I’ve avoided buying too many Marvel Universe figures for one reason or another over the last couple years. I bought a few at first, but they didn’t win me over. Lately though, the line has been getting harder and harder to resist. In the last couple weeks, I’ve picked up a few more and been much happier with the figures.
I think it’s a mixture of things that is drawing me back to Marvel Universe. Character selection is surely a factor. I love parts of Marvel, but having learned to read with DC Comics I have more affinity for some of DC’s third and fourth tier characters than I do for some of the big guns at Marvel. My Marvel likes are somewhat eccentric, so many of the early MU figures were ones that I a) didn’t really care about or b) received bad figures and so I either passed or purchased a wanted character and was disappointed with the final product.
* – I always feel like I have the worst luck with Marvel figures of my favorite characters. Marvel Legends of War Machine, Nova, Rogue, and Captain Britain were all eagerly awaited disappointments. And then Marvel Universe got me with Moon Knight, Blade, Ms Marvel, and a few others.
Even though I wasn’t buying, I did notice that the figures seemed to be improving as Hasbro went along. And then, they got me. The character selection started getting around to the parts of the Marvel Universe I’m interested in. In this case, outer space.
Thanos is an ugly duckling that’s obsessed with death. And I don’t mean the concept of death. Shortly after he was exiled from his home planet (he was a big, ugly purple dude with bad intentions on a peaceful planet of beautiful people), Thanos met Death. It appeared to him as a beautiful woman and he promptly fell head over heels for her. He didn’t seek to gain her affection with the usual chocolates and flowers – this was Death afterall – so he set himself to killing half the universe (Aww, you shouldn’t have!”). He tried his best with Cosmic Cubes, Soul Gems, & the Infinity Gauntlet, but pesky heroes like Captain Marvel & Adam Warlock always managed to thwart him.
Thanos started showing up in stores back in October apparently, but trying telling that to my local stores – I just ran across him a couple weeks ago. I’m not up on MU case assortments, so I don’t know if I got a late case or a revision, but either way I was happy to find him on the pegs. He jumps out at you because he’s barely contained in the package. He’s an inch taller than a standard figure, but he’s also twice as wide.
His sculpt is built around the buck used for Juggernaut, but it works perfectly for the figure. Plus, he’s got all the right unique pieces – new head, two new tunic pieces, forearms/gloves, and boot tops. He does reuse Juggy’s feet, but I think its fine. A universe destroyer should have good treads after all. All the new pieces are spot-on with the little details and trim. I especially love the head sculpt. He’s sneering at me disapprovingly just like he should.
Thanos also sports another extra piece – the Infinity Gauntlet! This was a perfect addition for him, it looks good, and it swaps out with his regular glove with ease. Pretty cool.
The paint works hard to help make the figure even better. The figure is molded in his classic blue color with a heavy wash that darkens his costume and draws attention to the sculpted details. Combined with the bright, shiny gold used for the trim, boots, and gloves, and I don’t know how any Marvel fan could leave this guy at the store.
There is a little bit of slop here and there; mostly gold specks where they shouldn’t be, but nothing major. His face also has some decent paintwork with the small gold details, eyes, and open mouth.
Once I got him open, it was his articulation that really made me feel good about the purchase. I knew I wanted him for how he was going to look on my shelf, but I was really impressed by how well he moves. I haven’t been a big fan of the MU articulation overall – I can’t stand the Surfer that came with my Galactus for example, but Thanos features more articulation than any of the figures I bought back when: ball joints at the neck, shoulders, and hips, swivels at the bicep, forearms, thighs, and boots, double hinges on the knees, and single hinges on the elbows and ankles. The bottom of his tunic blocks the articulation a bit, but he’s still got great poseability. It’s really fun for such a bulky figure. Continue to Captain Marvel…