Summer comic movie blockbusters.  There’s nothing like them.  What’s even better for us fans (and toy collectors) are the toys.

This year we have new Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America toys hitting the shelves.  Already on those shelves are last year’s Iron Man 2 figures (which some have been re-branded “The Armored Avenger”) and Transformers figures.

"Battle Hammer" Thor

The first set to come out this year was the Thor action figures.  I am disappointed with these figures.  The first wave were 3 different versions of Thor, a Loki, an Odin and a Frost Giant.  Each figure came with a large spring loaded weapon (I hate spring loaded stuff).  The body sculpting is satisfactory on these figures, while the faces are not sculpted as well as other figures, primarily the Marvel Universe figures.  After seeing the movie I was disappointed with the Thor figures even more, I would love to get my hands on the Volstag, Fandral and Hogun figures, which were not originally offered  (fortunately I have seen they are included in Wave 2).  Also Wave 2 will include a Thor figure that has his helmet.  Most of the figures from Wave 1 were just an “un-helmeted” Chris Hemsworth.  I will wait until Wave 2 to pick up some of the Thor figures, once I get them in my hands I hope I will be pleased with the quality.

Hal Jordan figure - nice sculpt, but limited articulation

The next wave of figures to be released this summer were the Green Lantern figures and in my opinion… they are junk.  The figures have the same articulation that toys had in the 80’s (the toy industry has evolved with new technology).  I looked at a Hal Jordan (in regular flight suit) figure, he had straight arms, pivoted at the waist and the legs went forward and back.  This is pretty disappointing by today’s standards.  The Green Lantern figures have very nice head sculpts, but it is disappointing that the figure can’t do anything.  For example, if you like to pose your figures in a diorama, with straight arm/leg articulation, you can’t make a decent pose for the figure.  The only thing I liked about the figure is each one comes with a Green Lantern ring.  I haven’t read anything about the Green Lantern movie.  I want to go into this movie with no pre-conceptions.  I shouldn’t have gone to the toy aisle.  The deluxe action figure set has Hal Jordan with…. one of the main villains from the movie, and it ain’t Sinestro.  I won’t say anymore about it, but it was an instant spoiler for me.   Overall I am not happy with the Green Lantern movie figures, Mattel and DC could have done better.

Battlefield Captain America

And finally the Captain America figures have come out.  I have been waiting for these figures since the pictures were on the web from this years Toy Fair.  These are some of the best movie action figures to ever come out.  The Captain America figures take the best ideas from the Marvel Universe line and make them… awesome.  I have already bought the Winter Soldier and Battlefield Captain America figures (the Battlefield Cap is a repaint of the San Diego Comic Con exclusive, it is a good chance to pick up that figure for a great price).  I have also had the Crossbones figure in my hands and it is one of the coolest comic action figures I have ever seen.  The articulation is almost perfect on these figures (it would be perfect if they would use the G.I. Joe hip joints).  The weapons are perfectly scaled for these figures as well (although some of the accessories are bulky) .  I have seen the pictures for Red Skull and I can’t wait to get this figure as well.

Red Skull movie figure coming out in 2011

This is the exciting time of year for toy collectors.  Checking out the toy aisle is always fun, especially with the new movie figures out (and other new toys as well like Batman Brave and Bold, G.I. Joe and Pirates of the Caribbean).  Kids have a blast checking out the shelves, and the guys (and gals) who are kids at heart have just as much fun.

What is your favourite action figure this summer?  Which is the one you can’t wait to get your hands on?  Join the discussion in the comments below.