Hasbro’s Incredible SDCC-Exclusive Thor Box Set Is Anything But Unworthy
2017 is shaping up to be a good year for Thor. Not only are the Marvel Comics still going strong heading into the Legacy event, but he's also starring in one of the year’s most anticipated sequels, Thor: Ragnarok. With every new Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Hasbro's turned to the Marvel Legends line to provide some action figure excitement to tie into the big event. However, this year, Hasbro also made Thor the star of one of its Comic-Con exclusives, and the “Battle for Asgard” set is more than worthy of Odin himself.
Though a few of the figures in this exclusive box set will be available in upcoming retail waves of the Thor: Ragnarok Marvel Legends, each character gets a slight variation here to make them just a bit more special. Not all of the figures provided in this set will get a solo release down the line, but Thor enthusiasts from way back when and the current run both have something to be happy about with this roster.
The focal piece is Thor herself, who picked up the mighty Mjolnir when Odinson was deemed unworthy following the events of the comic event Original Sin. For a long time the mystery of new Thor’s identity was a big secret, but she was finally revealed to be none other than Jane Foster, former flame and longtime ally of the Asgardian hero.
The new character and her design quickly won fans over, and this figure provides a terrific physical representation of Thor. The set’s version includes a slightly translucent Mjolnir to make it look as if the hammer is about to call down some righteous lightning, and even gives Jane some bright blue eyes as if her powers were currently active. The sculpt is strong and has a lot of great detail. I love the helmet, and appreciate that Hasbro didn’t skimp on the physicality of this Thor like it has on some other smaller-bodied female heroes.
The Unworthy Thor (or Odinson, depending on your mood) also makes an appearance in the set. When he lost the ability to wield Mjolnir, Odinson turned to the axe Jarnbjorn as his weapon of choice. The former Thor also lost his left arm in a fight with Malekith and some Frost Giants, which is why he has a big Uru metal prosthetic. The version coming to retail later will be a younger Odinson from before he earned the mantle, but I like this grizzled veteran with his tufts of chest hair and sandy beard giving him a veteran presence.
The cape being worn and battered gives him a bit more personality too, which helps set him apart from other Thor figures that have been offered in the past. He's still got a good heft to him, but the lack of some of that more familiar armor does also give you a figure that can easily fit in a Norse god line outside of the Marvel Universe.
Malekith is a dark elf that you might remember from Thor: The Dark World. The two-tone villain is a classic Thor character, but he hasn't made too many showings as an action figure before. This is a very strong representation of the comic version of Malekith, though he does seem a bit too beefed up compared to the guy I've envisioned in my head.
That said, Hasbro's done a good job capturing his sinister demeanor, and it all starts with that toothy grin. You can just see the mischievousness oozing off Malekith. The armor and other clothing accessories are all rendered well too, and the paint app provides a nice juxtaposition to his skin tone.
Ulik the Unstoppable Troll is a major throwback for this collection, particularly in this costume. Though he was updated for the modern era during the series Fear Itself, this Jack Kirby-inspired design is the more recognizable and beloved among fans. Hasbro captures the girth and stature of Kirby’s original concepts rather well, and the modern sculpting helps bring the ’60s style to current day without sacrificing what made Kirby’s work so attractive.
As the largest figure in the box set, Ulik doesn’t come with much beyond his two fists at the ready, but he doesn’t really need much else either. The detail on his armor and body is fantastic, and you really believe this is a creature that could go toe-to-toe with a Thor from any era. Plus, you can never have too many Kirby figures in your Marvel Legends collection.
Like Ulik, Odin’s father Bor hasn't seen much action figure love over the years either. His inclusion here is a great treat, and that goes double once you get him out of the box to see how spectacularly Hasbro’s version came out. Similarly to Odinson, Bor could fit in any Norse collection, and the attention to detail in his armor, helmet and beard make him a standout figure on any shelf.
Hasbro really went all out on getting this version of Bor right. There’s some fantastic sculpting throughout, from the individual plates of armor on his chest to the scarring on his helm. He’s not a character that casual fans would necessarily have been looking for, but the craftsmanship in the final figure make him a special piece.
Of course, the whole set comes in an amazing box, featuring art from Tyler Jacobson. Once you get the sleeve off, the inner box unfolds to tell the story of the “Battle of Asgard,” complete with tiny character details for each of the figures included. It’s one of Hasbro's most elegant packages, and that’s saying something given how its San Diego exclusives have gotten more and more elaborate over the years.
From top to bottom, the Marvel Legends Thor “Battle For Asgard” set is one of Hasbro’s finest exclusive collections released to date. There are characters that appeal to fans and collectors of all eras, and each brings something unique to the table that we haven’t seen from Marvel Legends before. If you managed to snag one at Comic-Con, consider yourself lucky. If you didn’t, don't lose all hope as you can still snap up a few of these figures later as solo releases.
The Marvel Legends Battle for Asgard set was available exclusively at San Diego Comic-Con. These figures were provided by Hasbro for review.