#1835: Doc Ock

DOC OCK

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Otto Octavious gears up with 4 mechanical tentacle appendages as the evil genius Doc Ock.”

Okay, I just really feel the need to start this review by pointing out, for the sake of posterity, that every single instance of Otto Octavious’ super-villainous name on the packaging of this figure simply refers to him as “Doc Ock”…which, uh, well, it isn’t actually his name.  It’s the nickname he got from Spider-Man, who I suppose I should be exclusively referring to as “Spidey” henceforth.  Was there some sort of Ock-related re-branding that I haven’t been privy to, where he dropped the proper form of his name.  Or does he just feel that “Doc Ock” better instills fear?  Who knows for sure?  Well, Hasbro, I guess, but they aren’t returning my phone calls.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Doc Ock is the figure 1 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  Okay, that’s kind of a lie; he doesn’t get a number like the other six figures, since he doesn’t actually contribute to the Build-A-Figure.  But, he’s the first figure pictured in the line-up, so I’m giving it to him.  This is Ock’s first proper Legends figure since back during the Toy Biz days (though Otto’s gotten one in the mean time, under the guise of Superior Spider-Man, or “SpOck” as I assume he’d be called now).  That figure was one of TB’s stronger offerings during their tenure, and Hasbro undoubtedly wanted to put off following up on it until they were sure they could properly contend.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  He’s a head-to-toe new sculpt, and I’m doubtful we’re going to see much of this one re-used, unless Hasbro’s planning to do a bunch of Ock variants.  The sculpt is definitely a top-notch effort, rivaling Toy Biz’s attempt from all those years back.  I think I still prefer that old head sculpt, but I otherwise prefer the movement and build of this guy, and it’s not like this one’s got a bad head sculpt at all.  Like the Toy Biz version, the goggles are a separate piece, with a fully detailed set of eyes beneath them, but they remain non-removable.  The tentacles are a sore point for a number of collectors, and I understand why.  The static nature of the actual tentacle sections is definitely frustrating, making the posablity and playablity of the figure somewhat restricted.  I prefer the general design of these to the more organic designs of the Toy Biz figure, but I can’t help but wish for an Ock with a set of classically-inspired and properly-jointed appendages.  Or at least a couple of cut joints…just something to add some extra variety to the poses of them.  As it stands, there are two different configurations of arm, which you can swap around for some slight versatility.  It’s better than nothing, I guess. Ock’s paintwork is fairly straight-forward.  It’s clean, it’s bright, it’s attractive.  It could use a bit more accent work, I suppose, but it definitely works as-is.  Ock includes no additional accessories or Build-A-Figure piece, but given the size of the included appendages, as well as the all-new sculpt, Ock doesn’t feel light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Doc Ock’s Toy Biz figure was one I enjoyed immensely back when I was collecting that line, but when I got out of Legends, because I’m not a *huge* Doc Ock figure, I foolishly parted with him.  I’ve been regretting it since.  So, I was happy to see Hasbro finally step-up to the plate and offer one of their own.  He’s not without those flaws, and I will eternally hope for better appendages down the line, but he’s still a very, very strong take on the character, and I’m happy to have another Spider-rogue on the modern Legends shelf.

I purchased Doc Ock from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying him or other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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#0651: Superior Venom

SUPERIOR VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

SuperiorVenom1

Have you guys seen the movie Inception? Because of today’s review might be slightly like that. A little. The focus of this review is a villain, inside a hero, inside a villain. That’s right, it’s Superior Venom, who’s Doctor Octopus’s mind in Peter Parker’s body, while bonded with the Venom symbiote. Confused? You won’t be after the next episode–er, review on The Figure in Question.*

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SuperiorVenom2Superior Venom is the second figure in the latest round of Spider-Man Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s the requisite symbiote for the series. Just go with it. He’s based on the brief appearance of the Superior Venom from Superior Spider-Man #22-25. It’s short-lived, but it’s a Venom variant, so…yeah. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation. He’s built on Hasbro’s new Spider-Man base body, which is sensible, given that it’s supposed to be the same guy (more or less). In addition to the body, Venom gets a brand-new head sculpt, as well as the hands of Spider-Man 2099, and what appear to be a resized set of Ultimate Green Goblin feet. The head is a pretty good match to Humberto Ramos’s artwork from the issues where the design appeared; it’s sufficiently monstrous while still maintaining the Spider-Man look. The figure also has a backpack style piece, which has four slots for his leg attachments. Each slot is designed to fit a specific leg, which I guess makes placing them a bit easier, but it also means the legs are totally static. Given the odd posing of said legs, the lack of movement is rather frustrating. Superior Venom’s paintwork is pretty decently handled. It’s mostly just white detailing, which stands out nicely against the figure’s black plastic. The deliberately crooked webbing makes for a much better detailing than Superior Spider-Man, which is a nice change. He also has the red web shooters on his wrists, which were missing from Superior Spider-Man. The figure is packed with the right arm of Rhino, this series’ Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, so here’s another Venom, and it’s not the classic Eddie Brock version that pretty much everyone wanted. But, it’s okay, because Hasbro showed that one at ComiCon. No worries. I’m not gonna lie, I pretty much only got this guy because I was buying a whole set. Superior Venom isn’t a look I really needed. That said, he’s a surprisingly enjoyable figure. Sure, the tendril/legs don’t move, which is a definite bummer, but the figure is actually a lot of fun, and he fixes a few of the issues present with the Superior Spider-Man figure.  Damn you Hasbro, making me like figures I had no interest in! You’re killing me!

*that’s right, I made a Soap reference. Everyone knows that action figures and Soap go together like…two things that go together.

SuperiorVenom3

#0353: Deadliest Foes of Spider-Man Minimates

CARNAGE, DOCTOR OCTOPUS, LIZARD & SANDMAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

DeadliestFoes1

One of the greatest rogues galleries in comics is the Spider-Man rogues gallery. When you take into account that his main competition for that spot is Batman, a character that has been around for an extra 20 years, it’s a pretty impressive feat. With Minimates, getting Spider-Man’s rogues proved a bit tricky. Thanks to the multi-pack format, each spider-villain was bound to be packed with yet another variant of Spidey. However, Diamond has been getting more inventive with their sets, and just recently, they finally offered a set of Spider-Man villains with no Spider-Man included. Okay, it’s all figures with previous figures, but it’s the gesture that matters!

THE FIGURES TEMSELVES

This set was released in the title “Deadliest Foes of Spider-Man.” It was originally meant to be one of two exclusive sets carried by Action Figure Xpress, but they had to back out, leaving the sets in limbo. Minimate retailer Luke’s Toy Store stepped up and picked up this set as an exclusive to their store.

TENDRIL ATTACK CARNAGE

DeadliestFoes2Carnage is the most recent character in this set, though he’s still over 20 years old, so I guess he’s still a “classic.” Generally, he’s not as well-known as Venom, the other Symbiote villain, but Venom has gotten his fair share of Minimates recently. The original Carnage Minimate from way back in Series 2 is generally considered to be one of the best of the early Minimates, so he’s definitely a tough act to follow. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. Carnage has only ever had one basic look, so the figure unsurprisingly makes use of that look. He makes use of the basic Minimate body, with non-standard upper arms, a tendril add-on piece for the neck, a tendril hand, and an axe hand. The upper arms and neck piece were both previously seen on the “Venom: Through the Ages” Ann Weying. Since that figure was released, there’s been a campaign for those pieces to be used for Carnage, so it’s good to see that finally pan out. The hands are both brand-new, and they work pretty great for the character. I do kinda wish the tendril wasn’t quite as straight, but that’s a minor complaint. The big focus for Carnage is his paint. This was the strongest area of the very first Carnage, and I’m happy to say this one has surpassed him. The paint work on this figure is truly outstanding. Virtually every surface of the figure is covered in detail, which is not something you usually see on Minimates. Carnage includes an alternate Cletus Cassiday head (which re-uses the hair from Ghostbusters’ Janoz), an additional tendril hand, two claw hands, and a clear display stand.

ARM ATTACK DOCTOR OCTOPUS

DeadliestFoes3Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, is probably the best known of the villains in this set. He’s also kinda dead right now, but his stint as the Superior Spider-Man just ended, so he’s still on everyone’s mind. The last proper Doc Ock Minimate was in the “Friends and Foes of Spider-Man” set from a few years ago. However, that set was riddled with horrible quality control, so Ock was in dire need of an update. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 18 points of articulation, courtesy of the extra arms. The figure is based on Ock’s classic green and yellow spandex look he sported throughout the 70s and 80s, which is the same look seen on both of his previous Minimates. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with additional pieces for his hair, torso, and his mechanical arms. These are all new pieces, and they are all really great for the character. The paint on Doc Ock is pretty good, though it could be a little better. The actual detail work is really great. Ock’s face is spot on for the character, and all the colors and such look just right. Unfortunately, the application of the yellow paint is rather sloppy, which is fairly distracting. It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it is a little annoying. Doc Ock includes a spare set of lower arms which allow him to stand on them, and two display stands to facilitate this.

