Is The Thing the Marvel Legends figure of 2018? That’s the immediate question I had after getting the long awaited Benjamin J. Grimm in my hands.
The trouble with a year like 2018 with so many quality releases from Hasbro is there’s so many contenders for the throne by the time we reach the fall. But The Thing? He’s definitely in the conversation with Mister Fantastic, Wolverine, Storm, Bishop, Elektra and Doctor Octopus. It’s reviewing time!
Packaging: Like the rest of the Walgreens exclusive Fantastic Four figures, The Thing has a great shade of blue accent, but unlike the rest of the unofficial wave, his side portrait is colored in orange. While fitting, it’s a little inconsistent for collectors who like to arrange their Marvel Legends by the sides.
The bio is nicely done summarizing the Thing’s abilities. It’s a little odd there’s no reference of him being the FF’s resident powerhouse.
Likeness: As collectors we all have our favorite artist who best captured a character. For The Thing it’s a toss-up between Jack Kirby and John Byrne. The common thread for both creators was Thing was more massive than tall and his rocks were more like plates.
Hasbro went the more modern route and made him taller and with much more detailed rocks. It’s hard to knock the effort when it’s done this well. The rocks are all in various sizes and arrangements so there’s no obvious pattern, which is excellent. Showing an incredible commitment to detail, Ben’s backside has lumps to show it carries over throughout.
Thing’s head sculpt is intense like Johnny torched his breakfast or he’s about to bring the pain to Dr. Doom. It’s got a lot of personality. Sticking to Byrne’s drawing notes, Hasbro kept the eyes small so you have to look close to see Ben’s baby blues.
Scale: I like The Thing shorter and not giant size. This figure is probably the best compromise as he’s taller than I’d like, but not towering over everyone either.
Paint: In the comics, Thing is colored with more of a yellow orange shade. Hasbro’s take is a much deeper orange. My preference is to the lighter shade, but Hasbro did an excellent job with the paintwork. Hasbro added a darker wash to bring out all the details of the cracks and crevices and it really looks sharp.
There’s no slop with the teeth and if I look close enough the eyes are fine. Ben’s shorts are just fine as well with clean break points between the belt section.
Articulation: Thing is a brawler so he needs to be able to handle any and all clobbering and lifting poses. He’s missing the bicep joint, which is my one gripe. It’s the common issue with the female figures but one we rarely see with the male figures. Ben has a great center of balance and can be posed on one leg.
The Thing has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- knees (double-jointed)
Accessories: In a lot of ways I’d consider Thing the BAF of this Fantastic Four wave. From that perspective it makes up for the other figures not being overloaded with accessories yet still clocking in at the same price point.
Thing actually has a great array of useful accessories. He’s got an alternate head sculpt that’s more neutral with a closed mouth expression.
This one will be perfect for poker nights with the Avengers. BTW, I love that playing cards has become a defining trait of Ben over the years.
Additionally, he’s got the matching right open hand and left fist. This allows for so much more versatility with posing. I wish this was the norm for Marvel Legends as it really adds so much to the value and posing options.
Worth it? I ran, not walked to order Ben from Walgreens’ website. Even clocking in at $26, I didn’t have a second of buyer’s remorse. Other collectors have had little problem finding him, but I didn’t want to play the hunting game for Ben. Given his size and accessories, I’m fine paying a little more for him. At the standard $20, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Hasbro took what seemed to be a risky release plan in getting out the Fantastic Four through Walgreens, but the end result was fanta…superb culminating with one of 2018’s best figures.
Where to get it? The Thing is a Walgreens exclusive so that’s your first move. Eventually Amazon will probably get him in via secondary sellers, but for higher prices.