Through a welcome bit of good fortune, the Marvel Universe Abomination figure that I ordered from Amazon earlier this month turned out to be the Hasbro Marvel Universe A-Bomb variant figure when it actually arrived. The chances of me paying out the wazoo for this character were zero, but I was pretty ecstatic to get him for the $11.99 shipped I ended up paying. Of course, it would be a moot point if the MU A-Bomb action figure turned out to be a dud. Luckily, this Marvel Universe A-Bomb review is one of the ones where I get to talk up a surprisingly great action figure…
When I heard A-Bomb was going to be a variant of the Abomination figure (which borrows heavily from the Marvel Universe Rhino mold itself), I was concerned. And make no mistake: A-Bomb is definitely a retool of the regular Marvel Universe Abomination figure. That said, Hasbro really went above and beyond expectations with this A-Bomb running change variant figure, making it feel like an almost totally fresh and unique figure.
I initially thought Hasbro would just paint the Marvel Universe Abomination action figure blue and slap a new head on it. But while A-Bomb does feature a totally new head (with a totally cool “beard” made of black spikes), that’s not the only change to him!
Hasbro created new ridged “monster forearm guards” for A-Bomb that are unique to him and help to differentiate him from the MU Abomination. Hasbro also gave A-Bomb totally different fists with huge fingers and scary thumbnails on them, which look a lot more monstrous and freaky than the Abomination’s plain old fingers. Hasbro even painted A-Bomb’s toenails! It’s such a tiny bit of paint deco, but it adds some crucial color and makes the Marvel Universe 4″ A-Bomb figure feel much more detailed than he would without.
I was a bit tenuous about what kind of articulation Hasbro would implement for the husky body mold shared by the Rhino, Abomination and A-Bomb figures, but it’s actually vastly more flexible than I would have imagined. The A-Bomb action figure’s ball-hinge hips and shoulders have much wider ranges of motion than I expected, making him hardly the unarticulated lump of plastic I feared. MU ABomb can even take on some extreme poses and balance stably, thanks to the ankle rockers on his huge feet (bless you for championing the ankle rockers, David Vonner!).
Given the molds they had to work with, I think Hasbro did a pretty admirable job of making this MU A-Bomb figure looks as authentic as possible. His torso isn’t textured quite right to be comic-accurate, but the important thing is that it’s a good-looking facsimile. I’m still kind of creeped out that A-Bomb runs around wreaking havoc butt-naked, but this is true to his comic book appearances, so kudos to Hasbro for not sticking trunks on A-Bomb or something equally ridiculous.
The 4″ Marvel Universe A-Bomb figure has the same drawback that many huge, bulky monster-like figures have: his articulation is restricted by his sculpt in some places. The limited articulation that bothers me the most is A-Bomb’s lack of good neck articulation–his head swivels diagonally to the side rather than turning straight, and it’s impossible for A-Bomb to really look up or down when facing forward.
Given the design of A-Bomb’s shoulders and head placement, this would have been a hard point of articulation to implement really well, and the result is that Hasbro just sort of phoned it in. Thus, it’s very difficult to get the A-Bomb Marvel Universe figure into posing where he looks natural when not facing forward.
In addition, I’ve been having problems with A-Bomb’s overlay monster forearms and fists popping off when bending A-Bomb at the elbow. I love that Hasbro gave the A-Bomb action figure unique “arm guards”, but they need to be held on tighter somehow so that they don’t explode off when trying to pose the figure.
After initially being insanely sought-after and expensive on the aftermarket (with prices spiking around $80), the Marvel Universe A-Bomb variant running change figure’s “value” cooled when the revision case where he’s packed one-per-case hit stores. You can get Marvel Universe A-Bomb for around $20 now on ebay, which is probably as cheap as A-Bomb will ever be, as this figure is not scheduled to be shipped again. In the long run, I suspect this will end up being one of the most expensive 4″ Marvel Universe figures on the aftermarket.
Overall: Though A-Bomb isn’t exactly a character I couldn’t have lived without an action figure of, Hasbro did a pretty excellent job of making the Marvel Universe A-Bomb a “rare” figure that I’m happy to own. The blue paint chosen for A-Bomb is sharp and eye-catching, his articulation is far better than you might expect, and he has an impressive amount of “new” when compared to the MU Abomination figure. With the Hasbro Marvel Legends 6″ figures line ending this year and no Hulk movie on the horizon, I suspect we won’t be seeing a better A-Bomb than this any time soon (if ever). If you’re a fan of the character or just how cool A-Bomb looks, definitely pick up this Marvel Universe 4″ A-Bomb figure if you get the chance–he has his faults, but he’s well-done and a ton of fun.