Updated: Apr 1, 2020
The Grandmaster, as seen in Thor Ragnarok, was released in 2019 in a two pack box set alongside Korg. The set was part of the 80th Anniversary of Marvel release schedule, and sat alongside other MCU box sets and comic book based releases. A tweaked Grandmaster figure was released as a San Diego Comic Con 2019 exclusive in a set with a brand new figure of The Collector.
Checkout my review for the Korg figure from the same set
The packaging for the set continues to use the simple window box design from the 2018 First Ten Years" MCU sets, rather than the scalloped side boxes used in the main Marvel Legends line for both single and multi packs.
The window displays both figures, with a red border running round it. The border expands under each figure to give the character name, and the movie logo for Ragnarok sits between the two at the bottom of the window. The Legends logo sits on the top rail. Interestingly there is no reference to the 80th Anniversary on the packaging.
Like the standard releases, the side panels contain images of each character - Grandmaster on the left and Korg on the right. On the back of the box we have a head shot of each character either side of an image of the Thor Ragnarok movie poster. Under each portrait is a longer than usual bio for the character
"The ancient and tyrannical ruler of Sakaar enjoys gaming, gambling and manipulation. He runs the Contest of Champions, pitting warriors from across the galaxy against each other in a fight to the death"
Once the pack is opened via either of the side panels, the figures slide out in the usual inner plastic tray with the cardboard backdrop behind them. The backdrop is not as intricate as the faded storyboard used with the First Ten Years releases, but is more colourful and vibrant with the exploding red design.
Paint & Sculpt 5/5
The head sculpt for the Grandmaster is exceptional and a very good likeness to Jeff Goldblum. The face print technology adds the realism around the piercing green eyes and the shading of the nose and mouth. The small line of blue we see in the film is painted own the lower lip and down through the chin.
The hair seems to be a separate piece, and that means there is a small gap around the hairline. This may be a cost saving piece to allow the same sculpted hair to be used on both Grandmaster head sculpts (see SDCC 2019 exclusive for the other version). The hair is painted in a dark grey with lighter grey painted through it for texture and variation.
The costume is also very well executed, with an under suit of blue shirt and red panels, trousers in brown sheen and gold sandals. Over all this is a golden robe, cast as a separate piece with texture sculpted in, that runs from a high collar around the neck area, down to a gathering on the floor behind him. The robes are cast in the golden base plastic, but have painted red trim and the inner robes re painted a bright blue. All of this is neat and without obvious flaws.
The robe is an individual piece and could be removed if you wish - it is held in with a plug at the front around the red tied sash, once un-popped it can be removed with the full body sculpted and painted underneath - it will leave the left arm looking odd as this is sculpted as part of the robes.
The body is essentially cast in the base colours, with paint added for the red trim - this is applied neatly with no concerns. The sandals are also well painted and the nails of the feet, and hands are painted with a blue nail varnish. The right hand even has a tiny sculpted ring on the little finger, and above this the right wrist gets a golden bracer, this is also full of texture and well painted.
The Collector stands at just over 6.5 inches high, and is well proportioned to Korg who comes in a good two heads higher than The Collector.
The Collector comes with his melt-stick as an accessory. This is cast in a gold plastic with some stress lines visible in the central piece. The top globe is painted a slightly darker bronze colour.
It does arrive slightly warped, but is a soft enough plastic so it can be addressed with some hot/cold treatment if you wish. It fits in the Collectors right hand - a fit that is quite tight for a Legends figure and requires some teasing back of the fingers. There are also two handed poses available with the left hand used as support.
It is a shame that the blue puddle (cousin Carlo) included with the SDCC version of The Grandmaster wasn't included here.
The Grandmaster has a slightly odd articulation count, of 17 points, due to two different sets of joints on each arm. The right arm gets full articulation with double joint elbows and a bicep swivel, while the left arm has a single joint rotating elbow.
Head : ball joint neck with pivot
Body : torso ball joint
Left Arm : ball joint shoulder, single joint rotating elbow, wrist pivot
Right Arm : ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, double joint elbow, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker
The arms are essentially all that can be moved effectively on The Collector with the robes putting pay to much movement for the legs or the torso. The head can rotate within the confines on the collar, and the pivot does allow some emotive head tilts.
The figure stands perfectly, with the robes giving additional stability to the legs.
The Grandmaster is a stunning figure, with another knockout head sculpt and likeness. The robes are sculpted with great detail and the outfit faithfully recreated - even down to the ring and painted nails.
Articulation is a little restricted, with two different arm joint sets used and the legs being trapped behind the robes. However, he can wield the Melt Stick with both hands and the hands and head can be used to add character and gestures to our pose. The only real downside is the lack of the blue goo (Cousin Carlo) which remained exclusive to the SDCC set.
I score The Grandmaster a very impressive 4 out of 5.
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, marvel, legends, mcu, thor, ragnarok, the collector, the grandmaster, sakaar, contest of champions, hasbro, 80th anniversary, jeff goldblum