Doctor Stephen Strange 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

Wasn’t it cool seeing Stephen Strange in Thor: Ragnarok? Not only was he a great little addition to that film, but his appearance makes my long overdue review of Hot Toys’ Sixth-Scale Doctor Strange figure a little less out-of-date. It also proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt how much I love the portrayal of Strange in the MCU while not really loving the Doctor Strange movie. Oh, I enjoyed it well enough, but it didn’t quite have the “Wow, I want to see this over and over again” feeling I get from most of the other MCU films. It was a solid origin story, but I felt that the Inception-style effects didn’t really fit, and they sure leaned heavy on that. Now with all that having been said, there were two things I did absolutely adore about the movie: The casting and the costume design. Benedict Cumberbatch was born to play the role of Stephen Strange, and seeing him in Ragnarok just cemented that feeling for me. Likewise, they really nailed his costume perfectly, probably better than any other MCU character to date. There was never any doubt for me that this character needed a space of honor on my Marvel Hot Toys shelves. Let’s check this guy out!

Hot Toys has not really been wowing me with their presentation lately, so it’s nice to see them change things up just a bit with this figure. At heart, it’s still the same old window box wrapped in an illustrated sleeve that we usually get, but they had some fun with this one. The sleeve is a trippy kaleidoscope of images from the film that reflects the infinite reaches of the various dimensions and plains of existence available to The Sorcerer Supreme. The center has a circle set in an angled square, which can be turned to unlock the sleeve and open it to reveal the window box inside. It’s a simple little gimmick, but it goes a long way to show me that Hot Toys wanted to deliver a little something extra for this release, and I can appreciate that. Inside the box, the figure comes on a standard molded plastic tray with his myriad of accessories laid out around him, and I have to say, this guy really does come with a lot of great stuff! Let’s start out with the base figure and a few of those accessories…

As I already mentioned, I think the movie nailed Strange’s costume design perfectly and that gave Hot Toys a lot to work with when tailoring the costume for this figure. The tunic features a finely crafted set of pleats on the front and it fits the figure perfectly, even when draped over the long-sleeved shirt and trousers. The stitching is immaculate and the combination of vibrant and darker blue material looks quite striking. The fabric arm bracers feature a Nepali flair, complete with fringe coming off the backs. As great as the costume looks, it’s also not terribly restrictive, making Doctor Strange a pretty fun figure to play with and pose. Everything about this costume is rich with love and attention to detail!

The boots include sculpted stitching, treads on the soles, and sculpted laces. They also include cloth wraps made of the same vibrant blue material as the tunic. You also get some braided Nepali loops and fringe. The boots are sculpted in one piece, which means the ankle hinges in the underlying body are completely hindered. Hot Toys still seems to be waffling back and forth over whether or not to put ankle joints in the boots. They did it with both Daredevil and The Punisher, but here they didn’t. I’m not too upset about that, because the added articulation would probably have messed up the cloth wraps over time, but it does mean that his feet won’t be flat on the ground in those wide stances.

The elaborate belt is a real showpiece on this figure and as much a part of the costume’s magnificence than anything else. It’s actually a network of belts! First, you get the wide belt, dare I call it a “Cumberbund?” This piece is made of a leather-like material with some excellent stitching and texture. On top of that you get two woven belts with sculpted plastic loops. There are two larger circular fixtures, one on the front, positioned near his left hip, and one on the back, and on the back, the belts terminate into a glorious fringe. Below all that are two narrower leather-like belts. I never thought I could get all worked up over belt designs, but these are just amazing and they all conspire to give Strange a smart and trim look.

The belt includes a few loops, which can be used to hang the included Sling Ring. I should say Sling Rings, plural, because you get two of them. It’s been a while since I saw the film, but I thought he only had one. At first, I considered maybe Hot Toys included an extra in case you lose one, but in the instructions, they show where to hang both on the belt. Either way, I’m only going to display him with one, and not in the spot where the instructions say to put it. I’m a rebel!

In addition to the Sling Rings, the Eye of Agamotto is also included to accessorize Strange’s wardrobe. You get two of these powerful amulets, one with the Eye open and one with it closed. Contrary to what was seen in the film, I’m opting to display him with the open Eye. Both pieces hang on red and black string and they each feature some beautiful sculpting as well as a nice mix of gold and copper paint. The opened Eye is painted with a vibrant metallic green to give it an almost ethereal glow.

