CIVILIAN THOR & ASGARDIAN GUARD
The first Thor movie’s two Toys R Us-exclusive two-packs are a rather polarized ordeal. The first included two fan favorite characters, Lady Sif and Volstagg, who had exciting designs and had never received Minimates before. Today, however, I look at the second set, which includes a civilian variant of the main character and an unnamed guard. It’s a well-meaning set, no doubt, but perhaps doesn’t possess the same flair present in the other pairing. Perhaps DST’s attention to the little details can salvage it!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
As noted above, these two are one of two TRU-exclusive packs of Marvel Minimates designed to coincide with the release of the first Thor film. Only half of the set’s truly exclusive, though, since the Guard was actually a straight re-release of the single-packed Asgardian Guard from the army builder case, but as an army builder, the double-packing does make some sense.
One of two Thors in this assortment, this figure represents Thor as he looks on Earth, which is a pretty decent chunk of the film’s run-time. It’s not an overly unique get-up, being just a t-shirt and jeans, but that *is* what he looked like in the film. He’s built on the base ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. The figure gets one sculpted add-on, for his hair. Surprisingly, this is NOT the same piece used on the single-packed Thor. It’s very similar, but has some more length at the bottom, since there’s no cape to contend with. As with a few other lines from around this time, there are a few notable things going on with the plastic used for the Thor ‘mates. Firstly, the necks were shorter, and the feet a little shallower, which makes them look a little more top-heavy. Fortunately, with Thor, that’s not so big a deal. The other issue is one of quality of plastic. For whatever reason, the plastic quality was much lower on the these guys, making them feel rather waxy, and making the overall detailing of the sculpted parts a little softer. It’s not quite as impactful on the sculpt, but it does impact the paint. Said paint is decent enough in application, but the plastic is more absorbent than usual, which renders the detail lines much duller than we’ve come to expect. It’s especially notable on the torso, where it’s hard to see there’s any detailing at all. The colors of the plastic, particularly the peach-tone of his skin, are also much drearier, making him look almost a little sickly. He’s not hit quite as badly by this as other ‘mates from the same time, but it’s still noticeable when you place him with other MCU ‘mates. The thing that saves this figure from being mediocre is the accessories. He comes with Mjolnir (the same one included with the standard Thor and *almost* every MCU Thor since), and even cooler, he also comes with a mound of stone that’s molded to fit around the head of the hammer, just like it’s seen in the film. Definitely a very fun extra.
Asgardian Guard is a bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? As the Asgardian Guard guards Asgard–I’m getting distracted. The Guard has four add-on pieces, for his helmet, breastplate/cape, and wrist guards. All four pieces were new to this particular ‘mate, and seem to be a decent match for the source material. The breastplate/cape combo tends to look a little bulky, but with that sizable helmet, it ends up evening out pretty well. The detailing on all the sculpted bits is quite sharp, and doesn’t seem to be quite as negatively impacted by the lower grade plastic as some of the others in the assortment. The Guard’s paint is slightly more exciting than Thor’s, but has its own assortment of issues. There’s a lot of slop on the cape, especially around the collar. It’s bade enough on mine that I don’t actually know where the paint was *supposed* to go. The gold on the back of the cape is a little better at staying where it’s meant to, but the actual application is rather thin and inconsistent. The tampo work is a little better, with the armor detailing on the legs in particular looking quite sharp. Unfortunately, the lower grade plastic strikes again on the flesh-toned bits, causing that same waxy appearance and washed out face print we saw on Thor. In addition, my figure has some sort of mis-print or flaw in the plastic that leaves a dark streak down the center of his face. For accessories, the Guard includes a sword and a staff, which aids in his army building capabilities, since you can arm him however you like.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I don’t actually recall exactly when I got this set, but I know I got it new. It’s not terribly exciting. Civilian Thor, taken purely on the quality of just the figure, seems like a little bit of a waste, especially when there are prominent characters who are still unreleased (poor Fandrall and Hogun). That said, the hammer and stone base do at least offer a cool diorama, proving that there’s more to him than you might initially think. The Asgardian Guard is a figure that was great in theory, but marred a bit by the execution. He’s still far from awful, but he could have been a lot better. DST really tried, but their factory let them down.