Marvel Legends (What If?): The Hydra Stomper by Hasbro

In case you missed the memo, I’ve replaced Marvel Mondays with Mythic Legions reviews, so that’s why you’re seeing a Marvel Legends review on a Wednesday! Now, since it’s out of the regular Monday rotation, that means there’s no guarantee that I’ll be doing Marvel content every week, but I wasn’t about to go cold turkey straight out of the gate, was I? Today I’m checking out The Hydra Stomper, which is a single oversized Deluxe release, that is tethered in spirit to the proper What If? Wave, which I’ll be tackling soon enough. My guess is that this guy was a little too big to do as the Build A Figure, which is why Hasbro gave that honor to The Watcher. Hey, it all works out in the end.

While What If? can refer to the funnybooks, this Wave seems to be more specifically tied to the recent What If? animated series on Disney+. Nope, I didn’t watch it, I just can’t get into these Marvel Disney+ Series, but I’m not going to let that stop me from enjoying the figures. The Hydra Stomper is a suit of armor made by Howard Stark for Steve Rogers in a reality where Agent Carter became the Super Soldier. Yeah… I think I got that right. Anyway, let’s suit up and dive in!

Oh man, this is a big and meaty figure! I absolutely love the design here, which has a primitive look similar to Tony Stark’s Mark I armor. It also has a wonderful WWII military-style finish, which includes a uniform coat of matte olive green paint, along with some brown panels down on the feet, and some white stenciled military markings. There’s also a pale blue panel on the front in place of what would be the Arc Reactor in our reality, but in this case offers a window to the Tesseract power that drives this particular suit. The sculpt isn’t what I would call hyper-detailed, as it tends to favor smooth vacant spaces instead of a lot of complex panel lines, but there are some nice flourishes here, like the rivets and vents. I also really dig the grab bars that run up the left leg and along the left side of the torso to help Steve climb into this behemoth.

There’s a lot more detail present on the massive jet pack, which pegs into the back and includes hinges on each thruster tank to reposition them away from the body. The cables and supports all look pretty convincing and I dig the scorch marks painted along the the thrusters themselves. I would have liked a little more weathering like this on the figure as a whole to make it look more worn and realistic, but I suppose the simpler paint job is more in tune with the animation style of the series. One gripe about the jetpack is that it’s rather heavy and the peg isn’t substantial enough to keep it plugged in all that securely. It will stay put if I’m just repositioning the figure, but if I get into any major re-posing, it is apt to fall out.

The head gives me more of that Mark I armor vibe, with the squared off eyes and the bars over the mouth slit. You get more grab bars on the shoulders for lowering into the torso compartment, and there’s a rather stout antenna rising up over the left shoulder. A white star and the C-15 registry on the chest adds nicely to the military motif.

As a stocky, well-armored figure, the articulation here doesn’t always offer the best range of motion, but all the points are there, and I’d say that the figure has about the same level of movement that one might expect from the real suit. The shoulder plates are hinged so they don’t get in the way of the rotating hinges in the shoulders too badly. The hips are capable of some nice wide stances, with lateral rockers in the ankles to accommodate them. The elbows can’t quite do 90-degrees, but they come close. Balancing this big guy can be a bit of a challenge, especially with the jetpack on, but he’s still lots of fun to play with.

In terms of weapons, the Stomper has them built in to the right forearm. I imagine these were showcased in the series, but since I didn’t watch it, I’ll presume that one is a machine gun and the other is maybe a flame thrower? Sure, why not? Let’s go with that!

The Stomper comes with two sets of hands, one pair is for clutching and grabbing and the other is a pair of fists for punching… and more punching.

Finally, you get a pair of effect parts to peg into the jetpack to make it look like he’s flying. These pieces are a little understated, but they work well enough. I was hoping they were sized so as to double as weapon fire, but they are only designed to fit into the thrusters and will not plug into the weapon muzzle. Given a choice, I actually would have rather had an effect part for the gun.

The Hydra Stomper is a cool and fun figure by every possible measure. I think a little paint weathering would have gone a long way to make him look a bit more premium, but it’s absence is by no means a deal-breaker for me enjoying this figure a hell of a lot. When I first took this guy out of the shipping box, I was a bit taken back by just how big he was! After playing around with him for just a bit, I couldn’t wait to dig out my Hydra soldier pack and have him give them a good stomping! Hell, he can even make quick work of the Hydra Heavy Soldier, and that is by no means a small figure! I can’t even imagine how big the Hot Toys version is going to be, but imagine I will have to, because I’m not going to pony up the cash for that beast. We’ll no doubt see this figure make an appearance here again when I get around to reviewing the Agent Carter from the What If? Wave!