And that brings us to the portrait and it’s pretty fantastic. Cumberbatch is certainly a distinctive looking fellow, and I have to imagine that makes it easier to sculpt a recognizable license. This makes two excellent Sixth-Scale Cumberbatch portraits on the market, the other being set atop Big Chief’s Sherlock Holmes figure. Of course, Hot Toys goes above and beyond by creating likenesses with a spark of life and I think they’ve done a bang up job with it here. As usual, the skin texturing and paint is very realistic and the paintwork they do for the eyes continues to astound me, even with so many of these figures on my shelves. Hot Toys hasn’t always been able to work their magic with facial hair, but in this case I think they nailed it. The goatee is both convincing and immaculate. The hair sculpt gives him those distinctive high bangs, and the paint showing the graying “wings” on the sides of his hair is spot on. I couldn’t have asked for a better portrait!

Of course, you can’t have Doctor Strange without his Cloak of Levitation and here’s another piece of the costume that Hot Toys went crazy on. The checkered lining looks both ornate and ancient at the same time, and the patchwork nature of the outside of the cloak matches the on screen costume beautifully. There’s also a generous wire running throughout that allows you to pose it as if it has a mind of its own. The only issue I had with the Cloak is the popped collar. It looked so crisp and perfect in Hot Toys’ official prototype shots and in person not so much. Now granted, the softer style allows the collar to be displayed up or folded down, as he wore both looks in the film, but since I’ll likely be displaying him with the collar up all of the time, I would have liked it to be a little more stiff. Maybe starch would help, but I doubt I’ll risk it. The cloak features some sculpted and painted ornamental plastic pieces just below the collar and it’s worn, quite securely, simply by folding it around the figure’s shoulders and neck.

All Hot Toys figures come with a collection of extra hands, but it’s hard to think of a character where they were more important than with Strange. Not only is the entire driving force of the movie centered on his hands, but hand gestures are the key to his powers, and so you get plenty of options here! The hand sockets can be a bit tight, and this is one instance where I found it useful to remove the wrist peg from the arm, then swap out the hand and put the peg back in. Also, the Sling Ring can easily be placed on the fingers of one of the left hands.

Strange also comes with a couple of sets of effect parts. Now, I’m not necessarily a huge fan of these with Hot Toys figures. No matter how well they’re done, I think that they tend to look rather fake when compared to the lifelike qualities of the figure. This was definitely the case with Scarlet Witch’s hex effects, and it’s more or less true here as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they include these, as they can be fun to play around with, but they still feel like better quality versions of something packed in with a Marvel Legends.

The first set consists of a pair of neon green rings and a mandala piece for the hand. The rings go over the forearm and the mandala has two grooves for his fingers. It doesn’t attach very firmly, instead it more or less hangs there, but I didn’t have any trouble with it staying on for the pictures. The sculpting on these pieces is quite nice, and given the right lighting, the plastic does give off a bit of a glow. Again, this is a cool bonus, but not something that really blows me away.

The other effect set includes these two large mandala shields, which have similar notches in the back for the fingers. These hold in place a lot better than the smaller green disk, and overall I like the look of these more. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re more iconic or because the coloring is better, but I think these look great. Will I display him with these? Probably not, but they’re nice to have.

Easily my favorite accessory in the box is The Codex Imperium. Not only do I have a thing for antique books, but the detail Hot Toys packed into this little Sixth-Scale edition is mind-blowing. It’s a real book with a working catch. It can be opened and the individual pages can be turned, all of which include tiny printing and illustrations. Talk about going above and beyond!

Hot Toys has been making a habit of including illustrated backdrops with some of their figures lately. We saw this most recently with Daredevil and The Punisher. Doctor Strange comes with a larger tri-fold backdrop. It looks nice, it works pretty well for pictures, but it’s not really big enough to frame the figure very well, especially not with Strange’s billowing cloak.

Also in the box is the same style of large stand that I last saw way back with Falcon from Winter Soldier. In fact, it’s the same stand with just a different graphic on the face and a different name plate on the front. Just like Falcon’s stand, it features a spring-loaded claw to grasp the figure around the waist, but instead of the flexible post, it comes with an acrylic one to simulate Strange levitating. This is a ton of fun to mess around with, and I appreciate the added value and gravitas that this stand brings to the table, but just like the Falcon stand, it’s too big for my display shelf, so Stephen will have to go on a generic stand for now.

