Movie versions, modern versions, oversized and undersized versions—I have been waiting for years and years and yeeeeears for a good classic Thanos, and finally FYE-NA-LEE it is here.
Thanos is one of my favorite villains, and has been since the one-two punch of the Thanos Quest and the Infinity Gauntlet, detailing Thanos’s search for, acquisition of, use of and subsequent loss of the Infinity stones. That storyline is the basis for pretty much everything the MCU has been built around, leading up to Endgame. And while I love what was done with Thanos in the movies, it’s comic Thanos that cemented my love of the character.
Thanos was created in the seventies, died soon thereafter, and stayed dormant for years before being revived for the ‘90s, where he reached heights of infamy his earlier appearances never allowed.
Thanos has been mistreated and misused in a lot of stories. He’s a bad guy, without question, but it seems like a lot of times writers tend to forget that there is a certain code of conduct or even honor around Thanos. Something that has always stuck with me is a specific back and forth where Thanos stated that he always keeps his word. If a megalomaniacal mass-murderer on a scale few can imagine can keep something as ephemeral as his word, it suggests a depth that few more two-dimensional villains can sustain. In short, Thanos isn’t your average bad guy, and the movies did a great job of digging into that depth as much as the running time of films allow.
So to say that I have been waiting for this figure since the dawn of Marvel Legends is a radical understatement. Thanos and Ultron have been my white whales, and both are on their way. It is a great time to be alive.
The actual toy itself is, in short, a wonderful little thing. For years I’ve heard people extoll the virtues of the Marvel Select Thanos figure, and for years I’ve shuddered, barely containing my rants that he was too big, that he was permanently hunched, that it just didn’t fit into the Marvel Legends aesthetic, as malleable an aesthetic as that admittedly is.
With all that said, there are a few issues that I think could have been improved on, but that’s the case with every toy, especially when you’ve been waiting for it for so long.
I’ll start off with a comparison shot between the Select and the Legends. Obviously one is over a decade old, so I’m not comparing/faulting the style of the sculpt so much as the size, which, again, is not the fault of the figure, since Select is a different scale. But this Legends Thanos is right in the ballpark of what I wanted.
I love the beefy physique, the thick legs and powerful, blocky torso. He’s got that chunky power that his 90s version had. His earlier 70s physique was somewhat thinner, but he’s maintained his resurrected thickness since his resurgence, so that’s what I gravitate towards.
There’s been a lot of complaints about his head, and I was kind of thinking I’d prefer something a little more sedate in hand, but as I fiddled with the figure I found I was less and less bothered by the expression on his face. It’s a great, asymmetrically maniacal expression that fits his personality well. I wouldn’t have minded some alternate heads for the deluxe pricepoint (of course he does have an alternate head, but more on that in a minute) like a closed mouth head or something, but as a default head this one is nice and expressive and I don’t find myself “missing” an alternate one.
For a bigger figure, the overall articulation is very nice, but there could be room for improvement in a couple of areas. The head gets a good side to side and backwards with just a little frontwards motion. The shoulderpiece is a softer material, unlike the stiffer modern Thanos, and it’s permanently attached rather than floating, so it’s an overall better experience, and it allows him to get a great shoulder range. He has both bicep swivels and “elbro” style swivel hinge elbows. The elbow range itself is a little subpar. Due to the nature of his gauntlets, he can’t even get a full 90 out of them.
The skirt is flexible as well, and he can get a very respectable range out of his hips. There’s a waist twist that the flexible skirt only slightly impedes, so he can get some decent swivel. The torso is lacking in range. He can crunch forward and backward a bit, but I’d have loved to see a double ball-joint implemented in his torso just under his pecs that would have given him the ability to tilt front and back in addition to a nice side to side wobble.
The knees are double jointed and get a good range for their bulk. There doesn’t appear to be any swivel at the boot tops. If there is, both of mine are stuck, but I’m thinking there isn’t. The ankle range is good enough to allow him to put his feet flat for as far as his hips can spread, so they do a good job.
The gold and blues rub up against each other excellently. There’s a very slight overspray of a lighter blue on the tops of his legs, chest and biceps that give him a bit more definition. The gold plastic they used for his gloves, boots and add-ons looks very natural. It’s not quite a metallic effect, so there’s none of that “swirlescent” feel to it, but it still feels true to the comic. That’s the best way to describe this figure: comic-booky. And that, to me, is a compliment. I did have a few problems with the paint. Mine has a gold smudge on his teeth, and a kind of weird blobby thing on the gold stripe on his abdomen. The blobby thing will just have to stay, but I’m going to see if I can get the gold off of his teeth and repaint the off-white if needed. Or I may just leave it so I don’t screw something up. I haven’t decided.
Thanos comes with a pair of fists, and then two Infinity Stone left hands: one grasping and one snapping. Thanos has become inseparable from snapping, so it was pretty much written in stone (ha) that he would come with a snapping hand.
The other head is a King Thanos head from a future storyline. If I had been able to find my modern Thanos figure (seriously, I have both versions and could find neither of them, what the hell, ridiculous mountain of toys?) you’d be able to see the head on one of those figure, but apparently it fits perfectly. It fits on this figure also, but this one is keeping the crazy grin head.
When I say I have been waiting to get a Thanos like this, I mean it, so it’s very gratifying that the figure is as well done as this one. I have a few nitpicks, but they’re more clinical “If I could change” criticisms than actual-figure ruining faults. As is, I am beyond pleased to have this figure in hand. Something like this makes my collection feel a little more complete by its inclusion.
Now to stop myself from buying another…