Hulk Super Hero Squad Review: Gamma Lab Playset with Hulk & Spider-Man

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The Hulk Super Hero Squad line almost directly mirrored the Spider-Man Super Hero Squad. Thankfully, Hasbro omitted any additional absurd vehicles (if there had been a Hulk Battle Truck I would have lost it) but there was one repaint in the Hulk line that didn’t make much sense. And it just so happened to be a playset.

But before ranting about the playset, first up are the figures! Since this is a Hulk named line, it would make sense to include the giant green goliath! And Hasbro does just that, except they pick the worst Hulk figure.

It’s the dragging-his-fists-like-a-gorilla Hulk that came with Absorbing Man. This time around, Hulk’s identical! The same green plastic and purple pants, the horrendous sculpt that takes what should be a fun toy and turns him into a useless chunk of plastic. His hands look like he should be carrying something very heavy – like a tank gun! But Hulk is without anything and his only form of expression is turning his head.

Thankfully, nothing has topped that Hulk in terms of sheer horridness, so any other figure feels like a bargain. To face off against the Hulk isn’t the Abomination or even an enemy, they included Spider-Man! Because the Super Hero Squad is known for its complete lack of Spider-Man.

At least this version of Spidey is a good version – possibly one of the best. It’s the same figure that came with Black Cat, which is still really good. Spidey is done in his comic costume, so the black lines and all that. It looks good; it just isn’t the most exciting. Spider-Man can grip with his right hand and web sling with his left. Spidey moves at the waist, neck and shoulders.

Because it’s a big set (and to help justify the absurd price tag) this pack includes a vehicle! It’s a repaint of Spider-Man’s car, the exact same one that came out last time. Only now it’s blue with red trim. It’s a fine car but doesn’t do much. It has no action features, it doesn’t make sense for Spider-Man to own it and the Hulk can’t fit in it because he’s too big! Great planning and this totally forecasted the issue with the Arachno Roadster.

Then there is the playset itself. A repaint of the Bank Heist, all Hasbro did was change the color, slap on a sticker that says “GAMMA LAB” instead of “BANK” and call it a day. The playset worked well as a bank. It had a vault and a TNT area ready to explode so Doc Ock could steal some money. This time around, it’s a lab that looks suspiciously like a bank and may have some of the worst color choices ever.

The gray looks good for the siding, along with the yellow. That’s all fine, but the bright blue and red trim looks atrocious and the maroon columns and gargoyles don’t even make sense! Plus the whole place just doesn’t even look like a lab! There’s a giant vault, a bed that collapses, a single desk and a garage. No random chunks of machine, nothing glowing and green.

Don’t get me wrong, as a playset it isn’t awful. It’s well designed and all, but the bank theme just worked so much better for play. Having a bank for the bad guys to rob gives a jumping off point for a story. Giving them a lab that can be robbed would be fine except there’s nothing to steal.

The bank came with two accessories: some webbing for Spidey and some bags of money. This set only includes the web so there’s nothing to even steal from the lab! The web still looks great though.

That’s what bothers me the most of this set, it just feels like a cheap cash in. The playset is okay, but makes no sense as a lab. Then the fact that Hulk is just an awful figure and giving Spider-Man a car is one of my biggest pet peeves (yet I don’t mind his boat), and then Hasbro continues to charge $35 for it and removes one of the only two accessories! At the end of the day, this set is just a rip off.

Written by jestergoblin

September 10th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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