If you can’t tell, I’m pretty smitten with this figure, and I’m probably not the only one. Not a lot of Hot Toys figures sell out quickly these days, but Doctor Strange is one that went to the dreaded Waitlist on Sideshow pretty damn fast. He’s also sold out at most major online retailers. And it’s easy to see why. At $235, Strange is easily one of the best values I’ve seen out of Hot Toys in a while. Between the over-the-top craftsmanship and detailing in the costume, to the generous helping of extras and the elaborate stand, this is one release that I didn’t have to scrutinize in order to see where the money went. Additionally, Marvel Studios nailed the outfit straight out of the gate, so it’s hard for me to imagine there will be a lot of changes for future appearances. And even if they do change up the costume, this is most certainly the iconic look for the character, and most definitely the one I wanted on my shelf.

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Marvel Legends (Dormammu Wave): Dormammu Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

Wow, the Doctor Strange Wave was a big assortment of figures! With your average Build-A-Figure comprised of about six parts, the eight figures that constituted the Dormammu Wave seemed like an awful lot. What’s more, every single figure came with BAF parts and this was a wave that I hunted individually, rather than ordering all at once, making completing this one quite the journey. But here we are at the end, and its time to cobble together the big baddie himself, Dormammu!

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Of course, if you happened to be lucky enough to pick up the Marvel Legends SDCC set from last year, you already own a variant of this figure. It’s been a while since I set eyes on that figure but, if I recall correctly, the differences are minor. If you count everything, The Dormammu BAF is actually comprised of eleven pieces. You have the arms, the legs, the upper torso, the pelvis, the skirt, the head, the shoulder armor, and the two skull accessories. With that having been said, he still pieces together pretty easily, although one of the legs on mine was a bit problematic. It should be pointed out that the Doctor Strange film did something similar with Dormammu that Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer did with Galactus. They turned him into a massive, and somewhat amorphous, entity whereas this is clearly the comic version. The character stretches all the way back to the 60s, but this figure is certainly inspired by his modern appearances.

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The buck itself is fairly generic with a lot of sculpted muscles cast in a beautiful metallic purple. The hands are molded into grasping claws and there’s some original sculpting for the boots. At least I don’t recall seeing these boots before. The belt piece is cast in soft plastic and features a half cape in the back, two thigh pieces and a red segmented flap that hangs down the front. It’s slit enough to allow for some pretty good movement in the legs. The red paint on the flap also matches nicely with the paint on his abs, making it look like it’s all one piece. The shoulder armor is impressive and features two large spikes rising up from the front as well as a fashionable high collar in the back. The articulation here is pretty standard stuff. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and hips, double hinges in the elbows and knees, and swivels in the biceps and thighs. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers, the waist swivels, there’s an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

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The design of the head is very cool. It looks like a mask floating in a sea of fire, and to me it’s very reminiscent of the look of Helspont from Jim Lee’s WildCATS, another favorite comic villain design of mine. The translucent orange flame can even sport some nice effects when introduced to the proper lighting.

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Dormammu comes with two pairs of glowing skulls, which are pretty damn cool. The skulls are cast in transparent neon green plastic with translucent blue flames coming off the tops. These catch the light beautifully and he looks damn great holding them. Oh, and if they look familiar, that’s because they’re both Ghost Rider heads from the 2012 release.

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To be honest, Dormammu was not high on my list of characters that I wanted for my Legends shelves, but that doesn’t make him less welcome. With the 3 3/4-inch Marvel Universe releases sputtering on life support, Legends has become prolific and deep enough to step up and become my universe building line for Marvel figures and as such no character is really unwelcome. Besides, I really dig this guy and he’s loads of fun to play with. Dormammu is a solid figure and I know a number of collectors were relieved to have the opportunity to pick him up outside what has become a very pricey exclusive box set. He also beautifully caps off what was an overall excellent assortment of figures.

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On the next Marvel Monday, I’ll be backtracking to the Abomination Wave. At only five figures, it’s a hell of a lot smaller than this one, and I’ll likely be doubling up at least once in order to get through it a bit more quickly. 

