#1978: Thanos, Iron Man Mark L, & Doctor Strange



Despite being the central piece of the Tenth Anniversary celebration for Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War was initially absent from the dedicated line of MCU figures from Hasbro, due largely to the initial MCU line figures hitting at the same time as the initial Infinity War offerings.  It wasn’t completely left out though, coming in right at the end with a boxed set based on the film.  So, what thrilling new, untouched characters did we get?  Well, none, actually.  New looks?  Again, no.  So what’s the point?  I’ll get to that.


The Infinity War set is item 10 in the Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years sub-line of Marvel Legends, and contains Thanos, Iron Man, and Doctor Strange, meaning it’s a set entirely based on the battle on Titan.  All three figures in the set are slight reworkings of prior figures.


As the central character of Infinity War, Thanos’ presence in this set is rather sensible, I suppose, though it is perhaps a little undercutting to the people that went to the trouble of actually building the Build-A-Figure.  This figure is a reworking of that one, reviewed here. As I noted the first time I reviewed it, it’s an okay sculpt overall, but not without its issues.  Fortunately for this figure, a couple of those problems have been addressed.  The figure comes pre-assembled, so the issues of falling apart don’t occur.  Additionally, his kind of gassy looking expression has been replaced with two different heads.  The first has a simple grimace, while the second has an angry teeth-baring expression.  Both are much better suited to Thanos than the one included to the BaF, and look like pitch-perfect recreation of his look from the movie.  Additionally, his gauntlet hand is a new piece; rather than the fist of the prior release, this Thanos’ hand is in an open gesture, which feels like a more classic Gauntlet pose.  I actually like this a lot more than I’d expected to, and it adds a lot to the figure’s posing options.  Lastly, the paint on Thanos has been changed, to better match the film.  The skin in particular is a lot nicer looking, being lighter, more lively, and flatter in its finish.  The rest of the paint is a bit brighter, slightly more contrasting, and just generally more exciting to look at.


As cool as Iron Man’s armor was in Infinity War, none of the figures really captured the full extent of said coolness, his Legends release included.  This one doesn’t really fix that, but let’s see what it does.  He’s a re-working of the Thanos Series Iron Man, which is the same suit, so I guess it makes sense.  I actually liked that one a lot, despite it not being completely film accurate.  This one swaps out the torso for a new one, which loses the mid-torso joint, but in exchange gains a light-up feature on his arc reactor.  It’s gimmicky and somewhat restricting, but it’s still pretty fun.  This Iron Man includes the same accessories as his predecessor, extra hands and blast effect pieces.  No cool nano creations or anything, which is sad, but not a huge surprise.


Despite his decently sized role in the film, Doctor Strange was actually not featured in the Legends line-up for Infinity War.  As such, this figure goes back to Strange’s figure from his solo outing, reviewed here. This figure’s actually pretty substantially changed compared to the other two figures in the set, since the initial figure was based on early designs, rather than his final film look.  This one amends that, with a new head, cape, and right forearm.  The head sports a much better likeness of Cumberbatch, especially his disheveled self from the movies.  The new cape also captures the proper shaping of the movie much better, plus it actually pegs into his back this time, so it doesn’t shift all over the place like the original.  The new forearm has the Time Stone effect sculpted on it.  It’s a little warped on mine, but still looks pretty cool.  It’s not removable, and there’s no standard forearm to replace it, so you have no choice but to have him using it.  That’s really the only flaw against this figure.  Strange’s paintwork is also a bit different from the last release.  The most major change is the printed face, which certainly looks more lifelike.  He also changes up the overall color scheme of his costume, following Thanos’ lead by making the overall design brighter and more contrasting.  Doctor Strange is packed with a spare left hand, as well as another magic effects piece, which looks a little odd in conjunction to the Time Stone effect.


When this set was unveiled, I will admit, I was quite underwhelmed, since I had the original releases of all three figures and all.  It didn’t really matter, though, since it never really showed up around me.  Or so I thought.  The set showed up at Super Awesome Fiancee’s store, and was actually there long enough to get decently clearanced. Being the ever-supporting Fiancee that she is, she of course bought it for me.  I knew going in the Strange was going to be my favorite, and that proved true.  I didn’t anticipate how much I was going to like the Thanos figure, who is just across the board an improvement to the BaF.  And, while Iron Man may not blow his predecessor away like the other two, I actually like the light-up feature a fair bit, so I’m happy enough to have him.

