The big screen, big budget debut of Marvel's HULK was hugely anticipated as the character is so very much beloved and treasured that coupled with 2002's hugely successful Spider-man managing to really whet the appetite and set the bar for comic book based movies meant that HULK's arrival was very much looked forward to! Sadly many were disappointed by Ang Lee's take on the Green Meany with critics calling it a bit of a slog; too cerebral and lacking in exciting action but then there are those who felt that Ang's movie had plenty going for it including beautiful visuals and moving performances adding to what is a more grown up and measured take on the character akin to the 70's T.V series! So is HULK a middle of the road comic book adaptation or is it criminally underrated? It works extremely well in parts but not so well in others meaning that the overall experience is a mixed one for certain!
Among the tons of merchandise that accompanied the movie's release were a nice little set of six toys made available exclusively in the UK and Europe and released by Burger King (Interestingly the "Re-Boot" of this franchise; The Incredible Hulk was also promoted through Burger King but conversely those toys were only available in the U.S!) Here we will be taking a look at some of those HULK toy's released in 2003 in detail:
Whilst this figure looks great this large hollow HULK is just a basic action figure with articulation in the arms and waist and with no additional features!The detailing on this is superb through out, with plenty of muscle definition and bulging veins perfectly accentuating that ripped Body builder physique! It may not be the most movie accurate looking toy made to promote the movie but in some ways it looks even better than the movie design which at times looked a little flat and unrefined!
HULK hand grabber: Another simple toy in its function and design but this also has some really nice detailing to add some realism to the Hulk's hand itself, including veins and texture to the finger nails! The thumb is jointed so that when you squeeze the handle it makes a pinching action which can be used to grip small objects. When all is said and done this is not a bad concept for a fast food toy and it works pretty well to be fair but it still comes across as one of those toys that is in the set just to bulk it out a little!
HULK: Don't make Bruce Banner angry, you won't like him when he's angry as hidden in Bruce's DNA lurks a monstrous figure, Green and mean with super human strength and agility who has a tendency to smash everything in his path! The childlike HULK is merely reacting to his surroundings but is ultimately considered a threat by the U.S military and no expense is spared trying to take him down, much to the dismay of Colonel Ross' Daughter Betty who happens to be the former girlfriend of Bruce Banner and is the only one who can bring calm to the raging beast!
This may just be the stand out toy in the whole set! This toy Depicts the HULK smashing through a brick wall, HULK's head is encased in the wall, which can be viewed through a clear window, and is made of thin rubber which incidentally gives it a very lifelike look. The face will contort into an angry expression when you push the button on the back, it's a simple but really effective function that is achieved by having an additional plastic piece behind which has the teeth sculpted in that when pushed forward manipulates the rubber face to expose clenched teeth and create a frown!
A better look here at the more "relaxed" HULK expression shows a really accurate likeness to the on screen character! The brick wall portion of the toy is also very nicely detailed with bits of broken brick debris and other damage sculpted in to give it a dynamic and realistic feel. Overall this toy is more impressive than you might originally think with a great gimmick and a fantastic almost lifelike resemblance!
HULK is a pretty divisive movie, with as much contempt for it as there is fanfare! Yes it is slow and methodical in its approach with the "split screen" comic book panel style editing being both unnecessary and distracting at times, however director Ang lee has to be praised for trying something bold and different even if it doesn't always pay off. Burger King's toy set is certainly a solid one but the sheer volume of HULK movie merchandise makes these feel slightly redundant! Though they may not be necessary additions to a serious Hulk based collection these are at least very well made overall and attractive enough to warrant hunting these down!