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Thursday, July 06, 2017

S.H. Figuarts Marvel Doctor Strange Action Figure Review


There comes a time in your life when you won't accept anything other than the crème de la crème. That time came to me when I came out of the Doctor Strange movie wanting an action figure of the titular hero to add to my Infinity War roster. Plenty of options came out, but was I gonna go for that shitty, not-even-screen accurate Marvel Legends one? Hell no.

What I needed was the Rolls-Royce of Doctor Strange action figures, one befitting the stature of such a magnificent man as Benedict Cumberbatch: Bandai's recently-released S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange figure, which finally arrived at my doorstep ready to review! Let's jump right into it!

This version of S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange comes in a huge box that displays the figure and its accessories well enough. That's a whole lot of box for storing and displaying, though. I guess the flame effects needed some really huge clearances!


But come on, you don't box in the Sorcerer Supreme like that. Let's take a closer look!

Despite standing a shade under 6 inches tall, Figuarts Doctor Strange is nonetheless packed with detail you'd come to expect from Bandai. The details are sharp for a figure of this size, from the texture of his many belts to the golden Eye of Agamotto resting on his chest. Paint is expertly applied all around, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any errors. As this is an almost $80 figure, it's all but expected.


The headsculpt bears a passable resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch as seen in the movie Doctor Strange. It's not a spitting image, for sure, but in certain angles there's no denying that this is the Sorcerer Supreme standing on your desk!


Figuarts Doctor Strange has surprising flexibility for someone with a cape and skirt. It has all joints S.H. Figuarts is known for, and has good range of motion all around. The soft plastic "skirt" doesn't hinder hip articulation at all, and his Cloak of Levitation has enough clearance from his arms to allow him to do all sorts of poses you may expect from a Sorcerer-in-training.


And yes, his signature cloak also has articulation of its own! The sides of the cloak can swivel outward to simulate his cape fully expanded., while the entire cape has a hinge attached to the collar piece to let you display Doctor Strange with his cape blowing in the wind as if deep in thought in the frozen wastes of Kathmandu. The cape is made out of hard plastic that makes Figuarts Doctor Strange back-heavy, though, so keeping him upright will be quite the challenge especially since he's not packaged with any figure stand.


Figuarts Doctor Strange is packed with very important accessories, namely the energy "mandalas of light" that sorcerers like Strange conjure up during their everyday magicking. Two big orange mandalas printed on thin transparent plastic circles peg into special alternate hands to let you re-enact Strange's battle with the dread Dormammu, and they look amazing in the right light.


Those aren't 'shopped. That is what they actually look like in his hands. Amazing, aren't they?

There are also two small green mandalas that let you do Strange's timey-wimey scene from the movie. They may not look that green here, but in the right light I'm sure you can make these suckers pop in pictures.


An alternate head is also included, which apparently is a talking or angry face. I say "apparently" because Bandai has switched to printing the facial features onto the headsculpt instead of painting by hand, which unfortunately will be prone to errors like mine have. Mine looks glassy-eyed and faded like their printer ran out of ink. Sad, but I'm just glad the default head is fine. Something to look out for in case you're thinking of getting this.


Rounding out the accessory count is the reason why I paid premium for this set: Tamashii EFFECT Burning Flame effects packaged with Figuarts Doctor Strange. Cast in solid yellow translucent plastic with orange highlights, they're perfect for displaying Doctor Strange as if he's fighting the very forces of Hell or saving orphans from a burning building. To be honest, it's not really worth paying extra for these, especially if you're not in the market for flame effects for your figures anyway. But since they look real nice, I can't complain. I will probably give these effects to my future Human Torch figures.


If you're thinking of adding Figuarts Doctor Strange to your Marvel Legends MCU lineup, you might want to hold your horses. At under 6 inches tall, Figuarts Doctor Strange is simply too small for even the shortest Marvel Legends figure among the MCU Avengers made so far. Even my MAFEX Iron Man towers over a figure based on 6-foot-tall Benedict Cumberbatch!


But despite the dodgy height difference and the sloppy face printing, my verdict is that S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange is the best 1:12-scale representation of the good Doctor that money can buy. The Marvel Legends doesn't even come close. They're not even in the same multiverse. The accuracy, quality, detail, and amount of accessories blow any lesser versions out of the water. If you're looking to round out your Infinity War display, this is the figure to get.


I got the Doctor Strange and Burning Flame Set, which retails around $80, but there's also a regular version without the flame effects being sold for around $60. If you're into saving money, the regular version is a fine bargain *wink wink*. Shout out to Hobby Collector, who came through with my order in record time! 10/10 will order again!

I hope my review was useful to you and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it! What did you think of Doctor Strange? Are you excited for Infinity War? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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