Toy Biz Worldwide
New York, NY
Mr. Banner comes on a 12 inch x 7-1/2 inch blister card. There's quite a few twisty ties holding this mutated man and his extra limbs in place on the interior tray, so have fun getting him out. The back of the package has a short bio about Bruce Banner's eternal struggle with his alter-ego, the Hulk, an instructional drawing for changing the arms/legs of this figure, and photos of the other figures in this assortment.
There's no info about this character though, which is a bummer, but, I saw the movie, so I'll fill you in (spoilers ahead, don't say I didn't warn you): David Banner (played by Nick Nolte) is Bruce Banner's father in the film. The Senior Banner cared more about his research than his family, which had traumatic results early in Bruce's life (the death of his mother, Mrs. Banner, and Bruce's altered genetic structure). Later in the film, David Banner acquires the ability to absorb the properties of anything he touches (just like the Absorbing Man villain from the Marvel comics--this is why the toy has got body parts made out of different substances). The film climaxes with an epic battle between father and son.
Toy Biz's sculptor really put a lot of effort into this figure, particularly in the texture and shape of the different materials his body is made up of. The 'wood' leg and arms are gnarled and twisted, the 'rock' limbs are chiseled and cracked, the 'metal' arm is smooth with projecting barbs, and his body sports plant roots, pitted lava, and craggy stone. You can even see Nick Nolte's likeness in his misshapen face. I would say that his arms and legs are a little too large/long in proportion to his torso, but, because he's a 'monstrous' figure, that's forgivable. The paint work is also nice, particularly the washes and dry brushing which bring out details in the sculpt and make things appear more realistic. Because of the different colors and textures of his body, he does kind of have a mismatched look, which you may or may not like. He reminds me of a Swamp Thing character in some respects--it must be the wooden portions of his body that's making me think that.
This is pre-Marvel Legends/Spider-man Toy Biz figure, so don't expect 30-40 points of articulation. Each arm has a cut wrist and ball jointed shoulder. Each leg has a ball jointed hip, pivot knee, and ball jointed ankle. The body has a cut neck and a cut waist. What's here is pretty good, elbow joints would have been nice though. It could be worse, the limbs could have all been solid pieces with no moving parts.
The only extras you get are an additional pair of legs and arms. The interchangeable limbs are cool, but Toy Biz could have, and should have, given us more variety in the types of materials David has absorbed. At one point, in the movie, David Banner becomes one with a thunderstorm while battling his son, the Hulk; some transparent 'lightning' limbs would have been a good choice to use with the toy to reflect this transformation. It's too bad there weren't two bodies to choose from, then you'd have two complete figures to play with!
I got him for a steal in March of 2004; he was in the clearance aisle at my local Wal-Mart for a mere $1.00. I would guess the original retail price for him at $6-8.
- Fun figure with several different mix-and-match display options.
- Excellent sculpting, especially in rendering different materials.
- Rugged construction.
- I only paid a $1.00 for him.
- Joints loosen a little over time from repeatedly changing his legs/arms.
- Interchangeable limbs could have sported more variety in design.
Where to Buy:
This figure is from 2003, so you'd have to be real lucky to find him in a regular store at this point. Your best bet would be to get him from another toy collector or an online dealer/auction site, such as eBay. Of course, you could find him at a yard sale or something too.
Toy Biz Worldwide recommends this figure for ages four and up.