By Hervé St-Louis
July 31, 2006 - 12:12
Dr Strange is was a vain surgeon trained who lost the use of his hands and travelled to the Himalayas to regain their usage. There he gained something else. He gained insight making him Marvel’s premier mage. Introduced in Strange Tales #110, in 1963, this is the first Doctor Strange action figure from the Marvel Legends’ line.
Dr Strange is easily recognizable because of his moustache, white temples, blue tunic, yellow sash and long red cape. Traditionally, his cape is adorned with gold patters around the edges. In some drawings, the lining continues around the cape’s collar that connects at the Eye of Agamotto, the medallion Dr Strange sports on his chest and which provides him with part of his powers. For the figure, the lining is limited to the edge of the cape’s opening and the spot parallel to Dr Strange’s neck.
The antenna shaped edges on top of the cape’s collar change shape according to the artist. In some illustrations, they protrude and even take weird shapes. In some, they are short. The cape’s antenna-shaped collar is small on the figure. The pattern on the blue tunic is also irregular, depending on the artist. Here, it is coloured blue as opposed to yellow in some comics. This figure seems to be non artist specific.
Although his cape makes his look imposing, without it, Dr Strange looks puny and just like a regular man with leotards. In particular, his legs are thin, giving him the look of a bodybuilder who neglects to train his lower body. As Dr Strange is not supposed to be a super muscular hero, it works, although it makes him look less impressive. The articulations are well hidden in the sculpt, although on my figure, the neck joint wasn’t painted in flesh tone. It was left in black. Not a good thing.
The best paint job is on the cape which has multiple tones around the ridges. There are however several pain spills on the cape and on the figure. They are mostly yellow spills from the gold lining. I don’t like the gold lining on his cape because it lacks details and patterns. It doesn’t even follow the encrusted patterns on the cape. The legs are completely paint-less and in the original black plastic material. Still, they and the tunic have enough spills. Dr Strange’s white temples are grey instead of being white.
Dr Strange is a short figure smaller than many Marvel Legends action figures. I don’t mind this as the character is an aged man and not everybody in the Marvel universe should be 6 feet (or six inches tall) and super buffed. Yet he fits nicely with other Marvel Legends action figures.
Dr Strange is not stable. His ankles’ articulations are weak and his cape heavy. The cape offers little support as it is not flat at the bottom. Only one area in the back touches the ground. It can be used as a base to correct the figure’s balance, but for short periods only. Even without his cape on, Dr Strange is unstable and putting him on an action figure stand will not improve his condition.
Dr Strange has 30 articulations depending on how you count his shoulders’ joints. He has ball joints’ mechanisms at the shoulders connecting to a round plate inserted as his armpits. In other Marvel Legends action figures, this plate offers added shoulder flexibility and movement. With Dr Strange it doesn’t add much. He has other articulations at the biceps, the elbows, the forearms, the wrists, the palms, the waist, the thighs, the knees, the claves, the ankles, the toes, ball joints at the hips and neck. His elbows and knees have double articulations.
Dr Strange’s in PVC that’s sturdy enough for a kid to play with while his cape is in rubber. His sash and the lower part of his tunic, seem to be in lighter PVC material. His chest is hollow and not made in the same plastic as his legs, and arms. His neck is sculpted with the torso part and only the head attaches to the top. There are wide cavities opposite the elbows, allowing the figure to flex its arms. It doesn’t look good. It’s as if the sculptor designed Dr Strange with bended arms.
Besides the cape, Dr Strange has no prop. It would have been cool to have a detachable Eye of Agamotto that could fit the collar of his cape. The package also comes with the right arm of the Galactus 16-inch action figure.
Like all Marvel Legends action figures, Dr Strange comes in a clear plastic bubble pack that must be opened with scissors. I advise parents to open these packs for their children as the shards of plastics from the packaging can cut and hurt kids.
Dr Strange costs about $8 in most large surface retail stores. Prices vary at specialized Internet stores. Buying this figure as part of a full case is cheaper. However, you may be stuck with unwanted doubles.
Dr Strange is not a popular character although he is a constant presence in the Marvel universe. He’s like that uncle that gets invited to every party because it would be unheard off not to invite him but he doesn’t really tell much jokes or anything. He just stays around sipping ice vodka. In any Marvel even Dr Strange is a must. However, he hasn’t had a comic book of his own in years, and appears either as a guest star or in other team books such as the Defenders. Needless to say, there are constant talks of a Dr Strange film from Marvel, so the character might have a cult following. I would get this figure anyhow.
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