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Toybox Review: S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) - Mexinter.net

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Title : Toybox Review: S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) - Mexinter.net
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Toybox Review: S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) - Mexinter.net

S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle On Titan Edition) 01

Release Date: January 2021
RRP: 8800 yen

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Infinity Saga having finally come to an end, it seems that all of the toy companies that produce Marvel figures are having one last hurrah before moving onto the next phase - releasing the best versions of these beloved characters that they can. That can definitely be said for Bandai Tamashii Nations, whose S.H. Figuarts line moved into a number of "Final Battle" editions based on the climactic scene from Avengers: Endgame (it helps when you're releasing toys after the movie has been released, rather than just prior like they did initially). However with many key characters absent from Endgame for the most part there are plenty of iconic scenes to explore from Avengers: Infinity War as well, such as this S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) figure. 

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After going extremely plain with their initial Endgame releases it's nice to see the Marvel S.H. Figuarts packaging going a little more eye-catching for their current selection of "battle" figures from the final two Avengers films. S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) comes packaged in a nice wide box, the kind that used to be common for Figuarts releases but these days tends to be saved for either larger figures or ones with really notable accessory counts. The box is all done up in a dusky orange to match the atmosphere of Titan, with gold foil lettering for the figure name across the front alongside both the standard Avengers logo and the Avengers: Infinity War title logo. Next to that transparent window showing off the figure inside is also an image of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, rather than one of the figure itself. For those look no further than the back and spines of the box, however this figure comes packaged with so much that even those images don't properly show off every accessory. Open it up and you'll see just how much you're getting with this release when you take a look at that moulded plastic tray, and then on top of that a further accessory can be found right at the back of the box tucked away behind that gold foil backing tray.

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S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) isn't a brand new figure, but rather a retool of the existing Doctor Strange figure (release in both 2021 for his solo movie and then again in 2021 for the initial release of Infinity War). Improvements include a significantly better head sculpt, but more importantly the long-awaited move to a wire-framed fabric for the Cloak of Levitation. This is something Bandai still only seem to do sparingly on S.H. Figuarts releases, but Strange's cape was something that arguably needed this from the very beginning. The segmented plastic wasn't awful, but for a cape that quite literally has a life of its own the ability to mould and shape it into multiple poses adds so much to the figure overall. The fabric element of it has also been done extremely well, with all the correct patterning running across it to measure up with that moulded detail the plastic version had. While the body itself might be nothing new, that was also pretty impressive for its time as well. There's so much textured detailing over the robes, with excellent colouring and paint work that lets all that detail stand out.

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Above are a selection of comparison shots with the original S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange release from 2021, and you can really see just how much better these changes have made the figure. The move from segmented plastic to wire-framed fabric for the cape speaks for itself, but there's also been some definitely improvements to the head sculpt in order to make it look more like Benedict Cumberbatch. If like me you picked up the original release of Doctor Strange and are wondering if this version is worth the upgrade, then the answer is definitely a resounding "yes".

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But with the exception of giving the cape itself better articulation the poseability of the figure itself hasn't changed from the original release. Altogether that means Doctor Strange features;
- Ball jointed head, neck, torso, waist and wrists
- Swivel hinge shoulders
- Butterfly joint shoulders
- Single hinge elbows
- Double hinge knees
- Drop down ball jointed hips
- Foot swivels
Doctor Strange is similar to most MCU Figuarts in that while being pretty articulated overall, Bandai have made some curious choices that differ from some of the things they do elsewherein in the wider S.H. Figuarts line. The most obvious of these is of course the decision to use single hinge elbows rather than double hinges, which is pretty consistent across all their Western live-action property releases now. But undoubtedly the weirdest thing of all about Strange in particular is the lack of proper ankle articulation. whereinas almost every S.H. Figuarts release has swivel hinge ankles, Strange's feet are connected via a plug joint that only gives them very basic swivel movement and no tilt whatsoever. This is something that was present on the first Doctor Strange release and has carried through to both Infinity War versions. But just why Bandai have done this is a complete mystery - even if it were to maintain a more seamless boot sculpt they've never had this sort of issue before, and to my knowledge I can't think of any S.H. Figuarts release that has foot articulation like this. While you can get by with just the swivel, it can be very difficult to get Strange perfectly flat-footed in some poses because of that lack of ankle tilt. The rest of the articulation is really good on the figure and perfect for all sorts of spell-casting action shots, which is why the feet stick out so much. 

