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by yo go re

It's no surprise that Walmart loves getting exclusive toys, but you have to wonder what kind of deal they've struck with Hasbro. The company just keeps giving the store 6" figures, no matter how badly Walmart does with them.

Thor summons the elemental powers of thunder and lightning with a simple swing of his mighty battle hammer! He wields these unfathomably powerful forces to fight the Nine Realms' most vicious evil. Thor learned many of his battle tactics from his father Odin, the supreme leader of the Asgardians. The few creatures that are foolhardy enough to test such combat strategies generally have to be hauled off the battlefield!

First Walmart had the 6" Iron Man 2 figures, which had terrible distribution. Then they had the unmasked variant, which was even more rare. Now they've got 6" lines for both Thor and Captain America, but your odds of seeing them on the shelves are slightly lower than your odds of being struck by lightning. While inside a sealed concrete bunker. And also it's not raining. Your odds are very slim, I guess would be the main takeaway.

One of the things that will always receive the harshest judgement on a movie tie-in figure is the likeness. If it doesn't look like the actor, then why bother doing it, right? Look at how laughably the Terminator Salvation toys tried to work around the fact that they didn't get Christian Bale's likeness rights. This figure does look vaguely like Chris Hemsworth, but there's room for improvement. Some of that is the paint - his eyes are crossed, which isn't helping - but in general the face is of comparable quality to Robert Downey Jr's.

The costume blends a few different versions of the comicbook costume, with some extra embellishments to help it look otherworldly when seen on-screen. Sort of an "ancient modernism." The sculpt is nicely detailed, not only getting the lines of the armor plating on the chest, but the texture of the shirt beneath it. Obviously they sculpted the diamond-shaped scales of armor on his arms, but were you expecting them to remember the tiny indentations around the discs on his chest? And you may remember the complaints about his "leg band" when the costume was revealed, but did you ever notice the tufts of red cloth sticking out the back of his boots or the silver slits on his thighs? The sculpt is full of detail you couldn't notice in the film unless you knew it was there.

The paint, however, isn't quite as film-accurate. You already have to look at the figure careully before you buy, thanks to the uneven wash on his arms and the aforementioned crossed eyes, but there are a few color choices that don't work. For instance, the armor on his chest is too grey: in the film, it had a blue tint that made it closer to the color of his shirt. Additionally, while he only wore the helmet for a single scene, it was silver, not dull grey. Not that we want it vac-metallized, but it's too dark here. It should match his chest and arms.

Thor comes with Mjolnir, of course. It's a new sculpt, and looks very much like the prop seen in the movie. He's got good articulation, as well, so he can actually get into some cool hammer-fight poses. The figure had a swivel head, hinged neck, injection molded shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel wrists, a balljointed torso, injection molded hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees and injection molded ankles. The joints are all move well and hold their position solidly, but there's one problem: his cape. The cape comes down lower than his feet even when he's standing upright, so you have to work your poses around it. Bend him forward at the waist and tilt him a little to the side, and you'll be able to stand him for display.

We first got a hint of this figure when Chris Hemsworth posed with it during Toy Fair this past February (though that version lacked the helmet), and nothing more was heard of it until it randomly began showing up at Walmart stores last month. But only some Walmarts: not all stores appear to be carrying the 6" Thor and Captain America movie lines; it seems to depend on the individual store's overall toy sales (which is a topic we should really write a blog about sometime - "good" Walmarts vs. "bad" Walmarts). And then, the stores that did get them in are selling through fast, meaning that you may have to hit the toy aisle on the very day they're put out in order to see them at all. Thor is a nice figure, and it's great to get a 6" movie version of him, but it's not worth the hassle that you may have to go through to get him.

-- 11/28/11

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