Staff Strike Sif
(Thor: The Mighty Avenger)
Height: 10cm to top of head.
Sif is a born warrior. Few beings can match her prowess with the sword or staff. Along with Heimdall and his compatriot Thor, she is devoted to protecting Asgard from those who seek to destroy it.
Also like Heimdall, good luck finding one. Though comparatively speaking Sif isn't quite that scarce, but nor yet is she as plentiful as the Warriors Three. And though I'm tempted to credit that scarcity to her being a female figure in a boy's toyline, it's not that much easier to find any of the post-Wave 1 Thor stuff in my neck of the woods. It's only through the kindness of Superhero Time's HeyMickey that I have her at all.
Sif actually does have a mythological counterpart, same as Thor, Loki and Odin- but unlike The Warriors Three. In the comic, she's Thor's occasional fiancee, and she's one of those characters who creators seem at a bit of a loss as to how to best use her- I don't think my Google image search brought up any two pictures where Sif wore exactly the same outfit. It's been my observation that a female character that creators can't seem to use properly change clothes and/or hairstyles a lot, but since I don't read Thor, who am I to say?
Sif's frequently-shifting outfit in comics kind of explains the situation in the film, too: Sif has a few costume/equipment variations through the course of the film, and this isn't quite any one of them. It's closest to her Jotunheim gear, with the hooded maybe-a-cape-maybe-a-longcoat, and covered arms. But at that point there were also armor plates up around the shoulders which this version lacks. Her capecoat is built into her skirt as well, so you're not going to be able to switch to her uncloaked outfit from the end of the film. (Which is interesting in and of itself, considering how strangely layered all the humans' outfits were for New Mexico.) Otherwise the sculpt is really nice, with the elaborate armored corset and the folds of the cloak getting especially great representation. The boots are interesting too: they're not really high heels, but they're higher and more defined than I'd personally want to try and fight in. I suspect they were made to make actress Jaimie Alexander look taller. Her likeness here is better than some of the other Thor figures, though her expression is more neutral than I'd like, especially when compared to Fandral's smirk. She usually looks either more stern or more self-satisfied in the film. Also, Sif the toy has a lot more muscle definition in her arms than is evident on Ms. Alexander in the film, despite the fact that the figure's arms are notably skinnier.
The paint is pretty crisp for a Hasbro movie figure too, with the various metallic colors of the armor working nicely. The pearlescent white used on her blouse- which is a very fine and bright chainmail on the real costume -is a nice touch. I've always liked that color on toys. It's also used for her weapons- very nice, if not fully movie accurate.
Her head tilts slightly, but the ponytail means that swivel requires careful negotiation. Her arms raise out to the shoulder level, but the swivel is directed by the broad hood to her capecoat. She's never going to be able to be the Y in YMCA. The elbows bend and swivel fine; the wrists also swivel well, albeit at odd angles due to the smaller-than-usual limbs and the shape of the bracers she wears. The torso joint has middling tilt both front-to-back and side-to-side, but the attachment point for the skirt/lower cape piece sticks out from the lower torso a bit and restricts swivel. The hip joints actually fare a fair bit better: the skirt doesn't obstruct them from moving very much at all, possibly even less than the Hydra Goons' tunics do. The knees do double over completely, but they're very rubbery. Probably all but unavoidable on legs this size. Which is probably also the justification for dropping swivel and leaving the boots just a hinge joint. The feet are odd, as though they have a different center of gravity than your average Marvel figure foot. Usually pressing down on a Marvel figure slightly will align their feet to the surface they're standing on; with Sif it leans her feet very far forward and makes her fall over. There are also no pegholes, so all those Iron Man 2 and MU stands you've probably accrued by now aren't going to help. Which is not to say she can't stand- she can, and does so reasonably well. But it could be better. And also, the cape can be a bother with low poses and stances. Sif can actually kneel very well, mechanically speaking... only to have her cape push her over. Bah!
An ornate, but still functional-looking sword with a secondary grip above the hilt. It's not a feature you're going to be able to use though, because the angles of the shoulders that I mentioned above mean it's very difficult to get both hands in a position where that grip could be of any use. Unfortunately the grip's also a little small for her already-small hands and she doesn't get a firm grip on it.
In the movie, this is technically still the sword- it converts to a double-blade staff. The handgrips here are larger, so they fit her hand better and there are some two-handed poses available. But still not a lot. It's not as flimsy as Fandral's sword, for example, and definitely not as bad as Hogun's mace, but it's a bit soft and was bent in the package for me.
Now, a word about what Sif doesn't have: her shield. Her sword is supposed to stow under a shield on her left arm- you know that roleplay shield and sword set they sell as the "Thor Sword and Shield?" That is Sif's shield. And there's not a lot of excuses here- Sif doesn't even get a Big Dumb Accessory! Volstagg is broader than most any other figure in the line, and he gets a ridiculous huge axe/ram thing, and Sif- who is comparatively tiny to begin with -can't even get all her movie accessories? Come on. I'm generally a big Hasbro booster, but there's no excuse for this whatsoever. This is some Mattel-level nonsense.
The figure itself is really quite nice- it's got a good sculpt and great paint. But the cape can be a bother, one of her accessories doesn't fit her hands, one of them doesn't work well with her articulation, and one somewhat crucial one is missing! I think it all balances out to Good, but it could've easily been Very Good if Sif got everything she should have. It's enough to make me wonder if there was an uncloaked "Shield Maiden Sif" on the drawing boards somewhere that we'll never see...
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