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by yo go re

There's always that one guy who doesn't know when it's time to leave the party.

A ruler. A conqueror. Creator of all. Controller of all. At the end, it is only He Who Remains.

When Loki came out, a lot of time and fan energy was spent speculating about who the mysterious figure behind the Time Variance Authority would be. Another Loki? A future version of Sylvie, ready to hand off control to her younger self in a stable time loop? Mephisto? And sure, Kang's name got thrown out there in the usual "name every single character you possibly can" way, but I only know a single person who guessed it properly (ie, based on the evidence provided, not just throwing darts at the wall).

Kodos here is played by Jonathan Majors. And we're sure to get figures of him with a blue face and vertical scars when the Ant-Man 3 toys come around, but why not get started now? He's got a very neutral expression, which doesn't really suit the character as seen on the show - he was smiling, he was shocked, he was frightened... but he was never neutral.

He-Who-Remains is wearing appropriately proto-Kang clothes: lots of flowing robes in traditional green and purple. In a deftly clever move, his colors are reversed from the usual look: the robe part is purple, with his legs and the strip of material visible down the center of his chest being green. Neat! According to the making-of feature for the show, the robe is Victorian, the pants are Mongol, and the shoes come from Ghengis Khan himself - a virtual tour of history! His personal TemPad thing is sculpted on the back of his left hand, but they seem to think it was tied on with straps that crossed under his palm. It wasn't. The clips that held it on went around the sides of his hand and then stopped; you can see it any time he lifts his hand in the episode. Eh, minor complaint.

A bigger complaint would be the articulation. He-Who-Remains was a very playful fellow, constantly jumping around and making these grand flourishes with his cape, but all the long stuff being molded plastic instead of shimmering chiffon means it can't move and let him prace around. He needs to be able to sit backwards on his chair like a cool youth pastor, Hasbro! He has all the joints (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, and feet), they're just not free to move to their fullest thanks to his clothes.

He has one accessory, a green apple. Did you even remember him eating an apple? He does, but it's not anything special. No attention is drawn to the apple, it's not a plot point... it would be like including a carton of blueberries with an Iron Man toy. You want to give him something? Miss Minutes! Do her little clock body in translucent orange plastic and paint her face on; then, when you do a Kid Loki/Lokidile pack, you can reuse her mold and paint a different expression on the front. An apple is just weird.

The set includes the head of this series' Build-A-Figure, Khonshu.

He-Who-Remains could have been a really fun figure, but the realities of creating his costume limit him. Short of a One:12 Collective release, there's not a lot they could have done, and no one is going to lay out the cash for that. He's sure to get a more interesting toy for a later movie, but it's not like we often get toys of Victor Von Doom before he put on the armor or Joker before getting dipped?

-- 01/18/23

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