Marvel Legends (Dormammu Wave): Doctor Strange and Astral Doctor Strange by Hasbro

Well, in spite of a LEGO inspired detour on the last Marvel Monday, I’m finally here to open up the last figures in the Doctor Strange Wave of Marvel Legends. With how long it took me to get through this assortment, it’s surprising that there’s still a month left until the Blu-Ray release of the movie. I’m excited to get it on disc and give it another watch, because I was a little luke-warm on it when I saw it in the theater and I’m hoping that assessment will improve on subsequent viewings. Anyway, I’m doubling up today for obvious reasons, as we’re looking at the MCU version of Strange as well as the variant Astral Projection version of him.

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Here we have what were the easiest and most difficult figures in the wave for me to get. The Astral Strange is clogging pegs everywhere and going for super cheap online. Regular Strange was nowhere to be found around here and I wound up having to pay a premium for him online. Craziness! Let’s start with him…

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While I wasn’t in love with the movie, I adored the look of MCU Strange’s costume and I thought Cumberbatch did a great job with the character. I’m happy to say that Hasbro also did a great job with the 6-inch Legends version. Strange is built on an appropriately lean body with sculpted blue robes, the lower half of which are separate from the buck and sculpted as part of the rather intricate system of belts. There’s plenty of great detailing in his robes, from the texturing on those belts to the leather wraps around his sleeves. And even the smallest of the brass fixtures are painted. There are a few instances where the paint on my figure could have been tighter. For example, the belts, but there’s nothing here that’s really bad.

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The Amulet of Agamotto is also a separate piece and hangs around his neck. I love that this isn’t sculpted as part of the buck and that it can be taken off and treated as an accessory.

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The Cloak of Levitation can be removed and added without even having to pop off the figure’s head. Hasbro did a wonderful job with the Cloak right down to the painted fixtures that hold the neck straps. It sits on the figure in a very singular manner, draping heavily over the left shoulder, but its worn mostly off of his right. It works for a lot of great poses, but sometimes it feels a little too specific a sculpt to me.

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No doubt, Cumberbatch is a very distinctive looking fellow, but in this case that seems to lend itself well to a recognizable portrait. I think this is a fantastic likeness and just an all around great head sculpt. Both the paint and the facial features are sharp and well defined.

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The articulation here is good, but some of the joints can be a little tricky to work with. The rundown includes rotating hinges in the shoulders, wrists, and hips, double hinges in both the elbows and the knees, swivels in the biceps, thighs, and boots, and ball joints in the waist and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. As expected, the lower half of the tunic inhibits some of that hip articulation, but you can still get him in a decent, wide stance. It’s worth noting that this figure can pull apart at the waist, so if you want you can remove the lower tunic piece. The figure looks fine without it and it allows for some better movement in the legs.

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Strange comes with two sets of hands. There are accessory holding hands, which feel out of place on the figure, but are good for… well, holding his accessory, which I’ll get to in a second. The other, more appropriate hands are the oogity-boogity spell-slinging mitts. These looks great and will likely be displayed on my figure most of the time.

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That accessory is a big magic effect wheel, which he can hold in either of the above mentioned hands. This piece is cast in a semi-translucent orange-yellow plastic and is a beautiful sculpt. I applaud Hasbro for giving us something new here and not just recycling the magic effect pieces we’ve been seeing a lot of lately. Of course, it’s nice to have a lot of those in my Legends accessory bin to lend to Strange if I want to. Let’s move on to Astral Strange…

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I actually have next to nothing to say about this figure. It’s a straight re-cast of the figure I just looked at only in a rather striking pearlescent plastic. He doesn’t come with the Cloak, but he does have a repainted Amulet of Agamotto. To be honest, I think this idea sounds good on paper, but in practice, it just isn’t a very interesting figure, much less one that I would have purchased if not for needing the BAF piece. That’s saying a lot, because there are very few modern Legends figures that I feel that way about. I think this one would have been better relegated to the SDCC set with this slot going to Magick instead. Yup, I’m still bitter about that one.

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In the end, I wound up paying $30 for the MCU Doctor Strange. I’ve had to do that before with Legends figures that were in high demand, but I’m actually surprised that was the case with this particular figure. That’s not to say I mind all that much. For starters, he is an excellent figure, but at the same time, a lot of the other figures in this wave were remarkably cheap, with three of them only costing me around $12 each. In the end, I made out alright even after having to pay a premium for this Strange.