#1246: Strong Zealot & Astral Form Doctor Strange



Okay, one more day of the Doctor Strange Minimates.  Well, unless I track down the two specialty exclusive sets.  Which I probably will, because that’s the sort of person I am.  Anyway, today we get another version of the film’s title character, who this time around is facing off against one of Kaecilius’s Zealot followers.  Specifically the strong one.  It says so on the box!


The Strong Zealot and Astral Form Doctor Strange were the Toys R Us-exclusive set for the Doctor Strange assortment of Marvel Minimates.  It’s actually a pretty solid pairing, since the Strange fights this particular Zealot while in Astral Form.


Okay, so the box just calls him “Strong Zealot,” but this guy was actually named Lucian (not that it’s ever said in the movie), and he was played by stunt man Scott Adkins.  This is actually the second time Adkins has gotten a Minimate; he portrayed Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  Hey, it’s not his fault!  Anyway, this particular Zealot was actually fairly important, so it’s cool that he got his own specific ‘mate.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He has two add-on pieces for his hair and skirt piece. The hair s re-used from BSG’s Anders.  It’s not a perfect match for Lucian’s hair, but it’s close enough that it doesn’t look too off.  The skirt looks to be a new piece, and it’s about on par with the rest of the pieces from this particular assortment.  Actually, the details might even be a little sharper on this particular piece, which is always a good thing.  The paint on the Zealot is generally pretty top-notch.  He’s got all of the various shades of purple down pretty well, and there’s plenty of detail work therein.  He’s got the funky eyes to match Kaecilius’ alternate head, and it looks just as cool here as it did there, with the added bonus of being on a slightly better ‘mate.  Lucian’s only extra is a clear display stand.  While something else might have been nice, I can’t really think of anything else you could give him.  Maybe a head without the eye stuff?


Astral Form Strange figures are pretty standard, since they mean you can get an easy re-use out of the already existing Strange molds.  That being said, this is actually the first time the look has shown up in ‘mate form, so it’s noteworthy in that respect.  Anyway, this figure uses all the same pieces as the regular Doctor Strange from this same series.  They were good there, and they remain good here.  He keeps the cloak of levitation, despite its absence during his main Astral Projection scene, but I’m hardly going to complain about getting an extra piece here.  The main difference here is the coloring; this figure is molded in a translucent pale yellow, which works well enough.  He still retained his overall coloring in the movie, with just a slight tint, but that’s a bit harder to do in plastic, so this is the look that most figure versions have been going with.  The actual details are lifted directly from the normal Strange figure as well.  While a different expression or something might have been nice, this is perfectly acceptable.  Like his pack-mate, Strange’s only extra is the display stand, which is a little frustrating on a figure that’s all parts re-use.  A flight stand or something would have been nice.


Like the last two sets, this pair was a Valentine’s Day gift from Super Awesome Girlfriend.  This set is definitely less essential than the last two, but I find myself really liking it.  Lucian’s a cool minor character, and we finally get Strange in one of his more important looks (and you can probably pass this off as comic version if you really want to).  All in all, this is a pretty fun set.

#1245: Mordo & Kaecilius



When Doctor Strange was still in production and most of what we had was cast list, there was a lot of confusion about who exactly would be the film’s antagonist.  Mordo, one of Strange’s usual foes, had been cast, but Marvel was reporting he would be on the side of good this time.  Mads Mickelson had been cast, but as who?  Everything seemed to point to either Dormamu or Nightmare, since those are really the only two other foes anyone’s ever heard of.  So, it was a bit of a surprise when Mickelson was revealed to be playing Kaecilius, a rather minor character from the comics.  Ultimately, while he’s certainly a driving force in the film, Kaecilius takes the back seat to….pretty much every one else in the film.  He didn’t get picked up for either the Marvel Legends or Marvel Select tie-ins for the film, but fortunately Minimates can offer a more rounded cast, so he did show up there, alongside Mordo.


Mordo and Kaecilius are the second of the two sets shared between Series 70 of Marvel Minimates and the TRU-exclusive tie-in series for the movie.  They’re easily the oddest pairing in the assortment.  They are in some scenes together, but I don’t believe these two ever directly interact in the film.  I guess they’re a case of pairing the spares in the assortment.


