In November 2009, Hasbro released the first series of their "Giant Battles" box sets. The second series was revealed at Toy Fair 2010, so naturally it's taken until April 2011 for those figures to come out.
Adopted son of the king of Asgard, Loki was supposed to have been raised in ignorance of his giant heritage. In reality, the trickster was trapped by his nature. His compulsion to lie forced him to constantly engineer conflicts between the gods of Asgard and the giants of Jotunheim. Again and again, he plotted the destruction of his adopted home at the hands of the giants. Again and again, those plots fell apart under the hammer blows of his hated brother Thor. Still, Loki plots, and works in secret with the giants to see the gods laid low, and the crown of Asgard upon his brow.
It's really weird that we haven't had a Loki figure before now. There have been three Thors, but not a single Loki? Heck, there's even been a Loki in the Thor line, and that movie hadn't even begun casting when these toys were announced! He's one of the top five villains of the Marvel Universe, and he's nowhere to be seen. Until now.
This is Loki in his classic Kirby costume, which not even Marvel Legends managed to give us. He's built on the same body as Namor, which really suits him. He's a wiry, slippery guy, not a physical fighter, so it makes sense for his physique to be more slender than his brother's. His body is painted a nice dark green, complete with darker shadows. The stripe down the front of his chest and his chainmail panties are golden, with fine black lines detailing the armor.
The face is great! He's got the big funky horns, and the ponytail thing sticking out the back of his golden cap (which isn't hair, by the way: his hair is black, and this thing is yellow, so what the heck is it?) but the face has been sculpted with a wonderfully maniacal grin. In different colors, this could easily be the Joker - a perfect look for a god of mischief and chaos.
As this is a "Giant Battles" set,
Loki comes with a giant to battle - specifically, a Savage Frost Giant. Hailing from Jotunheim, the giants wage war against the gods, because they're just dicks that way. There are some frost "giants" in the Thor movie line, but they're not really all that much larger than the normal figures. They're more like Frost NBA Players than Frost Giants. This guy, though? He's a real monster.
ToyBiz was, at one point, planning to make a Frost Giant of their own - but that was for the Legendary Heroes line, where it would have been based on Conan's enemies, and would have been the BAF for Series 3. This figure is not a recycling of that figure, no matter how much we would have liked to see it come out. No, this comes from a different (yet still quite appropriate) source: the base body originally belonged to the 12" ML Icons Thor; the clues are the wristbands and the wraps around the lower legs.
The Savage Frost Giant gets
plenty of new pieces, however. His feet are entirely new, with their exposed toes and thick, cracked nails. He has a furry loincloth tied around with a thick rope belt, and has metal armor covering his torso - again, with fur trim over the shoulders. The only new-sculpt pieces on the body are the feet and head, with the clothes glued into place around the existing Thor mold. It all looks good together, though, as if it had been designed from scratch.
The bony helmet with the six horns is a removable piece (cast from soft PVC so no one hurts themselves and the horns don't snap off), revealing a fully sculpted head beneath. The Savage Frost Giant is an ugly fellow, with a fanged overbite, pointed ears, a bald head and a gold ring in his nose. His irises are red, and there are black tattoos on his chin. The skin is a dark icy blue, with a few highlights where needed. The paintwork is good overall, so no worries there.
The giant is 12½" tall, and moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, hands, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees and ankles. The left hand has individually articulated fingers, while the right is solid - that give him a firm grip on his accessory, a giant stone-bladed axe. It's hard to get the axe in place, but he'll never drop it, that's for sure!
The Savage Frost Giant and Loki set includes a reprint comicbook, and man, how weird is it to think about the days when that was standard operating procedure? ToyBiz did it, Mattel copied it (big surprise, I know), but now it's just not financially feasible. Anyway, the issue included in this set is The Mighty Thor #175, which sees an army of Mountain Giants (not Frost Giants) marching on Asgaard, and Loki claiming Odin's crown. Metaphorically, not literally. Although this is the story that introduced the famous "Crown of Lies," as seen on ToyBiz's Loki variant. Guess that answers that question!
We may have had to wait more than a year for the second series of Giant Battles to show up, but the wait was worth it. The Savage Frost Giant is a decent villain for any Thor figure to fight, and it's nice to finally get Loki in this scale. The only problem is finding the set: it's a Walmart exclusive, and right now it's selling so fast it may be gone before you even realize it was ever on the shelves.