Avengers: Skrull Soldier (Comic Series) by Hasbro

[Yep, it’s another bonus feature this week to try to keep me from falling too far behind. It’s nice to be finding stuff to buy once again! Next week is going to be a full week, with Monday through Friday devoted to Playmates’ Classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then moving on to business as usual for Vintage Vault on Friday and Star Trek Saturday. –FF]

Today’s figure brings me back to that agonizing buildup to the Avengers film when everyone was trying to figure out who the hell the bad guys were going to be. I really wanted them to be the Skrull or Kang, but when the first on screen images came out it was pretty clear the film was going Ultimates all over our asses and using the Chitauri as Loki’s army. In the end, Avengers turned out to be one of my all-time favorite movies, so I’m not going to quibble with the results and thanks to the wonderful little sub-line of “comic series” Avengers figures, we get a nice modern Skrull soldier figure, and a peek at what they might have looked like if they appeared in the movie.

We’ve seen plenty of the Avengers packaging here in the last couple of weeks, so I’ll be brief on the subject. Once again, it’s attractive, it’s serviceable, it shows off the figure and his oversized weapon very well. There’s no “Try Me” window in this one as there have been in the last couple of Avengers figures I’ve featured. The back panel shows off a picture of the figure and a little bio blurb. Let’s rip this baby open…

Holy crap, I adore this figure! I usually start with the sculpt, but I’m going to jump ahead this time to the coloring, because the colors on this figure are gorgeous. The combination of pale blue, metallic purple and silver are really inspired. It has all the vibrant beauty of a page right out of a brand new comic. The paintwork on the head is equally impressive. He’s a nice shade of green with a very well executed wash to bring out all of the tiny little details in the sculpt. Round it out with those piercing yellow eyes, and this figure is just a triumph of color.

And hey, that sculpt is not too shabby either. Granted, the sculpt truly impresses in the head where there is way more detail packed into this fellow’s face then you’re average 3 ¾” figure should allow. The armor has a simple, but streamlined design that almost looks retro sci-fi to me. His ab muscles are sculpted into the chestplate and there’s some nice work on the sculpted belt and the boots.

Of course, if you’re an articulation junky, you’ll be sorry to hear that the Skrull figure has the same level of articulation as many of the other Avengers figures. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, and that’s it. The lack of wrist, ankle and torso articulation certainly hurts the figure, but the plethora of ball joints somewhat dulls the pain.

What’s this? Is this a goofy, gimmicky, oversized weapon that I actually like? Well, sort of. The Skrull Soldier comes with a giant two-headed energy axe. It’s not too bad by itself, but I really like the fact that you can pull the blades off and use them each as individual weapons. Don’t get me wrong, this thing isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea and I’m not saying I love it, but considering the nonsensical missile launchers Hasbro usually saddles us with, this weapon is actually kind of inspired and it’s probably the first one in ages that I didn’t either toss into the dreaded Tote of Doom or just outright pitch into the garbage can.

I never did get around to picking up that Marvel Universe Skrull figure and now I doubt that I’ll bother. This Skrull figure really tickles me in all the right spots and I’ll probably pick up a few more if I come across them on the pegs. One of the most frustrating things about loving this figure so much is that I can’t even put my finger on why I love it so much. Surely, a big part is just the coloring and the head sculpt. Whatever the case, this is easily one of my favorite figures to come out of the Avengers line, probably ranking just behind Black Widow. And given the Skrull is not a sexy redhead with boobs, that right there is quite a ringing endorsement.

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