Mordo was definitely my favorite part of the movie, and clearly had a decent following, so it’s my guess that he’s meant to be this particular set’s hook.  The figure is built on the usual ‘mate body, and so he has all the standard articulation and is about 2 1/4 inches in height. He uses add-ons for his hair and skirt.  The hair is a re-use of TWD’s Battle-Damaged Tyrese, and it’s a pretty good fit for Mordo’s on-screen appearance.  The skirt is a new piece, ad it matches up pretty well with the design from he movie, as well as fitting in stylistically with the sculpted pieces from Strange.  I do wish it sat a little more flush with the upper torso, but that’s a minor complaint.  The paint work on Mordo is quite expertly handled.  The base color work is all pretty good; he doesn’t seem to have been brightened up like the others, but that’s okay for him.  The details are really top notch.  He’s got the appropriate scars on his face, and the slightest bit of stubble.  I don’t know that he’s the spitting image of Ejiofor, but he’s close enough that you can more or less make out who he’s supposed to be.  The most impressive paint work is definitely not he torso, which has a ton of really ornate work, on both the front and the back no less.  Mordo’s only accessory is a clear display stand.  It’s too bad he didn’t also get his staff.  The inaccuracy of the one included with the Hasbro figure and the total omission here leads me to believe it wasn’t included in the material sent to licensors.


Here he is!  The bland guy himself!  Okay, that’s not really fair.  Kaecilius was perfectly entertaining, and Mads Mickelson turned in a pretty great performance in the role.  But he really was rather secondary, wasn’t he?  Anyway, like Mordo, he’s build on the standard body.  He uses  add-ons for his hair and skirt.  Both pieces are new to this figure, and do a reasonable job of capturing Kaecilius’s look from the movie.  The skirt is a little on the soft side, but not horribly so.  The paint work on Kaecilius is okay, but probably the weakest in the series.  There’s a fair bit of slop on the base color work, which is rather frustrating.  The worst of it seems to be on the skirt, which doesn’t help the already present issues with the softness of the sculpt.  The detail lines are all pretty clean, and they sum up his look pretty well, but they feel a bit simplistic when compared to the really fine level of details seen on Mordo and Strange.  The basic head presents a decent enough likeness of Mickelson, but is rather bland.  There’s an alternate “powered” head, which helps to make him a little more exciting.  The details around the eyes are nice and sharp, and do a nice job of capturing the cracked skin as it looks on screen.  In addition to the extra head, he’s also got the standard display stand.


Like yesterday’s set, these two were a Valentine’s Day present from Super Awesome Girlfriend.  While Mordo’s probably my favorite ‘mate in the series, Kaecilius is definitely the weakest figure included.  He’s just rather bland, and lacks the really solid execution like we saw on the Ancient One.  Still, it’s not a bad set, and accents yesterday’s pair quite well!

#1244: Doctor Strange & Ancient One



Not gonna lie, I’ve kind of fallen behind with Minimates.  I used to pick them up as soon as they were released, but now I sort of grab them as I remember and have the available funds.  One set I totally missed when it hit was the tie-in stuff for Doctor Strange, which I’m finally getting around to picking up now.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at the title character and his mentor, the Ancient One!


Strange and the Ancient One were one of the cross-over sets for the Doctor Strange ‘mates, and as such were shared between the TRU-Doctor Strange assortment and Series 70 of the main line of Marvel Minimates.  Both figures are based on their looks from the Doctor Strange movie.


First up is the movie’s main character, Doctor Stephen Strange!  Stephen had a number of looks over the course of the movie, most of which found their way into ‘mate form, but this one is based on his primary look.  The figure is built on the standard ‘mate body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  The legs are rather restricted by the skirt piece, but his movement is otherwise pretty good.  Strange uses add-on pieces for his hair, cape, and skirt piece, all of which are new to this figure.  The pieces are quite nicely rendered; they preserve all the important details, while still keeping it simple enough that the ‘mate aesthetic is preserved.  The rest of the work is handled via paint, which is also quite nicely handled.  It does seem they’ve brightened his color palette ever so slightly, but I can’t say that really bugs me.  Apart from that, there’s a lot of really sharp detail work.  Most of it’s on the face and torso, but there’s also fully detailed boots on the legs, and they’ve even included his scars on the backs of his hands.  The hand thing in particular really impressed me, since that’s the sort of thing that is easy to miss, but very key to the character.  Strange is packed with a pair of extra hands with magic effects attached, which make for some very fun posing opportunities, as well as the standard clear display stand.