TRANSFORMING LIZARD

DeadliestFoes4Curt Connors, aka The Lizard, is probably one of Spider-Man’s more tragic foes. He only becomes The Lizard due to his desire to grow back his missing right arm, and The Lizard is a personality entirely separate from his own. Curt Connors was a minor character in two of the Sam Rami Spider-Man movies, and The Lizard served as the primary antagonist in the first Amazing Spider-Man, so the character is certainly well enough known. He’s had one comic Minimate before, back in Series 37. That one was based on his design from his earlier appearances, whereas this one is meant to be based on his appearances in the 80s and 90s. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall, and in his default set up, he has 12 points of articulation. The Lizard is built on the same Minimate base as the other two, but he features a different set of lower legs, as well as clawed hands, a lab coat, and a slip-over lizard head. The lower legs originally saw release on the Movie Lizard in Series 46, and the coat was originally used on the Series 37 Lizard. Near as I can tell, the head and hands are new. The reused pieces are sensible, though I’m not 100% sold on the lower legs. They seem a little off. The head is better than I thought it would be. Prototype pictures made it look far too large, but in person it looks about right. The paint work on the Lizard is pretty good overall. He doesn’t have any real issues with slop, but it would be nice if there was a little bit more detail on the head, especially on the teeth. The Lizard has the best accessories assortment in the set; he includes a hair piece (re-used from the “Captain America: Through the Ages” Armored Cap), a lab coat and an alternate half arm (both from the Amazing Spider-Man Doctor Connors), an extra hand, and spare legs, allowing him to be converted into a comic-styled Curt Connors. The parts are excellently chosen, and fully assembled he’s a spot-on Connors figure!

SHAPE-SHIFTER SANDMAN

DeadliestFoes5Sandman is an early Spider-Man villain, but he’s had a more varied history than most. After fighting Spider-Man a few times, he joined up with the Fantastic Four villains The Frightful Four for a little while and then he even joined the Avengers, before once again returning to Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Most notably, he was one of the villains in Spider-Man 3, which contributes a lot to his notoriety amongst the more casual fans. Sandman is no stranger to Minimates; he’s had two previous comic-styled Minimates and two Minimates based on his film appearance. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and features either 14 or 4 points of articulation, depending on how you set him up. He’s overall based on the character’s classic design, though I’m not 100% sure when he had the short sleeves. Right out of the box, the figure only makes use of the standard Minimate head and torso, with non-standard arms, and a sand base in place of his legs, as well as a sculpted hairpiece. The arms and sand base both were previously seen on the Series 18 Sandman, and the hair was first used on the Thunderbolts set’s Norman Osborn. The sand pieces work great, but I’m not sold on the hair. I didn’t particularly care for it on Norman, and I think it’s even less fitting on Sandman. It’s just too bulky to look right, especially in the back. The paint on Sandman is really great. All the base work is nice and clean, and the details are all really sharp. The face has just the right look for Sandman, which is great. Sandman includes spare arms and a regular lower half, allowing for him to be displayed as Flint Marko, as well as a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like yesterday’s “Days of Future Past” set, I picked this set up from Luke’s Toy Store. Not that it should be a shock, what with it being a LTS exclusive and all. I’ve been pretty excited for this set pretty much since day one. It’s a really great set, and it fulfills several needed figures. Lizard is definitely my favorite, with Carnage not far behind. Were the QC on Ock a little better, I’d probably like him more, but as is, he’s a good update to an essential character. Sandman is the weakest in the set, mostly due to him being the only one with no new pieces and his look being a little off. Still, he’s not a bad figure, so I can’t complain. All in all, this is one of the best sets of Minimates put out this year, and that’s really saying something. So, if you’re a Spider-Man fan or a Minimate fan, or just a fan of good toys, head on over to Luke’s Toy Store and pick this set up. It’s worth it!

(Holy crap, that was a long review.  I guess I had a lot to say…)