It’s not even 2012 yet, but I’m finishing up my series of the first wave of Marvel Universe 2012 action figures today. Following up my reviews this past week of Psylocke, Modern Iron Fist, Patriot, Shadowland Daredevil and Storm, tonight I’m completing the set with Ages of Thunder Thor (and you can find all my past reviews in the Toy Reviews Index). Ages of Thunder Thor is the obligatory “Big 5” Marvel character in the assortment, but he’s also a bit of an oddity. This particular figure is a variant of a convention exclusive Marvel Universe action figure, with a head repainted from another character and without Thor’s signature helmet. Oh, and he bears a striking resemblance to WWE wrestling superstar Edge…
The paint does this figure a major service and really makes the sculpt shine. From the deep blue chosen for Thor’s tunic to his sandy blonde hair and secondary colors, every paint choice here was absolutely perfect. The paint application is strong, with very few uneven lines on a very complicated costume.
Visually, the body of this figure is a real winner. (I’ll talk about the head later.) The belt and loincloth, cape, and boots are all beautifully sculpted and detailed. I thought it was a little bizarre how Thor’s cape was attached at first with only one clasp glued to the body, but now I really like it. The tattered cape riddled with battle damage adds a ton of character and realism to the figure, and is probably my favorite cape I’ve seen in the Marvel Universe line so far.
I think I’m in love with this Mjolnir hammer mold. It’s better painted and the sculpt is more richly detailed than many of the actual figures in the Marvel Universe line. The scale looks accurate, and Thor can get a tight grip on the hammer. Mjolnir is such a crucial complement to Thor that it’s a huge boon for Hasbro to succeed so spectacularly with it.
Ages of Thunder Thor features 16 points of articulation: ball-jointed neck, upper torso, ball-jointed shoulders and hips, swivel biceps, swivel wrists, elbows, double-jointed knees, and ankles. That’s certainly not a record-breaking amount of articulation for a figure this size, but it’s certainly acceptable for a brute/powerhouse character like Thor who doesn’t need to be put into any ninja poses or anything.
Finally, I thought it was worth mentioning here that I love the new Deadpool slogans that are different on every cardback. They add an extra second of fun and elicit a big smile every time I read a new one, and I much prefer these to the old Steve Rogers/Osborne generic cardbacks that I immediately discarded without ever feeling the need to give even a first glance to. The Deadpool quip on Thor’s cardback is my least favorite of the first wave and reads: “Collect them all! … I call this pose ‘museum worthy’.” I don’t really get the joke, honestly.
Like all of the figures in this wave of Marvel Universe figures, Ages of Thunder Thor is made up of 100% recycled parts. The head is a repainted Doc Samson head with blonde hair, and the rest of the figure is the San Diego Comic Con 2010 Exclusive Ages of Thunder Thor. Note that I emphasized “exclusive”, as I’ll be back to that in a minute.
My primary complaint with this figure is that the head, quite frankly, does not look like Thor. I read “Thor: Ages of Thunder”, and Thor didn’t look like this. In fact, Thor was wearing his helmet for most all of that series. And during no part of “Ages of Thunder” did Thor look like his facial design was based off of WWE superstar Edge. I kinda get what Hasbro was going for here, but you can’t just stick any head sculpt of a young man with long blonde hair on Thor’s body and call it Thor. I don’t buy it (although I did buy this figure).
The other thing that really bothers me about this figure is that it’s a 95% reissued convention exclusive. Many collectors spent a lot of time, effort, and money to get “Ages of Thunder Thor” at San Diego Comic Con, and there’s absolutely no reason to belittle their efforts by making the figure more widely available. The awful head makes the mass-market release inferior to the con figure, but that’s certainly not purposeful on Hasbro’s fault. This version of Thor just wasn’t a major enough want or desire by collectors that it needed a reissue to devalue a con exclusive that’s readily-available at or below original cost on the aftermarket as it is. Thumbs down, Hasbro.
My only additional disappointment with this figure is the lack of ankle rockers on him. Without them, it can be very difficult to achieve a stable pose for the top-heavy Thor other than standing straight up. This is a figure that really would have benefited from having a figure stand packed-in. And speaking of which…
It appears to be the end of the road for the much-beloved Marvel Universe figure stands. This series is the first 2012 set of Marvel Universe figures, and to my astonishment Hasbro has found a cheaper and crappier pack-in than the Jedi Force Files from the old Power of the Jedi line. Instead of getting a practical, often-necessary figure stand with each figure this year, collectors will now get a “Collectible Comic Shot”, which refers to a small 2″ picture of the character taken from a cover and printed on a piece of low-quality cardstock. Worse, several of the “Comic Shots” in this series including Thor’s picture their character in a totally different costume than the one the figure they’re packaged with is wearing! At least the Jedi Force files gave you information about a character–these “Collectible Comic Shots” are just useless throw-aways.
At the time of writing, Marvel Universe Wave 17 has only begun to hit select specialty online retailers and hasn’t been sighted in stores as far as I know. Online, I’ve seen Ages of Thunder Thor available from a couple sources:
If you’re having trouble finding Ages of Thunder Thor at retail or from an online store, he’s pretty readily and easily available on ebay. You can check out the current listings for Marvel Universe Ages of Thunder Thor on ebay directly by clicking here.
Amazon has Ages of Thunder Thor available right now from several sellers at pretty much retail prices and with free shipping, but their prices and availability from various sellers changes incredibly rapidly.
Entertainment Earth is tied for the best price online and has the Wave 17 Set of 6 for $54.99 in-stock and ready to ship at the time of writing this review.
BigBadToyStore is also tied for the best price on the Set of 6 for Wave 17 for just $54.99 (including Psylocke, Storm, Patriot, Thunder Age Iron Man, Modern Iron Fist, and Shadowland Daredevil) . That’s essentially the retail price, which is the best you can hope for from an online store. They also have Ages of Thunder Thor available individually for $8.99 on pre-order.
Overall: Ages of Thunder Thor is by no means a bad figure, but he is beyond a doubt the most unnecessary figure in this first series of Marvel Universe figures in 2012. The SDCC Exclusive 2010 Ages of Thunder Thor is readily and easily available on the aftermarket and features a vastly superior head sculpt for Thor. I don’t think anybody–anybody–was clamoring for this Ages of Thunder Thor to be reissued with Doc Samson’s repainted head. This figure has a terrific body sculpt, fantastic paint, strong articulation, and one of the best accessories in the whole Marvel Universe line (Mjolnir). This figure is highly recommended if you don’t have the SDCC version and don’t want it, but if you have that one already or plan to get it someday, there’s absolutely zero reason why you’d ever need this Thor.