At the end of the week Marvel will be releasing their newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and introducing the greater American
public to the mystical and magical corner of the Marvel Universe. And Hasbro is ready with a fourth series of Marvel Legends Infinite for the
fall which features the Sorcerer Supreme in his comic, movie and astral forms as well as an assortment of fellow magic users from the Marvel
Universe. This is also a great opportunity for those that missed out on the San Diego Comic Con exclusive sets for the last two years as the
series includes the Brother Voodoo and Dormammu from the 2015 Book of Vishanti set and the Enchantress figure that was included in this year's
Raft box set.
Packaging - Mystical Rivals 5/10, Others 8/10I think you know what to expect from the Marvel Legends Infinite line in terms of packaging by now. The black and orange colors work well for both the movie and comic figures overall. I don't even mind the multilingual packaging for the movie based figures since they aren't likely to have included any important information that could spoil the movie. But it is an issue for Enchantress and Nico Minoru as there's no realy useful information about either of them on the back of their shared card. And those two characters are not all that well known to the general public.
Sculpting - Doctor Strange (comic), Karl Mordo & Enchantress 7/10, Nico Minoru 9/10, Others 8/10The sculpting for the Dormammu series is pretty solid overall. The movie version of Doctor Strange which also shares its sculpt with the astral form figure seems like a decent likeness. Of course I haven't seen the movie yet, only a small promo clips. But at this point there just two minor issues I have with it. The neck is a bit too long to allow for the cape which the astral form version doesn't even have. And the cape, while sculpted to drape well on the figure, only looks natural in one pose. The comic version of Strange is very similar to the version released in the Hulkbuster series last year. They just changed the forearms and gave him a new cape. Brother Voodoo gets a new cape as well, but is otherwise identical to the Book of Vishanti version. Iron Fist is just a plain body with a shash and a neat pair of translucent hands with molded skeleton hand inside. The hands are awesome. But his head seems just a bit too large for the body that they used. The movie version of Karl Mordo looks great. Or at least I assume he does since I haven't seen the movie. But he has one glaring error/over sight. The shoulders don't match either the body or the rest of the sleeve. It almost looks like they forgot to mold the part or damaged the mold so they just swapped in a generic body part. Enchantress reuses the Scarlet Witch mold from the All Father series with a new skirt and head sculpt. The skirt is nice and the head sculpt is spot on. But just as with Scarlet Witch, the top of her torso has sculpted detail that doesn't match or carry over to the lower half. Finally there is Nico Minoru who seems to be a completely new sculpt. And there is an impressive amount of detail for her outfit. The only thing that isn't sculpted is the end of her sleeves. That's an impressive amount of work to put into a mold that there is little hope of reusing.
Paint - Iron Fist 7/10, Nico Minoru 9/10, Others 8/10The paint work on this series is decent for a mass market series of action figures. But many of the figures have the kind of minor quality control issues that you would expect. For Iron Fist that just means that the line at the top of his boots is not as sharp as it should be. It's a minor issue, but he has so little paint work that even a minor issue like this stands out. And speaking of limited paint work, Astral Form Doctor Strange only has his eyes and a bit of his accessory painted. And unlike past astral form Doctor Strange figures, this one isn't even cast in translucent plastic. That was really disappointing. I always like adding more translucent figures to my collection. They put more work into the regular movie version. But many of the small, gold details are a bit sloppy. Brother Voodoo has a nice amount of paint. But the paint work on his chest is intentionally sloppy around the edges as well as the wash on the skulls on his belt. Comic version of Doctor Strange, Karl Mordo and Enchantress all turned out well in terms of quality control. But they all could use more paint work. And once again, Nico comes out as the best figure of the series with the best balance of quality control and the amount of paint work that was done. The white trim at the bottom of her skirt is a bit sloppy, but everything else turned out well.
