Monday, April 09, 2012

Retro Toy Week: Toy Biz's Doc Samson!

This one may be a bit of a cheat, since he was picked up at a yard sale, October 2011. (When I'm writing this, as a matter of fact!) From 1997 and Toy Biz's Hulk line, Doc Samson!

Conventional comic wisdom says every character is somebody's favorite, but a quick wikipedia check for Doc Samson begins with "No Image Available"? No love there...I'm leaving the link since I'm not up at all on his recent history, but I'm used to Samson as either a foil for the Hulk (as a possible rival for Betty) or as psychiatric help. Maybe 'help' should be in quotes there, since it is questionable how much good he's done Banner...but, exposed to gamma radiation siphoned from the Hulk, Dr. Leonard Samson developed green hair and super-strength. (Which may or may not have varied depending upon the length of his hair.) Just like Matt Murdock is Marvel's default lawyer or Jake Lockley Marvel's cabbie, Samson was the go-to psych consult for some time.

So, he's a glorified supporting character; but in 1997 he would've been a novel choice for an action figure. (Samson would've appeared on the Incredible Hulk cartoon of the day.) That said, he doesn't get anywhere near the attention or detail that a Hulk figure would have: Samson has maybe seven points of articulation--his neck is cut, but immovable due to the hair--and bog-standard sculpt and paint. The nicest thing I can say about this figure is the shoulders are swivel-hinges rather than mere cuts; but that's still not a lot of effort. He's not aged well, then.

Doc Samson would get a Marvel Legends figure in 2008--he was part of the Hulk/Fin Fang Foom series, and cost a then unheard of $14.99. In fact, he also received a Marvel Universe figure, if 3 3/4" is your game. The character is a bit of a jerk, but he serves a purpose in Hulk stories (or others) as a sounding board. Or punching bag.

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