#1490: Thor & Valkyrie

THOR & VALKYRIE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Armed with ancient weapons and legendary strength, these Asgardian warriors proudly defend the legacy of their realm.”

In terms of toy lines based on the MCU, Thor seems to draw the short straw.  Hasbro went all-in for his first film, and produced a rather expansive line.  Sadly, this one proved to be less than successful, which made retailers a little bit wary of backing him for later films.  Dark  World only got a very small assortment and Thor himself was only offered in an online-exclusive boxed set for Age of Ultron.  For Ragnarok, there’s a bit more coverage, but we still only got a small fraction of the main cast.  For instance, Valkyrie, one of the film’s main protagonists, was only available in a two-pack with a variant of Thor.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Thor and Valkyrie are a two-pack of figures from Hasbro’s currently running Marvel Legends.  Like the prior Star-Lord and Ego pack, these two aren’t exclusive to any one retailer.  Unlike that earlier set, these two actually hit in time for the movie, arriving on shelves about a week before the movie.

THOR

Thor gets quite a makeover in Ragnarok, and this figure replicates that new look.  I know a lot of people weren’t really big on the new short-haired look, but I didn’t mind it too much, and I certainly liked Thor’s new gladiator gear.  This figure makes use of a lot of the single-release Ragnarok Thor’s pieces.  Mostly, this one’s just got a new head to differentiate him.  The figure stands just shy of 7 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The new head is obviously the star piece here.  It’s not a bad likeness of Hemsworth; definitely the best we’ve gotten so far from Hasbro, I’d say.  It looks good head-on, I think it’s just the profile that throws it off.  The body sculpt is pretty decent, but I noticed similar issues with the torso to what was going on with the Loki figure.  He just seems a touch flatter than he should be.  I also found the cape to be a little too detached and easy to fall off for my taste.  On the plus side, the figure’s paint is pretty top-notch.  The face is the best work, rendering a rather life-like take on Hemsworth.  The body gets the bold color palette down, and I quite like the red detailing that runs down his left side.  That’s a fun touch.  Thor doesn’t include his usual hammer (since it was destroyed and all), but he does get an extra set of open hands, a lightning effect piece, and, somewhat oddly, Heimdall’s sword.  Not sure why that last one came with Thor and not, say, a Heimdall figure, but there it is.

VALKYRIE

Thor’s great and all, but the real draw of this set is definitely it’s new character, Valkyrie.  I was quite a fan of Tessa Thompson’s take on the character, and I’m eager to see the character turn up in future films.  And I’m also excited to have her in figure form.  Valkyrie is seen here in her bounty hunter garb from the first chunk of the film.  It’s the look she spends the most time in, and is also pretty close to her current comics look, so it’s a good choice.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Her sculpt is completely unique to her, and it’s definitely a very nice one.  It’s certainly my favorite of the Ragnarok sculpts I’ve seen, that’s for sure.  The likeness on the head is a pretty solid match for Thompson, and she’s sporting a pretty balanced and realistic set of proportions.  The cape is permanently affixed, which I like more than the removable capes of Thor and Loki. I wish the knives strapped to her legs were actually removable, but at least they’re actually there.  In terms of paint, Valkyrie’s pretty decent, with clean application and solid color choices.  My only real complaint is the small bit of splatter on her forehead, which is a little bit distracting.  Valkyrie is packed with her valkyrie sword, as well as its scabbard, which doesn’t seem to actually have anywhere to go.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this set a few times before the movie’s release, always in rather large quantities.  After seeing the film, I came across it again at my local Target, but this time there were only two of them left.  Since I really enjoyed the film (and Valkyrie in particular), I figured I should probably grab them while I could.  Valkyrie is definitely the stronger of the two, but Thor’s still a solid figure in his own right.

