Over the last couple of years there have been a few characters that Marvel comic fans have been eagerly awaiting as a
part of the Marvel Legends line. And Thanos is one of the names that seems to pop up on a lot of most wanted lists.
Well unfortunately it doesn't look like we will be seeing him in the Marvel Legends line in the near future. But
Marvel and Diamond Select have given us the next best thing, a Marvel Select version of the big purple purveyor of
death. (Background info on Thanos)
Packaging - 5/10The Marvel Select line has quite a distinct packaging design. The figure comes in a large plastic bubble that covers an equally oversized card. But unlike traditional cards that extend above the bubble, the cards for the Marvel Select line wrap around the left side of the bubble and around to the front. The use of various cover art for the background of the card is a nice idea, but they are almost completely hidden. The side panel has a large head shot of Thanos fom the comics, which is a lot larger than I need to see that ugly mug. The back of the card has both a photo of the figure and an image of Thanos from a comic cover to give you a bit of a comparision. They also include a brief history of the character and photos of two of the other recent Marvel Select figures. The figure itself is large enough that it takes up most of the space even in such a large bubble. The extra hand with the Infinity Gems is clearly displayed, but with the palm out so that it isn't obvious that it is suppose to be the Infinity Gaunlet. And then there is Death and her mask. The mask is packaged where it is quite visible while the Death figure is largely obscured under the card and a decal on the bubble. The packaging design has a significant drawback though. This is supposed to be a collector focused line, even going so far as giving credit to the sculpter and the cover art used on the back of the card. But despite being targeted to collectors, the design is as far from collector friendly as you can get. It's sheer bulk makes it that much harder to store or display it. While the girth of the figure helps justify that size, they gotten Marvel Legends figure that were almost as large into much smaller packaging. And of course there is the fact that you have to destroy the packaging to get the figure out.
Sculpting - 8/10Thanos is a wonderful sculpt. They captured the bulkiness of the character without going overboard. All the details of the costume are present. But it is not quite perfect. The skirt sticks out from the waist too far in some spots. From the artwork I've seen, the gold shoulder pads should not extend as far down the chest as it does. And while it is a minor quibble, the semicircle on his hood above his nose is too large.
Paint - 6/10From the reports I have seen, the paint work is the biggest issue to look out for with this figure. I was fortunate. My figure has some sloppiness, but it isn't serious. There is some inconsistency in the color of the material for the shoulder pads. And the gold paint used for the gloves and boots is a little darker than the rest of the gold areas of the costume. The face is where most of the problems seem to occur. There is red paint around the eyes. I assume this is meant to create a 'glowing' effect. But it doesn't work well. The border between the face and cowl is a little too sloppy. You should also watch the paint wash. There is a black wash across the face that helps to add depth and shadow to the sculpt. But the wash wasn't applied under the chin which creates an odd line where there shouldn't be one.
Articulation - 8/10Thanos has a total of twenty three points of articulation:
Accessories - 8/10Thanos has three accessories: an extra left hand sculpted with the Infinity gems on it, a figure of death and a mask for death to wear. Obviously the Infinity Gauntlet hand is the most important accessory. The left hand can be removed at the wrist joint and the extra hand with the gauntlet attached in its place. You couldn't really have a Thanos figure without the Infinity Gauntlet. But it would have been nice to have gotten an articulated version since the grasping pose is a bit ackward. The figure of Death has no articulation. It is well sculpted with the flowing robe and detailed skull. The paint work on Death isn't very complex, but effective. But there is certainly room for improvement with the white for the bones of the hand. The end of the left sleeve looks like it should have been painted black, but it wasn't. The mask for death is well painted and attaches surprisingly well.
Value - 3/10This is the first Marvel Select figure I've purchased for myself. And the price is the biggest reason for that. I paid $19 for Thanos. If you shop around, you may be able to find it for a few dollars less. But at best you can still expect to pay at least $15. Since the Marvel Select is a specialty line, the higher price isn't surprising. But other than the slightly larger scale, there's not enough here to justify twice the price of a Marvel Legends figure. The higher sticker price also makes the sloppiness of the paint work just that much more troublesome.
Special NotesFor most of the action figure collectors, there is just one question that begs to be answered. Can Thanos fit in with the Marvel Legends line? The Marvel Select line is a different scale than Marvel Legends. Thanos stands about 8.25 inches tall. That makes him about an inch too tall to truely be in scale. If you compare him to Juggernaut you can see the height difference. According to the statistics I found online, Juggernaut is slightly taller than Thanos. But the Thanos figure stands a good head taller than the ML Juggernaut figure. Ultimately it is really a question of how much of a stickler you are about scale. For me, he may be too big but the difference isn't as noticable with such a bulky character design. Until we get an offical Marvel Legends version, this figure makes a reasonable stand-in.
Happy Hunting:Thanos, being a Marvel Select figure, is available exclusively through Diamond and stores that order from Diamond. Of course that makes it pretty widely available. Of course the first place you can check your local comic shop. But if they don't have it, you can also try Suncoast or any of the numerous specialty stores that order through Diamond. There are also plenty of on-line options, though Thanos does seem to be selling through quicker than the previous MS figures.