Marvel Masterworks Galactus
When I first heard a few months ago that Hasbro was going to release a Galactus figure in the 3-3/4 scale, I was incredibly excited. I think that Hasbro releases some of the best toys in this scale, also I love Galactus! He was a childhood favorite of mine, and my interest in him is largely nostalgic.
I was extremely disappointed when I heard that this was a SDCC exclusive. In all honesty, I seriously considered buying one off eBay for the several hundred dollar asking price. Luckily I read later that Galactus would be released in stores. This started the chase, where I found myself checking stores several time a week until I found one. Then it happened and was rather pleased to pick this on up at Toys-R-Us.
Galactus comes with a Silver Surfer figure and can be balanced on his hand with a little work. This happens to be the same Surfer that was released last year; however he has a new paint job, that is less pearl and more silver. In the sake of full disclosure, between the fact that the Surfer’s legs are so far apart (making it incredibly difficult to get and keep him on his surfboards), and the fact that Galactus has no articulation in his hands, it will be next to impossible to keep the Surfer from constantly attempting suicide by jumping from Galactus’s hand. However, when posed it looks pretty damn cool. If I were another type of collector I would just glue the Surfer to Galactus’s hand.
When the button on Galactus’s chest is pushed, his head lights up and he speaks one of eleven phrase such as “I HUNGER!” and “I AM THE DEVOURER OF WORLDS!” (Its Galactus, so of course he speaks in all caps).
I have to say that I was very disappointed in his LED, it was impossible to see during the day, and is only clearly visible in complete dark. Because of this, I made a trip to Radio Shack and bought the brightest LED I could find that would still fit in his head, costing me six bucks. If you buy this figure and have soldering skills, I recommended that you do this. The batteries are easily replaced through a compartment in his back, which is fairly well hidden, but easily accessible. This is probably a good thing to do because while he already comes with batteries, they are the cheep knock-off brand.
This is where a large portion of your money spent is going to – the LED, circuit board, and speaker. While none of those parts are particularly expensive the cost of copper is still up and metal is more expensive than plastic. The speaker is .25W and 8ohms, which I found to be a little weak and having a lot of distortion but still better than most speakers included in toys. I do think that the voice cast as Galactus was excellent…and I just mentioned my LED issues.
Now let’s break it down all the way and talk about paint, which he has very little of. His head probably has the most, as it is cast out of clear blue plastic and then painted over. The rest of Galactus’s body is basically just plastic itself. For example, the arms are cast in blue metallic plastic, with the single purple application, the hands are cast in brown with a purple application, the legs are just blue, and the boots are cast in purple with brown applications. If I had to estimate, I would say that he has paint on about 1/3 of his body.
I realize paint costs money, and that they have a price point, but the limited applications really leave him with a severely lackluster appearance.
The next thing that I need to bring up is the casting itself. Clearly on the figure, you can see some “cold slugs.” The most egregious one is on the leg and is about the size of a half-dollar.
Cold slugs are caused by hot plastic hitting cold metal, consequently the plastic cools and a solid piece of plastic gets pushed into the mold. They can easily be prevented by using “cold wells”. The bottom line is that Hasbro didn’t, and most of the body has these giant cold slugs…EPIC FAIL.
Now, on to the articulation. When working with a figure this size, articulation is a huge issue (bad pun intended), joints have to be strong enough to support the figure’s weight, but still be mobile. Consequently, many toys in the past that were this size tended to have very limited movement.
We’ll begin from the top and work our way down, he has ball jointed head, shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles. The wrist joints have limited up and down motion (approximately 30 degrees), but it is there at least. The ankles have mostly up and down motion, very little side to side. His elbows, gloves, waist, and boots are all swivel jointed. It is here where I have a big complaint, and it’s mainly about his skirt/dress/kilt.
The plastic used in the mold it is too hard, effectively making the hip and knee joints useless because the plastic prevents them from moving. I give them a break mainly because it’s not like Galactus is going to sit down cross legged and have a chat…No, he is going to stand and loom and look intimidating.
I also wish they had but some joints on his fingers as it has been done before, and it would allow him to hold things more effectively, like the Silver Surfer problem mentioned above. Over all, I’m impressed with what it can do considering its size.
Now the sculpt, which I have to say, I’m a little disappointed in . This figure stands at a HUGE 19 inches tall, but has very little detail. Aside from the detail on the back of his head, and on his forearms, he has nothing that can’t be done on a six inch figure. After pulling him out of the box, the first thing I wondered was if they took a six inch 3D rendering and enlarged it to this size. It’s just a shame that the best piece of sculpting is on the back of his head, as it will hardly ever be seen.
In 2005, Toy Biz released a Galactus in its Build-a-Figure program. The Toy Biz Galactus is 16 inches tall. He has a ball-jointed head, shoulders, torso, hips, and ankles. He has swivel-jointed elbows, gloves, wrists fingers, knees, boots and toes. I think overall, he has a better sculpt and every single part on him was painted.
However, the years have not been kind to his joints as he now has a hard time standing. Overall, I prefer the Toy Biz Galactus to the Hasbro one, it’s just a better figure and I love that he has finger joints so he can hold things. The catch, is that the Hasbro Figure is more to scale than the Toy Biz one could ever dream of and that it’s hard to find all the Toy Biz parts. It’s not impossible…just hard.
To wrap this monster up, three versions of him exist. There’s this one, the SDCC one that is identical to this one (only the packaging is different), and a dark purple one that is painted like the Galactus from Marvel Ultimate Alliance. So far he has only been seen at Toys-R-Us, where he retails for approximately $50. I like this figure, but I don’t think he has $50 of awesome. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have $100 of awesome (that seems to be the average eBay price), and it definitely isn’t worth the $150 for the SDCC version. If this thing lands at Target and Walmart like it is supposed to, I’m betting you can pick it up on clearance for $25 (at $25 you could buy one for the whole family!) next January…much like how Skrull, Giant Man, and Goliath got clearance-d out this January for half price.
On a side note, I have to thank my friend Jeremy for loaning me his Toy Biz Galactus for the comparison shots. Thanks Jeremy.