I bet that headline made a lot of you incredulous. I know it seems ridiculous for me to even mention the Marvel Legends MCU Doctor Strange in the same article as the Bandai Doctor Strange. Right off the bat, let me say that the Figuarts Doctor Strange is an amazing figure and in this instance, better in almost every way than its Hasbro counterpart.
Why write the article at all, then? Because there are some people who either don’t have access to imports, the cash to get them or, for whatever reason, just hate Figuarts. Maybe this write-up will have some surprises in store for you, or maybe it will make you write me hate emails. I’m lonely so either is ok.
Sculpt: The Figuarts sculpt is the current pinnacle of action figure face printing technology (take THAT, North Korea!). I can’t imagine anyone coming close to this likeness. When judged by the Figuarts standard, the Marvel Legend simply can’t compete.
So let’s not judge it by those standards, but rather by the standards of mass released figures. As a frame of reference, growing up, we were thrilled with this face sculpt:
It’s because of these forced childhood low expectations that I don’t rage post on forums about Darth Vader’s helmet size or the size of Captain America’s shield (although the latter really does annoy me). While the last batch of MCU figures have REALLY nice head sculpts (Gamora comes to mind immediately), this is not a bad likeness of Cumberbatch at all. Definitely passable and looks good on your shelf.
In regards to the bodies, both are really nice. I do like the darker wash on the Legends figure as well as the wrinkles in his Sorcerer Supreme onsie.
Ok, hands down, the Figuarts eats the Legends lunch. However, the Hasbro version has standard modern Legends articulation and you know what? It isn’t that bad. Its feet aren’t nearly as frustrating as the Figuarts version.
Both capes have their flaws. Both capes have their positives. Both are plastic. The Legends has a softer plastic while the Figuarts is hard, articulated plastic (that was my nickname in high school). The latter allows more poseability, but the Legends cape can be removed completely, which can help you do some more staging from the movie since Strange didn’t get the cape until pretty late in the movie. I’m going to give this one to the Hasbro version.
Like the articulation, the Figuarts blows away the Legends packaging. Hasbro offered us regular Legends boxes. Figuarts gave us this beast:
I gotta give this one to the Legends version. As I mentioned in my Figuarts Strange review, the Banda version is tiny. In real life, Cumberbatch is 6 feet tall. He should be pretty close to Chris Evans’ size. Bandai missed the mark, Hasbro came closer.
No question about it, Figuarts wins this category. Two heads, 4 effects pieces, 5 sets of hands and a set of flames (if you got the Bluefin release. I did. So kudos to me.) blows the single effect and two sets of hands from the Hasbro version. However, the Legends effects piece is NOT bad looking at all.
Am I trying to tell you that the Legends version is a better figure? No. Not by a long shot. What I am trying to tell you is to not dismiss domestic figures, because sometimes they look pretty darn good on your shelf. Hopefully, this helps if you’re on the fence about either. The better news is, you can most likely pick up the Legends version for under $10 somewhere.