With more and more characters popping up in the MCU, companies like Bandai have their work cut out to keep up! Hell, we the audience have a hard time keeping up! And with Infinity War just around the corner we’re set to have all on remembering who’s in what country (or star system?!) looking for what Stone. And I thought Civil War was busy! That aside, when Bandai pick a character to add to their own team roster they always seem to choose rather well. So as I type this, sitting safely inside my own Sanctum Sanctorum (… at my dining room table) lets dive in and take a look at how SHF handled the Sorcerer Supreme…
WHATS IN THE BOX
- Doctor Strange 1:12 scale figure
- 2 x Head Sculpts
- 10 x interchangeable hands
- 2 x large ‘spell’ effect discs
- 2 x small ‘spell’ effect discs
- Burning flame effect pieces
Its Benedict Cumberbatch! Its a mini Benedict Cumberbatch here in my hands! Once again Bandai have mustered all their mystical energies and conjured up another incredible head and body sculpt. The first thing we all look for is a good facial sculpt on a figure made to represent a specific individual and SHF have done it again.
Both head sculpts (which we’ll call Placid Stephen and Grumpy Stephen) are fantastic likenesses of Cumberbatch as Strange. Somehow one of the most notable ways this comes across is in his unmistakable brow and cheek bones – I’ll let the photographs speak for them selves on that one, but you know what I mean – right?
However, it’d be remiss of me not to point out the awesome work and attention to detail on the rest of this figure. The robes, belts, and cloak have such incredible sculpts that at a glance you’d be forgiven for thinking the figure came with soft goods. The folds and furrows of Strange’s clothing, when lit well, just adds another dimension to this figure. The Eye of Agamotto looks great as do the blue robes with superb attention to textures and the all around finish.
Quickly, the fire effects included also have a great sculpt. Fluidic and natural, this is one hot accessory! ‘HOT‘. Like fire. Sorry.
PAINT APPLICATION 10/10
As with most if not all SHF figures currently on the market the face is printed digitally – and it looks great! Subtle details have been applied to the eyes, beard and skin tones to just up the ante on that uncanny Cumberbatchian facial sculpt.
Once again I’ll move onto the clothing – and once again its fantastic! The imperfections are what makes the paint application perfect here. The soft shadows and tonal shifts on the folds of the cloak and blue robes are what really make this shine. Golds and silvers are used to highlight the buckles on his many belts (why does he have so many belts? They’re not even holding up his pants! They’re just wrapped around his waste like a dressing gown. I went on a tangent there didn’t I?) and Eye of Agamotto around his neck and really make them pop!
Lastly I’m going to include this here as it doesn’t really fit anywhere else, but the spell discs. Love ’em. Made from printed transparent plastic they fit onto two pegs on two of the interchangeable hands. They make for great posing devices and great additions to your photographs. With or without a little tweak in post.
Double jointed elbows and knees, ball jointed ankles and wrists and a double ball joint on the neck. Add to this a pretty damn decent stomach crunch and you have a rather lovely and highly posable figure on your hands!
“So why the dropped point?!” I hear you yell. Firstly, stop yelling at me, not cool. Secondly I’m not in love with that cloak. The Cloak of Levitation included is presented in three sections, something we have seen on figures in the past to add a certain possibility to it and the ability to create different poses. “So why the dropped point?!” I hear you yell again. Firstly, I won’t tell you again! Stop Yelling at me! Secondly, I would have preferred a soft goods cloak. Make it wired down each edge enabling me to bend and shape it to my will – a little like the cloak’s appearance in the movie which if you haven’t seen it, think the magic carpet in Aladdin but more violent. Its not terrible, its not even that bad – I just think it could have been better and although I realise SHF arn’t known of their inclusion of soft goods, this could have the first and it would have been awesome!
PRICE POINT 8/10
The good Doctor along with his fiery, fiery set piece will currently set you back somewhere around the £80 mark here in the UK. Hmm. This I’m not so sure about. You’re always going to pay more for a SHF figure than your Marvel Legends or Marvel Selects (both of which do have pretty damn good Doctor Stranges to their names) but I think eighty quid is a little too much for someone like Strange who isn’t – arguably – one of the MCU’s big hitters (although I’m prepared to eat my words come May when we see him in action in Infinity War).
The non-fiery version goes for around £60 which is much more passable in my book and comes with everything here except the fire. So unless you’re big on displaying your figures and have to have that fire effect I’d go for the cheaper version. And a box of matches*.
*Dont play with matches.
OVERALL DESIGN 10/10
Love love love this figure! Care and attention to details on the facial sculpts as well as the tones and textures applied to Doctor Strange’s robes and cloak make this a really great figure for collectors and photographs alike. This is as close to the source material of the movie that you’re going to get in 1:12th scale and although this is reflected in the high price point, you get what you pay for. If you’re planning on shooting Strange through a macro lens the digital printing applied by Bandai is a must. Pure magic!