The major reason for my delay in building the Apocalypse figure is my hesitation in getting two figures I really didn’t need in my collection. But Apocalypse looked too cool to leave incomplete for this long so it was time to start knocking him out. And when I found both at Target, I figured I needed to actually start making moves to wrap Big Blue up. This is the main reason I’ve got Gladiator to review. After this one, I might just try and track Magneto’s BAF part down on eBay.
Packaging: Hasbro is sticking with the same accent colors, which makes for a cool display if you pose the MOC packages in release order. The X-Men have a bold gold making them easier to spot than some other waves. There’s the standard Storm drawing on both sides and a suitable, if not super generic bio.
Likeness: For better or worse, this is the same exact figure as the one in the 2014 San Diego Comic Con exclusive Thanos Imperative set. That means the same issues like the bobblehead issue with the neck and occasional troubles of finding the center of balance exist.
But as far as capturing Gladiator, this figure hits all the important elements with a beefy body and focused headsculpt and magnificent Mohawk. I’m surprised Hasbro didn’t fix the earlier mistake with Marvel’s version of Superman and add the circle to the belt.
Scale: Gladiator uses the Hyperion buck. I know there are some newer bucks collectors would have preferred, but this works fine for him. Gladiator is a massive towering guy and looks fully capable of going toe to toe with every heavy hitter in the Marvel Universe.
Paint: The main difference from the SDCC set is the paintjob. I liked the bright primary colors of the exclusive, but this version sports a more comic book accurate appearance.
That means the blue has been replaced with a dark, just about purple tone. With no sculpted parts on any parts of the body, the paint job has to properly cover the boot tips and gloves. The right leg really looks bad on that front with little attention to the boot tip.
I’ve seen a decent amount of Gladiator figures and none of them have what would be considered an ideal paintjob. On one, the chest area triangle point is also pretty bad as it doesn’t stretch past Gladiator’s logo before fading out. If I was remotely invested in this take on him, I’d be very disappointed with this shoddy paint work.
Considering all you’re paying for is just a different paint job Hasbro needed to make sure the paint work was up to their usual quality.
Although now I’ve managed to convince myself I can deal with two Gladiators on my display and this traditional paint scheme can stay with the X-Men shelf.
Articulation: Gladiator can be posed in all of his signature brawling poses, but it’s not always easy. The head/neck peg is the most problematic in terms of achieving natural looking poses. Dremeling a wider hole in the head should allow for it to fit better.
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The cape is a major pain and acts like Doctor Strange’s cloak in the movie. Once you get used to those two issues, you shouldn’t have too many problems moving and posing him around.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- elbow (double-jointed)
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Gladiator comes up real short in this category, which helped make me drag my feet in getting him. He’s got nothing unless you really want to count his cape. That’s part of his outfit so he doesn’t get any credit for that with me.
His only add-on is the head for the Build-A-Figure Apocalypse. It’s an important part of the BAF, but considering we’ve gotten some with accessories, tossing in another arm attachment or anything would have helped ease the blow of paying $20 for a Gladiator repaint.
Worth it? I haven’t seen enough Gladiators to determine if the paint issues are widespread. If that is the case it definitely didn’t warrant the quick double dip and full $20 price. I didn’t want to risk Gladiator becoming a pain to find and having a headless Apocalypse, but I would’ve been thrilled to get this guy for $12.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Outside of the paintjob, Hasbro didn’t improve any of the major issues with this figure. It’s disappointing to get a repaint considering there were some other issues that should have been fixed.
Where to get it? Target and Walgreens are your best bets here as Wal-Mart hasn’t gotten them. Amazon also has him in stock now as well. Hasbro Toy Shop seems to keep Gladiator of this wave the longest so if you can make the shipping work out for you that’s another option.