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Doctor Octopus

Spider-Man 2
by yo go re

Easily, one of the best movies of 2004 was Spider-Man 2. It surpassed the original, which was a monumental accomplishment in its own right. More than that, it made Doctor Octopus into a character both sympathetic and truly threatening, something the comics have never really been able to do. A prime example of good moviemaking, Spider-Man 2 has a place as one of the greatest comicbook movies ever made.

Doctor Octopus Just in time for Spider-Man 2's DVD release, the new series of movie figures is finally starting to hit shelves. Of course there are still piles of idiotic Spidey-variants, but we're also getting our second Dr. Octopus.

The first Doc Ock was decent, but his "tentacle grasping" action feature was just lame: push a lever on his back and his mechanical arms contract slightly. Woo. Love that. Yeah. Fortunately that's gone by the wayside this time, giving us a figure that's well worth owning.

Alfred Molina The sculpt is still very good. While some of the parts have been reused from the first figure, most notably the pants, the detail is softer overall this time. We get a new head that still looks like Alfred Molina, but isn't quite as detailed. This time his glasses actually plug into the sides of his head, which is good - you're less likely to lose them.

okay, so the coat's got nice detail There's also less articulation this time: Otto moves at the toes, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck, just like the original, but a lot of little changes have been made. Instead of double elbows, they're now singles. Instead of a joint at the neck and at the head, there's only the one. None of the changes really detract from the figure. He doesn't have a mid-shin joint? Oh well. No hand movement? Meh. It's still enough.

Instead of some goofy gimmick, this time Dr. Octopus' mechanical arms are just bendy. While a lot of Doc Ock figures have handled it this way before, I don't think any have done it this well. The arms bend easily, and hold their poses well. Sometimes with bendies of this sort, you have to stick very close to the "set" poses - these arms, though, are versatile.

Doctors Octopii The claws at the ends of the arms are the same sculpts, but again, with softer detail. On top of that, the colors they used to paint the interiors are very vibrant and overblown, not at all like the subtle shades used before. The arms plug into holes in the good doctor's back, and can be removed if you want a battle-damaged version. Maybe Spider-Man ripped one of the arms out.

Okay, so the sculpt on the first figure was better, but this one's got better playability - which one should you buy? Well, I really like the bendy-armed version much more than the grasping one. Out of the two, the newer version is the one that really looks like it could go toe-to-toe with the Spider-Man of your choosing.


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