The "Big G" has never looked so good...
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Hasbro's 3 ¾ inch Marvel Universe line has been a huge hit since its debut in 2009. Of course, a mere few inches simply can't contain all of the huge characters from Marvel comics, and so later that year Wal-Mart played host to the "Gigantic Battles" sub-line with its oversized Skrull Giant Man and Goliaths. At this year's Comic-Con, Hasbro upped the ante once again with an exclusive version of the first in a new line of even larger Masterworks figures: Galactus! While that cosmic menace came packaged on the world's biggest blister card, the regular retail version comes in a great big "try me" box with an exclusive Silver Surfer. That's the one we'll be looking at today.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, Galactus is one of the most powerful (and largest) characters in the Marvel Comics universe. The last survivor from the previous universe, the explorer Galan was reborn during the Big Bang into an enormous being who survived by draining the energy from entire planets. Part of the "Power Cosmic," Galactus is a force of nature and part of the fabric of the universe. To find suitable feeding grounds and interact with lesser creatures, he continually creates Heralds by investing in them some of his nearly infinite power. The most famous of these is of course the Silver Surfer.
While a blister card big enough to hold Galactus is cool, it's not exactly suitable for the toy aisle and so the retail version is presented in a huge fifth panel window box that’s wide and tall but relatively shallow. The front panel has an enormous graphic of Galactus and Silver Surfer. The top-right corner has the Marvel Universe logo, and the entity's name is at the bottom. In the bottom-left corner is a cutout for lifting up the panel. Meanwhile, the front image is so big that it continues onto the top panel, while the bottom of the box has the standard H.A.M.M.E.R. sub-line imagery and photos of other available figures.
The back of the box has a very cool action shot of Galactus lording over dozens of Marvel Universe figures. "Cosmic Lights" and "Powerful Phrases" advertise the figure's special features, and several of those phrases are written out for your enjoyment. The entire right side of the panel is dedicated to a long biography of Galactus and Silver Surfer. Open the front panel to reveal the full size version of the cover image, and of course the figures themselves in huge "try me" window. Go ahead and push the button; the sounds and lights are perfectly enjoyable while the figure is still inside the package. One last note about the packaging: once you open the box you'll find that Galactus is held in place by only a handful of the new, twine-like ties, making it a simple and quick task to free him!
One word sums up Galactus: big! The figure is no less than 19 inches tall from his massive boots to his twin-forked helmet. As befits one of the great "Abstracts" of the Marvel Universe, Galactus wears a very interesting outfit consisting of armor that contains his extreme energies. It is comprised of layers upon layers of different geometric shapes and textures, only revealing a part of the giant's face. As best as I can tell, Galactus wears a bodysuit with additional boots, skirt, belt, breastplate, gloves, and helmet. Of course, over the years his appearance in the comic books has changed somewhat, but this feels like a pretty "definitive" look.
When dealing with such huge figures, toy companies often either skimp on the sculpting or jack up the price. Let's face it, compared to a 4 inch figure there's quite a bit of sculpted plastic here! Thankfully, Hasbro did an amazing job with Galactus, and he really does feel just like a giant action figure. Where he wears only the bodysuit, the Devourer has a sculpted muscular physique (who knew Big G worked out?). The armor has various sections that alternate between smooth panels and ribbed sections. The skirt, chest piece, and boots are made of a softer plastic, but even those parts have lots of sculpted details and the "layering" of elements on the skirt looks great.
Some other things that stand out: on the inside of each forearm is a panel of technological bits on the gloves, and front and center on the chest is an intricate "G" emblem that holds the button for the light and sound effects. Of course, there's a tremendous amount of sculpted detail on Galactus' head. His face has a lot of character, and is surrounded by various protruding parts that are covered in lines, geometric shapes, and more. Likewise, all of the translucent blue plastic sections on the helmet are covered in more wires and cables, etc.
When it comes to colors, Galactus proves that the bigger you are, the freer you are to break the rules of fashion. The big guy is really into purple and blue, and he's not afraid to show it. Those two colors are alternated all over his armor from his boots and fingertips to the tips of helmet. Most of it is pretty glossy, and the application is quite crisp. There are additional details in black and pale blue, the latter standing out on Galactus’ belt and chest emblem. The exposed part of the giant's face is a yellowish flesh tone with pink lips. Let's face it; you won’t be seeing this style on the catwalk any time soon.
Despite his large size, Galactus has pretty amazing articulation, on par with the regular sized Marvel Universe figures! He's got a ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, upper arms, double-jointed elbows, forearms, ball-jointed wrists, waist, ball-jointed and swiveling hips, double-jointed knees, lower legs (at the boot), and ankles. He's big and bulky, so you won't get Galactus doing Spider-Man poses, but he can move around pretty well. Of course, in the comics Galactus mostly stands around looking cosmic and pointing his arms at things, so you won't have any problem doing "accurate." The skirt and chest piece do limit the range of movement somewhat.
The "Cosmic Lights" and "Powerful Phrases" come courtesy of the button within the "G" in the chest emblem. You just have to press it once lightly and Galactus will belt out one of eleven grandiose phrases. At the same time, an orange light glows from within his helmet, lighting up his eyes and the clear parts on the front and back.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T74OSP0UqKo]YouTube - Hasbro Marvel Universe Masterworks Galactus[/ame]
"Tremble at the might of the Power Cosmic!" and "Behold the World-Eating Machine!" might look good on paper, but the voice performance is so over the top as to be more silly than intimidating. Maybe it's just me, but in the comics Galactus always seemed to be pretty understated in his speaking; you don't have to be overly dramatic when your stride covers solar systems and you eat planets for breakfast. That being said, kids will love it!
A figure the size of Galactus should have big accessories, and so he comes with a Marvel Universe figure all his own: a new metallic Silver Surfer. He's a simple repaint of the original single-packed figure and his board, and unfortunately he has all of the same flaws. From far away the figure looks okay (the metallic even better than the original matte), but his flimsy limbs and odd joints make posing frustrating at best, and riding his board a chore. He's a nice addition to help cushion the blow of Galactus' cost, though. Finally, Big G comes with the usual Marvel Universe top secret envelope with bio and Superhuman Registration Act card... and they're Galactus-sized!
Galactus will run you about $50 - $60 at mass market toy stores or on their websites, which is not a bad deal considering what you're getting: a great-looking, huge figure with electronics and even a bonus MU figure. He's a great addition to your Marvel Universe collection, and will tower over a lot of your figures and look good doing it. Hasbro has revealed that there will be a variant in his Ultimate Alliance darker color scheme, so if you like that more you should hold off until that one starts showing up. Just don't tell him what I said about his fashion sense!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin