It’s been 2 years now since the Walmart Nemesis series of Marvel Legends figures disappeared from Toy Kingdom shelves. Since then, it’s been pretty lean for 6” Marvel collectors, and we’ve had to subsist on the occasional 2-packs and the exclusive movie figures. But the wait is finally over.
2012 will mark the re-introduction of the 6” line of Marvel figures. We’ve already got a line up for waves 1 and 2 and have seen the prototypes at the recent New York Toy Fair. Constrictor, Klaw, Hope, Madame Hydra, Drax, and Fantomex are getting a shot at 6” immortality, while Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor figures are set to anchor the line. Hasbro will also be continuing the Build-A-Figure concept with a Terrax figure scheduled for the first wave, followed by an Arnim Zola for the second. Wave 3 is already being worked on with new versions of Punisher, Archangel, and US Agent.
To give us an early taste of 2012, Hasbro released a Modern Thor during the San Diego Comic Convention in exclusive packaging.
I haven’t seen packaging this well done in… well, ever.
I mean the G.I. Joe Sigma 6 toys had that handy foot locker, but I’ve never had a box that was also a toy itself. I didn’t even get around to taking pictures of the figure until an hour after I had him out; I was too wrapped up in swinging the package around and yelling, “HAVE AT THEE!” to care about anything else.
If you haven’t gathered, the box is shaped like the head of Mjölnir, Thor's mythic hammer. There’s a long, cardboard haft sticking out the side printed with a design that looks like leather wrapped around it. The haft is connected to the hammer head by a plastic ring. It’s not the most secure thing, and the Thor figure is heavy, so be careful you don’t rip it. It’s best you remove Thor before trying to unleash your inner Asgardian.
The haft of the box is hollow (even more reason to be careful), and houses an exclusive poster of the thunder god:
Mine is still rolled up in the tube. I have no idea where I’d put it. I’ve got too many posters and very little wall space, so might as well just tuck it away until I win the Lotto and can afford a mansion in Antipolo with a library and a geek room and lots of negative space.
After I had laid (lain?) waste to my room with my new godly hammer, I got around to playing with the figure. Lo and behold, he is a mighty, mighty toy. I reviewed the Marvel Select effort to bring this Thor costume to plastic and I was, to put it lightly, underwhelmed. I’m happy to say that is not the case here, which is good, since this guy costs at least 33% more than the earlier figure.
My main problem with the Marvel Select Modern Thor was its lack of useful articulation. It looked great, but it couldn’t do anything, not even get into a decent fighting stance. You were basically stuck with him standing there like a LEGO mini-figure.
The new Marvel Legends figure, however, has a great balance between articulation and sculpting. The style of the figure is slightly more exaggerated than the Select version, closer to Olivier Coipel’s illustrations than it is to Marko Djurdjevic’s (the two pencillers on J. Michael Straczynski’s epic run on Thor), but it’s no less intimidating. Actually, since I prefer Coipel’s rounded lines to Djurdjevic’s overly busy pages, it works out well for me.
I’m a little afraid of the figure’s construction. While the toy plays great (the joints all swing nicely, have a good range, and remain where you leave them), there are some pieces that I don’t think will age well.
His knees are one of them. The double hinges (and that “tongue” on his knee) are made of a soft, rubbery plastic, like the Loki figures (both of the Marvel Legends ones). They are very pliable and I’m afraid they might soften and stretch in our hot climate here. His chest also gives me the heebie jeebies. It feels rotocast; hollow. If I should drop it to the parquet, or god forbid, sit on it, I have a feeling it could crack. I doubt it’ll stand up to normal play wear if a child were fooling with it.
Then again, this is a collector’s item, so I doubt any of those scenarios are very likely for any of you.
By the way, I love his hammer.
Mjölnir is nice and big, appropriately proportioned to the figure. Unlike the "King Thor" from the Blob series, the strap isn't so unnecessarily wide and it's painted in a nice blue hue with prongs of lightning flashing around it. It's not the best representation (that would have been some additional lightning elements that you could attach or remove), but it's better than an unpainted block. Sadly though, he can't slip his hand into the loop at the end so no swinging Mjölnir to bring on the whirlwind. It also doesn't have the inscription, which is odd since it's written right there on the back of the box and they managed to write in on the 1/18th scale Marvel Universe weapon. Now that they've got a 1/12th scale one they couldn't have been bothered?
His build is very meaty, as befits an Asgardian. His chest is huge. His arms are huge. His thighs are huge. In fact, he towers over the rest of my Marvel Legends figures by about a head and a half. It’s almost as if he’s in another scale altogether.
As I said, articulation is wonderfully smooth, with a nice set of useful joints.There's the ball-jointed head (limited because of his hair), double-sided swivel-hinges for shoulders, swivel-hinge elbows, swivel-hinge wrists, a ball-jointed torso joint, double-sided swivel-hinged hips (nicely hidden by his skirt, but not hindered by it - awesome), double-hinged knees, and swivel-hinge ankles. There's none of that stupid "super-articulated" crap here.
He's perfectly articulated.
He's perfectly articulated.
Also, let me just mention that cape: I love it! I've said before how I hate the static capes that Marvel insists on putting on it's figures, and here they finally give us one of their heavy hitters, and he's got a nice flowing cape! I tell you, this thing was a dream to pose, and the sculpted red cloth is unbelievably photogenic.
Paint on him is pretty nice, too, though not on par with the old Toy Biz Marvel Legends. There's a nice, faint wash on the shiny tunic that makes it look a bit pearlized, and the chain mail on his arms and legs has some black paint to add depth. There's also a frosting of white on his helm. The rest of him is pretty much cast in color.
If you were lucky enough to pick up at the World of Heroes event last month, then this Thor is a perfect match for it. Both figures are based on the characters' looks in the "Heroic Age" Thor run of Straczynski, and since Loki is a tad bigger than the older Legends figures, he fits nicely next to this guy.
I'm not sure what cannon says his height should be, but he looks fine in a group shot with the other Avengers, though I wouldn't want to break out a ruler.
Though the SDCC 2011 Marvel Legends Modern Heroic Age Thor is pretty pricey (I paid Php 1,950.00 for it, which is about $44 US), I don't regret buying it one bit. After reading the Thor Omnibus I had to have this figure. He was always just another character until that book and the recent movie brought him out of the periphery.
If you get a chance to pick up either, do it.