Monday, August 29, 2005

Dr Doom Review

Dr Doom with Lightning Bolt Blast from Toybiz's Fantastic Four movie Series 2. Held back from previous shipments due insufficient lead time with the movie character's final design. Now shipping in solid cases(12x Dr Doom). Unconfirmed that he is shipping with new stock of Series 2.

Average. Perhaps it's because the movie design was so bland, but regardless this figure's sculpting doesn't sell the design. I tend to blame the character design by the moviemakers rather than Toybiz, because their level of sculpt for the four heroes of the movie has been some of their best work, and certainly their best work for a movie line. Still, this particular figure feels like a throwback to their X2 figure line in terms of detail and style. One nice detail is the lower half, which are sculpted to look like pants that have turned to metal. It has an interesting Tin Woodsman effect, and is a nice touch. This is evened out by the compromises that had to be made for the action feature though.

Decent. Even in this department Toybiz is taking a knock for the moviemaker's incompetence at design... the paint apps are faithful to the source and perhaps I should give them credit for that, but frankly I don't care to. The particular source of dissatisfaction for me is the left hand of Doom, the one not used in the action feature. The idea is that Dr Doom was human, exposed to radiation, and his skin has slowly been peeling off to reveal new metal skin underneath. This kind of detail is so subtle that it's hard to pull off, the best way being through sculpt(in fact that might've notched that score a little higher) but instead they chose to take the unsatisfying design of rendering it through paint. Since this is a mass-retail line with presumably hundreds of thousands of pieces manufactured, they chose to do it the simplest way, which is to basically smear the flesh colored hand with silver paint. It doesn't look bad for what it is, my issue is with the technique used. However, of the dozen or so examples I saw carded at the store the quality was essentially the same on each so I'm assuming I got a standard paint job, and I give them some credit for achieving their goal. I just wish they'd reached for something a little higher.

Poor. This figure is hampered by an action feature which limits his mobility in his upper body. There's really no way around that, short of not including the action feature. His articulation consists of: Partial ball neck, shoulder swivels, hinge elbows, 1 bicep swivel(left arm), swivel wrists, knuckle hinges, waist swivel, ball hips, double-jointed knees, hinge ankles. The right shoulder, neck, elbows, and ankles have a extremely limited range of movement due to the sculpt and action feature.

Very good. I'm a sucker for clear energy bolt add-ons. I love them in Street Fighter, in Star Wars, and this Doom has one of the best ones I've seen. He also includes a weird fire missile-launcher thing, but it looks more like an accessory meant for the Human Torch than for Doom. I'm not complaining though, it's a nice little missile launcher thing for what it's worth.

Action Feature
Very good. If you're going to ruin a figure with an action feature, then it better be a good one. And this is the best one so far in the FF movie line in my opinion. The light-up eyes and hand are extremely bright and colorful and make for a very cool effect, especially with the energy bolt add-on.


Okay. Tons of compromises due to the action feature would sink this figure if the action feature wasn't so cool. If this is the only Doom we get from this line, I will be very disappointed. Given the prior failure of Toybiz comic movie lines, I wish they'd had the courtesy to schedule a super-articulated version of Doom first. Kids like action features but they'd like ANY Doom they saw first, so there's no real excuse. Kids wouldn't hold out for some Doom they never heard of before. Mass-retail companies are slowly learning to balance the wants of collectors with the mass audience of kids but sometimes the learning curve is painfully slow.


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