House of M Gift Pack

House of M Gift Pack

Ryno - August 25, 2007

Reader Review By: Shawn Dawson in San Jose, CA

A note about my review style: This review is a bit different than others you might have seen, because I have a couple more categories than some other reviewers. I have seven categories, and three of them are weighted double. So four of them are worth up to 10 points, and three are worth up to 20, for a possible total of 100 points.

It might seem a bit nutty to have so many categories. Fodder is a bit strange to some people, because not everyone is a customizer. My attitude on this is that it's better to be overly detailed than it is to leave out subjects that do matter to some people. I care a great deal about a figure's suitability as fodder, but I don't care a bit for packaging. I review the packaging anyhow, because I know that there are many other who do care about that aspect.

Opening: House of M! I was drooling over this set from the minute I saw the prototypes. The big summer event of 2005 featured a lot of our favorite characters sporting some pretty different looks, and that's the type of thing that gets me excited. So does the boxset deliver? I'm going to review these as one, instead four separate reviews. I'm doing it this way because I'm lazy, and besides, it's not like you can purchase just one of the figures.

Packaging: 10/10. The box is sturdy, the figures are displayed well, and the back of the box gives you some idea what this whole "M" deal is about.

Sculpt: 10/10. To me, this is where this set really shines. The It is one of my favorite sculpts of any Marvel Legend. The texture of his craggy rock-like skin is perfectly done, and the sad look on his face is worth the price of admission. I don't think he could be better. The Inhuman Torch is great as well. It's always hard to sculpt fire, because it's gassy nature makes it hard to capture in solid plastic form, but I like the way that fire was done better than any Human Torch figure yet (not this this is the Torch from the regular Marvel Universe... this is a whole different guy!). Iron Man has a great sculpt as well. His armor has lots of little details that really look great, like the tiny vents at the sides of his helmet. Iron Man needs to get his air from somewhere! Hulk could be considered the dog of this lot, sculpt-wise, because he's a repaint of Gamma Hulk from the old Hulk Classics line. I don't care. It's still a great sculpt, and one of my favorites of the many that have been done of the character.

Articulation: 9/10. I can't quite give a perfect score here. Torch and Iron Man are fine in this regard; no complaints there. But the two big fellas are just a tad lacking. Hulk has no wrist hinges, which I consider to be standard artic, even for the big fellas. Other than that, he's good, and is more poseable than most other Hulk figures, including the one in the Face Off series. The It has a wrist hinge, but no wrist swivel. Also, while he has elbow articulation, the range of motion is pretty bad. It moves just one "click". It's not a double elbow joint, as is usually the case on the large figures, and I don't mind that. But other figures with a single elbow joint have had much better range of motion.

Paint: 8/10 Paint is another area where this set is good, but not perfect. The red color of Iron Man's armor is really nice, a shiny candy-apple type red that looks much better than the unpainted red plastic of many other versions of Iron Man. The yellow parts have a very nice wash that really brings out the details of the sculpt. The Hulk's war paint is pretty good, with mostly sharp lines. Torch doesn't have much paint, but he does have an orange dry-brushing that makes all of his texture stand out. The It has a similar dry-brushing, but on him it's not very even. I looked at several boxes, and they all looked a bit different. Sometimes one arm had too much dry-brush, and the other had too little. It's really not bad for the price we're paying here, but I can't give it a perfect score.

Accessories: 8/10 The It and Hulk have no accessories, other than their stands. The stands are the flat disk type that also came with the Urban Legends and Monsters sets. They're cool enough, but this big brutes have large feet and don't need them to stand. The two flying characters come with clear flying stands, which work great for making them "fly". Torch has no other accessories, while Iron Man comes with his jetpack and a gun that attaches to his arm. There's also a very cool "comic book" that comes with the set. I put that in quotes because the book doesn't feature many pictures, but instead lots of text that tells you all about the alternate histories of your favorite characters. That's really helpful if you didn't read all these comics, and want to know what the heck is going on.

Fodder: 7/10 The It is not good fodder. His craggy skin means that you can't make any character that has smooth skin without doing a lot of work. Plus, the lack of articulation makes him poor fodder. The Torch isn't really good fodder, for similar reasons, although if you wanted to make some character that needed bat wings, you'd be glad to get this guy. The Hulk is pretty limited, although you could pretty easily make other types of Hulk from him. Iron Man should be good for lots of armored type characters. So this set doesn't excel in this one area.

Value: 9/10 I think that this set is a pretty good value, although it didn't blow me away in that area. There aren't any figures that are real duds, so that's important. And the price is still pretty darn low compared to many other company's action figures.

Overall: 91/100 This is a really cool set, and I'm glad to say that it met all of my high expectations. The set doesn't let the fan down in any major way.

*Note: reader reviews do not reflect the opinions or feelings of Marvelous News or ENI staff and are strictly the opinions and feelings of the reviewer alone

Click Here to see the House of M Gift Pack in the Database (with more photos)

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