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Bulldozer & The Thing

Marvel Universe
by yo go re

This set couldn't be more orange if it tried. Like, "John Boehner wearing hunting clothes and using a carrot wrapped in a Reese's Cup package to pork Snooki on a bed made of traffic cones" orange. So in honor of that, throughout this review we're going to prove your English teacher and anyone who's ever forwarded you an email wrong, by giving you a few words that really honestly do rhyme with orange.

While Bulldozer relaxes safely on the chunk of land headed towards Earth, the heroes are in the fight of their lives. The strength of The Thing is instrumental in beating an army of monsters created by Dr. Doom. Despite this victory, The Thing decides to remain behind on Battleworld to learn how to use his new powers.

Bulldozer is our third member of the Wrecking Crew, a longtime Marvel villain team that's never had action figures before, so now all we need is Wrecker himself. Coming soon! Bulldozer is really Henry Camp, former US Army master sergeant, who was dishonorably discharged for undisclosed reasons and eventually ended up sharing a cell with Wrecker at Ryker's Island. Eventually they escaped - maybe by tampering with the cell door hinge?

He doesn't get a separate weapon like Thunderball, but neither is Bulldozer as plain as Piledriver. He's wearing an orange suit with silver accents: studded bands around his wrists, silver boots with more bands at the tops, a silver belt, and a large silver collar around the shoulders. The figure uses the same basic body as the other two Wrecking Crew members, but the silver add-ons help set him apart. Only the shoulder armor is glued in place. And though the sculpt reveals the legs are assembled correctly, the ankles angle out to the sides the wrong way.

Bulldozer's costume was redesigned in the '90s, but this is the classic design, which means he looks a little bit like a superheroic version of Ram-Man. He even wears a silly little silver helmet! The ear-caps on the sides make it look like a fire hydrant. Bulldozer generally fights like Juggernaut: by running straight at things and hitting them with his head.

As you know, most of Marvel's heroes are centered in and around New York. Their headquarters have real addresses, and they're always fighting on and around landmarks like the Chrysler Building, the George Washington/Brooklyn Bridge, or even Central Park. Hey, fun fact: on the east side of the park, right near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, stands Cleopatra's Needle, which was brought to New York by Henry Honychurch Gorringe. Anyway, that's about 40 blocks north and two blocks west of the intersection of Madison Ave. and 42nd St., the address of the Baxter Building, home of the Fantastic Four.

It's kind of disappointing to get Thing in this comic pack - there was already a single-carded Thing in the Marvel Universe line. And on top of that, he had a variant, so there have already been two Things in the Marvel Universe line (which we bold merely for emphasis, not to suggest it rhymes with orange, like some might say syringe does [but that's only an example of an imperfect rhyme]). Plus, Thing was one of the characters released under ToyBiz's Superhero Showdown line - in the same two-pack as Spider-Man - so it's not like there was any shortage of him.

This figure isn't just a repaint of the other Things, so that's at least something. From the hips up, it's the same mold, but the solo-carded version and its variant were both wearing pants and boots, while this one is barelegged. The sculpt is pretty good, but the SHS version was better: the rocks were smaller and more ornate, while on this figure they're large and blocky; the sculpt is still skillful, so this is clearly just a matter of preference, but there you go. Thing is just a skosh below 4½" tall, which means he's actually shorter than Bulldozer. That seems... incorrect. Sure, the Wrecking Crew are larger than average, but this big? Showdown Thing was taller, too. It's probably due to the restrictions of the line: if Hulk is the biggest "standard" figure they can make, at 4¾", then everyone who isn't as big as hulk needs to be smaller; and while Thing isn't human-sized (unless you do it wrong), he's generally a bit smaller than Hulk, so his figure gets downsized.

The Marvel Universe Thing is much more orange than Superhero Showdown Thing, who was closer to brown. His trunks are blue with a white waistband. His articulation has taken a step down, as well: he has swivel/hinge joints at the ankles, knees, hips, torso, elbows and shoulders, and plain swivels for the wrists and neck. Really? A swivel neck? How 1995. No matter how they're turned, his wrists don't fit the ends of his arms.

Since this is a Comic Pack, it includes a comicbook - in this case, Secret Wars #12, the finale of the series. Bulldozer doesn't have much to do in it (in fact all the villains disappear after the first half of the book), but we do get a handy plot recap courtesy of a talking bathtub. No, really, I swear. The way this is reprinted, there's a big two-page spread that ges cut in half - way to go! Randomly, there are thre pinups in the back, as well: Kang, Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four.

In the review of Comic Pack #3, we said it was only worth getting if you were trying to complete the entire Wrecking Crew. This set isn't that bad, since Thing at least has new legs, but it's still not a must-buy. The old ToyBiz Thing is better than this release, and it's five years old at this point. Bulldozer is about as good as can be expected, but Thing is a less-than impressive pile of rocks. For an impressive pile of rocks, you might like the Blorenge, a mountain in southwest Wales.

-- 11/01/10


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