Marvel Select Thor
By Hervé St-Louis
November 1, 2008 - 22:42
When Writer Michael Avon Oeming penned the end of the Norse gods through Ragnarok, few doubt that the Mighty Thor would return at the helm of Asgard, ready to defend Earth again. J. Michael Straczynski and artist Olivier Coipel created the return of the Viking hero in the third volume reiteration of the Thor comic book series. This Thor has a new look, and more powers than in the past. It was only a matter of time before Marvel Select offered collectors a new Thor action figure. But is it a neat action figure?
French artist Coipel, designed a Thor that looked more rugged than any version before. Gone is the clean jock look drawn by artists such as Walt Simonson or George Perez. This Thor is a real man and not effete. I can’t imagine anyone referring to him as goldilocks as they used to in older Avengers’ comic books.
The action figure captures the rugged look of this new Thor with a big Neanderthal jaw, a broken nose and a massive build. Allowing this action figure to mimic Coipel’s design, means that this is how Thor is meant to look from now on. I can’t complain with that.
The main problem of this sculpt are the legs. They are sturdy, but they look crooked and lacking in stature next to the rest of Thor’s body. As Thor’s arms are long and thick, it makes him look like one of those gym guy that forgot to train his legs for months. I don’t like that the helmet is sculpt in and cannot be removed as a separate piece from his head. The cape is too short for the new scale of the current action figure but would look good on the last Thor action figure released by Marvel Toys. Although this action figure is hard to pose into anything dynamic, from afar, it looks like a solid and grandiose statue.
This being a Marvel Select action figure, the paint job is clean and well done, although there are few highlights. By comparison, the Ultimate Thor action figure had skin blemish that looked like sunburns all over his body. Also, unlike the Ultimate Thor action figure, this toy has no blue veins running its look.
This is a seven-inches action figure, but it is slightly shorter than the Ultimate Thor, but much larger than the average Marvel Legends action figure.
This action figure is quite stable, although I initially feared its ankles would be too loose to support the weight of the action figure. Permanent dynamic posing will be difficult though.
Marvel Toys is trying a new type of articulations here. Instead of the double articulations at the knees, elbows and thighs, there are a ball-joint-like articulations at that allow as much motion, but also sideway rotations. Design wise, this is an improvement as less cuts are made on the action figure’s sculpt. Although Thor’s head sits on a ball joint, his hair severely limit its flexibility. I have a problem with the right hand that is badly inserted inside a peg hole at the wrists. I fear that if I try to fit it better, it will break the peg at the base the hand. The designers also decided to give Thor, a v-shaped like hip articulation which stops the action figure’s legs from moving forward and backward in a straight line.
The plastic is a mix of PVC and rubber. The hammer is made of soft rubber. The wings on Thor’s helmet, his hair, tunic, and cape are in rubber. These are all glued on existing PVC parts.
Thor comes with the edge of a castle’s tower with a peg bar for one of his feet. There are peg holes at the back, allowing collectors to attach the structure to a wall. However, the peg bar is not long enough and I wonder if the structure, attached to a wall could support Thor’s weight.
The packaging is similar to existing Marvel Select packages. It features a card bubble glued on top of a design intensive card stock base covered with artwork from the comic book. The drawback for many collectors, about this type of packages, is that one assumes that there’s a comic book instead and there are not. The double fold packaged cover suggests that. I wonder how many collectors were tricked into purchasing this and previous sets from Diamond Comics, the distributor and co-sponsor of the Marvel Select line, before realizing that they had no comic book inside.
This set costs about $25 in both Canadian and American. Canadian collectors should stock up quickly on this set, before prices increase due to the devaluation of the Canadian dollar the last few weeks.
As a just released set, collectors will easily find the Thor action figure in many comic book and hobby stores. Marvel Select has recently released older action figures in several packs and configurations to stores. This is good news for action figure collectors and means that it will be relatively easy to find this action figure next year.
I will post original pictures of the action figures in upcoming weeks. It’s difficult to get good lighting with the reduced daylight.
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