#2137: Hela & Skurge



Thor: The Dark World‘s biggest flaw by far was its exceptionally weak villain, especially in comparison the the very charismatic villain of his first outing.  For Thor’s third go at this movie-going thing, Marvel aimed to amend that issue.  In tandem, they were also looking to address their lack of female villains up to that point.  Enter Hela and her henchman Skurge, who proved to be a far more entertaining pair than the last movie’s walking nap and guy whose name is close enough to Skurge that I always confuse them.


Hela and Skurge are part of the MCU-based line-up of two packs for the “80 Years of Marvel” sub-line of Marvel Legends.  This set more than the others really feels a lot like a leftover “Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years” set, with its one-new-one-retooled break-down.  Given the lack of Ragnarok coverage in “The First Ten Years,” I wouldn’t be shocked to find out this was actually a displaced pairing.


“The ambitious Goddess of Death, Hela returns to Asgard to claim the throne after the death of her father, Odin.  To further her dark goals, she raises an army of fallen Asgardian warriors to fight for her as her Berserkers.”

Unlike a lot of MCU villains, Hela actually did get a movie-based figure from Ragnarok‘s tie-in Legends assortment, and it was even a fairly accurate one.  That said, anyone who wasn’t Thor or Loki from that line-up was actually pretty hard to find, so she’s been rather in-demand since.  Additionally, Hela has quite a few variations to her look over the course of the movie, so another shot at getting a few more of those is certainly welcome.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  She re-uses the body from the previous release, which seems fair enough.  It’s fairly accurate to her appearance from the movie.  She seems a little bit large if I’m honest, but the Thor figures are frequently a little over-scaled, and it’s not like Cate Blanchett is overly short or anything.  The cape is also re-used, and I’m a bit less of a fan of this piece.  It’s not badly sculpted, but it has a lot of trouble staying in place on her, which makes posing her while she’s wearing it quite tricky.  The first Hela included two different head sculpts, but this one ups the ante with three of them, all distinct from the previous two.  She comes wearing her “battle head” with the horns and all.  It’s an impressively ornate piece, and I quite like the teeth-gritting expression.  It’s outside of the realm of what we usually see on female figures, and works really nicely with this particular look.  Hela also gets two heads without the headgear.  The first has her disheveled appearance from her debut scene in the film, complete with messy hair and piercing stare.  This one’s my favorite of the three, and a great piece for recreating that specific moment of the film.  There’s also a slightly more cleaned up head, which isn’t quite as exciting, but is a solid piece in its own right.  Hela’s paint work fixes a few issues with the prior release, namely a few inaccurate placements of color, as well as just making the whole thing look a little cleaner and brighter.  I love the metallic green they’ve chosen, and this figure definitely highlights how quickly Hasbro’s improved on the face printing.  In addition to the three heads, Hela also includes a spare hand holding Mjolnir (perfect for pairing with the first unhelmeted head) and the eternal flame (re-used from the Infinity War Scarlet Witch).


“An Asgardian warrior desperate to prove himself, Skurge’s survival instinct leads him to join Hela and become her Executioner.  Skurge must wrestle with desire for self-preservation in the face of Hela’s violence against his home.”

In the comics, he’s a pretty straight-forward violence-loving brute, but for Ragnarok, Skurge took on a slightly different persona, slightly ineffective and a lot more cowardly.  It was actually a pretty effective move (especially after Kurse pretty much occupied the character’s comic role in the prior film), and one very definitely helped by the character being played by Karl Urban, who can make pretty much anything work.  I was quite bummed by his absence from the Legends line-up, so his inclusion here was certainly a plus.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Skurge is sporting an all-new sculpt, which makes sense, because who exactly would he be sharing with.  Stylisitically, he’s very similar to the movie-tie-in Ragnarok figures, with some slightly off proportions and a slightly more rudimentary construction in a few spots (which just further supports him being an older piece that was delayed).  There’s still a lot of really strong work, though, especially on the various parts of the armor.  The head’s also got a decent likeness of Urban, which is certainly a plus.  His paint is on par with Hela.  Again, the metallic colors used on the armor are really nice, and the face printing works well for the character.  Skurge is packed with two sets of hands (in basic gripping and trigger fingers), his axe, and his twin M-16s “Des” and “Troy.”


