Welcome back for our newest Hasbro Marvel Legends Action Figure Review. Today, we've rooted through the ToyBox and come up with: Ulik, the Troll King. He's a Marvel Legend Deluxe figure, which basically means he's a bit more expensive but has about the same amount of stuff as a regular Marvel Legend.
Ulik is a particularly nasty Rock Troll, living in Asgard. He first rose to notoriety when he attempted to steal Mjolnir from Thor. Though beaten in this attempt, Ulik became one of the fiercest warriors during the Rock Troll war against Asgard. In this war, he fought an incredible battle against Thor, using a duplicate of Mjolnir. In spite of his power and battle prowess, Ulik fell in defeat to Thor (once again!) Ulik would battle Thor many times over the years, each time ending the same... beaten and banished. To make matters worse for the Rock Troll, after one interdimensional invasion he led was repelled, Ulik was punished by being sent deep below the surface of Asgard to tend the subterranean furnaces that heated the Troll kingdom. Eventually, Ulik escaped and found himself even deeper below the surface, where he discovered a long-lost tribe of Trolls. Ulik quickly disposed of their leader and took over the tribe, whereupon he once again led a failed invasion of Earth. Over the years, Ulik would fight both against and as an ALLY of Asgard, but always returned to his wicked ways. Ulik first appeared in the pages of Thor #137, December 1966 and was created by the incomparable duo of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
As we get into our base review categories, I'll preface this by saying that there is some really good to this figure, and some really bad. So, let's dive into the four A's: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability before giving our overall score.
Ulik comes with two head sculpts, two fisted hands, one weapon holding hand, one open hand, and his Codgel weapon. I guess, for the character, he really comes with all he needs. I honestly don't know a lot about the character as I really wasn't a big reader of Thor, back in the day. Maybe they could have made two weapon holding hands, so you can alternate where he has his Codgel? My biggest problem with the open hand is that it's designed to grasp something, but the design of the "Pounders" (his version of Asgardian 'brass knuckles') limits the space available. Plus, the fingers are curled in relatively tight, so there's not much room to actually grab another figure, for example. I suppose I really ought not complain though, I mean, we do get two really nice head sculpts and for what this lacks in accessories, it makes up for in appearance. I'll give this a generous 6 out of 10 for accessories.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2023
Here is where Hasbro nails it. This is a really good-looking figure, and the paint apps are very nicely done, for the most part. As mentioned earlier, I'm not well-versed on the character, so I took a look at some images online and was pleasantly surprised to see how accurately this was designed to match the comic look, with some modernization added in. Both head sculpts are really well done. The hair sculpting is top notch and gives the appearance of a wildly flowing mane as Ulik rushes into battle. I actually like the open-mouthed, snarling head better. The paint apps on the mouth and teeth are super cleanly applied and the eyebrows are even on both heads. My only real complaint and what I found kind of funny, was that the right eye on BOTH heads seemed to be a bit off center, looking to the right. Maybe something to do with the paint process? I don't know, but I thought it kind of funny that Ulik has the same lazy eye on both head sculpts. The rest of his body is done really well with dark brown paint apps applied over the hair on his arms and legs and some darker shading on his shoulders, forearms, and shins. Sadly though, there is none on the back of the figure. If they were going for a shadowy look to give the figure depth, Hasbro totally missed out on the backside. The sculpting of the figure, throughout, is excellent as well. There are so many little details to notice, right down to the cracks on his toenails. I do like the metallic green for his chain mail and was pleased at the consistency throughout. I would have loved to have seen a wash over the silver pieces of his armor, Pounders, and Codgel though, especially with all of the sculpted texture. I really like the chest plate with all the nicks and dings, showing damage from battle. In fact, I was very impressed with all of the little damage details throughout the figure. Especially the small chinks in the chain mail, scattered throughout, and the slashes and dents interspersed through the harness and chest plate. I think a wash over these silver pieces would have really brought the detail out to a higher degree. Speaking of detail, I really, really like the Codgel he carries. At first glance, it seems to have that marbled effect we get, but upon closer inspection, it's all sculpted texture. There are striations all over the business end, nicks and cracks running across the weapon. The handle is also detailed, with the base of the grip featuring similar lines and cracks running through it. There is a very real possibility I will customize this with a simple black wash to bring out all that gorgeous texture. Honestly, this is a very simple figure, in terms of color palette, but what is done to it, is done very well. Aside from the lazy eyes and lack of wash, I really kinda like the look of Ulik a lot. I'll give him a solid 9 out of 10.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2023
I've seen bigger, clunky figures, with excellent articulation engineering. This is NOT one of them. We all know the typical Marvel Legends articulation, and this figure doesn't even really have that, sadly. Let's start at the top. Both head sculpts turn left and right easily enough but they sit on a ball hinge which in theory should allow for forward and backward movement. Unfortunately, he can neither look up or down very well at all, due mainly to the head sculpt. However, the hinge on mine is also terribly tight so movement is already limited. The shoulders cannot raise to a T pose because of the tufts of hair on them... or so I thought. The hair tufts are actually attached to his chainmail harness and are fairly rigid. The shoulders can rotate 360, but doing so puts flex on those hair pieces and I noticed some stress lines forming on mine. The bicep swivel works fine, if the arm is out, away from the body. Close in though, the size of the bicep tends to hinder the rotational movement. The elbows are single jointed and don't even hit 90 degrees. Each of the hands rotates easily and can hinge up and down horizontally, though the weapon holding hand has a nice vertical hinge. The ab crunch at the diaphragm joint DOESN'T WORK AT ALL. I can get mine to bend forward but it immediately moves back into place. I can't get it to ratchet for any type of decent crunch forward or back. Initially, I thought the chest plate was the culprit, but the cut at the crunch is decent enough to allow for a forward hinge, so, something is wrong with the internals on this figure. The waist swivel works fine but has that awful look to it when the figure is turned, with our favorite "landing platforms" at the sides. His legs will split maybe 45 degrees and can kick forward decently enough. The upper thigh swivel works good enough, and the single jointed knees can actually bend about 90 degrees. Unfortunately, doing so looks terrible as the sculpt gets broken very badly. Honestly, the best feature for articulation is the ankles. They hinge up and down really well and feature amazing ankle pivot. Sorry Ulik, as far as dynamic posing goes you, my friend, are a dud. 4 out of 10 for Articulation.
Walmart is knocking prices down after Christmas as I picked this figure up for the relatively low price of $27.99. I wasn't going to argue with that, given it was initially over $30 when I first saw it in stores. Honestly, I hadn't intended to pick him up, but decided to when I saw the sale price, plus, he really does look good posed with Thor. At some point, I'll be taking some battle pictures with them and will post in the "Figure Foto" section. Any time you can find a deluxe figure under $30, grab one. I'm happy enough with the pricing to give this a 9 out of 10.
Overall, while this isn't a dynamic figure and won't give you a ton of posing options, it is a really nice-looking figure. Ulik looks good with my other villains on the display and as I said, is fun to have with Thor. I just wish my ab crunch wasn't such an issue because that, coupled with the other limitations and gripes brings the overall score down a bit. With that in mind, I'll give Ulik:
7 out of 10 ToyBoxes
Thank you so much for stopping by Dan's ToyBox latest review of Hasbro Marvel Legend's Ulik the Troll King Action Figure. Until next time... GEEK OUT!