Marvel Universe Astral
Doctor Strange Review

If any line showcases just how great of a learning curve toy companies are capable of, it’s Marvel Universe. I love my Marvel Legends, but with each new wave of Marvel Universe figures, I feel more and more pull towards the little line. The figures just keep getting better and better.

I don’t normally think much about buying Marvel Legends and Marvel Universe at the same time. After Marvel Legends “ended” I condensed my collection to a tight batch of favorite characters and/or great figures (usually or, ML always seemed to screw me when I wanted a great figure of a characted I loved), so I no longer have the near complete Legends collection I once had. That surely made it easier to buy MUs over the last few years, but with ML fighting its way back, I’m starting to feel a conflict. Take Dr. Strange here as an example.

When I found this wave at Target, I was planning on picking up both versions of Dr. Strange. Then I remembered that I have a perfectly good 6″ Dr. Strange sitting in a storage bin in the basement. And all of a sudden, it just seemed silly to buy a 4″ one. I ultimately talked myself out of it (for now), but I have to wonder about what this means for me as a Marvel collector. I don’t need to buy them all (and I don’t have the funds anyway), but do I really need to be picking and choosing between two scales? That seems odd and ill-suited for display. Take the upcoming Steve Rogers figures – soon available in both scales. I’ve been waiting impatiently for the MU, but now I think I should just buy the ML. That’s the sensible thing to do…

I guess that signals how I’ll proceed. Legends over Universe. I mean, there’s some stuff I have to have (like the FA Captain Britain, the Avengers 3pk for the Thor & Iron Man, etc.), but I should probably proceed with a little more self-awareness and save some money for those MLs. It’s a weird situation and I wonder how many of you out there are in the same boat…

Anyway, I decided to split the difference. Like I said, I left the regular Strange (great figure that he is), but obviously picked up his Astral Form (& a Scarlet Spidey… yeah, I’m weak). I was always disappointed that the Marvel Legends Strange didn’t get an astral variant and this one was done so well with the pearlized plastic instead of just plain clear. I had to have it even if I’m going to try and be a good little six-inch collector.

Because of that iridescent sheen, I’m going to jump ahead to the paint section. There is the tiniest bit of paint – silver for the clasp on his cloak and for his pupils. I had thought that maybe the iridescent coloring was painted on (it would likely be if this were a Mattel toy), but it appears to be inherent to the molded plastic. It’s a total home run in my book. I’m a sucker for transparent figures (I always have been) and regardless of how my Marvel collection plays out, this version of Dr. Strange won’t be going to storage anytime soon simply because of the coloring.

Since I don’t buy every MU, I’m not completely sure what’s new and reused here, but I’m willing to bet most of the figure is new, everything above the waist for sure. The legs are your standard fare (albeit much more articulated than normal) while the rest of the figure required tooling to get the Doc’s clothing just right. I only have two issues with the sculpt. One, the figure looks great in the cape, but when it’s removed, his neck is too tall. Second, I do lament that Hasbro couldn’t/didn’t add some sculpted detail to the tunic so that the design could be showcased even in this form, but I understanding that doing it this way will allow Hasbro to reuse this clothed torso when they need it again.

I wanted to point out that bit about the tunic right off the bat because everything else is sculpted and detailed. The tunic is represented by two upper torso pieces and a softer plastic skirt, the sleeves are poofy right down to the tight gloves, a soft plastic sash is added for depth, and he’s sporting a unique head and hands (well, the hands could be Spidey hands, I suppose). On top of all that is the cloak of levitiation which also has its trim pattern placed directly into the sculpt and it looks great.

Typically, when you buy clear figures (and I do) you expect to miss out on a lot of detail because the clear plastic just can’t showcase it (let alone the fact that the paint does a lot of the work these days). For example, I can tell you that Dr. Strange has a great head sculpt – but I can’t really show you in any of the pictures here. But the sculpted details on the cape and the different plastics used for depth help to alleviate that problem for the most part with Doctor Strange’s costume and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite clear figures. Continue to Page 2…

13 thoughts on “Marvel Universe Astral
Doctor Strange Review

  1. Since Mattel was kind enough to pretty much End the DCUCs for me,
    I’ll have money enough for both the Legends (That I Love.)
    AND the Universe that I’ve come to enjoy.

