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Doctor Strange

Spider-Man: No Way Home
by yo go re

Usually the addendums go on the blog, but today, the Spider-Men are the real review and this one is just the afterthought.

Possessing vast magical knowledge and skills to call upon, Earth's Master of the Mystic Arts steps onto the battlefield.

These No Way Home toy bios are written so vaguely, to avoid even the barest hint of spoilers for things that even those of us who dodge unwanted advance knowledge the way Neo dodges bullets have already known for months, that this one makes it sound like Dr. Strange has just been added to Smash Bros. "When he gets into more trouble than he can handle alone, Peter Parker turns to Dr. Strange, the Master of the Mystic Arts, for advice." There you go, marketing copy that doesn't give anything away but still actually says something about why the dang character is in this line at all. Not that difficult!

If nothing else, this is at least the best-looking Stephen Strange there's been yet: the original predated Photo Real printing, and the Infinity War one had a weird-shaped head. This version gets the best of both worlds! Between Peter's devotion first to Tony Stark and now to Dr. Strange, do you get the feeling Uncle Ben had a thin goatee, and Pete's just projecting?

What makes this figure unexciting is the body. It's mostly all new molds - the hands and legs are reused from the previous Stranges, but is anyone going to notice or care about that? But doing unique sculpts doesn't really accomplish much when he's still wearing the same basic blue outfit. Oh, the wraps around his forearms are in a slightly different position? The ends of his belt hang straight down instead of blowing to the side? Well whoopdeedoo! Even his cape is the same updated mold from the Infinity War toy. Until Marvel puts him in a different costume, there's not a lot Hasbro can do.

On the plus side, we do get new accessories. The Eye of Agamotto is a new, crisper mold with more detail in the cord that hangs it around his neck. In addition to the open hands he's got on in the tray, there are also a pair shaped to hold something, and a pair with magical effects: a large one for the right hand and a smaller one for the left. They're translucent yellow mandalas, like we've seen before, but the edges are fairly smooth now, rather than fiery. Better than a re-use, that's for sure!

If that's not enough to help move him off the pegs, Dr. Strange does include a Build-A-Figure piece: Armadillo's head.

The first series of Spider-Man: No Way Home figures is... workmanlike. You know, how you'd describe a performer who isn't thrilling, but does their job reliably. This Dr. Strange is better than the ones we got before, but if you have either of those, he's not a must-buy upgrade or anything.

-- 12/06/21


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