Red Hulk vs. Red Hulk

In honor of the release of The Incredible Hulk, I thought I’d toss up a Hulk-related post.

In the aftermath of the popular Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines, Marvel needed a way to capitalize on that success while offering something interesting for new fans who picked up the comic after seeing the new movie. The answer, it seems, was the Red Hulk, a villainous, ruby-colored version of the Jade Giant. So far, Marvel has not revealed the Red Hulk’s alter-ego, but he does appear to be as intelligent as the Smart Hulk of the 1990s. He’s also already killed the original Abomination with a giant custom revolver (shades of another big red superhero), so his motivations are as much a mystery as his identity.

I’m enjoying using the Red Hulk skin in the new Sega game for the 360. I’m not sure why, exactly, but red really works for the Hulk.

Hulk artist Ed McGuinness based the design of the Red Hulk partially on the look of the Red Bull from the animated film The Last Unicorn, a childhood favorite of mine. You can definitely see it in the face, particularly the glowing eyes and the way the hair spikes up.

Peter Beagle, author of the novel of the same name upon which The Last Unicorn was based, got his idea for the Red Bull from a plastic toy his child was playing with on the beach. And so a very strange circle closes this fall, when collectors can now choose between two different Red Hulk action figures.

The first to be announced was Hasbro’s Red Hulk, which is the BAF for a Target-exclusive wave of Marvel Legends due out in September. While I’m not a regular collector of Marvel Legends, this wave is pretty good (it features a great Wolverine variant I’ve wanted for years), so I’m considering getting them all.

But wait! You don’t have to spend $80 to get a Red Hulk action figure. Diamond’s Marvel Select will be offering an exclusive variant of their upcoming Hulk figure, featuring–you guessed it–a red color scheme and a unique head. It’s a BigBadToyStore exclusive and costs $25.

So which one to get? Let’s break it down.

Hasbro Red Hulk


  • Sculpt is accurate to McGuinness’s bulky, slightly cartoonish style
  • Extensive articulation, including bicep swivels and ab crunch


  • Sculpt is accurate to McGuinness’s bulky, slightly cartoonish style
  • Part of a Target exclusive wave that can’t be bought online
  • Requires purchasing either $80 of toys or paying a significant price on eBay

Marvel Select Red Hulk


  • Detailed sculpt
  • Larger size
  • Comes with a base
  • Not a BAF


  • Lack of bicep swivels and ab crunch
  • Small head
  • Sculpt not as accurate to McGuinness art

Obviously, which one you buy will be based entirely on your preferences. I suspect, though, that if most collectors were holding both figures in their hands, they’d choose the Hasbro version.

Here’s the thing, though: I think Diamond is missing the boat by not getting their figure out now. Many collectors find it hard resist instant gratification–including me. If BBTS were shipping the Red Hulk right now–instead of September, the same time the Target wave is scheduled to hit–that might tip the scales in its favor, especially since I’m not relishing the prospect of having to haunt my local Targets for weeks to find all those figures.

What do you think? If you want a Red Hulk, which one will you get?

UPDATE: I just discovered you can order the Target wave online–for $130, and at BBTS, no less. Link

UPDATE II: Oh, and here. And here.


Call for other weird promotional toys


The Incredible Hulk


  1. orionpax636

    I too will be hunting all of that Target wave, as it all looks good to me. True, it does contain a bunch of repaints and remolds, but it also gets me the best black costume Spidey I've seen in a while. I would've picked up the wave simply for Red, but it turns out the wave's solid.

    As for it being a Target exclusive, that's nowhere near as distressful as if it were a Walmart exclusive. I've been able to secure almost every Target exclusive this year with ease (Repulsor Red Iron Man, Battle Rancor, Order 66 packs, Deep Space Starscream, GI Joe vehicles), and at least half online. Target seems to know how to do it, while Walmart suffers from various levels of incompetence. I can't even find general release figures reliably there.

  2. Yeah I was just talking about the Red Hulk with my Father while working on the car yesterday. He really loves the ideas behind Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, and he was wondering if there as going to be a Red Hulk figure coming out. I told him about the BAF and the Marvel Select and he is waffling at the moment as to which one he'd like.

  3. @Pete-hasbro's not that mean.

    also, does anyone know how big red hulk is? or how big the toys are?

  4. outburst13

    The Hasbro version looks great to me, even though it appears very block-ish. I'm not a fan of the small head on the Diamond version at all.

  5. Silver Savage is who you're leaving out, Googum, plus, there's apparently a standard clown-suit Wolvie in that wave too, according to the BBTS listing. Given what happened with Toybiz's Giant Man wave, we can't rule out that the two Wolvies won't have different BAF parts…

  6. Well, I was planning on getting only Union Jack and Adam Warlock, so that'd only be two out of what, 6? (Black costume Spidey and Wolvie, Spiral…who am I forgetting?)

    On the other hand, I've sold or traded away BAF parts before, then found the other figures in the line drastically marked down. Guh.

    Waitaminute…I haven't even read a comic with the Red Hulk yet! (I'm reading Incredible Herc, thanks.) While he's admittedly toyetic as all get out, do I need him?

  7. Poe

    That's true. However, it's also a bit unusual, since ML isn't artist-specific; it's usually a quasi-realistic sculpt based on the comic look.

    As for me, I'm waffling. On the one hand, the Hasbro Hulk does look really cool. On the other hand, part of me had been considering the Marvel Select Hulk anyway, and the Red Hulk makes a good excuse for getting it–that, and I don't really want any of the other figures in the Target wave other than black costume Wolverine.

  8. I probably won't get the Diamond Select one, but then, I've got a near-complete ML collection, and I want every figure in that Target wave. On the other hand, I am actually eyeballing the standard green version of that DS figure.

    What surprises me is that Hasbro, for all the sculpting troubles they've had in the past, has managed to reproduce McGuinness' artistic style to a better degree in one try than DC Direct managed to in three waves of Superman/Batman (because I'm sorry, those S/B figures just look weird).

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