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The changes Bandai have made to the figure itself are all excellent, but what really makes the Battle on Titan Edition stand out is just how jam-packed with accessories it is. I've been collecting S.H. Figuarts for a good number of years now and seen the number of accessories included steadily decrease (typically as prices increase) over time, so to see Bandai go all-in the way they have on these last lot of Infinity War/Endgame releases is quite incredible. First off, the figure comes with EIGHT pairs of hands in total. That includes everything from the usual closed fists and open hands to posed spell-casting hands to new accessory holding hands unique to this release. The figure's also got you covered when it comes to magic circles as well, carrying over the clear plastic ones seen on the previous two releases. Included here are two larger orange "attack/defence" circles, and one smaller green "time" circle. These circles can either be fixed between the wrist joint and hand, or directly pegged on to the palm of a specific pair of hands. These are the basics when it comes to Doctor Strange accessories, so it's great to not only see they've been carried over here but also bolstered by the addition of further magic rings! A further eight translucent hard plastic magic rings (two large orange/green and two smaller orange/green) have been included which slip over the figure's forearms, channelling that magical energy throughout the arm and not just at the hand itself. Not only are these rings considerably sturdier than the main magic circles because they're made of hard plastic, but all of the detailing has been exquisitely etched into them. The instructions warn that use of these circles can lead to the paint rubbing off the arms, but I found that if you're careful when applying them you shouldn't have any problems. Out of all the accessories included with this release these are probably my favourite of all, just because they immediately add so much more flair to a pose. 

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Still not enough for you? Then how about some weapons as well! On top of everything listed about the Battle on Titan Edition also includes his magically conjured sword, moulded in transparent plastic with all manner of magical detailing moulded into it. It's a pretty impressive piece, given that the shape of the sword is a lighter translucent plastic whilst all the detailing has that brighter orange colouring. The sword comfortably fits into either of the weapon holding hands included with the release, but I do advise taking care when inserting it as the piece does feel like it could snap easily. Also included is an additional right hand to replicate the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak - the glowing red bands Strange attempted to use to bind Thanos during the fight. The bands are moulded in translucent red plastic and fixed directly to the hand, again sporting plenty of moulded detail on them.

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But we're still not quite done yet either. There is also an alternate head sculpt with closed eyes, when when combined with the translucent green Eye of Agamotto "time stream" effect part included can replicate the scene wherein Strange meditated to view the 14,600,605 possible futures to their present situation. The effect part clips onto the figure in place of the regular Eye of Agamotto piece, which has been slightly altered to become a removable piece (being extremely tiny, be careful not to lose it once removed). Despite the soft plastic cloak pieces the figure is actually able to comfortably do the mid-air meditation pose with the help of a Tamashii Stage, although the instruction leaflet warns that keeping the figure in this pose will eventually reshape the plastic so keep that in mind if you're considering it as a display option. Last but not least comes a full-sized Sling Ring portal, printed on a thin piece of clear plastic (similar to what's used for the smaller magical rings) and held up by two clear plastic display clips. This isn't actually a new accessory, and was included with the previous Infinity War Doctor Strange release. Though perhaps the most simple of all Strange's accessories included, it's another great-looking piece that really adds to a display.

It goes to show just how many tricks Strange pulled during that fight that this still isn't everything he could have possibly come with. Obviously the most significant omission here would be that multiple arm trick he pulled, but given the amount of plastic that would have required to do here Bandai made the right decision excluding it in favour of everything else. If you really want to display your Strange that way, there are third party products out there that have you covered.

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Bandai Tamashii Nations did not have to go as hard with S.H. Figuarts Doctor Strange (Battle on Titan Edition) as they did. Not only did they significantly improve the base figure with a far better likeness and the only kind of cape that can truly do Doctor Strange justice, but they threw in more accessories than any collector would possibly ever need for a single figure. Yes the lack of proper ankle joints is still weird, but there is more than enough going on elsewherein with this release to make up for it. Bandai Tamashii Nations have pretty much produced the only MCU Doctor Strange figure that you'll ever need - absolutely spellbinding. 



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