The Ancient One is another in the long line of expendable mentors in superhero origin stories (okay, it’s not just superhero origins, as one Obi Wan Kenobi will attest).  It’s a role that can sort of be on the shallow side, but I felt Doctor Strange’s portrayal of the Ancient One made for a pretty intriguing character, and one I’m quite happy to have a figure of.  Like Strange, she’s built on the standard ‘mate body.  She has the poofy upper arm pieces (first introduced on Series 29’s 90s Storm) to denote her robes, as well as a long skirt add-on and a hood (borrowed from Spider-Gwen).  The pieces aren’t exactly a perfect recreation of the Ancient One’s garb from the movie, but it’s pretty clear that one figure in this series really needed to just be parts re-use and the Ancient One was close enough to work.  And, in that respect, she’s perfectly fine.  Obviously for her, the pain carries a lot more of the weight.  Fortunately, it’s quite nicely done.  The robes are very cleanly defended and I really dig the bright colors.  The patterns on the front are also very nicely rendered, and keep her from being too drab.  The face looks enough like Tilda Swinton on the role that you can figure out who it’s supposed to be, which is good.  My one major complaint is that they left off the scar she had on the back of her head.  It’s pretty prominently seen at several points in the movie, and the fact that they remembered to include Strange’s hand scars makes its absence rather notable.  The Ancient One includes an extra pulled-down hood piece and the usual display stand.


Not being in the same state as my comic book store means that I don’t spot new Minimates when they hit, and that was the case with this whole series.  I kept meaning to order it online, but just never remembered.  On Valentine’s Day, Super Awesome Girlfriend and I were out and about, and we saw the the whole set at Toys R Us.  Since she hadn’t yet gotten me anything (in her defense, we said no gifts and then I went back on it), she picked them all up for me.  This set’s probably the strongest in the series, due to the prominence of the characters included and the general construction of both figures.  If you liked the movie, this is definitely a good set to grab.

#1116: Doctor Strange




In my Mordo review, I noted that Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance was one of my favorite parts of Doctor Strange.  While a movie’s supporting cast is certainly important (and Doctor Strange probably had one of the MCU’s best supporting casts so far), you’ve got to have a good lead to make it truly work.  Fortunately, Doctor Strange had a very strong lead in Benedict Cumberbatch, who got just the right mixture of bombast, pomposity, arrogance, and a tiny bit of genuine likability, which made Stephen Strange a great centerpiece for his self-titled movie.  I know some people were hating on his American accent, but I actually didn’t think it was that bad. For some reason, the trailer’s opted to use the one or two lines where he slips up, which seems unfortunate.  Regardless, I look forward to seeing more from Cumberbatch’s Strange in future films.  In the mean time, here’s one of his action figures!


drstrangemcu2Doctor Strange is the fifth figure in the Dormammu Series of Marvel Legends.  It seems a bit odd for him to be nearer the end in the numbering, especially since the Astral variant of this figure (which he shares his packaging, name, and bio with) is figure 1 and the comic-Strange is 2.  Seems weird to me.  Also, for a character who’s still being introduced to the masses, his bio is the painfully short, painfully generic “The Sorcerer Supreme combats evil using many forms.”  Like, his actual name isn’t even mentioned.  What’s up with that?  Honestly, I’m probably making a bigger deal out of all of this than I should.  It’s just packaging.  What about the figure?  Well, he’s 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  He’s an all-new sculpt, albeit one that is mostly shared with the Astral Doctor Strange.  It’s a very nice sculpt, definitely among the best of the MCU sculpts Hasbro’s put out.  There’s a lot of really nice layer work on his various costume pieces, as well as some really cool texturing, especially on the tunic.  The head sculpt presents a pretty good likeness of Cumberbatch, though he’s a lot cleaner looking here than he is for most of the drstrangemcu5movie (by the time he’s fully geared up, he’s taken a bit of a beating).  At the very least, I feel like his hair should be a bit messier.  That being said, disheveled isn’t the easiest thing to translate into sculpted media.  Both the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamoto are both removable pieces.  The Cloak is nicely sculpted, but seems just a bit on the thick side for me.  It doesn’t ruin the figure, but it does make posing him a little more difficult.  The Eye is a nice enough piece, but it’s hard to get it to stay in place, though the Cloak being on top of it helps in this regard.  Strange’s paintwork is pretty solid.  It’s certainly clean, though, as with the head sculpt, it’s a bit cleaner than he was in the movie.  Also, like Mordo, Strange still lacks any sort of accent work, but, unlike Mordo, he’s got enough distinct colors present that he’s not too drab looking.  Strange includes two sets of hands in gripping and spell-casting poses, as well as a magic shield thingy, and the left leg of Dormammu.  The hands are fun (and I’m always appreciative of extra hands).  The shield looks cool from the front, but is a bit silly from behind, since he’s just holding it with a dinky little handle.


