2016 has been a fantastic year for Marvel Legends collecting, but the end of the road is here. Watch for your online orders to start being shipped out, because online retailers begin receiving their Marvel Legends Doctor Strange figures in the next two weeks! And what better way to get pumped up for the release than with some Doctor Strange Marvel Legends reviews–starting with the big man himself, the Dread Dormammu Build-A-Figure review!
This was easily one of the best Hasbro Marvel convention exclusives ever–so good, in fact, that it really deserved to be released to the larger collecting world. And so, over a year later, this Dormammu repaint has arrived!
I know seeing a formerly exclusive figure brought back with only minor revisions will raise the ire of some collectors, but I support this fully. (If only Magik would get a mass-release figure as well!)
This time around, Dormammu is a 100% repaint of last year’s release with no new parts or accessories of any kind. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, as the figure was spectacular to begin with.
You have to buy all eight figures in the Marvel Legends Doctor Strange movie series in order to get the parts to build Dormammu, which I believe is a first for the revived Hasbro Marvel Legends figure line. Even so, this figure is so imposing and covered with magnificent paint applications and textures that I don’t feel “cheated” at all having to buy eight figures to get the parts to build this amazing bonus figure.
The deco on this figure is jaw-dropping. It’s hard to photograph it correctly, but the red paint on his skirt is metallic with little flecks of sparkles in it and looks like nothing I’ve ever seen on another Marvel Legends action figure.
The use of colored translucent plastic on this figure is also a huge win. The flaming head with painted on opaque face looks ridiculously cool–especially when you can get some lighting behind it to backlight it.
There’s a subtle texture covering every bit of the Doctor Strange Legends Dormammu armor and boots, and I especially love the arcane symbols covering the border of his skirt (which is red on the interior and black on the exterior).
As with his original release, the articulation on Dormammu is still solid, and features a ball-jointed head and hips, ab crunch, swivel waist and biceps, ball-hinge shoulders and wrists, hinge elbows, double-jointed knees, swivel thighs and boots and ankle rockers.
I’m surprised this figure doesn’t have double-jointed elbows–and the skirt restricts the lower-body articulation somewhat–but there’s ample articulation to get this particular character into poses that would be natural for him. This isn’t exactly Spider-Man here.
One area where I think this figure is a big improvement over the SDCC Dormammu figure is the paint deco on the arms. The San Diego Comic-Con Dormammu Exclusive version had weird arms that transitioned from being metallic at the top to being translucent purple at the bottom.
I get what Hasbro was going for with the translucence–Dorammu is composed of magical energy, after all–but I think the straight-up fully-metallic arms on the Marvel Legends 2016 Dormammu look less weird and more accurate to Dormammu’s actual appearances. Thumbs up.
The purple and pink skulls with last year’s version were fun and all, but the clear green skulls with blue flames we get with this iteration are so much more eye-grabbing. I adore these repurposed Ghost Rider heads (though that won’t stop me from complaining about the accessories in just a moment)…
Yep, you heard me. Most of the time, Dormammu is depicted with plain orange and yellow flames emanating from his hands in his appearances, and I’d have really liked it to be possible to recreate that with this figure.
Since this figure is a straight repaint of a year-old release, I think it would have really freshened things up to include visually compelling new flame effects pieces. Alas.
The only other things I can see fans unhappy with about this figure are the fact that the leg articulation is greatly limited by Dormammu’s skirt, and the plastic quality on his limbs feels a wee bit rubbery (though not nearly as much as we see on black plastic regularly).
Overall: This was an outstanding figure when it was released as part of the Book of Vishanti exclusive set last year, and I think this Marvel Legends Dormammu Build-A-Figure has only improved with this year’s minor revisions. Excellent sculpting, terrific paint choices (and translucent parts), huge, well-articulated and all-around fun. I will be astonished if a better Dormammu toy than this is ever released, as this is easily in the upper echelon of Hasbro’s best Marvel Legends Build-A-Figures to date.