Hasbro released Thor (#12) in 2010 as part of the second (H.A.M.M.E.R.) series of figures in the Marvel Universe line. For this series, Hasbro upped the ante by relying slightly less in generic body sculpts and offering a very good number of new, unique sculpts.
This version of Thor is different from the classic Kirby look Hasbro used for the 2009 Secret Wars comic two pack (Thor & Enchantress). This God of Thunder is attired more in line with modern sensibilities, wearing what appears to be scale mail under a dark blue tunic. The mail can be seen covering the bulging arms and legs with square overlapping scales. These areas are painted silver, but a black paint wash was used to tone down the brightness as well as to provide shading for the sculpted texture.
Thor’s tunic has a trim neatly painted in gold, and shows a good amount of detail including a slightly pitted and worn texture enhanced by a darker paint wipe, giving to the tunic the appearance of being made of leather rather than fabric.
Thor’s cape is a separate, non-removable piece made from red plastic. The cape is affixed to the figure by a couple of rivets disguised as the upper shields characteristic to Thor’s costume. I think that if you really want to, the cape could be removed without a lot of trouble, but I don’t recommend you do.
The cape is sculpted in a slightly dynamic fashion with flowing folds and creases that simulate either a very light breeze or movement that I find appropriate for both resting and action poses. To tone down the plastic look, the cape is expertly shaded with smooth airbrushed gradients deepening the shadows in it’s folds.
Thor’s head sculpt is something I had not expected, as it does stray from most comic book depictions of the character I have seen. Instead of a fairly generic, Scandinavian look, Thor looks decidedly Slavic with the wide cheekbones and squinty eyes. Although this is not a handsome face, it does show an undeniable heroic character and is possibly closer to the real world roots of the myth.
The skullcap and hairpiece seem to be one single item glued on top of the head, with the wings being also separate pieces glued onto the skullcap. While the sculpted detail seems a little soft on the wings, the sculptor still managed to get a fairly natural flow and texture on the hair. The helm is painted silver while the hair is sort of an strawberry blonde that thankfully avoids looking like strands of melted cheese. The wings on the helmet are painted white, but a light blue wash was applied to them to make the feather texture stand out.
What’s interesting is the number and extent of paint wipes, washes and dry brushing used to decorate Thor, and that the overall look is remarkably neat, more so since none of the painting techniques I mentioned is known to offer much in way of precise paint application. Of course, there may be some differences from sample to sample, but for the most part the finish on all of the Thor figures I saw at the store was pretty consistent across the board.
- • Ball jointed neck. Articulation is rather limited due to the rubbery hairpiece, but it still has a modest amount of range in every direction.
• Double peg, hinged shoulders. Pretty good range, even though the cape does limit the range somewhat.
• Peg & Hinge elbows. Excellent 90° bending and free sideways rotation.
• Swivel wrists. Free 360° swivel on both.
• Floating torso. Forward tilt is slightly limited by the character design, but otherwise free rotation. No apparent sideways tilt.
• Upper thigh cut. An unusual joint in Marvel Universe figures. May not be the most discrete way to implement articulation but it works great to tweak the balance and pose of the figure.
• Double Hinged knees. Very good range, although the bulk of the pieces limit range to little more than 90° bending.
• Peg & Hinge ankles. Character design limits rotation, and up/down range is also small but workable.
While Thor has the most joints (with at least 16 points of articulation), he is not the most flexible of the bunch due to his armor design and the sheer bulk of some pieces getting in the way, but all of the joints present are useful to some degree and well integrated within the character design.
Thor comes packaged with his hammer, a numbered and personalized display base, and a small envelope containing the “Hammer File”(which is basically an In-Universe report or assessment of the character and a picture card with some character info printed on it).
The hammer (Mjölnir) is smaller than I expected, but it has a very interesting texture sculpted on the headpiece, as well as sculpted leather straps covering the handle. The base is sculpted black plastic with the word “Marvel” engraved on top and the character’s name and series number stenciled right below.
While Marvel’s Thor is not a character I am very familiar with (for a really interesting glimpse of the character and Mythology in general you should pick the book American Gods, by Neil Gaiman), this action figure is remarkable enough for me to get. I know there will be Thor movie toys made in 2011 but I really think Hasbro will have a hard time making a better version than this one.