Some may be fond of Hercules' character as the big smiley guy, but in the end I'd always rather have a fearsome hero.
Paint / Color
Wow, Hasbro actually painted this figure and a lot. They did a good job while they were at it. I would preferred more of a straight up brown instead of a reddish brown for the hair and beard but it doesn't kill it for me. The overall skin tone looks great and radiates life into the sculpt. Light touches of bronze here and there and most of the Hercules chest and arms seemed to match up pretty well. There was one on the shelves out of about six that had a bit of a darker torso than arms and of course, looked unrealistic. They gave the veins along the arms and shoulders some highlights as well to help bring them out. With as many straps as there are on those huge legs of Herc's you'd imagine they would be painted slopply here and there, forgive me, it's the last year of ToyBiz experience lashing out, but these leg straps are clean. I love the way the green parts in the torso strap and tunic are a slightly crackly (due to sculpt) and glossy (due to paint) texture, especially in contrast to the tan-brown trim that has the flat finish. Even the boots have a wash providing them with an accurate leathery texture and multiple levels of browns.
Fourth figure reviewed so far from Hasbro's first wave of Marvel Legends figures and still no finger or mid hand articulation at all. I know for a fact that Hasbro hasn't completely sworn of finger / hand articulation being that some Ghost Rider movie figures have four finger articulation. It would have been great if Hercules could clench up his fists to make a complete fist. At least it's better than the "slappy hands" that Banshee and X-23 Beast have. Hercules' ball joint wrist articulation although functionally, very useful, turns out looking a bit odd. In a neutral position the hands look okay but when you hinge the wrist, you have this big bulbous ball that looks like a badly swollen infection. Other than these minor issues, Hercules features 30 points of high range of motion articulation. Ball-joint head, shoulders and hips, double hinged elbows and knees are amongst the most useful POA on this figure and provide great ranges of motion and feel nice and stiff and solid. Solid is really the perfect word to sum up this figure in general. Again, I am pleased to share that there are no stiff or stuck joints resulting in breaks or tears of limbs. There are no rubbery knee or elbow joints for a sagging affect.
Hercules' weapon of choice is an adamantine mace, forged by Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods which is included here and can be holstered into a strap on Hercules' belt. Two things have to bring down this mace. One is that the plastic is just rubbery / flimsy enough that from sitting in position in the bubble packaging, it has a permanent curve to the handle. I'm used to this sort of things with Marvel Legends accessories but it's still annoying. Secondly, Hercules does not hold the mace in his hand firm enough. It slips out of his hand a bit too easily. So I used one of those clear rubber bands that they use to strap the figures to the bubble to tie the mace to his hand. Hercules comes with the left wing of Annihilus which will be reviewed in Annihilus' own review.
Sculpt / Design: 9
Paint / Color: 9
Overall: 32 out of a possible 40
Hercules is a solid release by Hasbro in Marvel Legends Annihilus Series, if you can get past or don't care about the grin that is. If you are just buying this figure to get the Annihilus piece, then hey, you won't feel like it was a total waste of money, because this is a nice big brutish well executed, solid figure. I am still baffled as to why they could paint this figure beautifully from head to toe and skip Banshee? Oh, by the way, if you're wondering what those weird group shots (page 2 of the gallery) are of Hercules with other super heroes, they are shots of The Champions
and (the first) Heroes for Hire
(Yes they were real teams).