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Fin Fang Foom

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

When the two-series "Hulk" set of Marvel Legends was first announced, fans were excited. Oh, not by the prospect of buying more Hulks, but by the series' Build-A-Figure, the mighty Fin Fang Foom!

Fin Fang Foom! Mommy was a slut-lizard that did the bad thing with suggestively-shaped piles of nuclear waste, and nine months later-- Fin Fang Foom! Has been burning with the need to mate since 1956! Fin Fang Foom! Has absolutely no genitals whatsoever! Fin Fang Foom! Oh, you cannot possibly imagine how annoyed he is.

Okay, that's not an entirely accurate bio, but it is pretty funny. Thank you, Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.! The real story is that he's an alien from Maklu IV, a planet where all the inhabitants look conveniently like our idea of dragons. Some wear tiny purple underpants. Fin Fang was the navigator on a spaceship that crashed on Earth, which I guess means he wasn't actually very good at his job. The valley where they crashed - in what would eventually be China - became known as the Valley of the Sleeping Dragons, and there Fin Fang Foom waited, for the day when his might would be needed and he could conquer the world. Still, the fact remains that he's a giant lizard monster in purple underpants.

A classic Marvel Monster - he first appeared one month before the Fantastic Four - FFF is one of the few of his kind to not only make the transition to the Marvel Universe proper, but to have a major recurring role, as well. He even appeared on the '90s Iron Man cartoon (and got a toy from it), so as a choice for a BAF, Foom is pretty good.

Finny comes in 11 pieces: head, neck, chest, wings, arms, groin, legs and tail. The pieces snap together tightly, but not quite as securely as the early BAFs, which would literally break if you disregarded the instructions' clear warning against trying to do so. For instance, Fin Fang Foom's hip popped out the first time I tried to move the joint, but now it's better. It's easy to assemble the pieces, and truly daunting to look at th figure when you first get him togethr.

The reason the Build-A-Foom was split among two series of figures is a simple one: his size. Yes, this is a return to Sentinel-style hugeitude. He has a hunched pose, but his horns still crest the 16" mark, making him twice as tall as most recent BAFs. His height (or length, really) is listed in official sources as 32', so the figure is still only half as big as he should be, but hey, we said the same thing about Galactus, and Hasbro has its own line of Superhero Showdown-sized figures on the way.

Articulation is very good as well, with just a few exceptions: namely, he could really use some sort of swivel in the thigh to offset his V-crotch. He has a balljointed head, shoulders, wrists, torso, wings, hips and ankles, hinged knees and jaw, double-hinged elbows, and swivels at the neck, biceps, and two places in the tail. Of course, they could have given him thigh joints if they'd put him in his tiny purple underpants, rather than leaving him naked.

The sculpt is every bit as good as you'd want it to be, with thousands of small scales wrapped around his body. His square fingers have wrinkles where the joints would be, and ridges ring around his horns. He has the big horsey face that Jack Kirby drew, though there is one thing that isn't accurate: he has teeth. Why's that a problem? Because when he was created, the Comics Code Authority forbade monsters from having sharp teeth, so Kirby's monstrous menagerie were always toothless. Not in the "powerless threat" sense, but they had empty mouths. Bonus points for the sculpted taste buds, though.

In addition to being available in regular stores, the Hulk series was also sold as a box set at SDCC 2008. The huge white box has an image of Hulk and Fin Fang Foom wrapped around it, and was limited to 2,008 pieces. The price was the same as buying the eight figures at retail - the advantage was just getting them all at once, rather than having to cherry pick. Of course, you couldn't compare paint, but considering how hard it's been to find some of the figures in these series, that's a fair tradeoff. One thing they could have done? Randomly make some of the Foom sets orange, to duplicate the way he looked in his first appearance. Now that would have been an interesting chase exclusive!

The name "Fin Fang Foom" may sound silly to human ears, but it's actually quite fearsome when translated: "He whose limbs shatter mountains and whose back scrapes the sun" may be a mouthful, but it accurately conveys his majesty. And by splitting the BAF between two series of fifgures, the assembled toy's size conveys it, as well. Granted, he won't be picking up the Great Wall of China and cracking it like a whip, as he did in his first appearance, but he's still a sizeable monster who will tower over the rest of your Marvel Legends.

I just wish he had his tiny purple underpants.

Absorbing Man | Doc Samson | "The End" Hulk | King Hulk
Savage Grey Hulk | Savage She-Hulk | Skarr, Son of Hulk | Wendigo


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