I’m going to go off and recharge my magics and I’ll actually be back tomorrow to extend Marvel Monday one more day and finish off this wave with a look at the Dormammu Build-A-Figure. After that, I’ll be doing updates on Wednesday and Friday and then next week I’ll be starting in on a new routine of updates on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday!

Marvel Super Heroes: Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum (#76060) by LEGO

I know, last week I promised to finish off the Doctor Strange Wave of Marvel Legends today, but then I realized that I’ve had this LEGO set built for a couple of weeks now and decided to take a detour. Sorry! Rest assured, Marvel Monday will return to its regularly scheduled Legends content next week! 

After a whole year of not building any LEGO sets, I’m happy to be jumping back into the saddle again. LEGO used to be my consolation prize when I went toy hunting for figures and didn’t find anything new. But, now I seldom go out toy hunting anymore… it’s almost all done online, hence there has not been a lot of LEGO coming into the house. I’ll confess, I miss it, but when I’m shopping online there’s almost always a dozen other things on my Want List that take precedent over brick sets. This set, however, was sent to me from a buddy of mine a few weeks before Christmas and I had a great time building it, but it’s time to break it down soon, so let’s check it out! But before we do, I should forewarn you that my cat was all up in my business the whole time I was building this thing, so apologies for the higher than usual amount of cat hair in the snaps!

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The set comes in a long, narrow box with the Marvel Super Heroes branding. It contains three numbered bags, containing 358 pieces, including a loose base plate. You also get a sticker sheet, two instruction manuals, and a small box containing Strange’s Cloak of Levitation. When you’re all done with the build, you get three Minifigs and the Sanctum Sanctorum playset. Let’s start with the Minifigs!

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The set includes three Minifigs, which include Doctor Strange himself, Karl Mordo, and The Ancient One. It’s a decent selection of characters, and I’m still shocked that we got a Minifig of The Ancient One, but as far as play value goes, you’re limited to having these figs sparring with each other, because there’s really no villain here. At least not yet!

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With that having been said, Steven Strange is a fantastic little figure and he will proudly take up residence among my other Marvel Minifigs. The Cloak of Levitation is comprised of both a collar and cape, and was an absolute bitch to get on. Strange features two printed faces and a couple of very cool magic effect parts.

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Mordo also features two printed faces and he comes with his staff.

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And finally, The Ancient One. She features just one printed face, which is to be expected since she doesn’t have a hair piece. She comes with a pair of mystical fan weapons, which are damn cool.  Moving on to the Sanctum Sanctorum…

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So, there’s good and there’s bad here. The good is that this is a wonderfully detailed set with some interesting play features. It’s also a pretty fun set to build, and apart from the bookcases, there isn’t a lot of redundancy here. I do feel, however, that those instruction manuals are spread pretty damn thin just to make the build seem more substantial. Let’s take a tour…

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To the extreme left of the Sanctum there’s a treasure chest and a bookcase. The bookcase features some books on the bottom shelf, a top hat on the second shelf, and a mystical crystal on the third. The top features a lamp and a chain. That black lever thing is supposed to be used to levitate the Cloak of Levitation. Honestly, it was such a pain in the ass to get the Cloak on the Minifig, I’m not going to bother taking it off to try this out. It’s kind of an eyesore for what is a pretty mediocre gimmick, and it requires you to display your Strange Minifig without his Cloak, and who wants to do that?

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The chest opens up to reveal a couple of large keys and a gemstone. You also get a pile of letters on the floor. Most of the scattered ephemera in this set feature stickers.

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Moving on to the center of the Sanctum, there’s a large circular window and two transparent lever platforms to simulate the Minifigs dueling while levitating, which is pretty nifty.

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The table in the middle has a pair of lit candles and some more letters stacked up. One contains the WiFi code and the other is a mysterious letter from Stark Industries!

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A little further to the right and we have another bookcase, this time with two shelves of books and a skull on the center shelf. There’s a bottle beside it and another on the top. You also get a pile of ancient books and maps. A couple of these are printed and are re-used from other sets. I’m pretty sure I have a few of those pirate maps already. The two books use stickers and one is The Codex Imperium!

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And then we get to the Cthulhu-inspired Portal Beast and it undoubtedly the star of this set. It’s a great looking construct and thanks to some gears, you can rotate a wheel in the back and make the four big tentacles squirm all over the place! The ramp leading up to The Portal features a large sticker with some runes and magical markings.

