#1886: Mr. Fantastic & Dr. Doom



The Marvel Minimates Best Of assortments frequently paired off classic Marvel characters and their greatest foes, but what happens when the foe is actually the foe to a whole team?  You compromise, I guess.  At least in the case of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards does have the slightly more personal connection to long-time foe (and greatest villain of all time) Dr. Doom, so he was the one who got the slot.  Good for him!


Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom were part of the second Best of Marvel Minimates series, which hit stores in early 2013.


Second only to The Thing in terms of number of Minimates, this particular Mr. Fantastic was his sixth time in this particular style.  He’s sporting his classic black and blue gear, based on his look from earlier in his career. Curiously, there are, to date, no other members of the team with uniforms to match this one.  Not even the Ben from Series 1 of the Best Of line. This is something of an odd development.  In his most standard configuration, Reed is built on the basic Minimate body and uses just one add-on piece, for his hair.  It’s the Frank Wemple piece, which saw a lot of use right around this time.  It’s definitely well-chosen for Reed. Of course, since Reed’s powers make for a pretty versatile look, the figure has multiple other configurations.  DST experimented a bit with TRU Series 6’s Stretch-Attack Mr. Fantastic, which gave us a stretched out base piece to swap out for the lower legs.  This figure includes that extra, along with several new ones to match.  There’s an extended neck and stretched out arms, which can be mixed and matched into all sorts of different configurations.  Perhaps my favorite part is that the open hand on the right arm is perfectly sized to grip a standard Minimate torso.  Reed’s paintwork is fairly clean, and the color choices are bold.  He’s more colorful than his TRU Series 8 counterpart, but the blue isn’t quite as deep as the original Reed figure.  He’s somewhere between them.  I already chronicled the extra stretchy parts, but Reed also includes a standard display stand, if you want to be silly and not display him with that sweet stretched out base piece.


Victor Von Doom actually has his nemesis beaten in number of Minimates available, with eight releases under his belt.  This one was the seventh, and actually came out in rather close proximity to the Marvel vs. Capcom version, which it is quite similar to.  Most of the similarity between the two Dooms is in their sculpted parts.  Doom uses add-ons for his cloak, belt/skirt, gloves, and boots, as well as non-standard upper-arm pieces.  All of these were used on the prior figure.  They work decently, though the cloak runs into the same problem that prior Dooms have run into, with limitations being placed on his mobility.  It also makes him quite top heavy. And, in conjunction with all of the other sculpted parts, it generally creates a figure that’s not great for much other than standing.  The main change-up between the two Dooms is paint.  While the MvC release was in more game accurate colors and featured metallic armor, this one goes for a more print-styled flat color scheme.  It works well enough, and it’s definitely a more unique take on the character, compared to what we tend to see.  I think it helps the detailing on his faceplate stand out better, but leaves the arms and legs looking slightly bland.  Doom is packed with three accessories: a pistol, and alternate head with Doombot detailing, and a clear display stand.  I really like the Doombot head.  It’s a quite fun touch, and seems to especially work well without the cloak over top, thereby making the figure a good deal more playable.


I grabbed these two back when they were new, from my regular Minimate haunt, Cosmic Comix.  Reed is a solid figure, marred not by anything about this figure himself, but rather by the lack of any other members to match him.  Ben’s an easy enough fix if you just want to swap out the pelvis, and Johnny’s just really a head swap, but there’s no matching Sue, and that’s a little sad.  So soon after the MvC version, this Dr. Doom felt a little redundant, and ultimately inherits all of that figure’s flaws without any time to have fixed them.  That said, the Doombot head does quite a bit to salvage this guy.  Overall, he’s a decent offering.


#1619: Mr. Fantastic



“A master inventor and impressive shape-shifter, Reed Richards uses intelligence and flexibility to protect the universe as Mr. Fantastic.”

Where would Marvel Legends be without Walgreens?  The humble drugstore chain started offering exclusive figures back in 2014, but only at a pace of about one per year.  However, they’ve really stepped things up in the last year, with a whole sub-set of Fantastic Four-inspired figures.  We’ve already gotten two members of the team (Invisible Woman and Human Torch), as well as a pair of frequent guest stars (Sub Mariner and Medusa).  The third member, Mr. Fantastic, just started hitting stores in the last month.  I’ll be looking at him today.


Mr. Fantastic is the first Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Legends figure of 2018.   The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Believe it or not, this guy’s on a mostly new body.  I’d really been expecting a Bucky Cap re-use here, especially after Johnny cropped up on in, but Hasbro had other ideas.  This new base looks to use the legs from the Pizza Spidey body with a new torso, pelvis, and arms.  It’s a good build for someone like Reed, who shouldn’t exactly have Captain America proportions.  I look forward to seeing the other applications of this particular base body.  Reed also gets an new head sculpt, which isn’t inspired by any one artist, but fits quite well with the other two FF members and definitely captures Reed’s essence very well.  The arched eyebrow and slight self-assured grin are just spot-on for the character.  Reed’s paintwork is pretty solid stuff.  His uniform is a pretty close match to Sue’s, which is definitely a good thing, and helps with selling that whole “team” thing.  The work on the face and hair is nice and clean.  I might have liked maybe a bit more subtlety on the greying temples, but it’s not awful, and I prefer this to the too slight greying we saw on most of the Toy Biz figures.  Reed is packed with a spare set of elongated arms (re-used from the first Hasbro Mr. Fantastic) which swap out at the shoulders.  They’re rubber with a wire armature, and make for a solid recreation of Reed’s abilities.  Reed is also packed with the Ultimate Nullifier, the weapon given to him by the Watcher in order to defeat Galactus.  It’s a fun little piece, and shows that Hasbro is willing to go the extra mile on these figures.


