Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Avengers - Cosmic Axe Chitauri #16


The 4th and apparently final wave of Hasbro’s “The Avengers” 3 ¾” figures is starting to hit retail. Is this single-carded Chitauri soldier any better than the deluxe version we looked at yesterday? No. Not at all. But click on the read more link anyway!

When I first got an early factory sample of the Chitauri from a seller in China last month, I really, really hoped that it was just the crappy deluxe figure, since they are traditionally less articulated in Hasbro’s Marvel movie lines, and that the single carded Chitauri would be something better. You know, something with knees and elbows at minimum. After all, the first look we got at these figures, the display set up at the Times Square Toys R Us in New York, and Hasbro's own press photos, seemed to indicate that at least some of the figures were more poseable.

Sadly, this was not the case. Now having both the single carded and deluxe Chitauri figures in hand, I can confirm that they are the exact same figure with just slightly different paint jobs. The early samples I got were, in fact, the deluxe figure, just as I hoped – but the single carded one isn’t any better.


Packaging, schmackaging. It looks like the rest of the line.  Strangely, there is a blank spot on the back of the card in the cross-sell.  Rather than showing a figure from a previous wave, Hasbro's packaging designers just left this spot black.  Probably a mistake on their part.  And that pretty much sums up the level of effort put into the majority of this line, sadly.




The figure has the same seven crappy POA’s as the chariot driver: ball socket head, and ball hinges at the shoulders, hips and ankles. And yes, the ankle joints ARE entirely useless without having knee joints to work in conjunction with. So that’s a big fat FAIL for articulation. Also, and I forgot to mention this in my review of the Chitauri Chariot of Death and Disappoinment yesterday, the left hip joint on both of my single-carded AND deluxe Chitauri soldiers was severely stuck when I opened them. I’m not sure if it was paint or glue or what that was stuck in the joint preventing the left from moving forward, but I’ve only successfully un-stuck one of them so far. So that’s a big fat FAIL in the QC department, too, Hasbro. And this is a recurring theme with this wave, as you’ll see in my upcoming reviews.


Let’s talk about deco. The deco sucks. It’s a much duller, blander version of the deluxe. The gold and purple are much less metallic, and without that contrast against the grey skin of the alien soldier, the entire figure just looks bland. Way to cheap out again, big H. At least you were able to color within the lines (mostly) this time.



That brings me to accessories. As the name implies, the Chitauri soldier comes with a big cosmic axe, forged from some mystical, mysterious translucent green metal. Or maybe it’s a lightsaber axe. Oops, I crossed the streams. Either way, it’s just a repaint of the giant missile launching axe that came with Sword Spike Thor earlier in this line. It looks nothing like the Chitauri weapons in the movie and is basically a throw-away. Luckily, Hasbro also saw fit to include a movie-accurate weapon, the long Chitauri rifle. It looks decent enough, but there’s one problem. The poor Chitauri doesn’t have elbows. So he can’t hold his weapon in any manner even close to bordering on realism. He can hold his rifle out straight, one handed. That’s it. No two-handed weapon brandishing going on here. Apparently in whatever universe the Chitauri are from, the laws of physics don’t apply. Now this may not bother everyone, but even when I was a kid, before most action figures even had elbow articulation, it used to drive me nuts when a figure had to straight-arm a weapon that was almost as long as they were tall. It looks incredibly unrealistic and downright stupid, and in today’s modern age of action figure aesthetics, there is really no viable excuse for this. So, Hasbro, you don’t get a complete FAIL on accessories, but you get a double-FAIL on articulation.



Over all, as a figure, this guy is just as bad (if not worse) as the deluxe version. At least that one has a decent paint job. But as a toy, this guy is only slightly better, if just for the fact that he DOESN’T include a giant poorly designed accessory that he is completely incapable of actually piloting. He just includes a medium sized accessory that he is basically incapable of using due to his own poor design. Also, he costs a few bucks less. As such, I don’t condone having anything to do with this figure. Purchase at your own risk.

