#1389: Loki

LOKI

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

““Forever a trickster, Loki’s allegiances are often unclear. However, one thing can be said for certain: Loki always looks out for Loki’s best interests.”

Summer’s on it’s way out.  So, move over summer blockbusters!  It’s time for…the fall blockbusters?  We’ve had Guardians Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Now it’s time for the next Marvel entry, Thor: Ragnarok!  After being slightly underwhelmed by The Dark World, I’m hoping that Ragnarok can deliver something a bit more enjoyable.  The Dark World had only an incredibly modest offering of toys, but Ragnarok is getting a little more coverage.  The first of the product is just starting to hit retail now.  Today, I’ll be looking at the trickster god Loki!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Loki is figure 2 in the Ragnarok assortment of Marvel Legends.  This is actually the first time Hiddleston Loki’s been given a proper retail release, since the Avengers was only available as a Walmart exclusive, and then was re-released as part of the European version of the Hulkbuster assortment.  This one is, obviously, based on his Ragnarok appearance, which seems to have been somewhat influenced by the Lady Loki design of all things, along with a touch of the “Agent of Asgard” look.  It’s not a bad look.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His sculpt is new to this figure.  It has its ups and its downs.  By far, the best part is the head sculpt, which has quite a nice likeness of Hiddleston as Loki, slight little sneering grin and all.  I also quite like the hands, which are a nice open gesture, thus adding a lot of character when you pose him.  I’m a bit iffy on the torso, which seems slightly oddly shaped and kind of rudimentary.  Compared to some of the other Legends of late, this feels like a bit of a step down.  I’m also not a fan of the floating skirt piece on the waist.  I feel like a fixed piece would look better, and be less annoying when posing the figure.  Lastly, I don’t care for how the cape attaches.  Maybe it’s just my figure, but I found it to be rather difficult to bet both clips properly seated on the shoulders, and even once they’re in place, it doesn’t take much to knock one or the other out of place.  It gets a little frustrating.  On the plus side of things, the paintwork on Loki is pretty strong.  The best work is definitely the face; this is my first experience with the “printing” technique that Hasbro’s started to use on the movie figures.  Photos online had me skeptical about the process, but it person it looks really good.  The rest of the paint is pretty straight forward stuff.  The colors seem to match the movie design, and the application is all pretty sharp.  Loki includes his “helmet”, which has been streamlined down to more of a headband with horns attached.  It’s a little bulky, but fits on his head pretty well. He also includes the left leg of the series’ Build-A-Figure, Gladiator Hulk.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy snuck up on me.  I barely even knew of his existence when I found him at one of my local Targets.  I was actually looking for the Homecoming figures, which I still haven’t had any luck finding, when I came across this guy.  I was pretty excited to find him (and I’ve already tracked down a duplicate for Super Awesome Girlfriend).  Ultimately, he’s a bit of a mixed bag.  The torso on this guy is really poorly designed, just all-around, which is a real surprise from Hasbro these days.  Still, the good does outweigh the bad on this guy, and the end result is an overall nice figure.  He’s not going to be figure of the year, but he’s far from terrible. 

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#1300: Loki

LOKI

AVENGERS (HOT TOYS)

Would you look at that?  Seems I’ve made it another hundred reviews.  As I noted in my Thor review, I’m honestly getting to the point where 100 reviews isn’t that much of a milestone.  This particular review will mark the thirteenth time I’ve done it.  Still, it’s worth noting it, right?

In honor of getting though another hundred of these things, I’ll be doing another of my milestone deluxe reviews, focusing on one of my higher end figures.  Like almost all of my high-end reviews, today’s figure is from Hot Toys, and is yet another figure from their impressive Marvel Cinematic Universe subset of offerings.  For the last monumental review, I looked at Thor, and today I’ll be following up on that with a look at his mischievous brother, Loki!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Loki is figure 176 in Hot Toys’ Movie Masterpiece Series, directly following the Avengers version of his brother and immediately preceding the Dark Knight Rises re-release of the Batpod.  The figure hit around May of 2013, a full year after the release of the film he was featured in.  As with Thor, Loki is based on his appearance in 2012’s Avengers, specifically his fully armored appearance, seen during the film’s big climactic battle.  Initially, Loki was to be done in his armored look from 2011’s Thor, and a finished prototype even showed up a few places, but in an effort of finish out the Avengers set and be a bit more timely, he was re-fitted into his later costume.  It’s for the best, really, since I think his Avengers look is his best to date, and a more fitting adaptation of his comics design.  Loki stands a little over 12 inches tall and he has “over 30 points of articulation” according to the Sideshow solicitation for him.

