Monday, July 4, 2011

Marvel Universe 3.75" Wave 14 Dr. Strange

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!  What strangeness have we here?

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)
So I was taking a look at loose DC Universe Classics figures going on clearance at (Vincent's) Toyrealm when a guy jumps out from now where brandishing this plastic bag.  I thought he was gonna try clock me over the head with the bagful of toys and steal my haul except that I hadn't bought anything yet.  But then he asks, "Excuse me, are you a Marvel Universe collector?"

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 bought it from overseas and I've checked it for good paint and chose it precisely because it wasn't messed up like the Skaar I saw, so if you're interested..." he added.

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!

Strange Quote #8: "If anyone else had said that, I'd have called her a naive fool -- in squeaks and hisses. "

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!"

Value: 8/10 - Dr. Strange deserves a good score despite coming with only the standard figure stand.  They've done away with the Fury Files "Top Secret" letters and accompanying I.D. cards.  While those were nice to have, thy weren't necessary at all.  If doing away with those means getting higher quality sculpts, better paint and improved PoAs like Dr. Strange, then I'm all for it!  I'm still bummed they couldn't give him a couple of "sorcery" energy hand attachments or an amphora containing the Essence of Zom, or perhaps even the Book of Vishanti.  Now those would've been way cool!

Strange Quote #10: Be silent! Your cowardly sniveling does not become you! Stand aside while I save your undeserving life!

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:


  1. Wow, LOVE this figure!! I've managed to get my hands on Red and Gray Hulk after a LOT of searching, as well as First Appearance Cap, but I would give them up for Doc Strange there. That articulation is definitely impressive, but as Marvel Legends taught us, the more figures move the more QC falls behind, which is a shame. Overall, though, I'm thrilled that they did right by the good doctor!

  2. Congrats on the great find...and on the wedding as well! Er, it's donw, right? Lol. Hope you guys are enjoying it!

    Good point about Marvel Legends. Let's hope they've learned their lesson from that so that Marvel Universe benefits! :)

  3. Looks great - I'll be keeping an eye open for him.

  4. Haha, yeah we got married last weekend and had a honeymoon for a week, hence the lack of any writing/blogging getting done! I'm definitely settling back into things and should be writing more tomorrow and on from there. Likely one or two of those writings will be for Chase Variant! =)

  5. Ooh, awesome! I look forward to it. And just to update you on the Iron Man situation--I'm sending it out tomorrow! So sorry, I know I promised to send it earlier but got swamped with stuff. So to make up for it I'll send you something extra as well! ;)

    Once again, congrats to you guys. I feel like I just got married myself but it's coming to a year!

  6. Don't even worry about it sir!! I would never turn down something extra, but really - I totally understand about getting swamped with life! Babies and wives and toys all have a habit of doing that! Haha!

  7. Haha, thanks for understanding, dude. You da man! ;)

  8. WANT...WANT...WANT...


    *grabby hands*

  9. Anywayyyy...


    Wes will receive his package, only to find that "something extra" was _____.

    A: A Box of Spiders

    B: The One Ring

    C: "My ear."

  10. I can't want for this figure to show up in my neck of the woods. It's a shame that he looks a little plain without the cape, but that cape is really nicely done anyway. And it isn't like the good doctor is well aquainted with subtlety.

    And if characters like Dr. Strange are getting the bonus articulation, then you don't need mystical powers to forsee that marvel universe fans have some good times ahead.

  11. Wow. You are so lucky to have this figure. I expect that he won't be out in the US for another few weeks or so. But man am I relived to find out that this figure won't be a waste of my time to hunt down. Hmm, I wonder if there's a spell that can summon this figure to me instantly... I better go check the Book of Vishanti.

  12. I can't wait to find one here! Congrats on your awesome find and thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  13. @Ridureyu - Lol, thanks for the ideas for "extras".

    @Henry - No you don't! I think it's a safe bet we'll get some of these new parts in future figures like you say! :)

    @Soundwave - I was terribly lucky! Yes, you check that book, now. Lol.

    @jboypacman - You're always welcome! :)

  14. A practical joke:


    1 small cardboard box
    1 cardboard square roughly the same dimensions as top/front side of box
    1 spring, medium-strength
    1 bag/box full of small black plastic spiders (you know the ones. No paint, so they look semi-realistic)

    Take the box, use the extra square of cardboard as a false bottom, and put the spring below it. Stuff the box to capacity with fake spiders. Ideally, you want it to have moderate resistance. The spring/false bottom/spiders should not BURST out, but should be gradually pushed out of the box, as if they just saw the opening and are making their bid for freedom.

    Stuff the box full, tape it shut, and give it to somebody as a gift. CONGRATS! You just lost a friend!

  15. He'll never really be kung fu fighting...

    Except in this review, where he's ninja kicking with the best of 'em! AS IT SHOULD BE. I mean, I can understand how people are willing to forgive diminished articulation because a character isn't all that agile on the page, but who's to say that character couldn't be agile in your imagination? If they can make a Blob figure capable of ninja poses or a Professor X to rival Spider-Man, I say bring it on! :D

    Anywaaaay, great review as always, Ewan. This definitely does seem like a near-perfect figure, though I'll probably pass nonetheless because I don't care about Strange in the least. You made an excellent case for him, though!

    And re: the new ankles -- they're on a lot of MU figures now! The Jim Lee Cyclops has them, Cable has them, APOCALYPSE has them... it seems like most of the new figures with thigh cuts are getting them as well. Stuff like this has me *this* close to switching scales, in addition to dwindling space and an abundance of readily available 4" custom fodder. If they start giving G.I. Joes rocker ankles (these new wrist hinges are cool, but I'll take the ankles any day), that'll be the tipping factor.

