Marvel Universe: Beast by Hasbro

Alrighty then, I’m getting Marvel Mondays back on track with Marvel Universe features as originally intended… at least for the next month or so. Today we’re looking at Beast. I’ll be honest, I was going to pass on this figure, but I found him on clearance at a really good price, so I tossed him in my virtual shopping cart. I don’t have anything against Beast, it’s just that it’s been ages since I’ve read an X-Men book, and I haven’t read any of the current ongoing Astonishing X-Men. I do have the collected TPBs of the Joss Whedon run, so I’ll have to remedy that at some point. It’s worth pointing out that this isn’t one of my favorite designs for the character, so keep that in mind as we press onward!

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Yep, we’ve seen this packaging many times before. It’s the current style being used for the Marvel Universe figures, complete with that totally shitty little piece of printed cardboard that Hasbro tries to pass off as a collectible. Remember the days when you bought a Toy Biz Marvel figure and you actually got a full sized collector card? Hell, remember the days when you bought a Marvel Universe figure and you got a figure stand and a Fury File? Ah well. The packaging is nice enough. I guess Beast’s character art is pretty good. I mean, at least he doesn’t look like Kelsey Grammar.

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The back of the package has a little blurb about Beast and a shot of the figure doing a crazy handstand. It shows off the other three figures in this wave. I’m passing on that Spider-Man, and we’ll probably be looking at Beta Ray Bill next Monday. Oh yeah, this time the cardback features Rocket Raccoon schilling the figures. OH MY GOD, I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE GETTING A “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” MOVIE AND ROCKET RACCOON IS GOING TO BE IN A BIG BUDGET MOVIE!!! The Age of the Nerd has truly come to pass.

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I’m perfectly capable of setting aside my personal design preferences in order to appreciate a great sculpt when I see it. I may not be a big fan of Beast’s angry blue teddy bear look, but Hasbro sure did a nice job sculpting it here. The detail and the expression in that head sculpt are just incredibly well done, and all the exposed fur on the figure looks good. Even the gold piping on the costume is sculpted into place. For all the crap I give Hasbro for using so many painted bucks in this line, when they do decide to tool an entirely new figure, they always go all out. It’s a pleasant surprise, because I can’t see a lot of potential for reusing this guy.

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The paintwork is a solid effort. There’s some bleeding between the black and the yellow on the costume, but nowhere near as bad as I’ve seen on some MU figures. The gold used for the piping and the bracers has a nice, bright luster. Again, not a big fan of this costume design, but Hasbro did a nice job putting it on the figure. I do think the blue for Beast’s fur could have been a tad more vibrant, but I’m really reaching for things to pick at here.

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Beast is one limber little dude with a ton of articulation. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, wrists, torso, hips, and ankles. You also get swivels in the biceps and thighs. The elbows are hinged and the knees are double hinged. He has an extra hinge in the neck, and… holy crap, he even has hinges in his feet!!! There’s no waist swivel, but that torso ball joint really has a crazy amount of movement to it.

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No doubt, Beast is a stand out figure, especially for what is probably a one-off mold. He’s a great combination of amazing sculpt and wonderful articulation. If you’re a fan of this look for the character, you should be extremely happy with this guy. Me? I’m certainly content to have him among my legion of Marvel Universe figures, but I’d also like to see another release based on the older Jim Lee design. Regardless, I give Hasbro a lot of guff for a lot of MU figures not feeling like a great value at $10 a pop, but with all the work that went into Beast, he is well worth the price. I’m actually surprised that he’s so easy to find on clearance.

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