Articulation - 8/10Most of the male figures have the usual Marvel Legends articulation:
Accessories - Astral Form Strange 3/10, Strange (comic) & Enchantress 4/10, Brother Voodoo & Karl Mordo 5/10, others 7/10This series isn't really heavy on accessories, unless you want to count the capes for Strange and Brother Voodoo. Movie Doctor Strange's Astral Form only has a white Eye of Agamotto on a necklace because it just wouldn't be a Doctor Strange figure without the eye. But that's all he has and it isn't really enough. His comic version counterpart is slightly better as both he and Enchantress come with the same magical effects pieces that we have seen repeatedly with past figures. Brother Voodoo comes with the same staff as the exclusive set version from last year. Karl Mordo has a bo staff and two flaming skulls. (I think the skulls are actually accessories for the Build A Figure though as they were also included in the Book of Vishanti box set.) Iron Fist comes with a spare set of fists and two flame effects that fit over the fists. The alternate hands are really well done, especially the paint. But it's hard to beat the default translucent skeleton hands for cool factor. The regular version of movie Doctor Strange has the Eye of Agamotto necklace, a spare set of hands and a spell shield. It's hard to judge the shield since I haven't seen the movie yet. But given it is shown in some of the movie posters, I'm guessing it is rather important. And we don't see a lot of traditional sheild accessories in the Marvel Legends line. Finally there is Nico Minoru who has a magical staff, complete with purple magic effect, and an alternate arm for spell casting. The staff could be a bit more detailed but is still cool. And getting an alternate arm instead of just spare hands is a novel idea.
Build A Figure - DormammuThe Build A Figure for this series is Dormammu. As one of Doctor Strange's best known villains, he was an obvious choice. And I'm sure that a lot of fans didn't have the opportunity to pick up the Book of Vishanti set last year. And if so, Dormammu makes a decent Build A Figure. He isn't as large as some BAFs. And the sculpt is a bit tame for a demonic lord. But he can still do a great job of menacing the Sorcerer Supreme on your toy shelf. But if you were lucky or determined enough to get the Book of Vishanti set, the only difference with this version is a slightly bolder, metallic paint finish. I do think that the paint is an improvement. But it isn't enough of an improvement that I would have gone out of my way to collect this figure if I weren't already buying the series to begin with.
Value - Iron Fist 5/10, Karl Mordo, Movie Doctor Strange & Nico Minoru 8/10, others 3/10The figures in the Dormammu series are not bad figures. I really enjoyed them the first time I bought them. And that's the problem, I already basically own half of the series and the Build A Figure. Brother Voodoo, Enchantress and comic Doctor Strange just don't offer any significant improvement over the past versions. Even Iron Fist's main improvement is just the translucent hands. And I don't know if they are worth buying the character all over again. So the real highlights of this series are the figures based on the Doctor Strange movie and Nico Minoru. And even amoung those four, Astral Form Doctor Strange seems redundant and underwhelming. I'm usually a fan of figures like this simply for the translucent plastic. And I'm not alone in that. But an unpainted silver plastic figure is far less interesting. So now we're down to just three of the figures that I would bother buying again if I had the decision to make again. Both movie Doctor Strange and Karl Mordo seem like great expansions to the plastic version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in my collection. And then there is the surprise gem of the series, Nico Minoru. I know nothing of the character and I still love this figure. Yes it is a mass market figure and the quality isn't as high as collector focused lines. But the price point is quite a bit lower too. At the $20 price tag that the Marvel Legends Infinite line commands at retail, I will gladly continue to buy new characters like these three.
Happy Hunting:Hasbro has a lot of new Marvel Legends Infinite figures hitting shelves for the fall/holiday season. In fact the Dormammu series is the fourth series to be released. (And hopefully for my wallet, the last for a while.) So stores may be a bit overwhelmed trying to find space on the pegs for all of these. Despite that, I have noticed the series popping up in a lot of the local stores, including Toys R Us, Target and Walmart. I ordered a set from Big Bad Toy Store. If you are planning on jumping into the series with both feet, they are a great place to buy a case which will include all eight figures. Otherwise, feel free to pick and choose your favorite at your local store. But just be careful as if the Doctor Strange movie proves to be as popular as it looks like it might be, finding the movie based figures could become difficult quickly.