16 comments:

  1. Great review, just a shame about the figure. Some Happy Meal toys have more appeal than these disgraces. Feels like Hasbro just wanted to punch us in the gut with these figures. Anybody have any insight on custom-making joints for abominations like these?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I just did it. I used loop screws, an X-acto knife, a screw, very small nails, and a pair of needle nosed pliers(with cutter). Super glue was helpful, but not necessary.

      Delete
    2. Can you go into a bit more detail or link pictures? I would like to try that! :)

      Delete
    3. Sorry, I don't have the tech for pics, but here's what I did:

      1: Cut the limbs apart along the clearly sculpted lines. And X-acto knife will do this easily, no boiling required.

      2: Carve out a notch for the eye-screws in the thigh and forearms. Best to be conservative and keep chipping away until the loop fits into the slot tightly.

      3: Thread a small screw through the limb and the screw-loop, then remove. Make sure the hole you make is as close to the back of the loop as possible so the joint will be tight enough.

      4: I used a small nail, but one could probably use a plastic screw to make this easier. Put the nail through the screw hole from step 3, and then clip the ends with the pliers, and then super glue the(very sharp) ends.

      5: It helps to use a push pin to start the screw holes, and make sure they're straight, but now you can just twist on the lower extremities to the eye-screw and you've got a hinge-swivel joint!

      You can get all this stuff at Home Depot (I got a lot of hard to answer questions about what I was looking for while I screwtinized the inventory) so this might save some time: The Screw Eyes are #216-1/2", they come in packs of 8 for like, a dollar.

      Delete
    4. Thanks VonDoombot! I'll have to find a spare Chitauri to give your steps a go.

      Delete
    5. If yer gonna build an army, you'll get lots of practice!

      Delete
  2. I think the worst part about this thing is the fact that he seems to have articulated joins on the packaging photo. It's like they're trying to remind us of how they could have done a passable job with this but they decided not to.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great review buddy, its true that the chitauri version of the avengers line is pretty dissapointing, but maybe is the only figure of chitarui along with marvel select and marvel minimates..... by the way do you know about the new figure of the captain america of the avengers hasbro line?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marvel-The-Avengers-3-75-Inch-Captain-America-Loose-/390441981650?pt=US_Action_Figures&hash=item5ae827d6d2

    is pretty same as the shield launcher but this figure is just like the figure, check it please, maybe you can get it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the Shield Launcher Cap with a new more accurate head, a retooled leg without the holster, and a more detailed paint job. It will be included in the upcoming Target exclusive 8-pack.

      Delete
  4. If you visit the display at the NYC Times Square Toys R Us and look closely, you'll see that the Chitauri in that display have extra articulation because whoever made the diorama literally cut apart their arms and legs and trimmed the joint areas to make it look like these things could bend their knees and elbows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That pisses me off so much. That's downright deceitful on Hasbro's part. I'm on the west coast, so not able to see the NYC display in person.

      Delete
  5. If you're wondering what that blank black space is, it's covering up another Captain America variant figure, this time one that's a repaint of the earlier "Shield Launcher" Cap, and armed with the weird axe shield from the Cap movie line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please tell me you're joking.

      Delete
    2. It's sadly not a joke:

      http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m81/Alchemist559/410F4AE5-BBA5-4661-BB20-DBDD57C7CE07-6657-00000A7E6A7E94C6.jpg

      (via: http://www.toyark.com/marvel-3-75-appreciation-thread-54214-page1512/#post349570)

      Delete
    3. Interesting. That looks like the retooled Captain America from the upcoming Target set. I wonder if he was originally planned for this wave, or if there was going to be a wave 5 at one point.

      Delete
  6. I just found the single card figure and mine has the same problem with the left hip! You can see where the glue ran down into the joint.


    I've contacted Hasbro about this issue but I doubt they will do anything.

    ReplyDelete