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Frog of Thunder

Funko Pop!
by yo go re

With the possible exceptions of Falcon and Winter Soldier (pandemic's fault) and Eternals (should have been a TV show), the MCU's Phase 4 has been absolutely crushing it. The theme has been "fallout," a lot of dealing with the consequences of past actions, but it still keeps building toward something bigger and throwing out treats for fans. For example, Loki saw the titular god of mischief confronting his entire life and accidentally setting up the next few Phases by single-handedly creating the multiverse.

But in Episode 5, "Journey Into Mystery," Loki found himself erased from time and about to be destroyed in a place called The Void. The Void was where the TVA sent everything that they judged "wrong," so it was filled with all sorts of neat Easter eggs among the temporal detritus, like a Sphinx that still had its nose, a Polybius machine, a destroyed Avengers tower, a Hydra Helicarrier, a giant-sized Yellowjacket helmet, statues of the Living Tribunal, and even the Thanoscopter. And then, as we pan down to the Lokis' secert underground bowling alley base, we see something buried in the dirt: a large jar, with a tiny frog inside it. A frog wearing Thor's clothes.

In Thor #363, the Odinson was turned into a frog by the machinations of his brother. Surviving the streets of New York, he made his way to Avengers Mansion, but was unable to find any help there. He crossed the street into Central Park, where he got drawn into a fight between the park's local frogs and invading sewer rats. Then, in issue #365, he made his way back to Mjolnir and managed to lift it, becoming Frog Thor! A being which now also exists in the MCU!

This Funko POP!, #983 in the Marvel series, is a Target exclusive. It's sold in an oversized box, because while the POP! itself is slightly smaller than average, it's crouched inside a jar. The jar is clear, with a black lid, and has a label with this Thor variant's Time Variance Authority ID number on the back: T365, honoring the issue where he first appeared. This jar isn't as large as the one in the show, and it's oval rather than round. There are always some sacrifices to be made when you're fitting a character to Funko's usual style, so that's hardly surprising.

The Frog of Thunder doesn't have his Mjolnir, because otherwise he'd probably be able to break out of the jar. But he is fully sculpted with his black tunic and armor, a red cape, and a little grey helmet with wings. He's posed crouching, with his hands up against the glass in front of him. Although the jar's lid is removable, Frog Thor himself isn't: his feet are permanently connected via notches to tabs on the base of the jar.

One noteable oddity? Due to licensing restrictions, Marvel POP!s are required to be bobbleheads. (Mystery Minis, too.) Nealry 1,000 Marvel POP!s, and all of them have had a spring in their neck. But not Frog Thor; his entire body is a solid piece (or at least a series of solid pieces solidly glued together), with nary a bobble to be seen. How did they get away with that one?

According to Loki Season 1 co-writer Eric Martin, there was a scene written and even shot for the first episode that would have featured Thor Frog pummeling Loki. It would have been in the part where Mobius is reviewing clips of Loki's life, suggesting, firstly, that it's something that actually happened in the MCU and we'd just never seen it - not unheard of, since we'd never seen the time loop scene with Sif before, and the event had already been referenced in Loki's play in Ragnarok - and secondly, that the nexus event that led the TVA to prune this variant is him not getting turned back into a human. Maybe he hit Loki too hard and accidentally killed him, getting stuck in this form as a result. Sadly, the scene was cut for pacing reasons, leaving the Episode 5 cameo the only appearance. (One that, since Loki was being shot at the same time as Love and Thunder, is actually voiced by Chris Hemsworth; they were able to record him making little grunts for the scene.)

This Frog of Thunder POP! is a cute little piece, especially since it's just about the size the real Frog Thor would be. Between that and the lack of a bobblehead, you could almost get this as a 1:1 prop replica even if you're not interested in Funko POP!s. The best!

-- 08/15/22

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