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Review: Marvel Legends Astral Doctor Strange


 

The Marvel Legends wave for the 2022 MCU movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hit stores in early Spring 2022 and included four figures from the new movie, two comic book characters, and this figure from the original 2016 movie - Astral Doctor Strange.


The decision to return to the original Doctor Strange movie, which fell in a relatively early stage for MCU Marvel Legends, was an interesting one especially as this figure could be viewed as taking up a slot of another character from The Multiverse of Madness. The choice to revisit Astral Strange is also interesting considering key characters like The Ancient One and Kaecillius have never been released. The decision may have been driven by the need for a re-use sculpt in the wave - which this is - and therefore with so many similar Doctor Strange figures to date, the Astral version was a possible point of difference.


Within the wave, the Astral Strange sits on its own in terms of packaging design. The side art is a blue-hued image of Doctor Strange while the front logo is that of the original 2016 film. Round the back, the blue hue theme continues with a short piece of text that reads


"Seeking mastery of the mystic arts, Stephen Strange soon learns to project his astral form into the physical world."

The inside insert for Astral Strange continues the blue theme and is inset with the Sanctum Santorum window design.


The figure of Astral Strange is not the same one used back in 2016, instead, the team has used the more recent No Way Home Stephen Strange and have removed the cape. This 2021 Doctor Strange is very well sculpted with plenty of details in the costume including the multilayered belt that also includes a tucked away sling-ring. The body is cast in a blue translucent plastic to recreate the effect of Astral projection - this is darker on the body and lighter in the arms and legs and with a white translucent plastic used for hands and head.

As this is the 2021 No Way Home Doctor Strange you will find an open socket in the figures back where the cape would have sat. Ideally, I would have liked this filled, but it doesn't really present an issue for display and there is the option (if you wish) to have Astral Strange wearing the red cape.


The head sculpt, as we know from the fully painted 2021 Strange, is a very good likeness to Benedict Cumberbatch. While the original Astral figure went for an unpainted look over the translucent base - this new version does apply paint to define the lips and the eyes. There is also colour added on the beard and on the hair with the side sections faded back away to the translucent base to represent where the white strands of hair would normally sit.

The figure of Astral Strange includes an alternative pair of hands allowing you to swap between gripping hands and a pair of extended spell-casting hands. You also get the Eye of Agamotto as an individual piece - also taken from the 2021 No Way Home version. This is also cast translucent but with fairly heavy-handed gold added to the pendant itself. Because this is designed to sit under the cloak of Doctor Strange, the loop of the piece sits far too high when worn and looks off.


For those that are wondering, the translucent gold lamp included in the set does not appear to be intended for Strange but instead - if a recent Funko Pop! release is accurate - is for Rintrah the BAF. If this is the case then really the lamp should be shown on the BAF breakdown and in promo shots. If it is intended for Strange then I can confirm the gripping hands will hold it, although it has no context in terms of the original movie?

Articulation on Astral Doctor Strange is completely pinless, although the inner workings of the joints can be seen due to the translucency of the body. There are 20 points of articulation in total gaining an additional two joints through a boot cut swivel. While there is no cloak with this version, the lower skirt does restrict much of the leg motion as it extends down to the aforementioned boot-cut.