Doctor Strange has never exactly been a household name, but Disney and Marvel are planning to change that in a big way with this fall’s major movie starring the Sorcerer Supreme. And what better way to make a character feel legit than by giving him his own series of Marvel Legends figures, right? The Marvel Legends Doctor Strange Series is shipping out during the next two weeks, and today let’s take a look at the center pieces of the wave: the 6″ Doctor Strange movie figures!
And though the rumored Ancient One figure was apparently scrapped, we’re getting three actual movie action figures as part of this wave. I’ll talk about Karl Mordo in a separate review, as today I’m discussing two figures that share one new base mold: Dr. Strange and Astral Dr. Strange!
Without making some major compromises, there was simply no way that a movie Doctor Strange figure could be created using existing tooling. Thankfully, Hasbro took the high road and made an amazing 100% new sculpt for this heavily-anticipated major character.
To get some use out of what is otherwise unique tooling, Hasbro chose to give us plain and astral versions of Stephen Strange in this wave. This is a smart decision that I fully support (though I’ll have some less amiable things to say about the astral form in just a bit).
The Benedict Cumberbatch portrait is one of Hasbro’s best actor likenesses ever, and looks worlds better and more authentic than their Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. heads. This head sculpt is a triumph.
Meanwhile, the sculpting on the body of the figure is just as good. From the subtle texturing of his waist wrap to the painted straps on his forearms to his ruffled undershirt, I am amazed at the level of care and accuracy put into making this mold a home run.
The best accessory, in my opinion, is definitely the large rune spell effects piece. It’s cast in translucent orange with the sculpted-on symbols painted over with yellowish paint. This rune just looks incredibly cool…
…at least, from the front. From the side, you can see that the figure has to hold it by a handle (!?), which is really awkward. Even so, it’s not difficult to get poses where you don’t see the handle at all and the rune effect looks outstanding.
The figure includes two pairs of interchangeable hands: his default grasping hands (for holding the rune) and a pair of spell-casting “wiggling” hands. If ever there was a superhero figure that didn’t need fists, this is it.
The other two accessories are parts of Doctor Strange’s costume: his iconic red cape and the closed Eye of Agamotto. Both clothing items feature paint deco on them that really bring them to life, and I really like the diverse designs sculpted onto the different areas of Stephen’s cape.
Dr. Strange’s cape is removable, which many fans will appreciate, since it both gives a different look for the doctor and also increases the articulation possible when it’s not in the way.
While some of the articulation on this action figure is somewhat restricted by the plastic robes covering most of the figure, there’s still a solid amount of flexibility possible. There’s more than enough range of motion for a character who’s not exactly known for his acrobatic prowess.
The articulation includes a ball-hinge head, shoulders, wrists and feet (with ankle rockers), a terrific ball-jointed waist, double-jointed knees and elbows, ball-jointed hips and swivel boots/biceps/thighs.
Disclaimer: I haven’t seen the Doctor Strange movie yet (obviously), so I’ve no idea what Doctor Strange’s astral form will look like in the finished film. That said, based purely off the aesthetics of this figure, I simply do not like the Marvel Legends Astral Doctor Strange movie figure.
While the back of the packaging shows a clear, slightly blue Astral Form Dr. Strange, the actual toy is wildly different than that prototype. What we’ve actually ended up with is a pearlescent Doctor strange figure that veers more towards pink than anything else.
Even the necklace looks bizarre, as it’s painted solid white at the bottom but is very translucent and unpainted at the top. The effect is that the necklace looks very jarring laying below Stephen’s head.
Based solely off its looks, this is the one figure in this wave that’s a true disappointment to me. Maybe I’ll be eating crow when the Doctor Strange movie hits if the astral form ends up looking pearlescent opaque pink, but I somehow doubt it.
Overall: I chose to review these figures together as they’re in the same series and share the same new mold, but my overall feelings on them differ drastically. The regular movie Doctor Strange Marvel Legends 6″ figure is wholly excellent, with a fantastic likeness, lots of accessories and great sculpting detail, paint and articulation. Truly one of Hasbro’s best MCU figures yet and highly recommended.
Meanwhile, Marvel Legends Astral Doctor Strange has a bizarre plastic color choice, loses almost all of the accessories, and just looks plain odd (and ugly). If not for the Dormammu Build-A-Figure head, I imagine this figure would become a major shelf warmer. Maybe I’ll feel differently if this is somehow movie accurate, but at this time, I hate the way this figure looks.