I found Strange at the same time as Enchantress (after not finding him when I got Mordo and Iron Fist).  I wanted him, but wasn’t 100% sure I was going to get him right then.  Of course, then Super Awesome Girlfriend intervened and insisted on buying him for me (to be fair, the TRU trip where I found him was at the end of a rathe rough week for both of us, and she apparently feels better when she buys people stuff).  I’d say he were my favorite figure in the series, were it not for the other there figures I have from this series being really, really good too.  I don’t know that I can fairly pick a favorite.

And that’s it for the Dormammu Series reviews.  It’s worth noting that there are four more figures and a Build-A-Figure, but they’re largely very similar to prior items I’ve already looked at, with Astral Strange being mostly the same as this one (with the obvious change in coloring), Comic Strange being pretty much the same as the HB Doctor Strange (just with an added cape), Brother Voodoo being a slightly tweaked version of the SDCC version, and BAF Dormammu being largely the same as the Dormammu from that same set.  The only unique figure I haven’t looked at is Nico, who is actually in Super Awesome Girlfriend’s collection, so it’s up to her to review that one.


#1113: Karl Mordo




Last week, Marvel Studios’ latest film Dr, Strange hit theaters. Like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man before it, it was viewed as a slightly risky move for Marvel, since it would be rather different than prior films in style and “Dr. Strange” isn’t exactly a household name.  Also like Guardians and Ant-Man, the gamble seems to have paid off.  I saw Dr. Strange Thursday night and very much enjoyed it, from start to finish.  One of the standout parts of the film for me was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s turn as longtime Dr Strange foe Baron Mordo.  I’ve like Ejiofor since I saw him in Serenity (okay,fine, since I saw him in Love Actually.  Richard Curtis is my dude).  The guy is good at taking antagonistic roles and making them very likeable, and there’s a lot of that going on with his portrayal of Karl Mordo.   


karlmordo2Mordo was lucky enough to be one of the three movie-based figures in the recent Dormammu Series of Marvel Legends (in fact, he’s the only non-Strange figure in the three).  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. In the comics, Mordo just sports a green bodysuit and a cape (he’s also bearded white guy who’s nothing more than a two-dimensional card-carrying villain, but that’s another matter).  His movie design mixes things up a bit, presumably to make him not only fit in a bit better with the rest of the movie’s designs, but also to make him a little more visually interesting.  The design is still definitely in keeping with Mordo’s comics look, and the comic incarnation certainly wouldn’t look out of place wearing something like this.  For the figure, he’s lacking his larger over cloak, which sort of replaces the cape stylistically.  Though it’s cool in the movie, it’s also only really present for a few short scenes, so Hasbro’s decision to go with this look (which goes with their MCU Dr. Strange, being the look Mordo has during the film’s climax) is certainly sensible.  The figure gets an all-new sculpt, which does a fairly decent job capturing Mordo’s onscreen design.  The details on his robes could maybe be a little sharper, but they aren’t bad at all.  I did notice one small inaccuracy on the belt: the small brown leather belt should really be the outermost belt, but on the figure, the it’s under his sash.  It’s entirely possible it was originally assembled as on the figure and Ejiofor just wore it slightly differently when actually filming.  The figure’s head sculpt presents a passable Ejiofor likeness.  It’s not spot on; certain angles are better than others.  It has some very nice detail work regardless.  The one thing that really jumped out at me was the lack of Ejiofor’s trademark scars on his forehead.  They were particularly noticeable in his performance as Mordo (to me, anyway), so their omission is just a slight letdown.  Mordo’s paintwork is pretty good for a Hasbro figure.  The colors match up pretty well with his on-screen counterpart, though he could really stand to have a few more variances of green on the robes.  They look a little bland as is.  This is a figure that would be greatly aided by adding just a little bit of accent work, just to make him pop a little more.  Mordo is packed with what I’m assuming is supposed to be the staff of the Living Tribunal, which is the relic that chose Mordo and is his primary weapon for the film.  That being said, the included piece really doesn’t look like the staff from the film at all.  It’s far too long and lacks the notches and other details seen on Mordo’s staff, as well as the strap Mordo uses to carry it on his back.  Like the issue with the belt, it’s possible Mordo was set to use a different prop initially and this changed during filming, but it’s still a little annoying.  Mordo is also included the right leg of Dormammu, as well as new versions of the flaming skulls included with the SDCC Dormammu, but this time in green and blue, which looks really cool!


