I might have mentioned Avengers: Endgame is my favorite comic book movie of all-time and likely to stay that way for the long foreseeable future. Especially since we’ve gotten a grand total of one movie from Marvel Studios in the interim. Endgame had an endless array of great moments, but one of the underrated ones was Rocket ditching his rocket ship to ride in the back of a pickup truck to get Thor. The visual of Hulk and Rocket was a great visual gag and one Hot Wheels revisited with this San Diego Comic Con (at Home) exclusive. Grab your snacks and let’s see how this rolls.
Packaging: Mattel always does spectacular work with the packaging for San Diego Comic Con exclusives. I love the purple color scheme and how it contrasts with the Hot Wheels and Marvel logos.
The outer box features both Rocket and Hulk on the sides. I would have loved to have gotten Hulk in his hoodie and jeans look here. We get a nice summary of this moment and its significance as the Avengers brace for war.
As much as I like the outer packaging, the interior packaging is even better. It’s a cardboard 3D setup as Hulk and Rocket are on their home stretch to New Asgard complete with a sign and winding road. The depth adds a nice element to it and makes for a perfect display backdrop.
Likeness: In an unexpected touch, the truck sits accurately lower to the ground in the rear from carrying all of Hulk’s weight. The truck itself isn’t all that distinct, but Hot Wheels made sure to include all of the detail you’d expect from even a basic truck from the detailed grill, rubber tires and windows.
What makes it standout is the sculpted dirt and grime along the sides and rear and the weathering on the front presumably from the salt sprays. That’s some fantastic detail right down to the license plate on the rear left side.
While the detail is fantastic, the main draw for most collectors is the Hulk and Rocket figurines in the back. Hulk is positioned with his knees bunched up and Rocket is looking out at the countryside.
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Hulk’s sculpting as you’d expect is better than Rocket’s simply because of the size. Standing, Rocket would probably come up to Hulk’s knee, which is scaled pretty accurately to the film. I can almost sorta make out a Mark Ruffalo expression out of the head sculpt too.
Rocket doesn’t have as much detail naturally, but given the scale, he turned out better than you might expect.
The only catch with the positioning is for most of the scene Rocket is looking out in the same direction as Hulk. This setup has them looking in different directions. Maybe that works better for the aesthetics, but I liked the visual of them enjoying the same view.
Paint: The pickup truck has a great amount of grime and wear and tear conveyed through the paint job. Ferrying Hulk around is going to lead to a lot of dirt sprays, which are very nicely reflected.
It’s a strong brown, which clashes well against the dark blue. The salt spray also was applied nicely and with just enough change in tone from the grill so there’s some difference. Only one area has some inconsistency and that’s the roof as the white isn’t quite as sharp on both sides.
Hulk came out clean even if I was hoping for too much to have a tad of grey in his temples. The right eye seems just a bit off center, but it’s understandable. Once again Rocket left me impressed.
Getting the various colors in his face even approximately correct at that scale must have been a challenge. From a distance it’s fine and looks even better up close. His boots lack paint, but I dig the effort to add his scarf.
Worth It? Is this set worth $25? It depends on your level of Endgame fandom. With the exceptional paint work and scaling, I can see where the money went on this one. Add in that sweet backdrop display piece and that value is even better.
Where to Get It? That’s the catch. Mattel Creations launched this on its site July 23 on its Instagram and it promptly sold out. Given the amount of eBay auctions for double and triple the price it’s not a big leap to guess that a lot of these went to folks trying to flip a quick buck instead of legit collectors. Hopefully when Mattel Creations has its official launch next month this will be back up for other collectors to get a second chance.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
My Avengers Endgame fandom aside, this is a really well done piece accounting for the Hulk physics and all of the extra details like the dirt and salt sprays. The only hangup is Rocket facing the other direction meaning you can’t view the truck from the rear and have both characters looking at you.
*A very special thank you to Mattel Creations for providing this set for review.*
Photo Credit: Disney