Iron Man? Nah. He needed to plug himself in a little too much for my liking in the 80s and 90s. Giant Man and Wasp? Sheah, right.
But Thor? He was sorta cool but in those days when I was a kid he was too He-Man-like. And anyone who looked a smidgen like my hero Adam of Eternia was obviously a fake/imposter/not the original. I also had issues with the bare sides in his costume top. (Is he wearing a shirt or is that some sort of double-sided apron?)
Fast forward a good 30 years later and these guys are all mainstream--Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor all have their own movies and are coming together in The Avengers opening hereabouts in a couple of days. I find myself now liking them, even Hawkeye and Black Widow (sorry Giant Man and Wasp! Maybe in Avengers 2?)
And I suppose it's the way that Marvel have marketed their B-Listers and made them A-Listers. 10 years ago, the average person on the street wouldn't know who Iron Man or Thor was. Now everyone knows and those of us who knew already find ourselves liking them.
For me, it all began with this little story called the Ultimates. All the characters were too interesting to ignore. It wasn't because they were all saints or completely badass. It was but because I could relate to them and their struggles with ordinary things like morals and dealing with relationships and even having super powers.
Ultimate Thor, for example, was the "Is he for real" hippie who no one believed was a Norse God except for himself. Yet sometimes he would know things or perform extraordinary feats that would throw you off just when you think you have him pegged for a fake. Or a god. And then there was his hammer, half axe and half hammer head. Even the circles on his suit started to make sense. I was sucked right in.
So here we are, just days before The Avengers is about to hit screens. So I guess it's fitting tribute that they've included Ultimates Thor among the first couple of waves of movie figures. Named "Battle Hammer Thor", let's see how he turned out.
Like: The sculpt. Best work on a head sculpt by Hasbro yet. He's got his groovy gold locks but not overly long and flowy like his classic counterpart. His beard is also sculpted onto his face and painted a slightly darker, realistic shade of yellow. The slightly furrowed brow is also very convincing.
I do so love the costume and the sculpted circles and lines that give it texture. His power belt is also nice and wide, just the way uh-huh uh-huh we like it. The torso is a also not overly big, which is accurate with the comics.
The muscles on his arms are also very well sculpted and don't get in the way of the shoulder articulation. I'd also point out that the shade of flesh that was used to sculpt is arms and head are a perfect for a healthy tanned look.
Like: That hammer! It's the right size and shape. Unfortunately it's not painted at all except for the little leather strap on the bottom. If they couldn't afford to paint it, then at least sculpt it in a more silver tone rather than the dull grey. Also, the hammer doesn't fit well in either hand if you'd like him to be holding it below the neck. By that, I mean it falls right out of his hands. Yep.
Dislike: The awful awful articulation. He's got 15 points, tops. No waist or chest, no wrists, no ankles, no extra knee or elbow articulation like his Marvel Universe counterparts.
It's a sad day indeed when the Marvel Super Hero Adventures figures I got for my 1 year-old for his birthday (Happy Birthday Christian!) can compete with the likes of an action figure. At least those little guys have wrists. :(
|An inscription on Mjolnir and a cloth cape on a figure that small? What?!?!?|
Aesthetics: 8/10 - I actually think he's superbly sculpted. Comic book accurate, with lots of sculpted detail on him and the correct weaponry. The paint is also not half-bad. In fact, it's more than half good. The blue they've used for the torso and legs have a nice metallic feel to it, while the plastic of his arms ad head are a great tone of tanned-skin.
Poseability: 5/10 - It's really frustrating when you see such a good sculpt go to waste. 15 PoAs makes an action figure does not. Even if Thor here doesn't have double-jointed knees or elbows, the least they could do by him was give him some wrists. The guy wields a hammer, by Odin's beard! And by Great Odin's Raven, give him a torso or waist joint somewhere so he can look like he's swinging it!
Fun: 6/10 - Right now I'm digging him a little because he adds to my 3.75" Ultimates display where I'm just short of the Hulk (and maybe Black Widow...) But he's little more than a mini statue and once they come up with a better version of him, this guy is so outta here like the 5 PoA Cap that comes with the Goliath Assault Tank. The only thing I'd salvage? The head and the hammer, if I could actually get down to repainting it.
|Looks more like a spear...|
|Still not looking like a hammer...|
Value: 5/10 - At S$19.90, these new Avengers movie figures cost a good S$3 more than their Iron Man 2 counterparts. They're less well articulated, have less accessories, no figure stand or Armour cards. Sure, Thor here gets his "battle hammer," but the thing's got very little play value in its "expandable head." And we know Thor only wields Mjolnir, so very poor, Hasbro. Tsk tsk.
Overall: 6/10 - Just Barely Above Average: And I'm a fan of Ultimates Thor! If only he was super articulated like the Ultimate Iron Man figure out of the Iron Man 2 line! But alas, by some trick of Loki we ended up with...this. I guess my only hope is that Ultimates Thor gets re-sculpted, retooled, and re-released in the Marvel Universe line. I'm not holding out for hope though!