A big summer movie season with superhero movies means big anticipation for the movie toys. With Thor to hit theaters real soon, the movie toy line has strangely been missing from department store shelves here in Singapore.
But we can always count on the specialty stores hereabouts. And that's where I found Sword Spike Thor over the weekend.
Of the 6 figures released in the initial wave--this guy, Battle Hammer Thor, Lightning Clash Thor (light up), Shield Bash Odin, Secret Strike Loki, and the Invasion Frost Giant--SS Thor looks like he's the most value for money.
But I did have a hard time choosing him over BH Thor. The latter has a more decent looking extra hammer/sword "weapon" accessory vs SS Thor's ridiculously large "sword."
Odin looked like a great sculpt but there was a lack of paint apps, while Loki had a rather bland expression. After initially wanting to get at least one version of each character, I might now only settle for a single Thor. So how did he turn out? Could he end up convincing me to snag more of his brethren? Let's take a look see, shall we? ;)
Like: The life-like head sculpt. It's Chris Hemsworth no doubt. For something so small, Hasbro have nailed the likeness down to a T. And while they've has so-so successes in the 6" scale likenesses, they're no doubt the masters of the 3.75" figures. If you look at their other brands like Star Wars, GI Joe, and (to a comic-book likeness extent) Marvel Universe, there's no denying that characters look like the actors and/or their artist renditions in certain series (World War Hulk comes to mind. Heheh.)
Like: His flexible chest pivot. It rotates easily without hindrance, while at the same time giving him the ability to crunch and puff out his chest well. This joint is one of my favorites from the Iron Man 2 line because of the way it allowed the figure to bend its torso and thus pose. And it looks like they've continued the tradition of doing this in the Thor movie line! Yay!
Like: The detachable cape. It's the one accessory that he's got that Battle Hammer Thor doesn't have. It does get in the way of upwards looks but it is completely removable. (It's attached by your standard peg in upper back slot that's usually used for backpacks in GI Joes.)
Dislike: His Sword Spike accessory. It's supposed to be a sword but looks more like a popsicle. He can't even hold it because the handle is far too big for his right, and the semi-open left hand looks like it was never meant to hold anything, despite what you see on the cardback.
Dislike: That his hip armor gets in the way of leg articulation. Not unexpected, since they've more or less focused on the figure's looks over its movement.
Like: That they used the same articulation model and joints as the Iron Man 2 figures. Swivel/ball legs, great chest pivot, excellent swivel hinge ankles that point and pivot with the best.
Like: That he's got a movie accurate costume. Another reason why I got him over Battle Hammer Thor.
Dislike: That his neck hinge is in its unpainted gray state. I'm not sure they didn't bother painting it at all knowing that it would peel off or if they just painted it anyway and it. well. peeled off. Either way Thor looks like his Adam's Apple has turned blue. It's fortunate that he's got longish hair that can hide the blemish a little. But when you have him look up it can't be missed. It's a shame because it's such a glaring contrast right under the awesome looking face.
Aesthetics: 9/10 - Thor's best feature by far. Not only does he have a movie accurate costume, great paint and colors, nicely tooled scale and leather armor, he also boasts a great likeness to Chris Hemsworth. And as far as movie characters go for me, this is a really big selling point. What can I say? I just love actors immortalized in plastic! ;P
Oh and there's one more thing: Thor's not quite as large as his Marvel Universe versions. While he may not be completely out of scale, he is only about the same size as your average MU figure. So if you're thinking as using this guy as your default Thor, he'll come up just a little bit short. But if you're thinking of just plundering his head for a bigger body, then you've probably struck gold. :)
Poseability: 7.5/10 - Takes a hit for the armor-hindered leg joints but saves itself by using the great ball/hinge combo for the head. :) His arms are also prevented from coming in close to his sides by his buff arms and torso, while his elbows give a good 90 degree bend or thereabouts.
Fun: 8/10 - Thor is always a fun character because he doesn't really exist in the modern world nor does his Asgard seem to quite fit in the inter-galactic super hero nature of the Marvel Universe. So it's always great to see him in a team like the Avengers or Ultimates providing not the magical element, but the mystical one that only a god could get away with in a book/graphic novel. You don't quite get how he gets his powers but we let it slide as readers because he's "a god."
Thor is also a fun figure to have because we've got tons of 3.75" scale soldiers, super heroes, and robots, but we seldom get knights, wizards or any sort of medieval-type characters. Thor gets away with being one of them and he gets armor, a cape and his Mjolnir, of course!
Value - 7/10 - forget the extra accessory--it's a dud that'll probably end up in most of your spare parts boxes. But he does come with his trusty Mjolnir and a cape. His tooling and his paint apps are also not to be sneezed at, so this I'd say he's just about good value.
Overall: 7.9/10 - Almost a great toy but not quite. Sword Spike Thor's got his issues with hindered legs and a strange accessory chief among them, but he's actually better than I thought he'd be, especially after one or two early reviews that expressed disappointment in the figures. While I wouldn't say you should get him right away, I'll say wait for more releases of the figures (and the movie, of course) if like me you're only up for getting one definitive movie Thor. Also, if Iron man 2 and the pictures of the Captain America line are anything to go by, we might see various repaints and comic book versions of the Thor characters released in the series. The Warriors Three, anyone? :)