As I noted in the opening, I’ve been a fan of Ejiofor’s work for a little while, so I was very excited to hear he would be in Dr. Strange, and intrigued by the new take on Mordo that the film was presenting.  He was easily the figure I was most anticipating from this particular set.  I ended up finding him at a nearby Walmart (like a day before the Hurricane hit, actually).  I loved the character in the movie, and while the figure isn’t perfect, he’s still a very good representation of the guy.

*Want a Mordo figure of your own?  He’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check him out!


#0733: Doctor Strange – Marvel Heroes




One does not simply review one or two Marvel Legends figures. Oh, no no. If you’re gonna review Legends, you gotta go all in, do a whole series. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. Hey, so, Marvel Legends. Yaaaaay. Today, I’ll be looking at an up and coming player (for the MCU anyway) Doctor Stephen Strange (yes, that’s his real name), the Sorcerer Supreme!


DrStrange2Doctor Strange is another figure from the recent Hulkbuster series of Avenger Marvel Legends Infinite Series figures. He is officially named “Marvel Heroes,” which he share with series-mate Vision. Still feel it’s a bit generic, but whatever. He is presented here in the look he received not too long before Marvel Now!, which was his primary look until the month this figure was released. Well, they tried to be topical, I guess. Honestly, it had a decent enough run in the comics that it feels worthy of a figure, so I can’t complain. The figure stands about 6 ¼ inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Sculpturally, he is head-to-toe identical to the Astral Projection Doctor Strange from this year’s SDCC set. That seems sensible, since he’s the same guy and all. I liked the sculpt a lot there, and I continue to like it here. Rather than being molded in clear plastic, the good doctor is now showcased in full color. He’s…well, he’s alright. The paint is actually pretty clean for a Hasbro figure, so that’s good. The red and black looks pretty sharp as a color scheme, even if I do miss the classic blue look a bit. The only real trouble with the paint is the head, which isn’t bad, just kind of…meh. The eyes are definitely the worst part of it; they look just a bit off. If they were better, I think the figure as a whole would be better. Doctor Strange is packed with a pair of the same spell-casting pieces we saw with both Scarlet Witch and his Astral form, but in a nice, muted green this time. They still remain very cool pieces, though they are a little difficult to get seated properly on his wrists. He also includes the left leg of the Hulkbuster, which continues the trend amongst Hulkbuster pieces of being freaking ginormous.


Doctor Strange is one of the four figures from this series I was able to grab at Walgreens. I’d actually been looking forward to him a little bit, since the Toy Biz version was always one of my favorite Legends figures. That being said, in-hand he was a little bit of a let-down. I think that’s largely due to having already seen the sculpt on the Astral version, which was aided by not having to rely on the Hasbro paint apps. Compared to that figure, this guy just feels like the inferior figure. Which is a shame, because I think he’s actually pretty well done, just not quite as well done as the last figure.


#0666: Book of The Vishanti Boxed Set




Oh no! It’s review number 666! Number of the beast! Sign of the Devil! Other superstitious things as well! I really don’t know. In honor of the reviews number, I thought I might take a look at something a little more supernaturally-based today. Yes, I’m well aware it’s still a Marvel Legends review. That shouldn’t shock anyone at this point. It’s also a review of quite a few figures, so I’d best dive into the actual review part!


