Its tough to wrap my mind around some of Hasbro’s choices for their Marvel Universe figures, but it seems to me that at least a couple of times in each Wave they hit a real sweet spot and produce one of the “must have” character on my list. This time around that one is Doctor Strange. I honestly didn’t expect to see him for a while, but the moment I heard he was being released, I knew I had to have him in my collection. I’ve always loved the mixing of magic and technology in both the Marvel and DC Universes. Its probably best fleshed out in the bickering between Tony Stark and Thor, but toss Stephen Strange into the mix, and you’ve got some great stuff.
Doctor Strange comes on your standard MU style card. I was pretty blown away by the character artwork Hasbro went with for this card. It has a grainy, vintage style to it that’s really at odds with the crisp and bright artwork used on just about every other MU card. The lighting effect is really cool and it makes Strange look both mysterious and even just a tad sinister. With his flowing cape, Strange fills out the bubble nicely. There’s no Secret Documents envelope anymore, but you do get the standard issue, personalized figure stand.
I am extremely happy with Hasbro’s sculpt on this figure. The head is just about perfect and the detail paintwork is just as impressive. His goatee, mustache, eyebrows, the grey in his hair, it all looks crisp and expertly applied. I’ve had my share of crummy paint apps on my MU figures, but Hasbro has been gradually improving and Strange’s head is a perfect example of that.
Strange’s body sculpt features a simple blue tunic and black pants. Both of his hands are Spider-Man webslinging hands. Now, granted the configuration kind of works to make it look like he’s casting magic, but its pretty obvious that they are what they are, recycled Spidey hands. The gold sash is sculpted to be blowing away from his body. The best part of the sculpt, is without a doubt the ornate decor on his cloak, which includes the Eye of Agamotto. The detail of the sculpt and the nice gold paintwork really make it stand out nicely.
How about that articulation? Well, Strange’s articulation is plenty solid for a 3 3/4″ figure, but Hasbro is still waffling between the new articulation stylings and the old. That’s what happens when you save money by kitbashing figures. Here’s the breakdown: You get a ball jointed neck; The arms feature ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. The legs feature universal movement at the hips, which is inhibited a bit by the tunic, hinges at the knees, swivel cuts at the top of his boots, and ball joints in the ankles. The torso includes that universal joint below the chest. All in all, not bad. His cape flows a bit away from him, so it doesn’t inhibit movement all that much, but you can easily remove it if you want to get him to maneuver a bit better.
I’ll go ahead and say that Doctor Strange is one of my favorite MU figures to be released in a little while. Sure, it helps that I love the character, but in the end its the way that Hasbro managed to capture him so perfectly that tops him out on my list. He’s colorful, brilliantly sculpted, and if you can’t get past the hands, he feels completely fresh and original. Oh yeah, if you’re a variant hunter, there is a translucent version out there, similar to what Hasbro did with Vision. I’m not a fan of the translucent ones, but if you are… happy hunting!