#1116: Doctor Strange

DOCTOR STRANGE

MARVEL LEGENDS

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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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.

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#1115: Enchantress – Mystic Rivals

ENCHANTRESS – MYSTIC RIVALS

MARVEL LEGENDS

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The Enchantress?  I thought I wasn’t looking at any more of that Suicide Squad stuff!  Oh wait, that’s the *other* Enchantress.  Yes, the Enchantress is one of those times that both DC and Marvel overlap on a character’s name, thereby providing immense confusion for all those non-comics readers out there.  Marvel’s Enchantress appeared first (in 1964, two years before DC’s), and has generally been the better known of the two characters, which makes DC’s version of the Enchantress being the first one to grace the silver screen all the weirder.  Neither version of Enchantress has ever been all that lucky in terms of action figures; up until this year, there was exactly one figure out there of the Marvel version, and that was it.  Fortunately, she seems to be lucking out this year, with two figures already out and another on the way (curiously, DC’s Enchantress is still left out in the cold, as perhaps the only major member of the Suicide Squad cast left unreleased).  I’m looking at one of those figures today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

enchantress2Enchantress is the seventh figure in the Dormammu Series of Marvel Legends.  She’s officially titled “Mystic Rivals,” a name she shares with Runaways’ Nico Minoru.  This is our second Legends version of Enchantress this year, following the figure included in Hasbro’s SDCC-exclusive “The Raft” set.  The two figures are very similar in construction (it’s really just the arms and paint that are different), which has led to a bit of contention amongst the fanbase, some of whom feel exclusives should not be released.  Of course, a whole other section of the fanbase was upset that she was an exclusive in the first place, so I don’t know.  Personally, I’m happy to have gotten the second release (and, as someone who owns two of the other SDCC figures being re-released in this series, I don’t really see the problem with reissues on popular enough characters).  The figure is about 6 1/2 inches tall (a bit on the small side compared to our other Asgardians from this line) and has 26 points of articulation.  The SDCC Enchantress was built on the Scarlet Witch body from the Allfather Series, with a new had and skirt piece.  Obviously, Hasbro’s desire to reuse the Scarlet Witch base is what’s caused her to be slightly under-scaled, and, if I’m totally honest, I don’t mind all that much.  She’s still pretty suitably tall and imposing, and I think it would have been a little weird for her to be as hulking as, say, Valkyrie.  The new head is quite nice, and does a pretty suitable job of capturing Enchantress’ typical look.  I really like the slight sneering grin, like she’s up to something.  Very in character.  The skirt is a decent enough piece, though it’s a little bulky, and sort of exaggerates the smallness of her waist in comparison to her hips.  On this version of Enchantress, the Scarlet Witch arms have been swapped out for the arms from the new female base body (seen on Phoenix), which I find to be a much nicer set of arms than the prior ones.  I’m glad they made the switch.   The paint on Enchantress marks another change from the SDCC version.  The SDCC one was a bit more subtle, with everything being a slight variation of green, and an overall metallic sheen on the costume bits.  For this figure, the belt has been changed to yellow, and the base green is now darker and matte in finish.  Thanks to slight variations in coloring over the years, both figures are more or less accurate, so it really comes down to personal preference.  The quality of the application is very clean on this figure.  In general, the Dormammu figures are some of the best painted Legends we’ve gotten from Hasbro, which is a definite plus. Enchantress includes a pair of the Scarlet Witch spell casting effects, this time in a bright yellowish-green, as well as the torso of Dormammu.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back when the SDCC set hit, I had contemplated trying to track down the Enchantress from the set, since she’s kind of an important character.  But, within a week or so, this figure was confirmed as being part of this set, which certainly made my life a whole lot easier.  I didn’t find her with my first find of this series, which was a little disheartening, but when I found the set again at my new local Toys R Us, she was right there with them, and I happily snatched her up.  I really like how this figure turned out, and I’m glad I didn’t have to pay the big bucks to get her!

*Want an Enchantress figure of your own?  She’s currently in-stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Click here to check her out!

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#1114: Iron Fist

IRON FIST

MARVEL LEGENDS

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Hasbro seems to have a lot of trouble placing Iron Fist.  Why?  Well, the guy’s now gotten two different figures from their re-branded Marvel Legends line, and in both cases, he was the one figure in the set whose connection to the overall theme was tenuous at best.  I’m not complaining, mind you.  I like me some Iron Fist.  And, since he’s got his own Netflix show on the horizon, it’s not exactly a huge surprise that Hasbro opted to get out another figure of him sooner rather than later.  Now, if someone can explain to me what he’s doing in a Dr Strange set, we should be all good to go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ironfisthas3Iron Fist (who, like so many figures in this line, gets that “Marvel’s” possessive added to his name, just so you don’t mistake him for someone else’s Iron Fist) is part of the recent Dr. Strange-themed Dormammu Series of Marvel Legends, where he’s figure 8 in the lineup.  He’s seen here in the green jump-suited look he had during Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker’s defining run on the character.  It’s one of those modern updates I can get behind, where it takes all of the important elements of the character, but also removes some of the sillier, more dated bits, like the huge collar, deep, deep, (deep!) neckline, and slippers.  It’s also nice to see it here because, despite being the character’s main look during a very popular run on his series and for some time after, it hadn’t yet gotten the Legends treatment (it got the Marvel Universe treatment, but the less said about that, the better).  The figure is about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Iron Fist is built on the Pizza Spidey body, a choice that surprised a few people.  Generally, Iron Fist is depicted a little larger than this body (it’s been a story point that he can convincingly double for Daredevil, who was on the Bucky Cap body).  That being said, this body allows him a wider range of posability, and it’s not too far removed from the build David Aja gave him when he first started wearing this costume.  Danny gets a new head sculpt and sash, which are similar to those seen on the prior Iron Fist, but notably improved in a few ways.  The head in particular is less boxy and smooth than the last one, which is a definite step up.  He also gets a new set of forearms, with two sets of swappable hands.  Sadly, he doesn’t have the huge selection of hand poses that the last figure possessed, but he does get a pair of translucent fists demonstrating his power, as well as a pair in thick wraps.  I prefer the wrapped look myself, but both sets are pretty cool.  Iron Fist’s paintwork is pretty solid.  The colors match up pretty well with those seen in Immortal Iron Fist, especially the slightly muted green.  In addition, everything is pretty solid in terms of application, and the wrapped fists even have a nice wash to bring out more of the details.  In addition to the previously mentioned swappable hands, Iron Fist also includes a pair of flame effect pieces, which can easily fit over either set of hands, as well as the shoulder pads of Dormammu.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t 100% sold on this figure, since I already had the Allfather Series version of the character.  When I found Mordo at the store, I also found this guy, but I had planned on leaving him there for a later time.  Of course, Super Awesome Girlfriend wouldn’t stand for this and ended up buying him for me anyway.  I’m actually really happy I got this guy.  In hindsight, I’ve realized that the last Iron Fist was already pretty dated when he came out and has become even more so in the last year and a half.  Plus, this costume is more linked with the character for me, and the new choice of body is pretty solid.  Now, if only we could get a decent Luke Cage to go with him…

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

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#1113: Karl Mordo

KARL MORDO

MARVEL LEGENDS

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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.   

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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!

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