While a lot of you have by now seen "The Avengers" multiple times, in all its incredible glory, we're going again today-- with our pockets crammed full of Hasbro's 3 3/4" Avengers figures! Each of the films leading up to "The Avengers" (minus "The Incredible Hulk") scored their own 3 3/4" lines from Hasbro, so you'd think the figures of the returning heroes would be exactly what you'd come to expect. Well folks, that may not be true. Join us as we review four of Earth's Mightiest Heroes to see if they can live up to their cinematic counterparts!
While Hawkeye and Black Widow play a crucial role on the team, their figures are in an upcoming wave and we're hoping they will hit shelves soon. As for the figures we DO have:
Shock Strike Thor
With his legendary hammer in his hand, Thor is an unstoppable force, wielding the wind, rain, and mighty lightning as his weapons. Though he is but one man, he is a man with enough power to hold armies at bay.
Iron Man Fusion Armor Mark VII
The latest version of the Iron Man armor is packed with features that make it the absolute pinnacle of technological achievement. Among its many powerful weapons, it includes a specialized repulsor generator that can create solid, superheated energy weapons like saws and blades.
Shield Launcher Captain America
Captain America is more than just an incredible warrior with years of experience-- he's also a peerless leader. It is his keen intellect and flawless tactical thinking that makes the Avengers truly a force to be reckoned with.
Gamma Smash Hulk
Though the Hulk is only barely in control of the vast power that boils within his massive body, he is usually able to direct it against the proper target. His rage- and his strength- know no bounds. So beware all those who stand against the Avengers: When you face the Hulk, you face fury incarnate.
The sculpts for these figures are mostly spot-on with what you see on the big screen, right down to the carvings that adorn the head of Mjolnir. Iron Man's armor is easily the most intricate sculpt, and is pulled off to perfection thanks to Tony Stark's penchant non-cloth costumes. For the rest of the team, the cloth aspects of their uniforms are sculpted with visible wrinkles and stitching, which goes along way in making them look the part since there are less paint apps in this line. Our favorite part is that the heroes all have height variations based on their true life counterparts. This gives helps give the figures more realism than Hasbro's G.I. Joe which mostly keeps the heights the same due to the need for parts re-use. Speaking of parts re-use, even though these heroes have previously had their own toy lines, these sculpts are all 100% new. Our biggest complaint comes in the form of Steve Rogers' helmet. Notice the exposed ears? Well, when Cap is on screen whipping all kinds of Chitauri ass, his ears are covered with leather pieces attached to his chin strap. Why would Hasbro keep the figures so close to the source material, but making this glaring artistic choice? We chalk it up to these toys being developed during pre-production (it takes about a year to bring an action figure to plastic life), so you can probably expect a new head to show up on Cap figures in later waves.
Most of the figures have been molded in their appropriate base colors (although Cap could have used a darker shade of blue) with paint added for detailing. The Hulk also has some airbrushing across his chest and arms to better show his muscle detail, but the other figures rely on the sculpt to pick up the slack for the lack of shading. Almost all of the paintwork is clean, especially welcoming on Thor's costume which has a few different colors layered on the chest harness. However, our Thor does suffer from some gloppy paint on his hands and his beard-line leaves a lot to be desired. Paint is always a tough call with mass market 3 3/4" lines. The real winner in the paint department is once again Iron Man. He has been painted from head to toe with a glossy red and gold finish, coupled with decals for the arc reactor, hand repulsors, and eyes.
The articulation is the biggest faltering point for these figures. While the previous 3 3/4" offerings from the Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor films featured better and better articulation and range of movement; it seems like Hasbro has taken a step back now the band finally got together. The figures feature ball-joint necks, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, and swivel/hinge hips. at the knees, Captain America and Thor have double-hinges, while Iron Man and his buddy Bruce feature swivel/hinges. The positive? All of the joints work very well and the figures will hold their action poses without any trouble. The negative? No wrist, torso (except Hulk), or ankle articulation whatsoever. Crap. We've gotten so used to having it on our Hasbro Marvel Movie lines that we're spoiled now. These figures are all still fun to pose, but the missing points are a noticeable loss.
Above, you'll see the extra accessories that come with the figures. Cap's shield and Thor's hammer (the weapons they're holding in the photos) are both well done and movie accurate. These others are purely to add some playability to the figures, and will thus be relegated to our parts bin. They are sculpted with the same detail as the rest of the toys, and the spinning/shooting mechanisms work well, but these are for the kids-- and we're totally "adults" now. You'll notice there are only 3 weapons pictured, and that's because Hulk has an action feature. Pull back on his upper body, and when you let go the Green Goliath swings his mitts down in a deadly arc of green destruction.
Overall, these figures will help fill that Avengers-sized hole in your life during those times when you can't be sitting in the theater. They are all available now and will stand proud on our shelf-- until Hasbro's Wal-Mart Exclusive 6" versions take their places. For more on these figures, and all of Hasbro's other "The Avengers" products, be sure to check out their official online shop!
Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your coverage of "The Avengers" from the movie to the merch!