Loki’s head was the source of some strife amongst fans and Hot Toys.  There was a debate about how exactly his helmet should be handled.  The final solution was a removable helmet, which not everyone was thrilled with, due largely to the necessary compromises for both the head and the helmet.  The head did actually turn out pretty well.  The Hiddleston likeness is one of HT’s best, at least as far as the face is concerned.  The compromises, of course, really come into play with the hair, which ends up a little matted down to the head.  Admittedly, Loki’s hair in the movie doesn’t have a ton of volume, but it’s still a little more present than what we see here.  It’s still very well sculpted, and quite realistic, but it’s undeniably sculpted to sit best under the helmet.  He’s not really designed with an un-helmeted appearance in mind.  Which, if I’m honest, results in a bit of disappointment when you finally get the helmet placed on the head, which is no easy feat, let me tell you.  It’s two pieces that pop apart; the bottom is supposed to slide up under the head and the top goes over top and then you snap the two pieces back together.  I’ve never been able to get a perfect fit, and the difficulty involved means that you really aren’t going to be taking it off a lot. This whole two piece construction is meant to give the helmet a tighter fit (which is also true of the actual film prop as well), but due to the scale, it’s still noticeably thicker than Loki’s helmet from the film.  To be fair, it’s mostly only an issue when viewing the figure head-on; in profile or even three-quarter view, it looks pretty good.  The detailing on the helmet is the usual HT-quality, of course, which is nice.  Ultimately, it’s far from terrible, but I just really feel the figure would have benefited from two separate heads to depict him with and without the helmet (especially since in the movie the helmet just magically appears on his head; we don’t see him carrying it around or anything).  The paint on both items is up to the usual HT standards; the face is incredibly lifelike, and the helmet looks suitably weathered.

Loki’s outfit is something of a mixed media effort, though not quire so much as Thor.  Most of the base clothing is actual cloth, with plastic boots and armor plates.  The plastic bits are all exquisitely sculpted, and the cloth sections are generally pretty well tailored.  The coat(s) sit really nicely, and I really love the way the cape hands.  Easily the best cloth cape I’ve ever seen.  My one real complaint is the weird bead things that line the edges of the coats.  In the movie, they look to be a zipper or something, but this figure uses these needs that look like those things that banks use to make sure you don’t steal their pens.  It’s not bad from far away, but looks rather hokey when you get up close.  I’m not sure why they were handled this way, rather than the way most zippers are handled at this scale.  I mean, they don’t ruin the figure, but they do just look weird.

Loki includes the following accessories:

  • 11 interchangeable hands
  • 2 versions of this scepter
  • 2 daggers
  • Shackles
  • Muzzle
  • Display stand

The hands come in relaxed (R and L), fists (R and L), dagger holding (R and L), gripping (R and L), gesture (R and L), and larger gesture (L).  All of them are very nicely sculpted and they suit the character.  They swap out pretty easily, but there’s an extra set of wrist pegs as well, just in case something goes wrong.

The scepter comes in both short and long configurations, which is nice, I guess, but in this get-up, he really only needs the larger one.  Still, both are very nicely sculpted, and it’s nice to have the option.

The daggers are both the same piece, and are just as well sculpted as the scepters.  They don’t get much use in the film, but they’re still a cool extra to have.

The shackles and muzzle allow for Loki’s look from the final scene of the movie, when he and Thor go back to Asgard.  It’s nice that they included them, and they allow him to pair up nicely with Thor and the contained Tesseract.  Technically, like the short scepter, they don’t really go with this costume, but the inclusion’s still nice.

Then there’s the stand, which is the same basic stand we’ve seen over and over again.  There’s a logo for Avengers and Loki’s name is on the front.  It helps him not fall down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the Thor version of Loki was first announced I was really excited, because I really like Hiddleston as Loki, and was bummed he wasn’t one of the first two released.  When that figure was re-worked into this one, I was initially uncertain about getting it, but ultimately decided he still looked cool enough that I’d kick myself if i didn’t get him.  In the ensuing months between pre-ordering him from Sideshow and his release, I grew to like the Avengers design even more, and I’m ultimately pretty happy that this is the one they went with.  The figure is not without his issues, but I think he’s still one of the coolest HT figures in my collection.  He’s just hard not to love.

#0096: Thor & Loki

THOR & LOKI

MARVEL MINIMATES

Thor&Loki

Hey look guys!  It’s Minimates!

This time around it’s another peak at the earlier days of Marvel Minimates.  We’ll be jumping all the way back to wave 16 for this review.  I’ll be looking at the very first Minimates of Thor and Loki.  It’s shocking to think that these two didn’t see a release until 16 waves in, but they were hardly the household names they are now.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two were released as part of the 16th wave of the Marvel Minimates line, which was an Avengers themed wave.

THOR

First up, it’s the God of Thunder, Thor!  Thor is depicted here in his classic costume.  He’s built on the basic Minimate body, so he stands 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  3 of those 14 points are rendered pretty much motionless by the hair and boot sculpts.  Thor’s sculpted pieces include: Hair/helmet, torso cover/cape, wrist bands, boots and belt.  I believe that all of these pieces were new to Thor, but a few of them would see some reuse later down the line.  The sculpts are all reasonable for the time, but they seem a little soft by today’s standards.  They also seem a bit boxy compared to more recent stuff.  Structurally, they all look good, and work really well for the character.  The paint is fairly minimal, with some minor base work on the areas such as the clack on the top of the legs and the silver on the chest and helmet.  These look fine, and don’t seem to have too much slop or any fuzzy lines.  Detail lines are present on the face, torso and boots.  They’re all sharp, and look pretty good, although the face does leave a little to be desired.  In an effort to make it fit without being obscured by the helmet, they kind of squished it, which doesn’t really work for Thor.  It was extremely common to see another face subbed in for this one back when this was the only Thor on the market.  Thor includes his trust hammer Mjolnir, which was a new sculpt.  It’s a bit on the simple side, but it worked well for the time.

