I’ve been sitting on doing this review for a while. No real particular reason, but I think I decided against doing it the moment I got the figure because several other sites reviewed him around the same time. Eventually I’ve gotten around to him and I needed a change of pace as it’s been a while since I reviewed a Marvel figure which brings us to today’s review, Marvel Universe: Thing.

Ben Grimm is one of Marvel’s oldest and most popular characters. Simply known as the Thing, he’s been kicking butt and taking names since the 1960’s. Grimm holds a special place in my heart as probably the only Marvel superhero that my Dad would occasionally name drop. Apparently he sympathized with the Thing. Really, who wouldn’t? While Johnny, Sue and Reed all got cool powers and kept their charming good looks, Ben got transformed into a rock man.

But what a cool rock man he’s been through the years. The Thing has remained one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe for decades. He looks cool, acts cool and yet he’s a big softy at heart. This Hasbro version is one of the better Things ever produced, but does that make him king? Read on true believers.

I’m not going to spend too much time on packaging this week. You know what you’re getting here. The Marvel Universe packaging is attractive and very functional. The Frank Cho artwork is top notch and it’s what really makes the packaging work.

One of my main complaints would be that you’re very likely to destroy the package to get the Thing out and ruin that great artwork. On the back is a little bio and a list of the other figures in the series. I do think they should list more than 3 other figures on the back, but it’s a minor complaint.

For a bigger figure in the Marvel Universe line, the Thing has a fair amount of articulation. Much like the Hulk figure in the line, his articulation isn’t as great as it could be because of the sculpt. He just has a cut neck and I’m gonna go Michael Crawford here and say that he’d really benefit from a ball jointed neck.

Elsewhere he has ball jointed shoulders, ball jointed elbows, swivel wrists, mid-waist joint, waist cut, ball jointed legs with extremely limited movement, ball knees and rocker ankles. That’s a fair amount of articulation for any figure and is quite impressive at this scale. Still the sculpt interferes with a lot of posing opportunities.

Particularly that he can’t really get his arms down at his sides. There doesn’t seem to be much of a comfortable position for ol’ Ben Grimm. The big blue eyed ever lovin’ guy from Yancy street could have been a bit better with some different sculpting. His legs are largely useless, but I still found them much more useful than the Hulk’s. As I said with the Hulk, this is a guy who doesn’t do a lot of Karate kicks, so I’m okay with the limited leg articulation.

The Thing has had countless figures through the years and almost NONE of them are the definitive version. This version of Ben Grimm would have to finish in the top 5 I’d think, which is certainly a compliment, but he falls short largely because of how excellent the Superhero Showdown version was. The Marvel Superhero Showdown or Marvel Legends Showdown, Thing, is far and away the best Thing figure ever made.

That puts Hasbro’s effort here in a bit of a negative light. Still, I really like the attention to detail here. He has the mushroom shape to his head without too much noticeable deformity. His rocky skin pattern is done excellent and every third or fourth skin platelet is painted with a darker orange creating a really awesome effect. In fact in the pictures, he looks much better than the SHS version, but to the naked eye it’s not as nice.

The pants are authentic, if slightly uninspired.

This is Thing in pants which is a good look for him, but not my favorite. Thing has a lot of looks but I’d say his definitive one is in tightey whities, but blue. Tightey Blueys? Most of his modern figures have depicted him in pants as well which means this version isn’t even trying to do something new. But with a 40+ year old character I guess it’s hard to get fresh. I’d like to see a version of Ben from his “Spikey” era for a change.

The paint work on mine is very crisp. As I said above the shadowing and highlights on the figure are well done and create a look of depth. Hit pants and boots are rather plain, but still fit the bill. He even has blue eyes. Not much is missing.

Nothing. Well, he’s got some paper accessories, but it’s too bad he doesn’t come with SOMETHING. They usually give him a bent up Yancy street sign or a hat. Oh well.

Additional Notes:
A lot of my other trusted reviewer comrades crapped on this guy pretty hard. I don’t think he’s that bad. I looked at him in a more positive light because of all the terrible Thing figures we’ve seen. He’s really quite good when you look at it like that. Of course that also hurts him because the other 3 3/4 scale Thing is SO good, it makes this guy look worse. Still for what he is, he’s a good figure and a serviceable Thing for your Fantastic 4 inch force.

Ugh, $8 hurts. It hurts every time I buy one. Yet I keep buying them because the Marvel Universe figures are very cool. It’s great to have these guys in the same scale as GI Joes. It’s what makes them so special, the awesome scale. Still, a $1 or several off wouldn’t hurt one bit.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Nothing
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

Thing falls on the lower end of the spectrum of a 7. That’s not to say that this guy isn’t a good figure. He’s perfectly adequate. He’s not worth $8 though. He’s not the definitive Thing. He doesn’t come with anything cool to set him apart. He’s just a average figure of a good character. If you can only get one Thing figure in this scale, get the Superhero Showdown version. If you want a second version of Thing, then get this guy also.

But they’re cousins,
Identical cousins all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day.

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