Thursday, July 21, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Thanos

Produced by Hasbro | Released October 2010

Born disfigured, THANOS became obsessed with mortality at an early age. As he grew and came into the power he had inherited from his Eternal parents, his obsession became a determination to wipe out all life in the universe. For ages, he has traveled the stars, seeking ways to finally achieve his dream of a cosmos at peace, with not a single living thing to mar it. From time to time, he has very nearly achieved this goal, and been stopped only by the cooperation of the most powerful beings in the universe.

Packaging Shots

After managing to find most of last year's Wave 11 at retail, sans Thanos, I'd all but given-up on finding him in the wild. Whether it was due to him being short-packed, his popularity among collectors or the fact that he's a huge slab of plastic for the price, it seemed the chances of finding Thanos on shelves was slim. Imagine my surprise - and then joy - when I spotted him today hanging off a peg. Was my joy premature? Read on...

Let's start with the most obvious point about Thanos. He's huge. Hulk-sized huge. He's a wonderfully chunky, solid piece and although some of these pieces may have been used by the Juggernaut, World War Hulk and Apocalypse figures, Thanos still has a superb, unique look, especially when compared to the other ''regular-sized'' figures in the line.

The sculpt does a great job of capturing Thanos' Kirby-inspired look from the comicbooks. Although the costume itself is fairly simple - a skin-tight blue suit with gold embellishments - it's very nicely done. Thanos' muscular bulk is well-defined, his costume's accessories look good and wherever possible the designers have included some nice fold and crease details, such as those found around his gauntlets and funky moon boots. It's a simple yet bold design that works well.

Thanos' head sculpt is particularly nice, with a snarling, scowling expression complete with exposed teeth and a Skrull-like grooved chin. It's a tiny head, for sure, but is pretty accurate, both sculpt- and scale-wise to the comic character.

The design of the articulation is pretty good. Thanos' head rotates and tilts, his arms offer a wide range of articulation, his waist twist works well and there's a little give in the torso tilt to help accentuate his ''soon I shall...'' poses. Thanos uses the cut-thigh/ball hip joint which I'm not really a fan of but that just about work here. With Thanos having a ''skirt,'' forward movement on his legs is limited anyway, so the slightly odd hip joints aren't so much of an issue as they were with, say, Crossbones. Knees are double-jointed pieces and his lower-leg rotates at the boot top. His ankles tilt but do not rotate.

The whole set-up is excellent - hips aside - but the implementation is a letdown. This could simply be an issue with my Thanos figure but many of his joints are incredibly loose. Although it's possible to get him to hold certain positions, his arms, for example, will swing quite easily, almost to the point of resembling some kind of ''Super Swinging Punch'' Action! feature. It's saddening to see this, as the actual design is great.

Thanos' paintwork is - like the costume design - simple, yet bold. There's a nice, clean look to the gold and blue and on the whole it's fairly clean. The only oddity is that his belt and jacket trim lack the lustre of the other costume parts and appear to be painted yellow rather than gold. It's also not as cleanly applied as the rest of the paintwork, but it's not bad. There's also a nice, dark wash applied to the blue of his costume, which accentuates the sculpt well.

His facial paintwork is also clean, with the edging around his hood being clean and his features neatly picked-out. His mouth is especially well-done, with his white teeth standing out well against the black of his mouth.

Thanos comes with an interchangeable left hand. By default the figure comes wearing The Infinity Gauntlet, sculpted in a superb ''I SHALL CRUSH YOU'' pose and including some very nice detailing on the Infinity Gems (which are cleanly painted and nicely sculpted.) His spare hand is sculpted in a fist, which matches his right hand.

Thanos also comes with his HAMMER file and base, even though his feet are large enough to allow him to stand unaided. 

Final Thoughts
Thanos is an excellent figure, let down by poor production. It's a real shame his joints are so loose, as the sculpt is great and articulation design is very, very good. Thanos looks excellent, thanks to his superb sculpt, facial expression and hand poses, bold colouring and huge size. He's a figure with serious pop value that just jumps off the shelf and although the joints are loose, if you can get him to hold a pose he can convey a lot of dynamism and emotion. Just look at the Gallery below and you'll see how much character is being conveyed in those simple poses.

I'm really hoping that the loose joint problem is limited to my Thanos. I've certainly not seen any other review mention this as an issue, so I'm hoping I was just unlucky. Just be warned though that if I've found a figure with this problem there may be others out there that are similarly afflicted.

But even with this issue, I'm still loving this figure. He's an incredibly expressive figure with some great paintwork and sculpting, that looks great on your shelf but is also chunky enough to be a great toy you can play with without any worries about breaking.

A definite highlight of the wave and one I'm very happy to finally have in my collection.

Production QualityC+
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. I'm totally jealous that you've found this!

  2. I couldn't believe it when I saw him! I think I scared a child when I snatched the figure off the peg, as he went scurrying off very quickly...

  3. I have this guy, and he's awesome...


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