Wednesday, August 31, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Skaar

Produced by Hasbro | Released August 2011

Not many beings can match the raw strength and power of SKAAR. The son of HULK has few weaknesses - his regenerative ability coupled with the Old Power inherited from his mother allow him to keep on fighting no matter the opponent or terrain. SKAAR has battled some of the world's worst villains and he's always emerged victorious!

Packaging Shots

Marvel Universe's Skaar
Expectation is a funny thing. My hopes weren't particularly high when I came to Review Falcon, yet - despite my initial misgivings - he turned out to be a pretty neat figure. Now my attention is turned to Skaar and - following the excellent World War Hulk figure - I'm expecting a lot from this figure. But did I expect too much?

The basic sculpt is very good. Skaar is - I believe - based on a number of parts from the World War Hulk figure (which is fine, given his lineage) and there's a good sense of raw power and strength to the figure. He's chunky, tactile and very solid but also well-detailed and sculpted with some finesse. There's some intricate detailing on his fingers (which feature nails, for example) and the hands have a very lifelike look to them. Musculature is nicely defined and the costume parts that are sculpted to the core figure (i.e. his boots) feature some great detailing in their plates and strapping effect.

The sculpt is augmented with some additional, (probably) removable pieces in the form of a nicely detailed loincloth (featuring an assortment of strapping and a metal protective plate), bracers and a war harness/sword sheath. The bracers are individually designed, giving Skaar an asymmetrical look that works well and there's plenty of detail on both, although his left-wrist bracer just has the edge due to the plate and strap-design. The included sword (see Extras below) fits well into the sheath, so if you happen to be playing with Skaar there's little chance you'll lose his weapon and the actual harness is very nicely detailed, featuring a variety of buckles and padding.

The head sculpt is equally detailed, with Skaar's deep-set, angry expression captured perfectly. His flowing locks are also very well-sculpted and - rather than appearing a single lump of hair - appear to have strands to them. There's a natural flow to the hair that works well and looks great.

Articulation is superb. On paper. Whilst the design should allow for a large range of movement and poseability, in practice it's a little problematic. For starters, my Skaar (and this could be limited to my figure alone) has ridiculously floppy shoulder joints, to the point that getting him to hold any kind of arm pose is nigh-on impossible. Give them a shove and they spin around with ease. Then there's his knee joints, which are the polar opposite. His right knee's lower half is locked solid to the point of feeling that it's going to snap when you try to bend it. Yes, some warm water will loosen it up but it's still frustrating to see. But even when the leg does bend (as his left one does) the sculpt's bulk inhibits a lot of movement.

Add to this the ankle joints that don't seem to bend at all (either due to still construction or the sculpt) and it becomes fairly difficult to get Skaar to stand unaided. I know the photos show him doing just that but for every picture he's upright I have three where he's face-down. Similarly, his hip joints seem - again - very springy and not particularly pose-friendly.

It's a shame, as in theory this is a great articulation set-up. It's just not particularly well executed and although some of the issues could be limited to my Skaar, the sculpt problems are not.

Paint is very nicely applied. There's a dark wash to pick-out some muscle detail and his tattoo/body markings are very cleanly applied. Details on his accessories and costume pieces are all well-applied, although his harness - curiously - doesn't appear to be painted at the back, so whilst the front buckles are picked-out with a nice metallic silver, the buckle on the rear remains unpainted. There's also some cool ''brushed metal'' effects on his bracers and armoured plates, although how much of this is down to technique and how much is just a happy accident caused by the use of spray paint, I'm not sure.

The facial paintwork is especially good, though, with a dark wash picking-out his features nicely and a luminous green used to accentuate his eyes to great effect.

Skaar includes a stand and a primitive-looking sword. The sword fits perfectly into either hand (with a little jiggling about) and sits well in the sheath on his back. There's nothing particularly amazing about the weapon but it does a good enough job.

Final Thoughts
Skaar is - truth be told - a little disappointing. Whilst he's still a good figure and by no means the worst  Hasbro has released in the line, he really should be better than he is. He looks good, make no mistake about it. The sculpt is solid and imposing, there's some great detail to it and his paintwork is subtle but effective. It's just as a poseable figure he's a let-down, thanks to a combination of loose and too-tight joints. As I mentioned, of course this could be an issue with my Skaar figure alone and the tight joints can be fixed by immersing him in warm water. But the fact remains that his knee and ankle joints are limited in their range of motion due to the sculpt issues and no amount of wiggling or hot water is going to change that. Perhaps I'm being too picky but it always annoys me to see articulation being made redundant due to the sculpt work.

It's just too bad Hasbro's designers dropped the ball here, as Skaar's basic sculpt and paintwork looks great. I just wish they'd paid as much attention to the articulation and construction, because had they done so this would be a phenomenally good figure. As it stands though, he's still very good - he just falls short of being the excellent figure he should have been.

Production QualityB-
Final ScoreB

Image Gallery


  1. i love this figure but im REALLY getting tired of the thanos buck...

  2. At least it's not the Daredevil one...


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