Marvel History - The Dark Side
Posted 02/16/01
Overall score - **
*1/2 out of ****

(Originally published at the Comic Book Galaxy)

With all the great figures coming out from DC Direct, we sometimes forget that there are still some nice Toybiz/Marvel items popping up.  Last week the new Marvel History, The Dark Side figures snuck into comic shops, taking lots of folks by surprise.

This is a set of four characters, most of which we have never seen in figure form before.  There's Doctor Strange (and yes, he we've seen before but not in this form), Man-thing, Dorammu and Vermin.  My local comic shop is selling them for $9.99.  You can think of these as mini-Famous Covers, with a small card included showing cover artwork for each character.

Packaging - ***1/2
As bubble cards go, these are pretty nice.  The graphics are good, there are decent bios, and the overall feel is appropriately spooky.

Sculpt - ***1/2
Toybiz can do great sculpting when they really set their minds to it.  Some of these figures are better than others - Vermin is top notch, while Dorammu is the weakest of the bunch - but overall the sculpting on the figures and accessories is great.  

Value - ***
These figures are certainly a better buy than the higher priced DCD figures.  But I still hate paying this comic shop premium - these figures should really be selling for $7-$8 each.  You can't complain too much though, since it's unlikely we'd ever see some of the character choices if they were selling only through the mass market retailers.

Articulation - ***1/2
All four figures sport the pretty standard Toybiz articulation - neck, ball jointed shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, ankles, waist...while this is no surprise for a Toybiz figure, it beats the pants off some of the current comic shop competition.

Accessories - ***1/2
Each character comes with one or more very cool accessories, well tailored to his reality. I particularly like Vermin's fire hydrant.  Each character also comes with a character card showing artwork from a well known comic cover.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint application on all the figures I saw was quite good, once again particularly Vermin and Man-Thing.  Be picky though, because Toybiz is well known for having paint ops problems.

Overall - ***1/2
If I were only to buy one, it would be Man-Thing, but that's because he's always been a major favorite of mine.  Dorammu is certainly the weakest of the bunch, and wouldn't rate better than a **1/2 on his own.  Vermin and Strange are also excellent, however, and overall it's a strong set.

It's nice to see Toybiz trying to get back in the game with figures like these and the recent Spiderman Classics.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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