Super Saturday: Incredible Shrinking Hammer

Most cartoons and comics seem to go through a period of style evolution in their early days. Below are a series of shots of Thor's hammer, starting with his first appearance in Marvel comics.

Compare that to the current "Thor Lightning Hammer" toy based on the design from the upcoming new movie: (Pages from Journey Into Mystery #83, 94, 95, 103, 109, and Thor #130. Penciler Jack Kirby [except Joe Sinnott #94, 95]. Dates 1962-1966.)


  1. One wonders what good a hammer with a 4 inch grip and a 5 inch head would be.

  2. When I was a kid, my dad made a mallet out of a ~6" piece of 4x4" softwood (beveled along the edges, just like the new plastic version) by hammering a 1" wide flat tang file into it as a handle. We used it for smashing aluminum cans for the recycling. But it was Thor's Hammer for me, whether I was smashing cans or doing more epic stuff in my backyard.

    So that's one use. And of course the problem with making a plastic electronic toy out of something that's meant to hit other objects is that the toy will survive ~45 mins of use. Very clever.

  3. Ooooh, so cool (your dad's makeshift hammer). And so right (about how long the toy will last). As a kid I'd definitely rather have something to actually whack things with.

  4. Mythologically, the handle of Thor's hammer was supposed to be abnormally short (thanks to Loki's interference), which is why Thor needs his iron gloves to handle it safely.

  5. Actually, the hammer itself is not hard plastic, it's foam at the head. The sounds come from the plastic handle IIRC (I used it to bean my son a few times clowning around in the store). It would probably stand up to a pounding from an active 7-year-old.

    Delta, you are right on about that hammer size. I always imagined that thing as somewhat larger than it is nowadays.

    WV: folitabl - prone to folly or foolish actions.

  6. drnuncheon -- That, and there's another interpretation that Mjolnir literally was shrinkable: "... when he wanted, it would be so small that it could be carried inside his tunic." [Prose Edda, per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mjolnir]

    steelcaress -- Hey, interesting that the toy head is made of foam. That's actually a good call. (And I guess somewhat like the Hulk/Thing Hands they've sold in the past.)