Review: Loki Makes a Rare Appearance in The Wal-Mart Exclusive 'The Avengers' Figure Line

*SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen The Avengers by now, you're probably waiting for the Blu-Ray (or hate awesomeness), so please refrain from griping when we mention plot details in this review. Actually, gripe all you want. It's a free country.

THANOS!-- Heh, just screwing with you. The Avengers has rightfully spawned a ton of tie-in toys and has now received not one, but 5 different action figure lines! Diamond Select Toys (Marvel Select, Minimates), Hot Toys (1/6th scale doppelgangers), and Hasbro (3 3/4" figures) have all tossed their winged helms into the Avengers' "Figure Thunderdome", but only Hasbro has pulled the short-shipped-and-hard-to-find card with their latest Wal-Mart Exclusive 6" Movie Line Avengers Figures. Indeed, the "Low Price Leader" has staked it's claim on these Marvel Legends-style toys and rumor has it, they're limited to around one case per store. While we're not sure about that, what we do know is that Loki, like Hawkeye and Hulk, is packaged only one per case. Now the "Rare" part in our title is making a little more sense, right? Well, regardless of the God of Mischief's soon-to-be-ebay-expensive nature, we're tearing his plastic prison open and letting his conniving out for this review!

The packaging for Loki matches that of the rest of the exclusive 6" Avengers figures with name variation and his image on the sides of the blister to differentiate him. The packaging is very well done with additions like the words "Movie Series" raised on the top of the blister. His cardback shows a larger image of the figure with his bio beneath. On the front of the blister, sitting mockingly on the upper right-hand side sits the sticker that proclaims, and surely revels in, the almost inability to find this set.

Here's the bio from the back of Loki's blister card:

Loki isn't driven by a desire for revenge or a thirst for power like most villains. It is simply his nature to cause chaos. He long ago embraced his identity as the trickster god, and has made it his life's work since to confuse, confound and destroy the world. His plans are unbelievably intricate, and so intelligently plotted that not even the combined might of the Avengers can ruin them completely.

What can we say about the sculpt for Loki? Well, how about that it's completely new! Yep, head to toe, Thor's adopted brother has been made fresh from scratch-- just like a delicious and horned biscuit! Speaking of horns, the helmet and cloak are both removable and beneath both are full sculpting of the head and intricate costume detailing running down the back of his tunic. The face has a very good resemblance of actor Tom Hiddleston, although the figures hair is not as long as it was in the film. This could be chalked up to being sculpted in the early stages of the film's development, much like the exposed ears on the first 3 3/4" Captain America or Hawkeye's sunglasses that he sports on almost every Avengers licensed product. Multiple layers of soft plastic have been used to accurately represent Loki's costume, while not overly hindering articulation, and his body is appropriately slender. Our favorite part of this figure is just how well the helmet fits on his head. It's not only secure, but the area surrounding his face seats so well that it almost looks as if it's sculpted on! Honestly, the sculpt is what makes this figure really so amazing, so no vitriol to spew in this part.

The paintwork on this figure isn't overly layered, but it is very cleanly applied and oddly intricate once you start to look at all of the seams and folds of cloth that have been trimmed out. Green, gold, gray, and glossy black are the color scheme for Loki and he has come out looking like a million bucks--until you remove his cloak. The entire back of his tunic is solid gray, even though the sculpted stitching from his chest continues onto his back, the gold paint used to detail it does not. This is bar far the biggest strike against this figure, and thankfully the cape looks good enough that we like having him wear it. Still, for a toy that ran us over sixteen dollars, after tax, we really expected him to be fully painted.

The articulation for this Loki figure is surprisingly both plentiful and useful. He features a ball-joint neck, swivel/hinge shoulder, swivel biceps, dual-hinged elbows, swivel wrists, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, dual-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The tails hanging down from his tunic are sliced up the side (much like a sexy mini-skirt) which allows for his hips to be put in a full range of motion. All of the joints on our figure work well, and the way the shoulder armor rotates with the bicep is a thing of beauty! Like the Captain America in this series, and hopefully all future Hasbro Marvel figures, Loki is sporting the new rocker ankles that have the peg insert into them horizontally like a foot going into a shoe. This allows for the figure to remain flat footed even in the widest stances.

In the package, Loki comes equipped with his helmet and cloak, which we're considering just part of his costume for this review. He also has a figure stand that is emblazoned with the "A" logo of the Avengers and is attachable to other bases in the series (we'll go into this more in an upcoming Captain America & Iron Man review). No, the real story here is his mutating scepter. Unlike the 3 3/4" figure which inaccurately has the Cosmic Cube Tesseract placed inside, this 6" version has the Soul Gem powering it just like it did on the big screen! It fits into his hand very well if positioned at the point where the "trigger outcropping is located, and he can even wield it with both hands thanks to his dual-hinged elbows! Oh, you're wondering about the Soul Gem comments we've been making, even though it was never expressly called that in the film? Yeah, we know it's green in the Marvel Comics, but in Thor's flick that little bobble is blue as it sits in the center of the Infinity Gauntlet. Plus, the control he was taking over people just adds fuel to the fire.

Overall, this figure is far greater than we imagined it would be when this line was first announced. In fact, after picking up Loki and Cap, we've been planning a Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart tour of the surrounding counties in order to complete the rest of this line. Wish us luck with surviving those aisles full of mark downs and the inevitable circus of people we'll be witness to in the wee hours of the morning! For more info on this line, or any of Hasbro's other marvel lines, be sure to check out their official website!

Stay tuned to MTV Geek for all your Hasbro and "The Avengers" toy coverage!

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