I’ve got just two more figures in the Hulkbuster Wave to check out before I can cobble together my Hulkbuster. Believe you me, that it’s taken all my resolve and willpower not to jump the gun and tear these last figures open to get the big guy assembled. Especially since at the rate I’m going, I still two more weeks. Anyway, today’s figure is Valkyrie. Somehow I wound up saving the two ladies in this assortment for last…
And there’s the figure in the package. You’ll note that Valkyrie shares this slot with Thundra and as a result her name isn’t on the front of the box. Instead you get, “Fearless Defenders” It still amazes me that Hasbro is willing to put out the lesser known characters and not even put their names on the front of the packages. Sometimes, you show balls Hasbro. Anyway, Valkyrie is also one of those characters that Hasbro is double-dipping on, as we got her in the 3 3/4-inch Universe line last year.
If you have that Universe figure, you have a good idea what to expect here, as this is every bit the same version of the character. That having been said, it’s also an improvement on almost every level. Take note for your Star Wars Black series, Hasbro, because this is how you upscale a figure and take proper advantage of it. It’s interesting, because technically, there isn’t a whole lot to Valkyrie’s costume. It’s mostly painted black body suit, but few details almost all include new sculpting and that carries the figure a long way. The four armor points on her torso, for example, are all sculpted as well as painted. The belt is new and actually attached to the figure, rather than just dangling on her hips, the downside being that you can’t stick her sword through the belt for her to carry, like you could with the Universe figure. The only details that get by with paint alone are her bicep straps and wrist bracers, and they look just fine.
I really dig the head sculpt here. The portrait has a lot of character and shows that Hasbro has come a long way with female faces since the unfortunate Madam Viper. The paint on the pupils is a little uneven, but you can’t tell unless you get up really close with a camera. The sculpting on the hair is also quite good, although the braids do tend to jut out in front of her a bit too much. I really wish there was some way Hasbro could have done these in plastic that could bend and hold its form. The braids are also the biggest difference between this figure and the 3 3/4″ version, which had much longer hair.
The articulation here is actually pretty close to what we got in the 3 3/4″ figure, with just a little give and take. The arms have rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. There are also swivels in the biceps. The legs have rotating hinges at the hips, double hinges in the knees, hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles, and swivels at the hips. There’s a ball joint just under the chest and another in the neck. The one point I miss the most is the extra hinge in the neck. Hasbro has been including that point in just about every Legends figure I can think of. I’m not sure why it didn’t make it into this one, but it’s absence is very noticeable to me.
In addition to the enormous Hulkbuster arm, Valkyrie comes with her trusty sword, Dragonfang. The hilt sculpt is a lot more subdued than the smaller Universe version and I like it a lot more. It’s just a classical looking cruciform sword.
Valkyrie turned out to be the unexpected breakout figure of the wave, and that’s saying something because this has been an overall solid assortment. She looks great and she’s loads of fun to play with. It’s always nice to see Hasbro put some extra work into the characters that aren’t exactly top tier and I think that was certainly the case here. And with Valkyrie joining my Legends ranks of Spider-Woman, Hellcat, Black Cat, Black Widow and Captain Marvel my Fearless Defenders are shaping up nicely. Especially with Misty Knight in the next Wave I’m buying. And that will segue me right into Thundra on the next Marvel Monday.