It wasn't long ago I lamented to BubbaShelby that Hasbro had really cut a lot of articulation on their 3 3/4" movie franchise action figures. It seemed especially insulting since the price has edged up again. But after picking up some of the Amazing Spider-Man comic series figures, I was surprised to realize I didn't miss it much due to their fun sculpts and colors. So when I stumbled onto this Avengers Skrull Soldier, I took him and Battle Hammer Thor home to get a closer look.
I knew I'd buy a Skrull if given the chance, having seen this colorful version on the internet a few months ago. The head sculpt alone is worth the price of admission, but his unusual body armor, utility belt, and oversize boots & gauntlets really add to the fun. He has the added benefit of hinge swivel hips for lateral movement, but otherwise his articulation are like the Spider-Man figures I reviewed: hinge-swivel shoulders, knees and elbows, and a limited ball-jointed neck- no wrist, ankle, bicep, or waist joints. This seems to work pretty well, and because of the aesthetics, the extra articulation we saw in the previous Marvel movie figures isn't missed too terribly. Remember: my first 3 3/4" action figures were the original Kenner Star Wars line at the end of the seventies! Five-point gang!
If you recognized the Skrull's weapon, it's because we have already seen it included with the Thor Movie figure Hogun. The battle axe blades detach from the handle to become a pair of crescent fighting blades. While it's an unusual choice for a reuse, it works somehow aesthetically, and can be pegged onto a hole in his back, scoring a couple more points in my book. And I absolutely love the colors used on this Skrull- the unusual combination of blue with metallic purple and silver evoke a Bronze-Age comics feel to this action figure, much like the Power Arms Doc Ock I just reviewed. I'm not sure if the Skrulls ever wore colors like this in the comics, but it looks cool.
Avengers Skrull with my Marvel Universe Skrulls: the Avengers Skrull is much beefier, and stands better than the MU Skrulls, and though his articulation is simpler, the Avengers Skrull is easier to pose.
This Thor is stylized after the Ultimates version of Odin's favorite son, without cape and carrying the axe-bladed adaptation of the enchanted hammer Mjolnir. The Marvel Ultimate Universe features adaptations of characters from the primary Marvel continuity, sometimes contrary in powers as well as origins from their mainstream counterparts. While I believe Thor should have a cape, the deco on this Thor is killer! The blue chest armor and bronze belt & boots have an nice metallic paint that contrasts well against the flat dark gray of the pants. And the sculpt is great too- the lacing running up the legs, the multiple buckles in the boots, wrappings around the wrists, lines etched in the armor, the flowing golden locks- it all looks great.
Battle Hammer Thor with some of my other 3 3/4" Thors, from left to right: Battle Hammer Thor (from the Thor Movie line!), Hammer Smash Thor, Avengers Battle Hammer Thor, Marvel Universe Classic Avengers Thor, Marvel Universe Modern/Coipel Thor...
Battle Hammer Thor comes with a simple, but fun accessory that kids will like to mess around with... "expanding hammer head"? Looks like a trident to me, but whatever. It opens & closes by sliding the red grip under the blades. Good for Skrull removal!
More articulation would have been cool, and it's annoying Hasbro skimped on it & raised the price anyway. Hasbro is in business to make money, and they know their target demographic won't notice or care. But these are fun action figures with a lot going for them. They did deliver on the sculpt, & fun deco on these, and the articulation is functional. $9.00 seems too high to me, but I like them- try to get them on sale if you can. They're fun to play with...
That was hardly a fair fight, but it sure was FUN :D
More Later- Make It FUN!