    Also, am I the only one who noticed? THIS REVIEW COMES FROM THE FUTURE!!!

  16. It's July 4th in Singapore.

  17. Where did you get that toilet?

  18. Well, I found a spell to summon the figure, but when I cast it all I wound up with was a Captain America: The First Avenger Armored HYDRA Soldier! Nuts! ;)

  19. I suppose Dr. Strange's physique suits him (after all, he's no Hulk, Thor, or Captain America) but--as is my usual complaint with Marvel Universe action figures--isn't he a little thin?

  20. I had a choice between this MU figure and a DCUC White Lantern Jordan in a contest I just won- I chose this Dr. Strange based on this review- Thanks, you sold me on him :)

  21. Dr. Strange looks like a Ballerina, ahah, but really, a great figure, keep it up hasbro! (please)
    Nice review bro 8)

  22. @Wes - Apocalypse has them?!?! And I've been on the look out for him, Cyclops and Cable but I wasn;t looking too hard. Now I know I've GOT to get them. Thanks for the tip!

    You also make a good point: a little extra articulation never hurt anyone. ;) And here's a message from the future: convert, Convert, CONVERT! ;P

    @Ridureyu - Lol, I'm sure We GR will be able to appreciate such a joke, if I play it one him (No Wes, no shenannigans. Promise. ;P)

    To answer your question, it's an accessory from a WWE figure. I think Chavo Guerrero? There's actualy a buton in the bowl the makes a flushing and gurgling sound s if you're dunking someone's head in it. Lol.

    @Soundwave - Lol. Great find!

    @Wayward Knave - He seems fine. Some figures can be a tad thin, like all the Iron Men. But like you say, he's Dr. Strange so the physique is not a problem, perhaps it's even more suitable for the character. :)

    @SDTB - A great choice, my friend. Glad to be of service. ;)

    @jeck0ong - Thanks!

  23. A good point, Sir Dragonbane, as there really is a wide range of variation in terms of body types in the Marvel Universe (just like in real life). And yet--as is the case with the Iron Men--you'd think Marvel would at least get some say in the final look of the figures just to see if it matches up to their designs. Take a look at the MU Spider-Man 2099 - he looks more like Reed Richards or even Amazo because of how thin he is.

  24. awesome review and great fig!

    wouldve bought him but i only had enough cash to get Scarlet Spider~

  25. @Wayward Knave - I would think that Marvel would have some sort of say in the look of the figure but as for at what stage, that's anyone's guess. Yeah, some figures look "off", like the thicker torso bucks of Daredevil and Reed Richards. Some look too thin like the Iron Men. I'm not sure haw 2099 Spidey should look though but you;re probably right for him as well. But I think in general the figures come off being the right "thickness." Lol.

    @The Alansong - You should've got them both! ;P But I think Strange will be harder to find. I hear Scarlet Spidey and Falcon are the peg warmers so far...

  26. Awesome fig, I really really want Dr. Strange on my collection. I am too choosy when collecting MU figs, I also tend to look for thigh cuts first. I think Dr. Strange here has the most PoAs (not perfect coz he still lacks double jointed elbows) in all MU figures, he even beaten out his 6 inch scale because of the rocker ankles. I hope I can find him here, I've missed a couple cool MU figs lately. And while you're hunting for Cyke, Cable and Apocalypse, don't forget Bleeding Edge Iron Man to include on your list, he too got the new ankles - of course you knew that already. :)

  27. @Killing Time - Here's hoping you find him. ;) I'm not sure if he needs double-hinged elbows and I'm not sure if it'd break up the sculpt too much, but like Wes says, the more PoAs the better! As long as it dosesn't make his arms look odd! ;)

  28. This figure is awesome, in my city (Mexico City) the wave of this figura arrived yesterday, and there are a lot of this Doc Strange, but there's no signal about the astral form variant here.

  29. @Anonymous - Oh wow, that's great! Don't worry about not finding the Astral version--it's not nearly as awesome as the regular version. I've seen it in one store here and you can't really tell it's Dr. Strange. The plastic they used really doesn't do the sculpt any favors. Thx for reading! :)

  30. The bad part, the wave of Cable never arrived here, so, I will wait to the christmas season.

  31. Lol, I still haven't seen Cable or Cyclops out here as well...

  32. That's bad.

    Now, this week, some people in my country reported the team packs-F4, XF, Avengers-at a toy store, so, I hope I will see them at my local Walmart.

  33. Good news. I hope you'll see them soon too! ;)

  34. Thanks, oh, another bad part, the figures are at $13.25 dollars, $155 pesos.

  35. Ugh. It doesn't help that the world's economy is on verse of collapsing as well. Or at least that's what it looks like to my untrained eye. Hope things get better for you!

  36. thanks, now the Cable's wave arrived this week, I bought Cable, and Cyclops!!!

    But, the were at $189 pesos (15.75 dollars) and today I bought a Dr.Doom for $129 pesos (like 10 usd)...


  37. You're welcome! Toys for a bargain price? Always great news. And the Philippines has got to be one of the best places to hunt for toys, not to mention have some of the nicest people! ;)

  38. Well, after two and a half months of searching, I finally snagged this guy! A great figure indeed. And now begins the long search for the variant... ;)

  39. Lol, good stuff! The variant is waaay expensive and really not as pretty in -hand though. But it's still worth a once-over in person just so you can see or yerself firsthand. ;)


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