I had pretty much no trouble finding Reed.  I found him at a Walgreens I’d stopped at on my way home from work and was quite happy to find him. I loved the Sue figure, but Johnny was a slight letdown for me, so I wasn’t sure about how Reed would turn out.  I’m happy to report that he’s by far my favorite Mr. Fantastic figure, and is my favorite member of the team in this little sub-set (so far; Ben still has the chance to top him).  I now anxiously await the arrival of the last team member.

#0964: Mr. Fantastic




The 2005 Fantastic Four movie is definitely far from a perfect film. Yesterday, I touched on the casting of Jessica Alba as the Invisible Woman, which is often cited as one of the film’s biggest negative factors. On the plus side, they didn’t botch all of the casting. Chris Evans as Johnny was quite good, as was Michael Chiklis’ take on Ben. Ioan Gruffudd’s Reed Richards doesn’t stand out quite as much as those two, and he was unfortunately hampered by a lack of chemistry with Alba’s Sue of Julian McMahon’s Von Doom. Still, Gruffudd turned in a decent, stand-up performance. As with the rest of the cast, he got a handful of action figures from the movie, one of which I’ll be looking at today.


MrFantastic3This particular Mr. Fantastic was included as a pack-in with the Fantasticar* that Toy Biz put out in the first Fantastic Four movie line. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall (without the neck extension), and he has 28 points of articulation. His articulation is a little weird, since it’s not in keeping with the rest of the figures in the line. That’s because this figure is actually a scaled down version of the 12-inch rotocast Mr. Fantastic. That figure’s hollow construction necessitated the “v” hips, and the lack of waist movement is due to the larger figure’s inclusion of an extending neck feature. At the smaller scale, the extending neck wasn’t feasible, but he still loses the articulation. Oh well. Aside from the slightly off articulation, the sculpt actually isn’t bad. I think the head has the best Ioan Gruffudd likeness of any of the Reed figures Toy Biz put out, and the body sculpt avoids a lot of the wonkier proportions that plagued a lot of the Fantastic Four movie figures. The longer forearms and larger than normal hands are a pretty cool way of showing off Mr. Fantasic’s powers, and I like the inclusion of all the smaller details on the gloves. Unfortunately, though the sculpt is a step-up from the other figures, the paint is a definite step down. Moving past the annoying scrapes of missing paint on my figure (which probably weren’t there when he was new), the paint is much more straightforward on this figure. There’s no accent work on any of the costume pieces, and there are several spots of noticeable slop, especially on the figure’s right thigh. On the plus side, the hair does exhibit some halfway decent work, so it’s not a total loss. Reed’s only real accessory was the extendable neck piece. It would have been nice to get a set of normal sized hands as well, but given that this figure was essentially an accessory himself, the lack of extra pieces isn’t unforgivable.


I picked up Reed at the same time as Sue, from a dealer at Balticon. I actually looked at the Fantasticar set a few times when it was on shelves but I never got one. In addition, I had the 12-inch version of this figure, which I liked quite a bit. The smaller version isn’t quite as impressive, but he’s still a pretty decent figure, and he might be my favorite version of the character that this line had to offer.

*The Fantasticar didn’t actually appear on-screen until the 2007 sequel. The one that this figure was included with was a Toy Biz-original creation, since the movie design had not yet been developed at the time of this toy’s release.

#0011: Mr Fantastic



Today’s post is from Toybiz’s Fantastic Four line from the 90s.  The line was released to coincide with the cartoon from the same time.


The figure in question is the leader of the FF, Dr Reed Richards, aka Mr Fantastic (Mr. F!).  He’s from the first wave of the line.  Reed is depicted in his costume from the cartoon, which was based on the John Byrne design.  He stands 5 inches tall, with 5 points of articulation.  He features stretchy arms and a neat Negative Zone harness, for all that negative Zone exploring he’s prone to do.  The harness fits well, and goes on and off pretty easily.  The stretchy arms were an inspired choice, but I feel they may have been the wrong way to go.  As you can see from the photo, the rubber is very prone to yellowing, kind of ruining the figure.  Plus, there’s no way to pose his arms any other way than straight down at his sides.  Overall, a decent depiction of Mr Fantastic, but there’s some room for improvement.


Reed was my second figure of the character, bought to replace my fragile Marvel Super heroes figure.  He’s definitely an improvement in sturdiness and in overall quality, though I’m not sure it’s a spot on Mr Fantastic.