Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Avengers: Shock Strike Thor #09

Of these first three characters in the Avengers line, at first glance, Thor’s costume appears the least changed in this movie.  But this is false.  There are actually a lot of subtle differences.  The pants have what look like some high-tech Asgardian zippers down the front of the legs.  The chest armor is a similar, but completely different design.  Even the boots and gauntlets are different.  Also, the head sculpt on this guy looks much less “pretty boy with perfect hair” and more “badass Norse god of Thunder here to kick your ass”.  

With so many Thor movie figures in basically this same outfit still hanging on the pegs, a lot of people may think it's not the smartest move on Hasbro's part to release another one right off the bat. I mostly agree.  This almost feels like overkill.  But the outfit is just different enough, and the face sculpt is good enough, that I don't mind it being released so soon.  Of course, they could have held this figure back a couple waves and released Black Widow instead, but why would Hasbro want to do a silly thing like release a new character when there are still Thors, Caps, and Iron Mans to be made or repainted?


Yup, that's an Avengers card-back alright.

The Figure:

The Good:  This. Sculpt. Rocks.  Seriously, look at that mean mug.  I almost think this action figure can kick MY ass.  And the likeness to Chris Hemsworth as Thor is remarkable.  Much closer than the Thor movie figures.  And the sculpting on the chest armor is very detailed.

The plastic is sturdier.   No gumby Thor here.  And the giant ridiculous hammer launching accessory is kind of cool.  The inclusion of both a normal movie-accurate Mjolnir and a lightning charged version (which actually looks pretty bad-ass) is awesome.

The cape is really well done, too.  Unlike most caped figures that have the cape just plugged into the back, this cape doesn't fall off when you looks at it cross-eyed.  It's permanently attached.  That may be a good or bad thing depending on your preference, but I like it.

Also of note, despite many of these figures getting smaller than their previous counterparts, this Thor is actually noticeably taller than the last movie Thor.  As he should be.  You get a high-five for that, Hasbro.

The Bad:  Paint quality is better but not perfect (the chest armor on mine is just a little messed up).

The Ugly:  Articulation.  Again.  Ball neck, ball hinges at the shoulders, elbows, hips, and double hinged knees.  No ankles, wrists, or torso.  Completely lame.  I really hope the whole line isn’t like this.  I would gladly trade the kind-of-awesome lightning hammer missile launcher for some definitely-all-kinds-of-awesome points of articulation that would allow for more dynamic posing.

One thing I will say for the articulation though; Hasbro has finally figured out how to do good ball hinged hips on their Marvel movie figures.  Remember how terrible the Wolverine line ones were?  Or how stiff the Iron Man 2 ones were?  What about how limited the range of motion on a lot of the Cap line ones were?  So far, I'm not having any of those problems with these hips.  They move smoothly and easily, but are not too loose, and they've got great range of motion.  One peculiar thing I've noticed though is they seem to be somewhat connected in these figures.  Move the left leg at the hip, and just that leg moves, but move the right leg at the hip, and both legs move.  Strange.  Not necessarily bad, just peculiar.

Overall, this Thor isn't a half bad figure.  The awesome face sculpt and likeness to Chris Hemsworth almost make up for the lack of  articulation.  Like the rest of the initial wave, this figure will likely be easy to come by at retail in the coming weeks.  If you want to secure yours and save yourself some hassle, BBTS has you covered for pre-orders.

So is this guy worth getting?


Up next:  Hulk.... smash???

-Future Zak.  From that one place.