  2. I can’t bring myself to be interested in the relaunch of Marvel Legends because I already missed so much. In addition to being a bigger fan of DC, one of the biggest components of starting my DCUC collection was that I could get in on the ground floor so to speak.

  3. You are def not alone in being torn between ML and MU! I am in the same boat cherry picking MU’s until the legends comes out but this new wave is really hard to pass up I just picked up a Doc Doom and Scarlet spider myself (great figure) anothe great review on your part!!

  4. I’m really having a hard time as well. When Legends went downhill really fast I stopped collecting them in favor of GI Joes. Then Universe came out and I was really excited about it because 1:18th is my preferred scale, however the early MU figures were really not that great, so I have just been cherry picking the line. Now that the MU figures are getting better and better and I’m finding myself wanting more and more of them, Legends is coming back and looks great. I’m really torn, but I just don’t see any way I can pass up an Arnim Zola BAF.

  5. That’s me.I’ve been wanting Terrax the Tamer
    for a long time,and to top it off we start
    getting a ML Wrecking Crew.Can’t wait. Just hope
    they don’t all drop at once…My Poor Wallet. 🙂

  6. To be honest, I haven’t thought much about what I’m going to do once ML starts up again. Legends has been on life support for so long that buying MU just made sense. While I’m not a completist, I’ve gone from getting about half the figures in the first year to most of them now (got Strange, Scarlet Spider, and Falcon, left Skaar on the pegs and didn’t get Doom because I picked up the SW pack with him). I actually started to divest myself of Marvel Legends but didn’t get very far because I heard the news about Legends coming back.

    I like the little guys because of the army building and the multiple scales. It’s pretty cool to have a huge Frost Giant put the smack down on Thor, while a truly gigantic Galactus looks down on them both. Plus I can use previous ML BAF’s to greater effect (like Modok and Fin Fang Foom).

    Of course, Legends was all about detail and articulation. But MU is really starting to close the gap. It’ll be a tough decision.

    I honestly don’t know which way I’m gonna go. If the DCUC sub dies (and that’s looking likely), I’ll probably just get both. If not . . .

  7. I don’t have many Marvel legends…mainly all the Spider-Man bad guys and the odd other villains thrown in. However, they all wound up in my shed when they lost the competition for space with DCUC and MOTUC.

    I was tempted by the Iron Man series Dynamo and Titanium Man, but resisted. The wave they showed at SDCC was tempting, especially Constricter…but I resisted.

    But literally just hours ago, someone told me that the Wrecking Crew is coming.

    Is this true?

    If so…

    God. Damn. It.

  8. yup, that doc looks great, and even w/ a ML strange, you could easily consider the astral projection as smaller than the physical guy and incorporate the clear dude into a display w/ the larger ml fig in a “sensible” way

    for me, legends is the clear winner and will get my money when it comes back in force… but i can understand the MU community being a tad put off by the resurgence of legends, since they were sold on MU due to the cancellation of legends. hasbro had better get some damned good PR out about this topic, because of how they pushed MU in the early days.

    that said, the one area i will concede to MU collectors, their collection overall has a better scale to it than ML had. for some folks, i know that scaling is very important, so there’s still that reason, and the smaller size of the characters means they can take up less display space. so it’s not like MU is completely left w/ their thumbs up their asses here.

  9. I think Hasbro has upped the quality of MU in preparation of bringing back ML. I picked up a Skaar and Scarlet Spider because they looked awesome, and they are now that I’ve opened them up. My friend picked up a Strange, and those new ankles are so good! I hope Hasbro is incorporating that mechanism into Marvel Legends (I remember reading how Hasbro said Big Time Spidey would have a new type of articulation).

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