BOTVPack1BOTVPack6These five figures (along with a life size version of the Amulet of Agamotto) make up Hasbro’s San Diego Comicon exclusive Book of the Vishanti boxed set, released this year at SDCC 2015. The set was also made available on Hasbro’s website following the con, which is how I got mine. More on that later. The set is packaged in a mock-up of the titular book, which features a few sample pages that give some backstory on the included figures. Sadly, the packaging doesn’t photograph very well, but you can sort of make out some of its details pretty well.



BOTV2Hey look! It’s Benedict Cumberbatch! Wait, sorry, not quite yet. He’s still just a relatively unknown comic book character. Ah well. Dr. Strange is presented here in his “Astral Projection” state, which is what he looks like when his mind leaves his body…and stuff. It’s kind of a standard variant for the character, though this is the first time the look has appeared in the Legends scale. The figure is just over 6 inches tall and he features 32 points of articulation. Structurally, Doctor Strange is a “pre-paint” of the upcoming Avengers Marvel Legends Infinite Series version of the character, which will release him in his non-Astral form. The figure uses the Bucky Cap body as a starting point, with a new head, torso, forearms, and hands, as well as an add-on piece for the belt and “skirt.” Most of the new parts are character-specific. The head does a nice job of capturing the somewhat aloof Doctor, and the hands have a nice spell-casting pose. The skirt is sculpted with a pit of flow to it, which helps to preserve the articulation. The torso pieces aren’t quite as character-specific; they tone down the musculature of the Bucky Cap body, which adds some nice variety. I’m sure there’s already some re-use planned on these particular parts. The good Doctor is fairly easy on the paint. For the most part, he’s molded in a translucent light blue plastic, which conveys the whole Astral Projection thing pretty well. Some of the costume details are outlined in silver, as are the eyes, and the eyebrows and mustache are done in a dark blue, but not the hair, which seems a little odd. Dr. Strange is packed with a pair of magic effects, which are the same as the ones we saw with the most recent comic Scarlet Witch.


BOTV5Just because the set is supernaturally themed doesn’t mean Marvel’s Merry Mutants get left out! Yes, it’s Colossus’s little sister, Magik, formerly of the New Mutants, formerly dead. Very exciting. I have only a passing familiarity with the character, so I’m not sure exactly which of her looks this figure represents. I think it’s fair to say it’s one of her more recent looks. It seems to sum up the character pretty well, so I’ll give it that. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and features 26 points of articulation. She uses the Spider-Girl body as a starting point, and adds in a new head, upper torso, and left arm, as well as an add-on for her belt. The Spider-Girl body is still one of my favorite Hasbro bodies, so it’s a good starting point, but I’m not sure this figure quite makes the best use of it. Something about the costume looks a little unsettling on this body. Maybe that’s just me though. The new parts are all very nicely handled; the head sculpt captures the character very nicely and the armored arm in particular exhibits some fantastic sculpting work. Magik’s paintwork is fairly decent overall. Most of the line work is nice and clean. The lack of pupils is a little odd looking, but that’s probably a design thing, so I can’t fault Hasbro. The red X on her right arm is a little uneven, but not terribly, and the hair and left arm have some great washes to help bring out the texture of the sculpts. Magik is packed with two differently sized swords. The smaller one is fairly basic, but the larger one is actually pretty awesome, and it’s even molded in iridescent plastic!


BOTV3Hey, it’s another character I don’t know a ton about! I mean, I know the character’s basic schtic and I could pick him out of a line-up, I’ve just never followed any of his adventures very closely. I know he took over as the Sorcerer Supreme a few years back, but I don’t really know what’s happened with him since then. I do know that the figure is based on one of his more recent looks, following his promotion, and it was relatively short-lived. I guess it ties in with the set, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Oh well. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation. Like so many male figures these days, he uses the Bucky Cap body as his base, with a new head and right hand, plus the left hand of Spider-Man 2099 and add-ons for the cape, hood, belt, and gauntlets. The head does a fairly decent job of capturing the character. Once again, it’s not my preferred look, but it’s well-sculpted to say the least. The sash piece is well textured and is once again sculpted with a bit of wind flow to it. The cape is the same one we saw on Grim Reaper; it’s not my favorite, but I guess it works okay. The hood piece is sculpted to match and even includes the Eye of Agamotto. The pieces all fit well together and do a good job of translating the comic design to three-dimensions. Voodoo’s paintwork is pretty decently handled. Some of the skeleton outlines are a little fuzzy around the edges and the cape and sash could use a bit of a wash or something to dirty them up a bit, but everything is generally pretty good. Brother Voodoo is packed with a staff, which is a bit difficult for him to hold, but a nice extra overall.