The initial Ragnarok hit when I was between jobs, so I was much more limited on what I could pick up from it, meaning I didn’t get that first Hela figure.  I was holding out for a possible re-release, and this one was just the ticket, improving on a few of that figure’s flaws.  I’m definitely glad I waited on her.  Skurge was my most wanted figure that we didn’t get at the time, and I’m definitely glad that he found his way out.  His figure’s not perfect, but there’s certainly a lot I like about him.  Additionally, this is just a really solid pairing, and definitely feels like a really strong addition to the ever-growing Ragnarok line-up.

Hela and Skurge came from my sponsors at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1479: Skurge & Grandmaster



Thor Ragnarok hit the big screen last week.  After being more than a little underwhelmed by Thor’s last solo cinematic adventure, I was definitely hoping this one would be a marked improvement.  Having seen it, I’d say it most definitely succeeded on that front.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was still very, very good.  There were a quite a few new characters introduced in the movie, and several of them were real standouts.  Two of my favorites are the two I’m covering today, Skurge and Grandmaster!


Surge and Grandmaster are one of the Walgreens-exclusive sets for the Thor Ragnarok tie-in series of Marvel Minimates.  They’re something of an odd pairing, truth be told, seeing as the two don’t ever once interact or even participate in the same segments of the plot line.  That said, I’m hardly going to complain, since I like both characters.


In the comics, Skurge was at first simply known as “The Executioner.”  He was the right-hand-man to the Enchantress, and a key piece of the original Masters of Evil.  Definitely an important player, so his inclusion in the film was definitely something I was very much looking forward to.  Throw in that he was played by Karl Urban, a personal favorite, and you’ve got a real winner.  His design in the film isn’t too far removed from his comics incarnation, which means this figure can pretty well serve as either version.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his chest cap and bracers.  The add-ons are new to Skurge, and are pretty decent overall.  The torso piece could probably be a little tighter to the body, but it looks decent enough.  His paintwork is decent enough.  It’s not super vibrant, but that’s true of the movie design, and it’s in keeping with what we’ve seen of the Asgardians in the MCU so far.  The details are all pretty crisp and clean, and his face looks passably like Karl Urban.  Accessories are easily this figure’s biggest failing.  He gets a clear display stand and nothing else.  Not his axe, not even his twin M-16s, which DST already had the molds for.  It’s more than a little disappointing.


Grandmaster of the comics is one of the Marvel universe’s Elders, and he’s actually a little bit on the boring side.  In the movie, he’s Jeff Goldbloom, essentially playing himself.  That works out pretty well for…well, everybody.  He too is built on the standard base body, with a unique upper left arm (taken from the TMNT Foot Ninja), as well as add ons for his hair and jacket.  The pieces are decently handled, and look pretty sharp.  They translate the film design pretty well, which is pretty great.  His paint work is nice and colorful; the Grandmaster has one of the more vivid designs in the film, and that comes through here.  The likeness of Goldbloom is pretty spot-on as well, which is a definite plus.  Like Skurge, Grandmaster’s only accessory is his clear display stand, but that’s a bit less annoying in his case, since there’s not as much in the way of obvious extras.


I got this pair at the same time as the last two sets I reviewed.  By-and-large, I was holding off on the Ragnarok merch until after the film’s release, but these two in particular called to me.  As they ended up being two of my favorite parts of the movie, it’s safe to say I don’t regret my purchase.  Sure, it’s annoying that they don’t really have any accessories, but the ‘mates themselves are pretty solid.