The way I found this figure, or should I say this figure found me, was indeed a remarkable coincidence. I knew his wave was out somewhere in the world except that I hadn't seen it around in Singapore. But here I was, minding my own business on my usual Sunday outing to our local toy flea market. The whole affair is set up by a bunch of specialty stores in this place called China Square Central.
|Check out his astral form variant! (left)|
I was carrying my son in his brand new harness and stuck between two rows of shelves and my wife, so there was no room for any self-taught super hero acrobatic maneuvers. And anyway, I was too taken aback to answer anything else but, "Yeah," nodding my head and wondering how he'd figured that out by me looking at DCUC figures. He said, "Well I have a spare Dr. Strange figure here I'm selling for retail so it's S$19.90." (That's US$16, expensive to you guys in the U.S. but actually all right considering the low exchange rate of the American Dollar...)
I glanced at my sidekick (wife) once and then twice and asked what she thought. (Not that a super hero needs a sidekick's advice but as a husband, always check with your wife. Always. No matter how good your imaginary super powers are.) So when she said yes, I said yes and Jun Yi found this here website despite my not being able to get his name in time. Well, thanks dude! I hope you and everyone else enjoys this review. :)
Like: Look at that paint! The gold on red draws you in immediately! And I must say this is the goldest gold I've seen on a figure in a while, probably even ever. The gold on the border of his Cloak of Levitation really pops and it's also due to the runic pattern sculpted all along the hem. With the raised areas painted the effect is pretty stunning.
Dr. Strange is a pimp daddy because the gold doesn't stop there. We've got a gold sash around his waist, the gold gloves and the gold Eye of Agamotto around his neck!
Like: The face! It's Strange-ly accurate! From the white hair at his temples to that slightly raised left eyebrow! Looks like he's about to say something smartass yet weird as he is wont to do.
What weird things does he say, you ask? Well let's start with this...
Strange Quote #1: "By the dread Vipers of Valtor!"
And just for kicks, here's another.
Strange Quote #2: "In a thousand dimensions, ... the one constant is the creature called woman!"
Like: Magic spots on his gloves. though they could've given him some "magic effect" accessories. Ya know, the effects he always has around his hands when cast his spells...(pic?)
Like: The blue of his tunic is excellent, with paint shading in the folds of cloth. The finish is really smooth and looks like it was paint-shaded rather than just gone over with a wash!
Strange Quote #3: Come on, Larry. Let's go make some consequences.
Like: His awesome, bodacious, cowabunga brilliantly executed articulation. The highlight? The all new lower legs! He's got calf swivels so he can do his famous cross-legged levitation pose. Calf swivels, people! ;P
He's also got some rare swivel/hinge ankles that allow him to point and rotate his feet at the same time! Whatever foot position you want can be achieved--fully pointed toes, inwards and outwards rotation, rotating while pointing or pivoting (which human feet can't fully do).
While these ankles aren't brand new, they've only been seen on 3 figures I know of: SDCC 2010 Exclusive Captain America (and the subsequent re-release as Battlefield Cap in the movie line), Modular Armor Iron Man, and Captain Britain from the Cap movie line. And these ankles are so good that if Hasbro put these in all their figures, I'd find them very hard to resist. Throw in some thigh cuts and I'm sold, even if it's Howard the Duck.
In addition, he's got a swivel/hinge head, swivel/hinge wrists, thigh cuts and a swivel waist. How Hasbro have fit all that into such a slim figure borders on the baffling...Some might even say it's strangely magical...
Strange Quote #4: "Dr. Druid - once a Human Test-Pattern for me - but who recently found a renewed sense of Purpose, along with his Youth and restored Hair."
Like: He completes the original Defenders! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! This is really the best time to be collecting/buying figures from Marvel Universe because we're now seeing some teams being completed. You've got your X-Men, your Classic Avengers, Fantastic Four, the Hulk family (I know I hate that term too...), and even obscure teams like the Wreckers too. Now, there's the Defenders: Silver Surfer, Hulk, Sub-Mariner, and Dr. Stephen Strange. Good times. :)
Dislike: The paint wear on his wrist hinges (below) that will certainly come. It can't be helped because his hands and the hinge are sculpted in blue an painted gold. And of course painted joints will show paint wear with play.
Strange Quote #5: "I suspect you won because you had no brain large enough for him to grab onto -- to paralyze. "
Dislike: The less than sturdy plastic ball/bar combo they use for the ball and socket leg joint. This hasn't really changed since the beginning of the line. Once it comes off, it's never as secure again. And with that many flexible PoAs on his legs, they're bound to come off once in a while when you're trying to get that perfect leg pose!
Dislike: That the thigh and calf swivels started out tight but got loose after some posing. Hopefully it's a problem inherent only to my Dr. Strange but it would be strange if only mine were the only loose goose. Strange but great for everyone else. :(
Strange Quote #6: "Don't be snooty, Wong."
Aesthetics: 10/10 - Wow. Just wow. Two things would happen if this figure were on a peg:
1. You'd see it popping and grab it; or
2. You wouldn't see it at all because someone else did (1) first.
Even if you're not a fan, Strange will draw your eye to him. The reds, the golds, the white temples and the unique hand sculpts are more than enough to make you pick it up for a closer look. And when you get closer, you'll notice the wrist hinges, the thigh cuts and calf swivels. That'll convince to make him yours, by Vishanti. That's what happened to me. Did I mention the shiny, shiny gold? ;P
Strange Quote #7: "Charity Work! You've got to be joking, Dr. Benton! These are the most talented hands in the annals of medicine! They don't touch a band-aid for anything but cash! "
Poseability: 10/10 - When I look at a Marvel Universe figure nowadays, I tend to look first for thigh cuts. If it has them, then I'll check out other features, be it the paint, the sculpt or even the other PoAs. But some of the latter are hard to spot. All it took me to snag Dr. Strange was that he had thigh swivels because it really makes all the difference in how poseable a figure is. But I got lucky because after cracking Strange open, I discovered he also had wrist hinges, calf cuts and of course, those super articulated swivel/hinge ankles.
When you put together all the pieces of the figure--the spell-casting hands, the half-quzzical eyebrow, the fancy pants tunic and the gloriously flashy cloak, you've got all the right ingredients for one helluva poser. That's before you even throw in all that articulation. Even if future figures don't have the "panache" in color that Strange has, long may the great new PoAs continue!
Fun: 9.5/10 - Just loses out on a perfect score because despite all his excellent articulation, he doesn't actually need to use the full range of it. He'll never really be kung fu fighting, so it's a pity that he'll never really be posed in some agile, Spidey/Daredevil like stance. In fact, those two guys could use this articulation model way better!
But he's a great character nonetheless, a guy who borders on being a weirdo sometimes so much so that it's hard to fully call him your favourite character. But yet he can he half your fave character. Or maybe even a quarter. He's the sort of figure that fanboys like us would buy into because he's just so damn funky and kooky. Strange, isn't it? :P
Strange Quote #9: "Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!"
Overall: 9.4/10 - You can't not love this guy whether or not you're a fan of his. He's a strange character in the sense that he's not nearly at all favorite character material but yet most people would know who he is, if not by name, then by his fantastically flamboyant costume. Let's also forget those funky quotes he likes to spew out every so often. The figure successfully captures the essence of Dr. Strange (not Zom) in that sense and it's why you can't help but to want to get him. If you do, you won't regret it. It's just that simple, strangely. ;P
Strange Quote #11: Two Wongs don't make a right (Ok, I made this one up...But I didn't make this next one up!)
Strange Quote #12: