Dr. Doom Maquette

Next summer, just in time for the fourth of July weekend, we'll get another Marvel superhero movie - the Fantastic Four. If you're a child of the 60's and 70's you can't help but think back on these four characters fondly, but will they play to a modern crowd?

The trailer is currently on-line if you're interested in getting a taste, but big fans of the FF have had plenty of product to choose from in recent days. And what great super hero team would be complete without an ultimate villain, the one guy that keeps them all up at night, the one guy that is their polar opposite? For the Fantastic four, that one guy would be Dr. Doom.

Doom is truly a classic villain, hurt by society and by his own scientific experiments. A tragic character, readers could find him terrible yet see themselves in his plight. What more could you ask for in your uber-cool villains? How about a nifty suit of armor with all kinds of gadgets and a scarred face to complete the package?

Many artists have drawn the good doctor since his first appearance in 1962, although many feel John Byrne was DA MAN in that regard. Diamond Select Toys has just released an 8" maquette of Doctor D in a classic pose sculpted by Derek Miller. You should be able to pick it up at your local comic shop for around $65, and I have some on-line suggestions at the end of the review.

Like most statues and busts, this one is a limited edition, with 5000 produced. That's not super limited though, so you shouldn't have any trouble picking one up.

Packaging - **1/2
Doom comes in a large box, with a nice photo of the maquette itself and the basic info. The box serves its main purpose - keeping the maquette safe and happy on its way to you - but doesn't do a whole lot to sell it on the shelf.

There is also a great, well designed and very attractive Certificate of Authenticity included, which is pretty much standard for DST statues and busts.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt itself is very good, and the armor and face have great detail and realism. The proportions are all dead on, and the style is very reminiscent of the 80's/90's Doom.

This is also one heavy statue. I'm talking heavy enough to bludgeon an annoying relative and still look good on the shelf. Part of that is the extra large base, but the material they've used - resin, polystone, whatever - seems more dense than usual. In any case, he's very sturdy, and is unlikey to break easily, even the flowing, windswept cape. I wouldn't go out of my way to test that theory, however.

The figure is really slightly smaller in scale than the JLU maquettes, closer to 8" than 10".  However, the large base pushes his overall height up closer to those, and he actually looks pretty decent on the same shelf.  I've included a comparison shot at the end of the review.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are solid if not exceptional, and certainly match up with the general character design nicely. There's a little slop here and there, particularly around the eyes on mine, but it's not major and certainly won't be a big issue for most folks. If you can pick and chose though, I'd pay special attention to the eyes and how well they line up.

The major colors that cover the largest areas are all clean and consistent, with no patchiness or changes in finish. This is particularly important on the cape, where there's a whole lot of green, and any problems with a consistent application of color would be extremely obvious.

Design - ***1/2
The term 'maquette' has gotten a bit abused over the last few years. Originally intended to refer to a statically posed statue of an animated character that was used as a guide by the animator for scale and style, it has since morphed its way into a more general term for a statue of any character, in just about any pose.

This maquette falls someplace between the two extremes. While Doom isn't technically an animated character (at least not in this style), he is a comic book character. And while you wouldn't call his pose exactly static, at least both his feet are planted evenly under his body, and he's facing forward.

The size and scale of the maquette fits in adequately if not exactly with the JLU maquettes from DC Direct, although the use of a rather large and impressive base sets him apart visually. The cape is done in a very dynamic style, flowing out behind him, sort of like a swimsuit model's hair in a hurricane. I'm not a huge fan of the "I'm standing in front of a giant fan" look, but it's done fairly well here. I do like the arm and body pose, done in a very classic "Curse you!" pose, perfect for Doom.

The base is also nicely done, with both the Marvel and Doom logos. Had they gone with a slightly less exaggerated cape pose, I would have been happy to give them that extra half star in this category, but for those that like that style, this is a great maquette.

Value - **1/2
I'm giving them a fairly average score here, comparing them to the other maquette prices on the market right now. Many of the DC Direct maquettes retail in the $60 - $70 range, but that doesn't mean they fly off the shelves at that price. This is fairly comparable, but since this line of maquettes is just getting started (I've only seen the Spidey so far), it might be a tougher sell. People like statues in this style when they can have a group, and without the FF to stand next to him, it might be hard to convince people to shell out the $65 at this point.

Overall - ***
This is a well designed, dynamic statue, that would look great with a set of Fantastic Four maquettes.  He's a tad lonely on the shelf all by himself, but at least Doom got to battle just about every good guy in the Marvel universe at one point or another, so he can mix and match pretty well.

Things to Watch Out For - 
It's going to be tough to do, since the box design doesn't allow you to see the maquette, but if you can pick and choose, pay special attention to the paint job on the eyes.

Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2 
Paint - ***
Design - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy - 
Your local comic shop may have them in, or you have a number of on-line options, including:

- Southern Island has the doctor for $55.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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