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Dr. Doom

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

This Dr. Doom is testament to wussing out.

A brilliant but arrogant scientist, Victor Von Doom was disfigured when one of his early experiments went horribly awry. Now - his scarred countenance masked by a metal faceplate, his body sheathed in nigh-impenetrable armor - Dr. Doom rules the small European country of Latveria with an iron fist. Not content with one nation, his ultimate aspiration is world domination... and the destruction of the fabled Fantastic Four! Dr. Doom possesses the ability, though not-often-used, to switch minds with others. Also, he commands a small amount of mystical knowledge.

Normally, we applaud a company for listening to its fans (McToys: STOP SACRIFICING ARTICULATION FOR SCULPT!), but that's only when listening to fans results in a better toy.

Dr. Doom has appeared in toy form many times, even as far back as the venerable old Secret Wars figures (I should know - I had one, despite not having a clue who he [or Marvel Comics] was).

The original plan for Doom was to release the figure masked on its card. Most of the figures would have been Doombots, the stand-ins that Doom utilizes in the comics to keep his enemies confused. Dr. Doom himself, therefore, would have been the rare chase figure. Since Doom is surrounded by any number of bots, this made sense. With the mask on, it would have been impossible to tell what figure you were getting until you bought it and opened it. It would have been the first scalper-proof variant! But then, enter the fanboys.

Standing 6⅜" tall, Doom looks great facing down Human Torch and the Thing. He's articulated at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, fingers, waist, hips, thighs, knees, ankles and toes. He doesn't have the torso joint found in his fellows, and it seems as if he should have joints at his glove-tops, though he doesn't (all those would have done is duplicate the wrist joints, so there's no need for them).

Though ToyBiz's original Doom/Doombot plan was well-conceived and true to the source, the fanboys' whine reached a new pitch. They wanted to own Victor, not one of his 'bots, no matter how cool the figure might look, how true to the comics such a prospect was, or the fact that their precious MOC horde would never know the difference. They complained, and complained, and complained some more, and ToyBiz folded like a card table.

Every nut and bolt on Doom's mask has been sculpted with care, making him look just like the villain in the comics. More good Phil Ramirez work! There are eyes sculpted onto the mask, so that you don't have to worry about your potential Doombot winking at you. Beneath the snug-fitting mask you'll find either Doom's human face (complete with entirely trivial scar) or a wicked cool robot. Looking at it, I think Doom looks most like Guy Pierce, he of Memento and L.A. Confidential, while the Doombot looks much like a Terminator Endoskeleton. With green eyes.

That 'bot is now the rare variant, thanks to ToyBiz's lack of balls. They switched the numbers, making Victor the standard. To appease the MOCers (and help the scalpers), they placed Doom's mask beside him in the package, instead of on him. Bad show, guys. Really bad.

Like the rest of the Marvel Legends, Dr. Doom comes with a detailed base. His is a stone turret from his castle, allowing him to address his Latverian subjects from on high. A Von Doom crest with his mother's face is on the stone, and the back is flattened to allow the base to hang on the wall. It stands nearly 4¼" tall, 3½" wide, and 1½" deep (which doesn't sound like much, but it's enough for him to stand there, and the pegs keep him from falling over).

Doom comes with a reproduction of Fantastic Four #247, part of John Byrne's legendary run, focusing on Doom and how he is viewed in Latveria. It's a pretty good choice, with the Fantastic Four forced to fight on Doom's side.

Doom comes with a small blaster pistol that fits in the holster on his hip. His soft cape is removable, which reveals two tiny jets on Doom's back. He's a great representation of Victor Von Doom, and an even better representation of how a toy company can go wrong listening to the loudest voices of the fans.

-- 12/01/02


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