BOTV6You can’t really have a Dr. Strange-themed set without including one of him main foes, Dormammu. So, here he is, making his debut appearance in Marvel Legends. When he first appeared, he just had a Human Torch head and a pair of purple long johns, which isn’t the most imposing look of all time. In the last few years, he’s gotten a bit of an upgrade, which has definitely made him just a touch more threatening. This figure goes with the newer look. I can’t blame them on that one, but I do sort of hope we see good ol’ purple long john-ed Human Torch at some point. He has a sort of a goofy charm to him. Now, how about the actual figure? Well, he stands almost 8 inches in height and has 31 points of articulation. He makes use of Hasbro’s under-used Terrax body, from way back in the first series of the Return of Marvel Legends. It’s a good, solid, large body, and it’s an excellent starting point for a big guy like Dormammu. It also matches up pretty well stylistically with the rest of the based bodies, which is always good. The BOTV7figure gets a new head and hands, as well as add-ons for his shoulder armor, belt/loincloth, and boot covers. All of these pieces are nicely-sculpted. The shoulder piece is a little on the loose side, but it looks nice. The head in particular captures the character’s look really well, and has a lot of nice, clean line-work. Dormammu’s paintwork is probably the spottiest of the set. It’s not bad, per say, but a lot of the edge work is fuzzy and he’s got a bit of slop on one of his shoulders. Also, the red is kinda thin, but that might be on purpose. I do like how the plastic on the arms is slightly translucent. Dormammu is packed with a pair of flaming skulls (re-used from one of Hasbro’s Ghost Riders) which are actually pretty nifty.


BOTV4If the mutants get a slot, I guess the Norse Gods are owed a spot too. So, we got a stand-in for the devil (in Dormammu), why not a version of Death? The last version of Death I looked at was Nekron, who’s super boring. Hela’s definitely a lot cooler! Well, cooler looking to say the least. Hela appears to be based on her original design, which seems to have re-surfaced more recently, allowing her to fit in with both classic and modern figures. That’s always a plus! The figure stands roughly 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Hela makes use of the body Hasbro developed for Red She-Hulk during the RoML line. Some have said it’s too big for Hela, but her listed height is 6’6”, which makes this body about right. The body itself is pretty well sculpted, and it avoids any odd proportions for the most part. The hip articulation is a little out of date, but it’s not the worst thing ever. Hela gets a new head sculpt, which is quite nicely sculpted, and quite attractive. The weird head gear is made up of two separate pieces that plug into the back of the head. Be careful not to lose those! I almost did! Hela also has an add-on for her shoulder pads, which are attached to a cloth cape. I’m usually not big on cloth capes, but this one’s alright, and certainly preferable to the one on Brother Voodoo. Hela has a fairly complex paint job, but she actually manages to get one of the cleaner paint jobs in the set. The basic dark green is nice and shiny and the lighter green is a nice, flatter complement. All of the details are nice and clean, which is great to see on a Hasbro figure. She’s packed with a pretty nifty broadsword, which I believe is a new piece. Her grip on it is a little loose, but it looks cool enough.


Since I wasn’t going to SDCC this year, I had to resort to getting this on Hasbro’s online store or risk having to pay twice its original value on Ebay. So, I found out what day the SDCC stuff was going on, opened the site on my computer, and sat there and refreshed the page for several hours. Eventually, the stuff got listed and I got this set put in my cart (actually, I put 3 in my cart by accident and had to spend a decent chunk of time trying to remove the two extras). Hasbro’s servers were overloaded of course, so there was a lot of wait time from page to page, which definitely made things pretty stressful for 20 minutes or so. What’s funny is I hadn’t planned on grabbing this set initially, since I only have a passing knowledge of most of the characters included. But, for some reason, as the con got closer, this set became more and more appealing. I’m really glad I picked it up. Astral Strange is a fun variant, Voodoo and Magik are passable, and I’ve always liked Dormammu. Hela steals the show for me, though. The paint is superb and she’s just a solid figure all around!