I was late to the game with Marvel Legends 375 and we ran out of this wave at work, so I got Loki from GameStop's web site at a very fair price. Weirdly, the figures I ordered came from a store with torn-off price tags, shelf wear, and punched-out cardbacks - but it's not like I wouldn't open them anyway. I mean, here he is!
Loki uses the same body as Captain America, which means he's wider than Spider-Man and has a hole in his back. While it boasts the Kenner brand name and has packaging certainly evocative of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the very nature of the whole shared buck figure line thing relies heavily on paint to make the figures unique. The rich, scaly printed black lines in the fields of yellow on his chest and shorts are the kinds of things Kenner would've sculpted, not painted. This is by no means a dealbreaker, but in many respects it puts these figures in an area more like a designer figure. You know, LEGO, Kubrick, Playmobil.
I wasn't a Marvel kid, so most of what I knew about these characters came from Saturday morning cartoons from Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends or whatever ads were in Marvel's Star Wars comics. (And later, ToyFare's Mego jokes.) Most of what I know about Loki comes from Norse mythology classes and the MCU, and we all come to pop culture in weird ways. I got interested in these guys out of my love of Kenner stuff and fond memories of old Marvel cartoons, and this very not-Tom Hiddleston figure turned out nicely. Sadly he has no sword or any gear, but he's got the right hat and the ponytail - and he looks like the comic art. And not like the old Norse artwork, and presumably there will be no earthquakes caused by his misery.
The 3 3/4-inch figure is such a weird thing. It's bigger, beefier, and more dynamic than Super7's ReAction offerings (and especially those first Funko ones), more modern than Hasbro's Star Wars Kenner figures, and given different joints than the Kenner figures which he references. Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, The Adventures of Indiana Jones, and M.A.S.K. all had knees - swivel wrists were a real rarity in that era. Not only that, but Loki has his famous crown - splayed to the sides rather than sweeping forward like an elephant's tusks. Given most of these figures are truer to the comic art I find the change surprising, but I am also the first to tell you that it wouldn't be a Kenner figure if there weren't some weird error somewhere. Ask Walrus Man, or Greedo, or Snaggletooth, or 4-LOM and Zuckuss, or... I could go on.
I assume these have got to be profitable for Hasbro given how little paint we get, Loki is molded mostly in color. The yellow feet, hands, and head have a painted face and a painted brown ponytail that, along with the horns, is flexible so it won't snap. Generally speaking old Kenner figures minimized any head protrusions, or in the case of the old Ewoks, they were rubbery hoods and not parts of the figure. Loki's body and limbs are molded in green, with minimal (but clean and thick) yellow details as well as the scale pattern. It's not perfect - you'll see a few missed spots - but they did a very good job that you won't fault until you get your nose in Loki's crotch, and really, why would you do that?
The face is good, with painted clenched teeth, surprisingly detailed eyes, and decent brows. It's a little too nice for retro, but it's not like they're paying tribute to some lost prototypes or anything. This whole collection is just a weird, small line that seems to be small enough to not cause a scene. Unsurprisingly, he stands perfectly and can sit in old Kenner vehicles like a champ. There's no reason for him to sit in an MTV-7, but it's funny to see him do it.
For better or for worse, I'm probably going to keep buying these if they can keep it to a dozen or so figures a year. I haven't the stomach to devote myself to a big line of $25 figures that come out with more than $1000 worth of figures per year - but if they want to throw me a 3 3/4-inch Loki, I'm fine. As much as I'd prefer a blandly dressed streaming series 3 3/4-inch Loki, the nice thing about the Kenner style is that this is it. In the 1980s, you'd usually get one version of a main character - and that's it. Secret Wars from Mattel had a whopping two Spider-Man figures. Super Powers from Kenner had Superman and Clark Kent. He looks more or less like he did on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends so really, what the heck else could I want other than an even simpler paint job?
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