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Diamond Select Toys: Marvel Select Gladiator Hulk

“Angry’s worked pretty good for me so far.” – Hulk

I loved the “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” comic runs. Loved them. New characters, new story, and a Hulk as bitter and angry as ever. Diamond Select Toys has just released the Gladiator Hulk from the popular Greg Pak series as a shared exclusive between the Disney Store and Marvel Shop. Yeah, it fits in with the new Thor movie, but this is all comics for me. Just looking at it in the box, you know this is one heck of a nice-looking figure. Let’s take a closer look and see if the Sakaarson is more than just a pretty face!




Pretty standard Marvel Select packaging. Great window to see the entire product and some nice images. MS has never really had display-level packaging, but they’ve always done a good job showing off the figure and keeping it safe.


It seems that more often than not, each new release becomes my favorite Marvel Select sculpt. Well, big surprise, but Gladiator Hulk is my new favorite. This time, however, I think it’s going to be pretty hard to beat. Sculpted by artist-extraordinaire Jean St. Jean (the dude’s a machine!), this guy is so crammed full of details that’s it’s hard to pick a favorite element. From the top of the helmet’s feathers right down to the leathery Roman sandals, there is no angle that looks bad.


For the most part, this is a fantastic paint job that brings out all the gritty details of the sculpt. I particularly love the leather straps and armor bits. But it’s really only about 99 percent awesome. So what went wrong? Those eyes. They’re just a bit cartoonish and don’t mesh well with the realism of the rest of the paint. The good news is that from most views, the helmet and the shadow it creates obscures most of the eyes.


This is the one section where the figure takes a hit. Maybe it’s because I haven’t bought a new MS figure in a while, or maybe it’s because I can see what some large Hulk figures can do — like the Hasbro Legends series Hulk, but the articulation on this is a bit disappointing. There are a fair amount of articulation points (all the standard MS Hulk joints), but some don’t do a whole lot to aid in posing. Most notably, the spiked shoulder piece greatly hinders the armored arm. We get some pretty limited movement in the elbows, which is pretty much expected given the size the of the biceps, but this guy could really use double jointed knees. It wouldn’t break up the sculpt and would be far better than the movement we get now — which is really only about 45 degrees. The articulation scheme isn’t terrible by any means, but with a character who meant for hand-to-hand combat in an arena, I was really hoping to be able to get some deeper poses.


Hulk comes with his axe and his shield, and I am completely impressed with both. They could have cut corners with the shield, but this thing is fully sculpted and painted on both sides. Complete with different textures, leather straps, rivets — you name it. The axe is much the same, with multiple textures and the wear and tear you’d expect on a gladiator weapon. One problem with the axe is that it doesn’t fit all that well into the sculpted hand. It just sort of balances in his grip.


Articulation problems aside, this is an absolutely tremendous action figure and I can’t recommend it highly enough. And for the standard MS price of 25-ish bucks, you really are getting your money’s worth.

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16 thoughts on “Diamond Select Toys: Marvel Select Gladiator Hulk

  1. I don’t really know the details except that they have different deals on the table and they have licensing issues that usually make getting Movie selects out on time harder

  2. It’s crazy, especially when you realize most of the MS figures are unique molds. I’m guessing it is because Hasbro is a publicly traded company with a required rate of return, whereas other, smaller companies can get by with just recouping costs plus a little extra.

  3. WOW!!!!!! I love Diamond Select products… One thing; I am amazed by is the fact this figure came out right before the film… Most of their product comes out months after the release of the film… I am still waiting for the Movie Star Lord and Homecoming Spiderman… For the most part all their action figures get delayed months to years….

  4. What I don’t understand is how these figures are $24 and Target is selling Marvel Legends at that price.

  5. Yup, and it’s a shame because from the neck down it’s an excellent figure, and DST have really been doing better with their figures recently, the Destroyer and Lady Deadpool were excellent and the first MS figure I’ve actually bought.

  6. Yeah, that’s definitely my main problem with it, too. Were the headsculpt normally proportioned and not so… off-looking, I’d probably consider buying it. But until/unless someone comes out with a third party headsculpt for it, I’m not buying it, at least not at full price.

  7. I’d add some strips of black electrical tape to bulk up the handle a bit. Should sort out the grip issue.

  8. Well aren’t I the lucky one. I happened to just buy him today at the Disney store and he’s just absolutely fantastic. And here you are reviewing him today. I hope to see them churn out a red king as unlikely as that may be because hulk is just too good. I even ended up liking his face.

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