First, what happened last week? Surprise convention that I thought was a week later. I wasn’t ready for it. Day after the convention: Crohn’s flare-up. Been a doozy of a week. Now, on to the review.

Doc Ock 01

I wanted a Doctor Octopus action figure for my various Spider-Men to take on. He’s one of my favorite Spider-Foes. His robotic tentacles are cool and he’s a scientist, which gives Spidey a chance to use his own science knowledge that so many writers seem to forget. So of course I grabbed this. And was disappointed. If you’re a fan and wondering why he isn’t wearing shades, he actually has a pair of normal glasses…that broke off within mere seconds of breaking him out for this review. I wish this was my biggest complaint about the figure. Sadly, it is not.

(And no, comic fans, we are NOT bringing up the recent events with Spidey and Ock in the comics. Let’s not confuse everyone.)

I guess Otto wants mashed potatoes tonight.

I guess Otto wants mashed potatoes tonight.

First there are the things I like. The tentacles are removable (mostly for packaging but if you have him defeated and arrested you can remove them) and posable thanks to a wire running through it. I’ve seen this done on toys for years and they really don’t hold up to advanced kid play so I bet a lot of these are broken unless they improved something. Sadly the claws do not open and close but are the same soft plastic minus the wire. At this size I doubt you could give them that feature anyway.

On the other end is a peg that inserts into the figure’s back and then can be turned to lock in place. That’s a nice feature really and I give them credit for the gimmick design.  It loses a little posing at the nub that goes into the back but I’m not sure you’re losing all that much range.

"Ladies."

“Ladies.”

Then there’s Doc Ock’s sculpt, which does invoke the character as he appeared at the time rather well. You can see the belt that is supposed to be part of the harness fused to the character and it isn’t removable. His face has the proper angry scowl, possibly another loss by a superhero has occurred. They molded folds in his jacket sleeves, shirt and pants that are a nice touch. I also like the nametag being painted even if I don’t know why he has one.

The minor complaints starts with the rest of the jacket. I’m going to assume it’s flowing open like that for the legs but we’ll get to why that doesn’t work in a moment. There are more folds in the back and it does look nice if you don’t mine a permanently posed jacket. Except that it isn’t a full jacket. The sleeves are painted on the figure’s arms so this is more like a vest in design. It’s a minor issue, really. This may have been designed with posing in mind. Too bad the articulation is not that good.

Sometimes it isn't easy working around my lame photography skills.

Sometimes it isn’t easy working around my lame photography skills.

In theory he has all the right joints. No elbow swivel but it does bend at least. His wrists turn, his head turns, the waist joint I didn’t even know about until just now, and he has the hips, knees, and ankles he should, although the ankles do not bend left and right, only forward and back. This will come back to hurt the figure but back up to the head.

As you can see, Ock has no neck. That means when you turn the head he also tilts his head, possibly to get past his coat but a simple neck could have handled that and the character does have a neck. Just put a neck on the thing and we’re good. You could even give it Spidey’s neck joint or something similar. I’m pretty sure this is when Toy Biz still had the license. You also have the problem that the arms do not lie flat against the body while still being far away from the jacket so that isn’t at fault. The worst of the issues, however, are the legs…right up to the hip. The problem is that the hips are somewhat posed. He’s not capable of standing straight-legged. While not as bad as, say, the older Ninja Turtles figures thanks to working knees and ankles, it makes it hard to make the figure stand in more than one leg pose. Surely the tentacles can help him stand, right? Right?

He is being braced by the tentacles against a wall. That's the only way this remotely works.

He is being braced by the tentacles against a wall. That’s the only way this remotely works.

No, that’s where even more problems arise. Because of that spot that can’t bend the tentacles actually make him back heavy. They can prop him up but take so much space behind him that to keep him propped up means taking two tentacles out of action and requiring him front and center on a display shelf. It also limits any diorama potential if you’re like me and like to display figures “in action”. But that’s because it’s meant as a play toy, right?

"While you're back there I have a nasty itch."

“While you’re back there I have a nasty itch.”

Yeaaaahhhhh….remember those numbs that go into Ock’s back? They’re a separate piece from the tentacle and the tentacle can pop off from the nub while you’re trying to pose it to beat up your hero action figures, which can be frustrating since they aren’t on very tight and the wire is understandable hard to move as easily as the “real” Otto Octavius can operate his deadly robotic arms. So even as a play toy the primary gimmick is flawed. I do get that it’s a way to not worry about the thing breaking since if it comes off of the nub you just pop it right back on but it doesn’t stay on very well. In the picture you see the one tentacle that seems to reject it’s nub piece whenever possible. And that’s very often.

The only win Ock is getting in this review.

The only win Ock is getting in this review.

Decision: Goes

Wow, I haven’t used the “decision” thing in a while. This is not a fun toy or display piece. But since the glasses just broke off today I’m not sure how easily it will be to sell him. Maybe I’ll run a contest sometime and I’ll thrown him in as a bonus (since it would be a booby prize). I’m hoping later versions fixed some of the flaws but as far as this one goes I just don’t need it.

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