#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!