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As you can see, a lot of the brick count in this set falls more into placed accessories than a meaningful build and that may disappoint some. The treasure chest and its contents, the various books and papers, all of these are just pieces that are placed around to add to the room’s clutter. Granted, it does mean you can easily customize the hell out of this set, but in the end I felt all the extra accessories made the build feel a little insubstantial. It also felt like this set should have been bigger. As far as I know, this is the only set we’re getting from Doctor Strange, and as a solitary set piece, I wish there was more to it. As it is, it feels way too narrow and confining.

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I like this set well enough. It was pretty fun to build and the Minifigs are excellent, although I would have liked at least one bad guy, like Kaecilius to be included. The set retails for around $30, which seems OK as far as LEGO pricing is concerned. But with that having been said, I would have been happier paying a lot more for a bigger set. As it is, this one feels a little too confining and it doesn’t live up to the very name Sanctum Sanctorum. I can only imagine what LEGO could have done with this set in the $50-60 range.

Marvel Legends (Dormammu Wave): Karl Mordo by Hasbro

Yup, I’m still working my way through the Doctor Strange wave of Marvel Legends, and at this rate I’m at least on course to get through it all before the film hits home release. Oh, and if you haven’t seen the film yet, I’ll toss out a spoiler warning here now. But, c’mon… it’s been out long enough!

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I have mixed feelings about the way the MCU treated Mordo in Doctor Strange. On the one hand, I was expecting him to be revealed as the villain to be a turning point in the movie, and I think that would have made for a more interesting story (remember, I liked this movie, but I didn’t love it). On the other hand, having him be a decent guy for the bulk of the film and doing the turn as part of the post-credit stinger, probably gave him some more depth and gives me something to really look forward to in the inevitable sequel. I’ll also confess that I really adore Chiwetel Ejiofor as an actor. He proffered a solid performance in this film, and if his wonderful performance in Serenity is any indication, he has the potential to be the best villain in the MCU since Loki. OK, granted that isn’t saying a lot, but my point is I am super excited to see him and Strange face off in the future. Anyway, with that huge digression, let’s take a look at the figure…

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Mordo dons sculpted mystical robes quite similar to what he wore in the film. There are some minor inconsistencies, but overall I think Hasbro did a decent job with the costume. The top half of the costume is sculpted as part of the buck, whereas the bottom is soft plastic and hangs down around the legs. You get some nice detail in the form of cut lines and texturing, which to me are reminiscent (maybe a bit too much) of the costume designs for MCU’s version of Asgard.

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There’s a lot of detail in the belt, although the frayed trim that is supposed to hang down from the belt is just sculpted onto the robes and isn’t terribly convincing. Am I nitpicking? Probably. While the deco here is fairly muted, you do get a nice range of colors, including two shades of green, some gray, some blue, and black. The color scheme gives a bit of a nod to Baron Mordo in the comics. All the paint on my figure is very sharp and clean. With all that having been said, I just don’t find this figure terribly exciting and that falls more on the design than it does on Hasbro’s efforts. Plus, since I haven’t opened my MCU Doctor Strange yet, Mordo is quite the loner right now and forced to hang out with the comic-based figures.

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The portrait is quite good and hits all the right points for me in sculpt, paint, and likeness. It’s a sharp sculpt that picks out enough characteristics in Chiwetel Ejiofor to make it recognizable to me. Incidentally, this is one of those many times, I’m happy I stick with written reviews, as I don’t have to butcher his name by trying to pronounce it. One odd thing worth mentioning is the really obvious seam running down the front of his neck. Weird.

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The articulation here holds no surprises. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinges in the elbows. It’s worth noting that the hinge on the right hand is orientated front to back, while the one on the left hand is side to side. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels at the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the chest and the neck is both hinged and ball jointed.

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In addition to the BAF parts, Mordo comes with his staff. It’s obviously a very simple accessory with just some wood texturing in the sculpt. It’s a little bendy, which is expected, yet nonetheless disappointing. And here’s the one place that the figure really stumbles for me and that’s not having a way for him to wear the staff on his back like he did in the film. A separate cross strap with a simple loop in the back would have been extremely welcome here.

