Friday, May 13, 2011

THOR: A Brief History in Plastic

The story is not far from the movie version you've all been treated to since last weekend. The mythical god of thunder is cast down to Midgard (Earth) by his father Odin. Instead of just leaving him powerless among us, he bonds his son to the human Donald Blake, a gifted medical student with no memory of his godly alter ego. 10 years bring success and love to Blake before Odin's unseen hand guides him to a cave in which lay Thor's mighty hammer Mjolnir, disguised as a humble walking stick. When Blake taps the stick on the ground, he becomes THOR once more! With a new sense of purpose, Blake utilizes his Thor identity to battle the forces of evil, including his twisted, mischievous, black-hearted brother Loki. Battles against his own blood guide him to other super powered beings, eventually leading to the formation of the Avengers! See..everything happens for a reason.

Thor's battles have taken him to the furthest reaches of space and on the simple street corners of our cities battling the likes of The Wrecking Crew, Thanos, Destroyer, Juggernaut and even the planet devouring entity known as Galactus. The forces of good are not always black and white, so Thor has been known to pit his great power against those who also serve good. The Hulk, Silver Surfer and even Iron Man have stood toe to toe with the Thunderer. In fact, Iron Man has had more than one run in. Most recently, upon Thor's return to Earth, he learned of Tony Stark's cloning of Thor which lead to the death of the Avenger Goliath. This deed would not go unanswered and an epic battle ensued. I know Iron Man is a good guy, and I do enjoy watching the man work, but there is something very satisfying in watching the rich pretty boy get the snot beat out of him. FYI, Hulk has also had the pleasure. GOOD TIMES!

It is known that only he who is most worthy can wield the hammer of Thor, so it was an astounding moment when the man-god lost his hammer in battle against the perceived alien threat of Beta Ray Bill. Yes, yes, the name is retarded and he looks like a horse, but I don't write the damn things. At any rate, Bill was not only able to lift the hammer and claim its power for his own, but he refused to return it, as he had the last of his race to defend. After a battle over the right to wield the hammer, which Bill won AGAIN, Odin makes the alien a hammer of his own, as to not leave Thor empty handed and with a hammerless complex. In the process, Odin grants Bill the power to become mortal, so the enchantment on Thor's hammer is lifted and Donald Blake is no more. See...I was always under the impression Blake and Thor were sort of two different people, so this break was actually very Norse/Greek Godly to me. Why would they care if after all these years, Blake would just go Poof? Crazy gods. After a time Thor wants to live among humans again, so he becomes a construction worker. I bet he had a sleeveless flannel shirt too.

Today, Thor is back and more bad ass than ever in a newly designed costume that people DON'T actually hate and makes a lot more of an impact than his lame old school duds did. In toys, there have been several Thors made over the years with 2 in Toybiz's 5 inch lines, 2 in their 6 inch Marvel Legends lines, 1 for Hasbro's short lived dance with 6 inch figures, 1 awesome 7 inch or slightly taller figure for Diamond Select's Marvel Select line and two 3 and 3 quarter figures for Hasbro with one in his current gear and one in the classic costume. I'm not going to go into minimates, so don't ask. I'm not a minihater... just covering conventional action figures here! Diamond Select also has a movie version of Thor and Loki in stores now. I'm also not covering the half a dozen 3 and 3 quarter movie Thors because, honestly, they do nothing for me.

If you're looking for guest stars to pal around and battle Thor, there are more than a few ripped right from his comic pages. Included in my shots you'll find Loki (in 5 and two 6 inch versions, all of which fall short at depicting his classic outfit), the Destroyer armor, Ultron (who I figured he had to have fought, being a major Avengers villain) Marvel Select's Thanos and Juggernaut as well as The Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man in standard and "Thorbuster" armor, 2 versions of Beta Ray Bill, Angel (whom he pulled out of the sewers. It's a fact!) and the giant sized Galactus. My fakey Asgardian battle crew (and Thor's unfather) are made up of McFarlane figures across several lines. At the very least, that is Angela standing next to him and a Conan next to her. Loki's posse includes a Darkness demon, Purgatory (the red chick), Warlands Shrogran (the big blue guy that makes a fairly decent Frost Giant) and a SOTA toys Chronicles of Riddick Hellhound (which I often love to use as a supernatural creature.) Monster battles include Battle Trolls from Toy Biz's Lord of the Rings line, McFarlane's Jack Frost (the Frost Giant with the branches that awesomely looks like Ymir), an Avatar Press Snowman variant figure (with the long fingers), a DC Direct World of Warcraft Tauren Hunter Deluxe figure (the minotaur giant), a small horde of Everquest Iskar Necromancers (the lizard people) and a couple of Everquest Trolls which make for hysterical comic looking Marvel trolls!

Any further questions, be sure to leave it in the comments below. For the rest of the pics, hit up our Flickr!

P.S...If you can't figure out the caption to the first pic in the article, you have no business ever coming back to this blog.

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