Marvel Select Doctor Octopus
By Hervé St-Louis
September 8, 2007 - 14:12
Revitalized in the 2004 Spider-man movie
, Doctor Octopus was given the classy treatment as a Marvel Select action figure. Dr Octopus, also known as Otto Octavius, was created in The Amazing Spider-man #3 in 1963 by Stan Lee and Steve Dikto. One of Spider-man’s main nemesis, he has plagued the web slinger on his own and as part of the Sinister Six. As Dr Octopus used to look like a total geek, this new version of the character makes him more menacing and convincing. The set also comes with a Spider-man action figure that fits directly in Dr Octopus’ tentacles.
The action figure’s looks are based on the modern comic book styling inspired by the second Spider-man movie. Here Dr Octopus wears a long cape-like coat, has no glasses and has a better hair cut than his traditional bowl cut.
This action figure looks less comedic than the classical Dr Octopus look. He’s more believable as a tough villain that’s about to pound Spider-man. His pose is decisive with his right-hand fist posed as if he was mentally controlling his mechanical arms. Although somewhat fat, it’s appropriate for a middle age character. This interpretation of Dr Octopus borrows a lot from gothic culture but it works.
The paint application is excellent. The base colour of his coat is dark green with several varying tones making it look like worn leather. His face looks tanned. There are no highlights in his hair, as it’s all the same colour. Something that would have made the mechanical tentacles look better would have been more consistent metal sheen, or rust. The tentacles have highlights but they are bluish and almost blend within the base coat.
As a Marvel Select action figure, Dr Octopus is about seven inches, which means he will not fit well with Marvel Legends or Hasbro’s Marvel-based action figures. Yet, he will fit remarkably well with, of course the Spider-man action figure in the set, and previous Marvel Select action figures, like the Ultimate Thor
, Ultimate Captain America
, Ultimate Iron Man
and the Green Goblin
Without the tentacles, Dr Octopus would be stable. However their weight pulls him in one direction depending on how one poses him. Of course, with that many arms, it’s easy to balance him. They contain wires within them and can be used to counterbalance him anyway you see fit. With some work it should not be difficult at all to find a good permanent pose for Dr Octopus, even while holding Spider-man in one of his tentacles.
Dr Octopus’ articulations are quite limited. He’s got but five of them, at the neck, the shoulders and the hips. No more is needed though as the tentacles are where all the fun is with this action figure.
The Spider-man here, reminds me of Mark Bagley’s. He has wide eyes and a thick black line around the lens. His built is very muscular, almost like a football player.
The sculpt is not my favourite because Spider-man is too buffed. Yet, it’s a good figure but without any particular pose. As a stand alone Spider-man action figure, it would not be my favourite because of his proportions, but as part of a set, it works.
The paint application is not as good as Dr Octopus’. The spider webbing designs are etched on the plastic and filled with black paint, intermittently. The black paint also left a thin coating all over the action figure that made it seem dirty. The blue and red areas of the costume have some light shading but nothing particular.
Of course, Spider-man is a seven-inches action figure that will fit with previous Marvel Select action figures released.
Spider-man is stable up to a certain point. His chest is so wide that it’s top heavy. The legs are thick enough to support the figure, but their plastic is hollow, making stability an issue. Unlike Doctor Octopus, he has peg holes in his soles, but if one display the figure in one of the Doctor’s tentacles, all stability problems are averted.
Spider-man has 16 articulations at the shoulders, biceps, elbows, forearms, hips, knees, ankles, waist and neck. The shoulders have ball joints. Because of the brittle plastic, the motion ranges of the articulations are limited though. The articulations also tend to weaken quickly, which means the knees and the waist will spin on their own easily if you play with the action figure often. If you have this piece on display at your work desk, I would discourage letting your co-workers play with it. They will be too harsh on the joints and weaken the action figure.
The plastic for both characters is hollow. It is easier to add complex paint to this plastic, but at the same time, it makes durability an issue. These action figures are not for kids. They will smash it quickly. Doctor Octopus’ coat is made mostly of rubber though.
There are four identical tentacles that one can attach to Dr Octopus’ back. You have to twist the pegs at the ending so they remain attached. The tentacles will fall off often if the figure is moved around often. The wires inside their rubber shell, is tough and can bend in any direction and hold its posing indefinitely. It’s too bad that there are no wires in the tips of the tentacles. They would have made the articulations of the claws possible.
The set comes with a large plastic bubble glued on a cardboard with illustrations of Dr Octopus. It’s a fine set in the box. It’s easy to open and doesn’t require scissors.
At the time this action figure set was marked up at about $25. Prices vary from $19.99 to $25.
Remarkably, this set is quite easy to find at several stores. Marvel Select has re-offered its action figures several times within the direct market and outside. This mean that prices should not be exorbitant. I like this set a lot and it really is a great looking piece on a work desk, provided your co-workers don’t twist Dr Octopus’ tentacles too much.
Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45
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