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Doc Ock

Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

Patton Oswalt's back, and he's pissed!

Otto Octavius gears up with four mechanical tentacled appendages as the evil genius Doc Ock.

You have to give Hasbro credit: while they're giving us lots of new characters and designs in their Spider-Man Legends line, they also give at least one slot per series to a classic, major character who could use a nice modern update. For Series 7, that's Dr. Octopus, who requires an entirely new sculpt - no matter how many stock bodies you have in your parts library, you can't turn a superhero physique into something more befitting an average superhero fan. Otto is a little teapot, short and stout, and even without four mechanical ports in his back, there's no one else who would match him physically. He's wearing his green suit with the yellow boots, belt, collar and gloves, and there are small wrinkles to make it clear this is cloth, not whatever perfect body-hugging material comic characters usually wear.

The head is sculpted with that oh-so-flattering bowl cut - or rather, it's not. The hair? It's a separate piece of PVC glued into the head. Why? Was the illusion of depth so important? His glasses are separate, too, with eyes sculpted and painted behind them. And yet they're glued on and definitely not removable, so why bother? There's a terrific angry grimace opening his mouth, but it would have looked just as good without the extra, separate pieces creating the details above it.

Doc Ock just breaks the 6" mark, which makes him slightly short by the not-actually-six-inch scale that Marvel Legends are done in, but that suits him. The figure has a balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinge kneees, swivel boot tops, and swivel/hinge ankles. Plus of course, four swivels where his extra arms plug into his back.

Unfortunately, that's all the articulation those arms are going to get. When ToyBiz made their Marvel Legends Dr. Octopus, he had bendy tentacles with articulated fingers; these arms are in a permanent shape, and while the "hands" are on balljoints, they're so deep that there's almost no range of motion. The sculpt is more what we consider the "proper" look, with simple segmented tubes, but the arms are fundamentally pre-posed, ruining half the fun. We get two short arms (bent in a U-shape) and two longer arms (in the shape of an S), but that's all they'll ever be. And thanks to the shape of the longer arms, the grabby hands will never be pointed anywhere but off to the side.

(For the record, the arms aren't exact copies of one another: they're labeled SR and SL, and XR and XL, but they're still not that different and they're still not poseable.)

Now, there are two ways of improving this. First, if you have the old ToyBiz Doc Ock, the pegs from his bendy arms are the same thickness as the pegs on these, so they'll fit into the modern figure's back (though they will stick out slightly unless you trim the length a bit). Alternately, you can do what some enterprising customizers did and buy small LED lamps, and use the flexible neck to create your own arms. That really does look nice when it's complete, but wouldn't it have been better to just make useable arms in the first place?

Because of his new body, his new head, and his new arms, Dr. Octopus has already blown his portion of this series' budget, so he does not include a piece of the SP//dr Build-A-Figure. But that doesn't matter, because everyone is going to want him anyway. But in all honesty, if you have the ToyBiz one, you don't need to get this one; he just isn't an upgrade. Sure, there are ways to make his arms better, but why should you have to do yourself what should have been done from the beginning?

-- 12/07/18

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