#0735: Valkyrie

VALKYRIE – FEARLESS DEFENDERS

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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One of the cool things about the Marvel Universe is that it actually has a pretty wide range of differing female heroes and villains. They aren’t simply limited to one single type of role, just like their male counterparts. So, a few years ago, when a lot of the interesting female characters got booted out of the spotlight in favor of a near-unending stream of gruff, emotionless women who must compensate for not being as physically strong as their male counterparts, I was a little bummed. Good ol’ Valkyrie here managed to not be totally cast aside, mostly due to already being a somewhat minor character to begin with. She hasn’t really been a focus character or anything, but rumor has it that she’ll be making an appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, which should certainly boost her visibility, at least a little bit!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Valkyrie2Valkyrie is a part of the Hulkbuster Series (aka series 3) of the Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series. She’s listed as Fearless Defenders on the package, a name she shares with Thundra. The name is a much better fit for Valkyrie, given that she’s spent most of her career as a member of The Defenders, and she was in fact a main character in the recent Fearless Defenders comicbook. This figure opts to present Valkyrie in her most recent costume, which she started wearing towards the tail-end of the first volume of Secret Avengers, the same costume used for her Marvel Universe figure. I don’t find the design to be quite as striking as her classic look (I really miss the cape), but it’s a serviceable enough look. The figure stands just over 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. She uses the same She-Hulk base body as Thundra and Hela, which is reasonable, but does have one notable issue: she’s just too tall! Her listed height is 6’3”, which puts her at just an inch taller than Captain America. At this scale, that should be a negligible difference; she certainly shouldn’t tower over the average male the way this figure does. On the other hand, Hasbro does seem to be up-scaling the Asgardians in general for this line, so compared to the most recent Thor figure, for instance, she isn’t quite as out of scale. Maybe the Asgardians have been juicing? Anyway, this figure has the same arms and legs as the other She-Hulk body figures, along with an all-new head and upper and lower torso pieces. The head is very nice piece. She’s got a nice, determined look to her; not as angry as Thundra, but certainly not as laid back as Wasp or even Captain Marvel. The face is much more angular than most female faces, which certainly works well conveying Valkyrie’s Nordic features. The hair is a separate, glued on piece, which is pretty nicely sculpted. The braids actually don’t look too ridiculous, which is always good, and the texturing on the various strands adds some nice dimension. She does have a pretty noticeable seam running along the right side of the hair, which is a bit distracting, but that’s the only real issue. The torso pieces are just a slight tweak on the more generic parts, really. One weird thing I noticed is that she’s got these weird ridges running down her backside; they aren’t present on any other figures using this body type, and I don’t believe they come from the comic design, so I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be. Weird. The collar and ….little circle things (?) are sculpted on, and look pretty good, certainly better than if they’d been painted. She also has an add-on for her belt, which is glued in place. The paintwork on Valkyrie is decent enough. It’s not terribly exciting (that’s kind of true to the comic design too, thought). The colors are pretty good and the transitions are pretty clean, so that’s good. The hair gets a nice warm brown wash to bring out the details. The face is pretty clean, even the eyes; not a huge fan of the bright red lips, but they don’t ruin the figure. Valkyrie includes her trusty sword Dragonfang, which is a little generic, but pretty good, as well as the arm of the Hulkbuster figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This marks the second time that Valkyrie has made it into the Legends style; her first figure was part of a Fan’s Choice two-pack, which also included an Ed McGuinness-styled Hulk. However, the set wasn’t the easiest to procure and holds a pretty hefty after-market value.  What’s that got to do with this? Well, I missed out on the first Valkyrie, which kinda sucked. So, when this figure was announced, I was pretty excited. I was a little bit down on her at first (since the costume’s not the most exciting thing) but I have to say, the figure’s really grown on me, and I think she might very well be the best single release figure in the series.

#0299: Marvel’s Valkyrie

MARVEL’S VALKYRIE

AVENGERS INFINITE

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While Deathlok has just been granted a new lease on life by Agents of SHIELD, Valkyrie (or should I say “Marvel’s Valkyrie”) has not quite lucked out just yet. There’s certainly hope, I mean who though the Guardians of the Galaxy would be the next hit? So, here’s to Valkyrie getting her due! In the mean time, she was fortunate enough to get a figure in the most recent series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite. Perhaps her prospects are moving up!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ValkyreWilsonValkyrie was released in Series Three of Avengers Infinite. She was originally meant to be released in a three-pack with the Executioner and a Thor variant, which would have been one of the final releases in the Marvel Universe line. When the set fell through, Hasbro moved Valkyrie over to the new line. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and sports 29 points of articulation. She’s based on the most recent Valkyrie design, which she wore towards the tail end of the first volume of Secret Avengers. It’s not too different from her classic design. She just traded in the cape for some pants, which seems like a fair move on her part. For most of her sculpt, Valkyrie makes use of the larger female buck from the Marvel Universe line, which first saw use on She-Hulk. It’s a pretty good body, with fairly normal proportions and some pretty great articulation, so its use here is acceptable. Valkyrie gets a newly sculpted head and hands. The hands are fairly basic gripping hands. Nothing really new there. The head is the star piece here, and it’s a pretty great sculpt. It captures Valkyrie pretty well, and doesn’t look too spaced out, a definite step up from quite a few female face sculpts. Valkyrie is molded in appropriate colors where possible, with some painted details for the silver areas, as well as detail work on the face and hair. For the most part, the paint is applied cleanly, although there are a few instances of fuzzy lines and slop. Nothing too distracting, though. Valkyrie includes a sword accessory, which is quite well sculpted and fits in Valkyrie’s hands pretty well. The plastic used is a bit on the soft side, but it’s workable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Valkyrie was picked up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, along with yesterday’s Deathlok and a couple others a few weeks ago. Valkyrie is a figure I had wanted since she was initially announced in the MU three-pack, so I was pretty eager to get her. Valkyrie is a character that’s only seen a few figures, which makes it even more important for her figures to be decent. Fortunately, this one is a pretty great interpretation of the character and an all-around great toy!

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