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Marvel 80th Anniversary
by yo go re

We're gonna eat lightning and crap thunder!

A mighty Asgaardian, Thor is the God of Thunder and the son of Odin, King of the Asgaardians. He wields the hammer Mjolnir, and has the power to call lightning from the heavens to strike down his enemies.

Like Iron Man, Thor first appeared in an anthology title. By August of 1962, when he debuted in issue 83, Journey Into Mystery had been running for more than a decade, but there was never again a cover without him on it, and within two years his name was larger than the title. There's just no denying the power of Norse mythology!

In the early days of the Avengers, Thor's role on the team was basically eye-candy. Yes, he was strong and whatnot, but when it came to the interpersonal drama, Thor was there for Wasp to find him dreamy, and thus to make Ant-Man jealous. (Seriously, their relationship has always been toxic as hell.) This figure lives up to that important function by being generally handsome, which for some reason has been difficult for Thor toys.

The Marvel Legends 80th Anniversary Collection is all about the classic version of characters, so Thor is in his Jack Kirby-designed costume - the same thing ToyBiz's first ML Thor was wearing! No surprise that this one is superior. For one thing, it's got all six discs on the torso, not just four, and the black trunks come down onto the legs a little instead of stopping directly at the hip. His cape blows dramatically to the side. The clothes have lots of small wrinkles, to make them look natural, but the most impressive part has to be the yellow wraps around his shins, which look like real layered strips of cloth.

Like Captain America, Thor does use a few existing pieces: namely, those pumpkin-shoulders identify the arms as coming from Hercules. Good thing the wristbands were separate pieces, eh? Means the same thing can be true here. And it does make a kind of sense that they share pieces, since Herc and Thor are both dieties and have similar workout routines (beating up trolls and monsters).

The figure breaks the 7" mark even before you count the wings on his forehead. There are some limitations in the posing, thanks to the cape, but it's more "he can't sit" than "he can't move far enough." He's got joints at the ankles, shins, knees, thighs, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, and head. The mold of the cape pulls the torso to the side a little, and the hair really does block the head. The hinge part of his right wrist is up and down, not back and forth, allowing him to point his hammer.

Obviously Thor is going to include Mjolnir. This is a large, sturdy version, with a surprisingly short handle and a long strap hanging off the end. The "whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of... Thor" spiel is sculpted into the side of the accessory, and painted so it's legible. There's also an alternate left hand, allowing you to choose whether you want his hand open or closed into a fist. You know what would have been really good, though? Some lightning effects!

In its first few releases, the 80th Anniversary line has given us almost the entire Avengers founding lineup: Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk... all we need is Ant-Man and Wasp, and we'll have them all! These figures are slightly more expensive than the normal lines, but they're the definitive versions of the characters in their classic looks, and that's a value in itself.

-- 12/30/19

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