I’ve always considered Kraven the Hunter to be one of Spider-Man’s most lame-o villains. Yes, I know he was featured in many classic tales and is one of Spidey’s most long-standing villains, but seriously–if this guy is such a great hunter and wants to catch the world’s most dangerous prey, he should be chasing after Red Hulk–not Spider-Man. But I digress–while Kraven fails to make my list of world’s best antagonists, I always seem to end up buying his action figures. So when a new Marvel Universe Kraven the Hunter figure hit stores this summer, he was purchased instantly. Though I still don’t give Kraven the character much credibility, his Marvel Universe action figure is yet another badass one…
Though Kraven isn’t an all-new sculpt, you could almost be fooled into thinking that he was by all of the clothing add-ons to to the base figure. Kraven comes with a wonderfully-textured and detailed lion skin jacket, which has great poofy lion fur protruding around the back of it. Meanwhile, Marvel Universe Kraven the Hunter is packing his iconic loincloth belt, so he can obscure his manly loins in style. Also, I’m not sure if Kraven’s lower legs are a new sculpt or not, but the skulls on his knees and the wrapped boots look simply awesome.
Kraven the Hunter has a fairly complicated color scheme with a lot of little details in it, but the paint deco on this figure manages to pull it off marvelously. The lion eyes and nostrils on Kraven’s lion vest are painted perfectly, as are many other little details like the fur on Kraven’s boots, the buckles on his belt, his armbands, and the wrappings on his forearms.
Kraven looks like he may be wearing a gallon or two of eyeshadow on it, but I’m willing to accept that he has bags under his eyes from too many sleepless nights obsessing about Spider-Man. Whereas Hasbro really cheaper out on the Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-Man in this wave, Kraven’s paint is downright terrific.
All of the articulation Kraven needs to be the world’s greatest (non-meta human) hunter is built into this Marvel Universe figure. Kraven has a ball-jointed head, ball-jointed upper torso, ball-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, ball-jointed hips, double-hinge knees, and ball-hinge ankles.
Kraven comes with three accessories, two of which are good. The first is a knife with a painted hilt, which is the easiest for this Marvel Universe Kraven the Hunter figure to wield and probably his most efficient weapon. The second is an excellent spear with a couple of different paint applications on it. The spear is really fun to have Kraven (or other figures) pose with, and turns out to be one of my favorite aspects of the figure. The third accessory is Kraven’s necklace, which I’ll talk about shortly.
Lots of painted details have been lost between the prototype photographed on the back of the package and the finished Kraven the Hunter toy we actually end up owning. While most of these omissions are pretty inconsequential, Kraven’s necklace is now totally unpainted and simply a brown piece of plastic. It looks pretty awful, which is too bad considering how great the prototype of it looked.
Speaking of the necklace, it also hasn’t been designed very well physically. The necklace itself is too small, and can’t get all the way down over Kraven’s thick throat. The result is that it kind of floats on his neck, looking awkward and restricting Kraven’s head articulation. Oy.
Kraven also could have done with improved wrist and ankle articulation, as well as a gun, but I can live without all of those.
And as always, the collectible Comic Shot that this and every Marvel Universe 2012 action figure comes with is a worthless waste of resources. I’d have rather paid one penny less for Kraven than had to throw out another of these little cardboard cards, but que sera.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Kraven the Hunter started hitting stores in August, but it can be tough to find him amongst the mountains of year-old (and two-year-old) Marvel Universe figures smothering the pegs. I got my Marvel Universe Kraven from BigBadToyStore, although a large number of Amazon sellers also have the figure available right now.
Overall: Marvel Universe Kraven the Hunter is yet another terrific action figure from Hasbro’s 4″ Marvel Universe line. Traditionally Kraven is a bit of a pegwarmer, but I’ve seen all of zero of this figure on pegs in the two months since its release. MU Kraven’s popularity is well-warranted: the action figure has terrific articulation, great character-specific clothing add-ons, and a fun set of accessories. The necklace is a bit of a misfire and the Kraven the Hunter figure is probably better off without it, but otherwise Hasbro did a bang-up job on Kraven. I never care for Kraven as a character, but as a toy, this is easily my favorite Kraven the Hunter action figure ever. Highly recommended.