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Mordo is a nice enough figure, but I think he suffers from a bit of a boring design, as well as being a sort of “one-off” release. I mean, sure we were going to get an MCU version of Doctor Strange, but then to just give us Mordo and not The Ancient One and Kaecilius seems like an odd choice. I mean, even as I was writing up this piece, I was wondering, “is anyone even going to care enough about this figure to read it?” Maybe once he becomes a proper bad ass, presumably in the next film, but then he’ll likely get a new costume and a new figure. Indeed, if Hasbro wasn’t going to go deep into the movie’s characters for this wave, I would have just rather they gave us comic book Baron Mordo, so I could put Strange on my MCU shelf and have a Mordo for my comic shelf. There’s certainly precedent for that, as they gave us a comic version of Batroc instead of the MCU version from Winter Soldier. Ah, but I’m probably being too picky.

Marvel Legends (Dormammu Wave): “Masters of Magic” Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo by Hasbro

So, I’ve decided to go with new content this week, rather then put the blog on autopilot with insufferable lists and hide under a blanket from the encroaching new year. This Friday I will likely be churning out some kind of retrospective and then embrace the New Year weekend from inside of a bottle. Either way, this is still the last Marvel Monday of 2016, and holy hell, even after 52 Marvel Mondays, I’m still falling behind on featuring my Marvel Legends, so let’s double up today with two figures.

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Pressing forward through the Doctor Strange Wave, today I’m checking out both of the figures released under the “Masters of Magic” Slot: The comic version of Doctor Strange and Brother Voodoo. I’ll go with Doctor Strange first, because I don’t have a lot to say about this guy.

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And that’s because he’s very nearly just a repack of the Doctor Strange we got in the Hulkbuster Wave and I can just refer you back to my earlier review of that release for most of the details. The key difference is that here, Strange has been reunited with the Amulet of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation. As for the base figure, the only variation is in his gauntets. The previous release had them sculpting as part of his forearms, while here they’re just painted. It’s a strange (Haha!) change to make. Why would you go through the trouble of taking away sculpting in favor of paint? I think the other version’s gauntlets looked better. But it’s a moot point, because you can easily just swap the Cloak onto the previous release. It’s also worth noting that the red paint on this new figure is a little brighter.

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As for the Cloak… it’s a nice piece of work. The high collar looks great, as does the gold painted border with the sculpted scollwork running through it. On the downside, it does make the figure very back-heavy and difficult to stand.

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You get the same pair of magical effect parts that were included with the last release, only this time they’re molded in orange plastic instead of green. So, let’s move on to the figure here that I was really looking forward to…

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I first met Brother Voodoo as a result of my favorite past-time as an early teen: Bicycling downtown to the used book shop and rifling through their stacks of used comics in a dark corner under the stairs to the second floor. Strange Tales was a title I always bought when I could find it, even if they were practically falling apart. And while I never had a complete run of Brother Voodoo’s stint in the book, but I enjoyed the two issues I did have. Naturally, he’s gone on to feature prominently in some heavy-hitting story-lines and needless to say, I was very happy to see him turn up in this wave. And wow, did they do a nice job on him.

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Hailing from the pages of The New Avengers, Voodoo features a basic black buck with the white skeletal motif painted onto it. All the other aspects of the costume are derived from additional pieces. You get the gold wrist bracers, the long green belt with skulls hanging off the back, and the ragged red cape that hangs around his neck. I’ll concede that this is not my favorite look for the character, but I still like it a lot. The costume looks absolutely fantastic and is a fine example of how easy it is to build a great looking figure off a standard buck and some additional parts.

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The portrait here is also superb. I love the grim countenance they gave him and his features are well defined.

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Brother Voodoo includes a pretty cool staff, which I do remember him having in The New Avengers, although not quite looking exactly like this. Either way, I can’t remember if it has a name or specific purpose. I like the transition from painted wood to translucent blue plastic.

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And yes, it is possible to convert Voodoo into The Sorcerer Supreme by giving him the Amulet and the Cloak from Strange. Alas, Voodoo’s hair is a bit at odds with the high collar making it a tight fit, but it certainly works.

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I’m tempted to complain about the fact that despite sharing a slot, you still need both of these figures to complete the Dormammu BAF. But then, I probably would have picked up this version of Doctor Strange anyway. It’s just a shame that Hasbro couldn’t have given us this more complete version first, because now that initial release is pretty much superfluous. Either way, taken on their own, these are both great figures and solid entries into this wave.