I wasn’t planning on looking at Valkyrie this week, but two things brought me around. First, I’m on a big kick to get through a lot of unfinished business from 2014 and Valkyrie is the last Infinite Series figure that I have still waiting to be opened. Second, we’ve seen a lot of stuff from Hasbro of late suggesting that the 4-inch line of Marvel figures is going to be around for at least a little longer and that’s got me rather excited. It’s worth noting that Ares, a related figure in this Wave, was one of my favorite 4-inch figures from the entire year, so I have high hopes for Valykrie too.
Here’s the packaging. BLAH! Hasbro, please change the packaging in 2015. Actually, don’t even worry about it. Just keep making the figures. I toss the packages anyway so I don’t even know why I care. I count myself as a fairly prolific reader of all things Marvel, but I have so few experiences meeting Valkyrie in my travels through my funnybooks. I must just not be reading the right books. The most lasting impression this character has made on me goes all the way back to her self-titled one-shot that was published in 1990-something. And honestly, the only reason I probably picked up that book was because it had a hot, scantily-clad blonde chick by Pablo Raimondi on the cover. Needless to say I’ll mostly be judging this figure on her own merits and not making a lot of comparison’s to the character.
Here she is out of the package and the part of me that leans toward being a sexist pig kind of digs her revealing 90’s outfit a lot more. Fortunately, that’s only a little part of me so I can still find a lot to love about this more traditional Asgardian style of armor. Valkyrie’s buck gets by with very little sculpted detail, as the costume is entirely achieved by paintwork alone. That’s OK, though, as the paintwork here is particularly clean and crisp, especially on the circular points of her torso armor and her wrist bracers. The only other aspect of her costume is the belt that hangs loose on her hips.
The head sculpt here is good, but the paint doesn’t back it up. Hasbro put in a lot of effort on her hair, including the two long braids, with one falling down her front and one down her back when her head is faced forward. The face is also clean and pretty. On the downside, the eyes are a far cry from what’s seen on the package. It almost looks like she’s looking up. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but it does represent a major stumble on what could have been another homerun figure in this Wave.
While Valkyrie does suffer from some slightly mushy knee hinges, the articulation here is otherwise solid and stable and there’s a lot of useful points. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows and swivels in the biceps and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and double hinged at the knees. There are swivels in both the thighs and again just below the knees. The ankles are hinged and also feature lateral rockers. There’s no waist articulation, but she does have a ball joint just under her chest and both a ball joint and hinge in her neck.
Valkyrie includes one accessory, her enchanted blade, Dragonfang. While it doesn’t quite live up to the amazing detail Hasbro put into Ares’ axe it’s not at all a bad looking sword. You can even make out the tiny dragonhead sculpted into the pommel. The sword features a two-handed blade and, thanks to Val’s excellent articulation, she can easily wield it in one or both hands. There’s no specific way to secure it to her person, although you can pass it through her belt if you want her to wear it.
Valkyrie is every bit a solid figure, although she doesn’t pack the “wow factor” that I got from Ares. And speaking of other figures from this Wave, if you lost track, it included Ares, Ant-Man, Deathlok, and Omega Red, all of which I would count as exceptional figures, and one dud: Cyclops. Leave it to Scott Summers to douche everything up, eh? That’s still a pretty good record and it made the subsequent Wave of mostly repacks pretty disappointing. Fortunately, we’ve seen some excellent looking figures teased for the line in 2015, which gives me some much needed hope after seeing the shitty looking toys Hasbro has planned for the Age of Ultron film.