Hasbro has a solid history of making really nice and creative San Diego Comic Convention exclusives. Going all the way back to the Stan Lee/Spider-Man and Lawyer She-Hulk, they have all been noble efforts. In the last four years they have moved into making box sets that generally include figures we wouldn’t typically see in a retail release wave. Characters such as Ghost, Medusa, Blastaar, and Satanna are able to get their shot as figures because of these exclusive sets.
The Doctor Strange movie comes out late next year, but the hype train has already started with this box set and the good doctor’s appearance in the Hulkbuster wave. For us long time collectors this set should scratch a lot of those “most wanted” itches we’ve had throughout the years. The set includes: Clear Dr. Strange, Hela, Magik, Brother Voodoo, and Dormammu. These five are all wrapped up in a giant and gorgeously done Book of Vishanti replica box. They also included a couple pages of really nice artwork and quick bios of all characters in the set.
A giant golden Eye of Agamotto is also included among the figures in the set. It’s just hollow plastic so I plan on making Eye of Agamotto cookies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas this year since the prop can double as a cookie cutter/mold! I’ll report back on my failures and successes in doing so at the end of October.
It’s also worth noting that they included a bio of Darkchilde, who is not actually in the set or any future waves as far as we know. I’m curious if maybe she was originally planned and didn’t cost out? Or maybe she got dropped for Hela or Dr. Strange who each have their own page? Whatever the case is, I do hope we get to see her somewhere down the line … perhaps in a Dr. Strange movie wave? I’d ponder if Dr. Strange was deserving of a movie figure series, but Ant Man got a wave so I have to assume they all will now.
So let’s take a look at each character that makes up this set:
Breaking the X-Men dry spell of 2015 is my favorite figure in this box, Magik. She includes both her soulsword and another more basic blade. There is actually a good amount of new sculpting on this as the torso, head, and left arm are all unique to Illyana. The head is an amazing representation of the character, and although the hair is long it isn’t obstructive to posing because it was made soft enough.
Despite a little bit of a loose hip that mine has, this may be the best female figure Hasbro has done yet. I may also be slightly X-Men biased so take that into consideration.
If you have the Hulkbuster wave version then you know what you are getting into with this one. The only real difference is that this one uses clear plastic with silver lining, and his spell effects are white. Unfortunately, he doesn’t come with a clear Hulkbuster leg.
Hela uses the larger female body so she has a little over a head in height on Magik. She boasts a really sharp and detailed black and green paint scheme. The sparkling black is especially nice looking. She comes packed with a green sword and the antlers (I’m not sure what to call them?) that protrude from the back of her head need to be plugged in. Her cape is the same color and looks to be the same cloth that made up Gamora’s poncho in the Guardians of the Galaxy box set.
The cape is interesting to me because I’m not all that fond of it, but it still works out okay. As far as improvements though, I don’t think an all plastic cape would have been any better. I’ve mentioned before that I think Mezco probably found the perfect way to handle a cape, but that is a whole other pay grade of action figure.
We were originally introduced to the idea of Hasbro making a Brother Voodoo figure way back in 2009 when they held a fan vote to decide what would later be a wave of Toys ‘R’ Us two-packs. This is not the same Voodoo we saw mocked up six years ago. This is probably for the better, because the body he was shown using is terribly out of date at this point (but that head sculpt was cool as hell!). This version is the Sorcerer Supreme and uses the same Bucky Cap body that Doctor Strange does.
He does have a giant plastic cape, but stands surprisingly fine. The paint on him is a bit sloppy though, especially in comparison to all of the other figures in the set. He’s a decent figure but probably my least favorite figure in the Book of Vishanti. I can see why he would be a hard sell as a single carded figure. He absolutely belongs in a multi-pack.
The big man! I’ve never seen a Marvel Legends “most wanted” list that did not include Dormammu. We finally have one so Darkhawk can now assume his number one spot.
Dormammu is the build-a-figure sized character in the set. He’s huge and he looks great. He comes with two flaming skulls which appear to be reused Ghostrider heads. It’s a nice touch though. They are dark purple and translucent so they match his two see-through hands. I’m sure some people would prefer his classic look, but I’m quite fond of the one we got.
The Book of Vishanti has a lot of great competition with past sets like The Thanos Imperative and Thunderbolts. I’m going to go ahead and call this one the best SDCC set they have done yet. From the presentation of the book, to the character selection, and on through the execution this box is an absolute must have. Even if you aren’t into every figure in the set, I’m willing to bet there is at least one here that you really want. Magik and Dormammu were my must haves.
This set sold out in about twenty minutes at HasbroToyShop. The only way to get it now is through trades, eBay, or third party Amazon sellers. Unless you find somebody in a completely dire situation that needs cash now, you can expect to pay almost double the retail price of $100 (so around $200). These Marvel Legends’ SDCC exclusives always seem to balloon in price, I know from experience! That Uncanny X-Force set still eludes me. My normal suggestion is to wait it out, but that advice doesn’t seem to work with SDCC Marvel Legends sets. If you want it then try to get ahold of it sooner than later!