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Marvel Legends 8
Doctor Octopus

Lestor Wong checks in for Thanksgiving with a terrific review of the latest Doctor Octopus from Marvel Legends series 8.  What's the 411, Les? 

I've a confession to make. I don't know when it started, but my love for Marvel Legends have taken a step back over the past few months. Chase figures, variants and re-used characters are just some of the reasons that caused the regression. In fact, when I first heard news that Series VIII have made its way here, I went: "Sigh, not again?".

Thank God then, for quality figures like Doc Ock. True, there was already a Doc Ock in Spider-Man Classics, as well as the recently released Sinister Six Boxset. But honestly, those were not very good. This is also the first time that a Spider-Man villain actually appear in the main Marvel Legends assortment, which makes him a little special. Unfortunately, he's also short-packed. But I'm already quite sick and tired of talking about the fallacies of short-packing a figure, so I'll just proceed to the review proper.






Packaging - ***
The same old clamshell packaging, with a minor modification. From this series onwards, Toy Biz have included a trading card for each character. This trading card is prominently displayed on the front of the packaging. It looks quite good, albeit a little cramped out. But the overall display value of the packaging is still top-notch. Not that I care, of course.

Sculpting - ***1/2
On the whole, Doc Ock looks pretty good. The sculpt captures the essence of the comic character, which is always nice for a comic-based figure. I particularly like the nonchalant smirk on his face, which is so very Doc Ock. The bowl-combed hair is also nicely sculpted, without looking silly. 

Of course, he's not a perfect sculpt either. The main problem I've lies in his neck. I feel that the additional point of articulation that allows his head to tilt downwards really ruins his appearance. I'll discuss more about this later.

Paint - ****
The paint work is flawless on Doc Ock. The finishes are clean and tidy, even on smaller areas like his belt. In fact, it's so well done I've nothing else to say.

Articulation - ****
Doc Ock is the most articulated Marvel Legends figure, so far, with 61 points of articulation. Before you go "whoopee!", you may want to note that 24 points of these are found on his tentacles. Each tentacle has six points of articulation, but they're all concentrated on the "claws". The tentacles are still the free-style movement rubber that we love to hate on the previous incarnations of the character. I'm a little disappointed with this, because I was expecting the plastic tentacles that were shown on promotional images, which I reckon would provide better control for posing the tentacles. Can't fault them for trying though, even though the tentacles tend to turn into a bit of a mess. With some patience, however, it's possible to make him look entirely cool.

The tentacles do add weight to his back, which is why he can't really stand up on his own. I'd suggest investing in one of those figure stands (see pictures) for proper support, which should help you explore the full potential of his poseability. Of course, you can always lean him onto his base. Or the wall. Or other toys, if you like.

The figure itself is pretty much standard Marvel Legends. He has neck, shoulders, cut upper arms, double elbows, cut lower arms, wrists, waist, hips, cut upper legs, double knees, cut lower legs, ankle and toes movement. Of special note is a new neck joint, which I mentioned earlier that allows the figure to tilt the head downwards. This is similar to the neck joints on Invisible Woman and Black Cat, which cuts two lines on the neck. And I think it looks hideous, because it looks like they've totally remove the neck. If there's an articulation that limits the sculpt badly, this is it. I really hope this is the last time we see something like that on a Marvel Legend, but wait, I just see it on Black Widow...

Accessories - ***1/2
The tentacles are detachable, so I guess they count as accessories. They obviously look quite menacing, and are reasonably well sculpted and painted. The washed finishes continue to look very cool on these figures and accessories too. 

Doc Ock also has a base, and seriously, I've no idea whatsoever it's supposed to resemble. There're two pegs for stabilizing Doc Ock, and also two "holders" that are supposed to hold his feet, as depicted on the back of the card. But you'd still need a stand to successfully pose him that way, because the tentacles will simply pull him backwards. 

Of course, there's the usual comic book, which is #2 of Marvel Age Spider-Man. A new inclusion is the trading card, which was mentioned earlier. You can check the scan for a closer look of it.

Fun Factor - ****
Doc Ock is a fun figure on its own. I mean, a figure with so much poseability is always fun to play with. But if you've a Spider-Man figure from any of the Spider-Man Classics line, you may create your own Spidey vs Doc Ock scenario. I think this kind of nailed it for me.

Value - ****
Without sounding like a broken record, Iím going to say this again. $7.99, and so much fun? Do the maths!

Overall - ****
I seldom give a perfect score, but Doc Ock is clearly my favorite figure in Series VIII. A nice sculpt, great paint apps and a hell lot of fun. If Toy Biz continue to make figures like this, perhaps I can overlook the crap that are chase figures, variants and re-used characters. He should claim a worthy place in your Marvel Legends collection.

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ****
Overall - ****

Where to Buy
You can always try the usual, including Toys R Us and Wal-mart.  Your online options include:

- CornerStoreComics always does preorders for each series.  Most of series 8 is already sold out, but the pre-orders for series 9 are already up!


Figure from the collection of Lestor Wong.

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