LOKI

Next, Thor’s villainous brother, Loki!  Like Thor, Loki is depicted in his classic Kirby costume.  He too is built on the usual body for the line, so he has the usual height and articulation.  Fortunately, unlike Thor, none of Loki’s articulation is impacted by his sculpted pieces.  Speaking of sculpted pieces, Loki has two of them: his helmet and his cape.  The cape was previously used on wave 9’s White Queen Minimate, but the helmet was brand new to Loki.  The cape is a bit questionable, but it looks okay, and it’s easily removed if you don’t like it.  The helmet looks spot on to the one Loki wore in the early comics.  Like with Thor, paint is at a relative minimum with Loki.  He’s mostly molded in the appropriate colors, but he’s got some yellow paint for his gloves, boots and such.  Loki has detail lines denoting his face and the texturing on his torso.  The face looks appropriately sinister, though it does kind have the same squashed look as Thor.  The texturing is nice, and it looks accurate to the look they were going for.  Loki includes a chalice, painted in the same yellow as is present on the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

These two were part of wave 16 of the Marvel Minimates line, which was not only a turning point for the line itself, but also for my involvement in the line.  Wave 16 represents the first time I eagerly awaited the release of a set of minimates, and the first time I bought an entire set of them, instead of just a random set here or there.  While they seem a bit dated now, Thor and Loki were a big deal at the time, and they helped put the Avengers a lot closer to a formidable presence in the line, an idea that seems absurd nowadays.  This was the wave that showed that this line could go the distance.  And boy, did it…

#0092: Loki & Heimdall

LOKI & HEIMDALL

MARVEL MINIMATES

Loki&Heimdall

So, the sequel to Thor, entitled Thor: The Dark World was released this past November.  I very much enjoyed the first Thor, so I was quite excited for the sequel’s release.  Well, sometimes, things aren’t quite what you hoped they’d be.  I saw The Dark World, and while it wasn’t a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, it was far from what I’d hoped it would be.  In particular, I found the villains lackluster, which is why my first review of the recently released minimates from the movie is not of Thor & Malekith, the hero and villain of the film.  I didn’t particularly need another Thor, and Malekith wasn’t interesting enough for me to feel the need to buy him.

Regardless, the movie did have its good parts, and two of the best parts are contained in this set here:  Loki & Heimdall!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Loki and Heimdall were released as part of the 53rd wave of Diamond’s Marvel Minimates line, the wave released to coincide with Thor: The Dark World.

LOKI

First up, it’s the guy you love to hate or hate to love, Loki!  Loki is presented here in his more cleaned up look that he sports for most of the movie.  He’s built on the typical Minimate body, so he stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  Loki has 4 sculpted add-ons:  Hair, coat, and bracelets.  The coat is brand new to this figure, and it’s quite well done.  All the different layers are defined well, and it looks quite sharp.  The hair and bracelets are reused.  The hair has been used a few times before, and the bracelets were last used on the Avengers version of Loki.  Loki’s main detailing is on his face and legs.  The legs have a nice subtle line work detailing the tops of Loki’s boots.  The face is fairly sharp;y detailed and has a decent resemblance of Tom Hiddleston.  Loki includes a set of Asgardian handcuffs and a clear display stand.  The handcuffs are much appreciated, as Loki spends a good portion of the film in them, and I’m really glad the clear stands have become a standard accessory.

HEIMDALL

Next, it’s the guy cancelling the apocalypse.  Wait, sorry, wrong movie.  It’s Idris Elba’s other big role this year:  Heimdall!  Like Loki, Heimdall is built on the basic Minimate body, so he’s got the usual height and articulation.  Heimdall has 6 sculpted pieces:  helmet, torso cover, bracelets, and boots.  All of these pieces are brand new to Heimdall, and all of them are expertly handled.  The ornate detailing of the armor is impressive.  The basic paint work on the sculpted parts is pretty well done.  Not perfect, but certainly passable.  Detail-wise, he has detailing on his face, arms and legs.  The arms and legs offer some nice texturing, and the face offers a rather good likeness of Idris Elba.  Heimdall includes his sword and a clear display stand.  The sword is as impressively sculpted as the rest of Heimdall, and really fits the figure well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this set up from my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix.  I really like this set.  It’s nice to get Heimdall after he was overlooked in the first Thor movie, and Loki is definitely the best version done so far of the movie version of the character.  I almost wonder if Diamond may have done themselves a disservice packing these two together, as they are hands down the two best Minimates in the wave.