Welcome back to another Dan's ToyBox review! Thank you for stopping by today as we take a closer look at the Hasbro Marvel Legends Walmart Exclusive: Dr. Strange Action Figure. While on a walkabout at Walmart, I was stunned to find a corner display with both this and the Future Foundation Stealth Suit Spider-Man action figures... doubly so to see how many of each were in stock!
Dr. Stephen Strange was a brilliant, yet arrogant neurosurgeon. After suffering severe nerve damage to his hands, the result of a car accident, Strange is told that conventional medicine will not be able to help him recover sufficiently to ever practice surgical medicine again. Unwilling to accept this prognosis, Strange travels the world seeking different, arcane methods of healing. This search ultimately leads him to the Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme, mystical defender of Earth. Strange becomes his student and through diligent training and practices soon masters both the mystical and the martial arts. He soon acquires the powerful Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation. With his friend and valet, Wong, Dr. Strange moves into the Sanctum Sanctorum, a beautiful, mystical mansion located at 177A Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York City. Over time, Dr. Strange assumes the mantle of Sorceror Supreme and defends the planet from threats both physical and supernatural in nature. Dr. Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110, published by Marvel Comics in July 1963, created by the incomparable Steve Ditko.
I was so happy to start reviewing this figure, that I nearly forgot to establish our long-standing criteria. We'll take a look at the figure's: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability and upon reviewing those four categories, assign the figure an overall grade of Zero to Five toyboxes, with five being a "must have" addition to any collection.
The Walmart Exclusive Dr. Strange figure comes with an assortment of additional items. He has the spell casting hands, which are on the figure in package. One fist, and one item holding hand. He comes with an axe, a mystical staff, a blue masked head, an unmasked head (eyes open) and an unmasked head (eyes closed in meditation.) He also comes with two "spell casting" effects, which look really sharp on the figure. I am really happy with the options provided with this figure, especially the blue mask. In my research, I learned that waaaaaaay back in issue #177, after being exiled to a different dimension, Strange uses the blue mask to conceal his identity as it's the only way he can safely operate on Earth. Oddly enough, he continues to use his actual NAME... Dr. Strange, but hey... identity concealment, right? Either way, this is a neat addition to the figure which gives us a bit of esoteric knowledge about the character as well. If I'm being completely honest... I likely won't display the character with this head on, but who knows? I also really like the staff and axe, especially given that the axe has a black wash that helps bring out all of the details. I'll get more into the look of these accessories shortly but suffice it to say that these are excellent and give Dr. Strange an A for Accessories.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
If you don't have a comic book version of Dr. Strange in your collection, this one is the perfect fit in terms of appearance. The facial feature sculpts, paint design, costume details and overall aesthetic of the figure make this a great shelf addition. That being said, I do have some concerns in terms of paint applications and design. Right off the bat, the yellow paint application on the cloak is terrible. There is a lot of yellow paint "slop" around the upraised collar and the edges are very fuzzy, with the red mold breaking through in different spots. In the comic books, there is a design around the yellow edges of the cape and though there is one sculpted in, a bit of black wash over to really highlight the pattern would have gone a long way, and likely been a nice distraction from the shoddy yellow paint application. The Eye of Agamotto is a solid gold color, which could have also used a bit of a wash. It is different enough from the yellow to be distinguished from the cloak but is more bronze than gold looking. Moving on to his unmasked heads, the gray at his temples is cleanly applied and has a really nice fade as it moves toward the back of his head. the eyebrows, eyes, mustache, and subtle pink on the mouth are applied super clean and really look nice. In fact, as I look at the closed eye head sculpt, I am 99.9999% certain that's the Tony Stark head sculpt from the 20th anniversary Iron Man figure, with eyes painted closed and grey at the temples. The other noticeable difference is that the sideburns on this head are grey, while those on the other sculpt are jet black like his hair. Interesting and disappointing that quality control didn't catch this. The blue masked head has silver/white eyes and might have benefited from a black wash, but still looks nice. The two different hues of blue on his tunic are accurate to the comic and I really am impressed with the black speckling on his gloves, which is also very comic accurate. His legs are molded in black and lack any type of paint detail. As I mentioned previously, the axe is really good looking and has a nice black wash over the gunmetal which really enhances the design. The sculpt of his staff and the intricate pattern give it an ethereal sheen as well. Lastly, the two magical spell effects are molded in a translucent yellow, which spots of reddish/orange paint applications and both effects fit very nicely around his wrists, giving us a nice posing option. I want to give him an A, but that yellow paint around his cloak is just so terribly applied and the mistake on his sideburns between the two unmasked heads is egregious enough that I have to drop him down to an A- for Appearance.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
I knew, right from looking at the figure in the packaging (yes. this was one of the last window packaged figures,) that there would be limitations to his articulation. The cloak and bottom of his tunic are the two biggest hindrances to posing Dr. Strange. His head is on a ball hinge, which allows him to look down quite far, but the high collar of his cloak does limit how much he can look upward. Side to side movement is easy and unrestricted and he does have a bit of head "wobble." The shoulders will rotate and can raise out to the side; however, the Cloak of Levitation prevents the arms from going around in a full 360 and the arms cannot raise out to a traditional T pose. Additionally, there is NO bicep swivel, with the only rotation coming at the single jointed elbow. The elbow does bend in to just a bit past 90 degrees but is limited due to the sleeve sculpting. All hands rotate and hinge nicely. There is an upper abdominal crunch which bends forward nicely but is restricted by the cloak in back. His waist does swivel easily, which is a nice touch though. Sadly, due to the shape of his tunic and the relatively rigid plastic mold, his legs are extremely limited. They will kick forward a small bit, not back at all and can only split out a small amount, due to the tunic pushing them back down. The upper thigh cut works well and the double-jointed knees do bend all the way in, giving him heel to back action. There is a boot cut and the ankles hinge and pivot very easily. Though I like the figure, getting him into really good poses is difficult at best due to the restrictions of his cloak and tunic. That's a shame and the single jointed elbow with rotation is also a disappointment. Bicep swivel would have been a big help here, I feel. The other issue with this is that the cape isn't removable. It appears to be glued on at the Eye of Agamotto. I think, if the cloak were able to come off, the opportunities presented would have helped in articulation. As it stands though, I just don't feel right about giving the figure an articulation grade.
As a Walmart exclusive, I expected the price would be higher than the standard price and wasn't "disappointed." The Hasbro Marvel Legends Walmart Exclusive Dr. Strange priced out at $27.95 when I purchased him. While this does fall in the oddball range of $24.99 to $31.99, the fact that this figure drops in almost exactly in the middle and has the number of accessories packed within does put him in the reasonably priced category. I'm just grateful he wasn't considered a "Deluxe" figure because that would have been unacceptable. I'm still not too happy with the higher pricing structure (or, really, lack thereof) that I'll keep mentioning it as I hope other reviewers do, until Hasbro does something about it. So, with that in mind, he does get an A- for Affordability.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Overall, while I do have some concerns and complaints with the figure, he is a nice addition to any Marvel Collectors shelf and does look great with the other comic accurate Legends on my display. That being said, he's just a bit above average, which gives the Hasbro Marvel Legends Walmart Exclusive Dr. Strange a rating of:
2.75 Toyboxes out of 5
Dr. Strange is just good enough to add to your shelf, but only if you can find him at retail price in the wild. I definitely wouldn't chase one down on the secondary market, myself. As always, thank you for taking time from your day to check out our review and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!