While I am most certainly not going for an entire set of Hot Toys Avengers, (sadly, my wallet won that fight) I have been cherry picking the characters I want the most. I kicked myself for not picking up the first Hot Toys Thor, but as was the case with Black Widow, sometimes taking a pass on a first effort pays off later. The Avengers Thor is said to be a huge improvement over the initial release and looking at photos of the figure online finally wore me down to the point where I threw him on Flex Pay. Four months later and the God of Thunder has shown up at my doorstep. I often do these figures in two parts, but Thor is a pretty simple, albeit spectacular, figure so I think I can probably do him justice in just one shot.
The packaging is designed to mesh with all the Hot Toys Avengers. You get a sleeve with a B&W shot of the character’s portrait and “The Avengers” in foil lettering. The top of the box has Thor’s name in big type and the sides have his Mjolnir symbol. Pull the sleeve off and you reveal a window box showing off the goods. It’s a very basic presentation compared to some of Hot Toys’ previous efforts. I suppose it’s fair to expect a lot of bells and whistles in the packaging for a $200 figure, but honestly the simplicity doesn’t bother me a whole hell of a lot. Besides, the $200 price point is pretty much Hot Toys’ new bottom line. Sure, I do keep the boxes for these figures, but mainly as a means of storing the extra parts and in case I ever need to put the entire figure away at some point down the road. At the very least, your Avengers boxes will look nice and uniform on the shelf if you are collecting the whole line.
The layout of the figure in the tray should be readily familiar to anyone who has picked up one of Hot Toys products before. The figure comes partially wrapped in plastic with the extra hands and accessories flanking him on both sides. In this case, the cape is passed through a slit in the tray, which seemed to do a nice job keeping it from getting all rumpled. The personalized figure stand is placed between the legs. Everything fits into the tray snugly. It’s a good economy of space without making everything seemed cramped.
While Thor’s appearance varied a bit throughout The Avengers, Hot Toys recreated him in his full sleeved armor. I think that was a good choice because I absolutely love the scale armor turned out for the sleeves. It’s rubbery and looks dead on to the movie outfit. They also hide the joints, which would have been the big downside of a bare armed version. I suppose you could take the sleeves off if you wanted, but I tend to follow this rule about futzing too much with my $200 figures: I don’t do it. The arms also feature bracers on his wrists, which are strapped around bright red cloth sleeves. Yes, the rubbery sleeves do inhibit the arm movement, but not much more than First Avenger Cap’s uniform shoulders did. Sure, it would be nice to pose him with Mjolnir above his head calling down the thunder, but I knew that was an issue going in, so it wasn’t really surprising or disappointing. Articulation whores will certainly take issue at this, but I think the trade off was a worthy one.
The chest armor looks outstanding. It’s sculpted with cutouts to show the garment underneath, giving the outfit a very convincing and layered look. I am a big fan of the armor design from the movie and it’s captured really well here. The pleather trousers have stitched stripes and the boots are actually two parts. You get the ball jointed feet plugged into the ankles and the top of the boot is separate. It still looks great and serves to offer a little more poseability in the ankles than stiff boots would have allowed. The trade off is that the ankle joints require you to fiddle about a bit to get him to stand in some positions. And then there’s the cape… by Odin’s beard, I love the cape! It’s bright red fabric and the way it hangs over the shoulder armor gives it that iconic hovering look that we’re so used to seeing in Thor’s design. The back of it is tailored to hang in folded layers. I was a little concerned that the cape was going to require a whole lot of adjusting to make it look right, but it’s designed to look fine right out of the box.
Thor’s portrait has come a long way since HT first showed him off. Early shots were a bit spotty but the final product turned out just fine and I think the likeness to Chris Hemsworth is up to their usual impeccable standards. Yes, from certain angles the mouth can look a bit derpy, but let’s face it Thor isn’t necessarily the braintrust of The Avengers team. The hair is the only minor issue I have with the figure and that’s just because sculpted hair this long tends to take away from the realism of the rest of the head sculpt. But when you consider the alternative is rooted, I’ll take the lesser of two evils. The truth is it still looks fine and it’s flexible enough so as not to inhibit the head movement too much.
If you’re looking for an abundance of accessories, Thor will disappoint. You get a copious amount of hands (more on that in a bit) and just two other items. But seriously, what does Thor need other than Mjolnir? It’s the one thing that was absolutely required to come with the figure and it is indeed a very nice piece. I knew the head was going to be die cast metal, but I was still surprised by how satisfyingly heavy it is. The grip on the handle is sculpted and painted and there’s a lanyard attached to the end.
The other cool piece is the Cosmic Cube in the containment tube. Ha! That rhymes! Like Mjolnir, this is an extremely nicely crafted accessory. It’s also one that was really not necessary and so it makes for a great bonus. I had originally though this accessory came with Loki and not with Thor. Maybe it was issued with both figures, and I just missed that.
And no discussion of a Hot Toys figure would be complete without… HANDS! Seriously, does anyone actually use all these hands? Thor comes boxed with a pair of fists, but there are three additional pairs, which include two open hands, two partially open hands, two hands for holding Mjolnir. You also get an extra left hand, which seems to be designed for holding Mjolnir out at an angle. I’m not sure what that one is all about. It might be the one designed to hold half the containment tube so that Loki can hold the other. I’m not big on swapping hands. Obviously the right Mjolnir hand will stay put. The left one may vary between a fist and the open hand. You also get a couple of extra wrist posts in case you snap the ones on the figure by swapping out all these hands.
No doubt about it, Thor is another amazing effort from Hot Toys. I always have those little twinges of trepidation when ordering these things, but whenever they show up I’m always glad I did. He looks amazing on my shelf, and I really envy the collectors that are putting together this entire team because those displays are going to be EPIC! Granted, at $200 Thor ain’t cheap. He doesn’t come with a lot of stuff, but there’s nothing conspicuously absent either. Like I said earlier, $200 is the new bottom line for Hot Toys and for the most part, the days of the $160 figures are probably over. But hell, I still think he’s well worth it. The only downside is that now I’m seriously re-considering whether I need Loki on my shelf… and he is still available at a few retailers.