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The Avengers
by yo go re

This review is going to be fairly spoilery for The Avengers, so if you don't want to know major details about the film, here's the short version: this toy is good, get it if you manage to find it. For everyone else, here come the plot points.

Loki isn't driven by a desire for revenge or a thirst for power like most villains. It is simply his nature to cause chaos. He long ago embraced his identity as the trickster god, and has made it his life's work since to confuse, confound and destroy the world. His plans are unbelievably intricate, and so intelligently plotted that not even the combined might of the Avengers can ruin the completely.

Boy, no kidding. You ever wonder why Loki tried to take over the Earth? He has no interest in it - he's said so repeatedly. What he actually wants is to rule Asgaard, so why waste time with us at all? You already know that getting captured in Berlin was part of Loki's Xanatos gambit to get onto the helicarrier and release the Hulk, but why would it stop there? What he wants is to go home to Asgaard, and what's the easiest way to do that? To "lose" and be escorted there by his brother. He's returning as a prisoner, not as a conqueror, and so is likely to be viewed differently than he would if he'd marched the Chitauri army up the remnants of the Rainbow Bridge. The Avengers think they won, but Loki still got what he wanted, and that's the mark of a good villain.

Loki didn't get a 6" figure for the Thor movie line, so it's nice to finally get one now. The likeness of Tom Hiddleston is very good, which is more than we could say for the 4"ers or even the Marvel Select version, all of which looked like no one. He's painted with one arched eyebrow, which is the only thing keeping him from looking sleepy.

Despite being cast adrift in time and space, Loki managed to pick up a new suit of clothes between movies. It's still armored and decidedly martial, but there's a bit more fashion to it, too. There are armored plates on the outsides of his arms, and he's wearing a metal breastplate, but over top of that is a fancy knee-length coat. A diagonal skirt is wrapped around his waist, and his pants are sculpted with overlapping bands of cloth that disappear into his tight black and gold boots. Above it all he wears a cape that "attaches" to his golden shoulder pads (actually the pads and the cape are one mold, and they plug into the figure's back).

You'll want to leave the cape on most of the time, however, because the back of Loki's coat isn't painted. They skipped that area, knowing it would rarely be seen. Similarly, the back of his torso is also unpainted, but that can be excused by the fact that the coat is much harder to remove than the cape - it's like Bane's back that way. The areas that are painted look great, however. He's a mix of dark and light green, and all the gold panels are crisp. There's one spot where the lower em of his coat is curled around to reveal the lining, and there you get a light green app and a gold line to suggest what the underside would look like, but it only goes a little farther than you can see - however, if you're the type who enjoys repainting your figures, the sculpt is complete under there.

Articulation is very good. He has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinge elbows, swivel wrists and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles with the swivel portion in the foot to provide a rocker-like range of motion. The joints are secure, so he'll hold his poses well, and yet nothing was stuck or felt like it was going to break.

Loki comes with two accessories: his spear and magic helmet. [Magic helmet?! --ed.] It's removable, which means it's slightly oversized, but not terribly so; and also, you can give the helmet to other figures to wear. It's molded from goldish yellow PVC, and the horns get a gold paint app on the front to make them stand out.

The spear is in its shorter form, not the two-hander it became because of magic. The handle is gold and the blade(s) silver, and the blue ball in the center has a metallic finish. By the way, you know how Loki used the spear to control Hawkeye and the SHIELD Agents, right? It just so happens that the Infinity Gem that does the same thing - the Mind Gem - is the blue one. The same color, size, and shape as the doo-dad powering Loki's spear. I wonder where he could have gotten ahold of something like that!

All the Walmart-exclusive 6" Avengers toys come with a "collector's base," a lump of plastic comprising three linked hexagons with ragged edges. The Avengers' "A" logo is printed on the smooth center hex, while the other two have sculpted cracks. If you like this kind of base, it's basically just a repacking of terrain from Hasbro's discontinued Heroscape game. Okay, Heroscape didn't have footpegs on each hex, but there's no mistaking the style. The point we're making is, if you like this base and want to expand, you can probably pick up Heroscape leftovers on the cheap.

The main problem with our theory that Loki purposefully lost the battle against the Avengers? The idea that he'd be foolish enough to think that he could get away with betraying Thanos like that. The Mad Titan isn't the kind of guy to forget a failure, and it's not like hiding out in Asgaard would be enough to keep Loki safe. Ah, but what if he didn't betray his benefactor? What if Thanos wanted Loki to be back home? Loki's proven before that he can get in and out of Odin's vault with no trouble, yes? And what was housed in the vault? That's right, the Infinity Gauntlet, the one thing Thanos wants more than anything else in the universe. So now his agent is mere steps away from being able to acquire it for him. The actual aliens may have been defeated, but it looks like every other villain in the movie came out ahead. And if you get this toy, you can too.

-- 07/09/12

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