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Thor: Love and Thunder
by yo go re

Multiverse of Madness: reviewed all the figures, then the movie opened, then reviewed a Target exclusive.

Love and Thunder: reviewed all the figures, then the movie opened, and now reviewing a Target a exclusive.

Using a lock of the missing Thor's hair, Tony Stark created a cybernetic doppelganger of the Thunder God, called Ragnarok. This would prove disastrous when the cyborg betrayed the Mighty Avengers.

Upon sitting down to begin this review, I tried to think back and guess how long it had been since the Marvel Universe "Giant Battles" Ragnarok came out. Knowing there's a tendency to underestimate these things, I purposely aimed high with my estimate, going for 10 years. Turns out it was 11.

Unsurprisingly, this figure is the 80th Anniversary Thor with some minorly different paint: darker yellow on the boots and belt, white wings on the helmet instead of silver, stuff like that. He's meant to be an exact duplicate of Thor, indistinguishable from the real thing at a glance, why wouldn't he use those molds? The only immediate clue that he's a robot clone is that his eyes are glowing red.

At least, that's the case on the alternate head. The one the figure has on in the packaging is battle damaged, revealing a Terminator-like metal skull beneath his torn-away skin. You can't see much of it, because his hair still falls over his shoulder and thus hides much of his cheek, just hinting at what's wrong with him instead of making it blatant.

To further show his robotic nature, Ragnarok also includes an alternate left hand. It looks a bit like Doctor Doom's glove, but this hand is larger and is sculpted to look like it has metallic tendons on the back rather than a smooth plate. It's the same pose as the flesh hand, suggesting it was based on the same digital file.

And hey, speaking of which, he includes his knockoff Mjolnir, which was basically just a lightning gun that Tony Stark built in the shape of a hammer. And took the time to enscribe the "whosoever" rigamarole on the side. Seems like an unnecessary step, Tony. It's the same mold as the existing toy's hammer, which makes sense, but then we get something else that's new. And even more awesome.

You know how one of Thor's go-to moves is twirling his hammer around before throwing it. There have been Minimates that did that, and a Marvel Select Thor copied the idea (which makes sense, since both those lines come from the same company), but this is the first official version in this scale. Because this Mjolnir is a digital sculpt, it's super easy for the sculptor to Ctrl-C Ctrl-V the file and rotate it 45°, creating eight perfectly identical copies in a circle in a way that would be way more difficult for someone working in clay. Each of the hammers is fully painted, while we can tell the thing was molded in translucent blue plastic because there are swirls sculpted in between them. It might have been cool if only one of the hammers had been painted solidly, with the rest getting increasing transparent as you move around the circle, but that would likely have been more expensive. And they need to save something for the next time they reuse this mold. Mjolnir's strap sticks out from the center, so Thor can hold it, and is designed so the entire thing can actually spin.

I had no idea this Ragnarok figure was coming until I was looking up Defender Strange for Shocka, and it showed up as a related product on Target's site. And I certainly didn't expect to find it in stores already. Even before he adopted the name Ragnarok, the Clone Thor had a pattern of getting absolutely wrecked and then mysteriously rebuilt, so even if this damage doesn't match the way he was seen in the comics, the idea is sound. The accessories - particularly that swinging hammer - are what really make the set, though.

-- 07/11/22

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