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Marvel Infinite Series
by yo go re

A guy whose personality is entirely tied up in the fact that he has a beard? When did Thor become a hipster?

Thor has faced many foes and won countless victories, but even the mighty god of thunder has not escaped entirely unscathed. Thor was grievously wounded by Hela, the goddess of death, and disguised his injuries behind his beard until he was finally healed.

That is both correct and incorrect: correct that Thor was wounded by Hela, incorrect that it has anything to do with this figure. You already know that when Thor got all enweakened, he wore fancy armor; since this Thor isn't wearing that armor, he's something different.

The beard identifies this as the Eric Masterson Thor (as does the face mask attached to the helmet). Since Eric had a job and a son, he needed to protect his identity. Apparently he and Thor had the same face? Who's ever going to notice that? Whatever, it was a cool tweak of the design, and one we've been asking for in Marvel Legends for ages.

The head is the only new sculptural element, but it's not the only costume change. Below the neck, this figure is mostly the same sculpt as Marvel Universe Thor, but he's got the big, ornate boots from MU Beta Ray Bill. While the kneepads are similar, and Masterson-Thor wore metal boots instead of cloth wraps, they weren't this style. His chest discs are blue, which is accurate, but his pants should be darker - nearly black, not bright blue. The most subtle change, however, is his wristbands: the original Thor's were red with a black stripe in the center, while Eric's were black with a red stripe. Nicely done!

A reused body means reused articulation. Thor (he's not identified by any special name on the packaging, just "Thor") has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel wrists, a balljointed chest, swivel waist, balljointed hips, double-hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The waist joint is entirely un-needed, since the torso already covers that range of motion; plus, it's ratcheted, so it snaps from position to position; and of course, none of the positions are straight ahead, so you'll have a hell of a time posing him in a way that's not twisting to the side slightly.

His cape is removable, but we wouldn't really count that as an accessory. [yes we would --ed.] The only thing he comes with is the same Mjolnir every other 4" Thor has come with. The lettering on the face is indistinct, suggesting that the mold is wearing out. There really isn't much more a Thor toy could reasonably be expected to inlude.

Eric Masterson was Thor when I started reading the comics, so just like Neo Classic Iron Man is "my" Iron Man, this is my Thor. If nothing else, he proves that not every '90s costume redesign was terrible. At this year's New York Comic-Con, Hasbro revealed that they're making a Thunderstrike figure for this rebranded line, but if their god-awful distribution holds true, he'll probably never appear in a store. This might be your only chance to get an Eric Masterson action figure, so at least he's done about as well as expected.

-- 12/01/14

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