When I was young, I would have my parents buy me multiple copies of trooper-style action figures in order to amass a cartoon-accurate army. As an adult collector, I think I'll just stick with the one $239 Chitauri Foot Soldier from Hot Toys.
The Chitauri. A race of aliens created to take the place of the Skrulls in Marvel's Ultimate comics universe, which ended up adding the Skrulls eventually anyway. They would have faded into obscurity if not for a starring role as the things to punch and shoot in the Avengers movie. Instead, they've become the subject of two different sixth scale figures from the folks at Hot Toys — the Chitauri Commander, and the Chitauri Foot Soldier.
The folks at Sideshow Collectibles provided me a Chitauri Foot Soldier for review, because I did not rate a Commander. I am but a grunt in the war against the Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I suppose that will have to do.
You'll have to excuse the photos in the article. I've recently moved to a new location and have yet to set up optimal lighting in my office for taking action figure pics. Some of them were taken with a very good camera. Others were taken with an Amazon Fire Phone, because I couldn't find the charge for the very good camera.
I imagine somewhere in the world there is a well-to-do collector who has gathered a veritable army of these guys for their massive Avengers Versus The Chitauri in New York City Diorama. They'd have to, really — if the movie taught me anything, it's that one Chitauri isn't much of a threat. All you need is an arrow or a kick in the face from a particularly athletic redhead to take one down.
What's In The Box
Normally this is where I'd show you a picture of the box before listing the contents packed inside. If you could see my office right now, you'd know that while I could take many pictures of boxes, a picture of the correct one is nigh impossible. I assure you it's very nice. Here's what's inside of the mysterious box, unseen box.
- The Chitauri himself. Or herself. I don't claim to be an expert on alien biology.
- Two pairs of interchangeable palms including: One pair of partially clenched palms and one pair of relaxed palms, for when he's lounging about whever Chitauri lounge about.
- One bronze colored headgear with removable mask. You can take the helmet off and pretend you're in that one episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- One Chitauri arm canon, because he's not going to do much damage with those stupid hands.
- Specially-designed city rubble diorama stage, complete with bits of masonry and a little broken sign, to demonstrate how messed up New York City got during that fight.
Those are solme seriously messed-up (and movie-accurate, mind you) hands. If I were the Chitauri Foot Soldier, I'd just use two cannons.
What I Like
Movie Accurate: This was much harder to determine than one might think. I re-watched the Avengers while writing this review, and it's pretty damn hard to find a Chitauri standing still long enough to compare him to a 12-inch action figure. The best I could do was this ugly bastard right here.
Let's compare him to the figure, sans mask.
Yep, that's the guy all right. I wouldn't have minded an alternate roaring head, but this one's "waiting in line at the DMV" expression works well enough. Besides, it's not about the helmet off look.
Now there's a properly-menacing alien. If you like you can remove the mask and just keep the helmet bit. It's all about accesorizing.
Seriously, those alien hands are damn ugly. Who needs two thumbs?
Articulation: With a newly-sculpted body featuring 22 points of articulation, the Chitauri Foot Soldier could, if one were so inclined as to build a scale model of a New York City skyscraper, cling to the side of it in a convincing fashion.
The Armor: I particularly love the bits of armor the Chitauri Foot Soldier is wearing. The strangely-crafted leather-like material is at once familiar and otherworldly, distressed to suggest this is a warrior that's been through a dozen major battles, blissfully unaware that this one will be his last. I'm praising the movie design here, basically, but Hot Toys has captured it extremely well, as they do.
Sexy, I guess.
The Arm Cannon: Were I ever to cosplay a Marvel character, I would cosplay as tubby balding bearded man who somehow got his hands on a Chitauri arm cannon, because hot damn that's a lovely piece of ordinance.
It really brings the whole piece together, that cannon. They could have skimped out of the extra hands altogether. He just looks silly without it.
Nope, needs an arm cannon.
What I Don't Like
The Neck Skirt: I'm sure there's a proper name for the bits of chainmail hanging down from either side of the Chitauri Foot Soldier's head. I choose to refer to them as the reason Hawkeye was so effective in the final battle — they can't turn their heads.
There's a bit in the instructions warning you against turning the Chitauri Foot Soldier's head too far to either side, as those bits don't detatch. They're a fine bit of detail, but they keep me from posing the Foot Soldier as fully as I'd like. No coy, over the shoulder glances from this fellow here.
The Rubble: Here are several extraneous bits of broken buildings with no preferred placement. Just strew them about as you please.
I am not good at strewing. I prefer my extra bits to at least come with some sort of serving suggestion — "place that bit of rock here, and the broken wall here." That sort of thing. Here I have the wall just propped up against his legs. It seems uncomfortable.
My Final Word
This is one of those situations where the hefty price of premium action figures really hits home. I see this figure and I imagine an army of Chitauri Foot Soldiers marching through the broken streets of New York City, advancing on the Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor and Hawkeye as they for a circle for trailer shot purposes. At $239.99 apiece for the Chitauri Foot Soldier, I'm probably going to have to invest in some cleverly-placed mirrors instead.
Hot Toys has done its usual excellent job of rendering the luckiest aliens in the Marvel universe — there is no uncanny valley when your subject is mainly CG to begin with. He'll forever be the lonliest Chitauri Foot Soldier, but he'll look good doing it.
Figure provided for review by Sideshow Collectibles.