Yes, it’s time to give more money and attention to the wizards at Kotobukiya. Having done some amazing work with DC’s Justice League, they are now branching out their ArtFX+ line to include Marvel’s Avengers and for the first release they’re bringing in the big guns: It’s The Hulk and this statue is… dare I say it? Incredible!
The Hulk comes in a box that absolutely dwarfs the packaging used on most other statues in this line. Standing at a little over 12-inchs tall and nearly as wide, this is one epic box. Of course, The Hulk is a big boy, so this piece still conforms to the usual 1:10 scale of the ArtFX+ line. The box features some shots of the statue and a nice piece of artwork on the back featuring all The Avengers. It’s a nice teaser of the forthcoming releases. No offense to the artsy boxes Koto used for the Justice League, but this is the kind of box I like to get my statues in. It’s attractive, it’s collector friendly, and it’s durable for long term storage. The front of the box declares that this piece is a “pre-painted model kit” and while the Justice League statues didn’t require any assembly, it’s not uncommon for other ArtFX+ statues to require you to plug some pieces together.
Inside the box, The Hulk comes in three pieces all sandwiched between two clear trays. It’s not unlike the Iron Man ArtFX statue that I looked at last week. All you need to do is attach the two halves of the figure at the waist, pop on the head and you’re good to go. You also get two of the standard black metal square bases, because The Hulk is way too big for just one.
So, before I start gushing all over this piece, let me deal with the drawbacks. Because there are some seams that didn’t show up in any of the pre-production photos. Yes, The Hulk is a kit so seams are to be expected, but the arms come already attached, so the fact that they are running across his biceps is unfortunate. On most pieces, these wouldn’t be a problem, but since Hulk is mostly skin, the seams do stand out. I just have to keep reminding myself that as far as statues go, this one is a fairly low end piece.
And apart from those seams, it is indeed easy to forget that this is merely a $60 statue because the rest of it looks like something far better. I adored the metallic snap and relative simplicity of the Justice League statues, but there’s so much more opportunity to shine in a piece like this one. Koto went wild reproducing The Hulk’s muscles, veins and tendons, which all conspire to give this statue a feeling of pure power and rage. Even the composition, with one foot in front of the other and a fist winding up to smash, is just totally out of sight. This Hulk feels like a much higher end piece that has been shrunken down to the 1:10 scale range. And even in this scale, The Hulk stands at about ten inches tall! The portrait is every bit as stunning as the rest of the statue. The powerful furled brow, the broad nose, and the exposed teeth is indeed anger personified. This likeness is pure iconic Hulk through and through.
As wonderful as the sculpting is, it wouldn’t succeed without the proper coloring and this statue has the paintwork to make it work. The green skin tone looks perfect to me and with just enough wash to bring out the detail in the muscles. For a statue that is mostly green skin, there’s a ton of depth and variety to the coloring. The same goes for Hulk’s iconic purple shredded pants. Simply exceptional!
The bases work the same as previous ArtFX+ statues. They are simple black metal squares and they work with the magnets in the Hulk’s feet. You can slide them around to decide how you want your statue to sit on the shelf.
I’ll confess, I thought it a bit odd for Koto to lead with The Hulk, I would have bet on Captain America or Iron Man. But when you’re sitting on a piece this impressive, it doesn’t hurt to get it out at the front of the line. And everything about this piece is indeed just so goddamn impressive. What’s really great about this statue is that it totally succeeds as a stand-alone display piece. And that means he won’t look out of place waiting for the other statues to be released. Indeed, even if I had no interest in collecting a full Avengers line, I’d still happily grab this guy up and at the $60 price point, he feels like a bargain.