Doctor Strange, Astral Projection, was released in 2016 as part of the Marvel Legends wave to coincide with the release of his MCU movie. The wave mixed three figures from the film along with comic book versions and a comic book BAF of the films "big bad", Dormammu
Doctor Strange is packed in the standard black scooped side Legends box with an orange hue design used across the figure backing, the name plate and down each side with the image of Doctor Strange facing off against his enemies.
The box front uses the MCU movie logo at the base of the figure window, with the Legends logo at the top. The box was used on both the standard Doctor Strange and this Astral version and both figures are pictured on the reverse of the box with the briefest of text about the Sorcerer Supreme.
"The Sorcerer Supreme combats evil using many forms."
nb : My review copy did not come with the BAF part, or I believe the correct tray insert. The box is however as the figure was released, shared with the standard Doctor Strange figure.
Paint & Sculpt 2/5
The Astral Projection figure is essentially cast in a pink hued white plastic to replicate the scenes when the Doctor is on the Astral plane. This means the details in the head and the likeness to Benedict Cumberbatch are a little harder to see, but on closer inspection you can see what a good sculpt this is and that the likeness on the standard figure is lost more in the sculpt.
Fully translucent figures rarely work as they expose the joints and working within, so this solution is a compromise. The plastic is pearlescent, which helps the overall effect, but perhaps the colouring should have had a more yellow tinge than pink? There is virtually no paint on the figure, save the white applied to the eyes which looks possessed.
When you look at the scenes in Doctor Strange where they visit the Astral plane, I think it would have been nicer to try some level of colour to the base white pearlescent. On screen the Astral versions of the characters are not white like a ghost, rather they retain some colour and are more translucent. It would have been interesting to see if Hasbro could make that work - a bit like the Force Ghosts in Star Wars Black Series?
In these comparison pictures you can see that the two Doctor Strange figures from 2016 use the same exact sculpt and only the base plastic and final colour scheme were changed. The Astral version doesn't get the cloak, but can wear the one that came with the standard version for an interesting look.
As well as not having the cloak, the Astral Doctor Strange is also missing the spare hands, coming only with the spell casting versions. He also doesn't get the magic effects. He does get the Eye of Agamotto. This is cast in a white plastic with no paint apps.
It has the same issues as the coloured version in that it does not sit very well on the figure. And without the cloak to keep it in check it is almost worse on the Astral version.
Doctor Strange has a total of 20 points of articulation, two more than usual thanks to a swivel at the boot cut on the legs.
Head : ball joint neck with pivot
Body : ball joint waist
Arms : ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, double joint elbows, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hip, thigh swivel, double joint knees, boot swivel, ankle rocker
Movement is identical to that of the main line figure and posing is great for the upper body, less so for the legs behind those lower skirts.
The beauty of this figure comes with a flight stand and he looks great levitating on the Astral plane or even posed with and behind the main figure.
Astral Doctor Strange feels like a figure that should have been part of a 2-pack, and not a single release when you consider this is the same figure as the main line Doctor Strange with virtually zero paint, no alternative hands, no cloak and no magic FX accessories - calling its value for money into question.
It works to a degree thanks to the pearlescent paint, and will rely a lot on lighting to bring out the detail on display - looking much better when lit and against a darker background.
I score the Astral Doctor Strange a slightly disappointing 2 out of 5, and would have liked to see a bit more ambition and colour in the body.
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, marvel, legends, hasbr, doctor strange