Dr. Evil (Basic Edition)
12 Inch scale
By: Round 2
$29.99 Retail (Currently Exclusive to Toys R Us)
Captain Action is back! After returning to the toy shelves this past summer, Captain Action has been followed up by a new set of Fall releases. Among them is the Captain’s arch nemesis, Dr. Evil! Yes, this Dr. Evil shares the same name as the Austin Powers main villain. In fact this guy had to briefly change his name to Dr. Eville because of the Austin Powers trademark. However, Captain Action’s Dr. Evil actually predates Mike Myers character by decades.
Introduced in 1968, Dr. Evil is a mad scientist and/or alien (depending on the canon) who hates Captain Action and wants to take over the world. Hey, it may not be the most elaborate back story ever, but it works. Captain Action Enterprises and Round 2 have decided to give Dr. Evil quite a bit of a makeover in their new version, hoping to amp up his status and let him have some 21st Century sensibility. There are two versions currently on the market, the basic one that we’re reviewing here today and the deluxe version which we’ll review later. The basic version is only available at Toys R Us at the moment.
The packaging is the same basic, but effective package that Captain Action comes in. It’s a clear plastic box with a great Joe Jusko illustration of Dr. Evil on the front. Because it’s made of clear plastic, all of his accessories are in plain sight. This is helpful if you want to see what’s inside and check the quality control.
Inside he’s strapped in with some nice plastic ties that aren’t those annoying wire twist ties that you can’t get undone or that cause stress to the figure. He’s easy to pop out with no muss, no fuss.
The vintage Dr. Evil had a neat design, but it was a bit goofy. His face definitely looked alien, but he didn’t quite evoke any fear. Much like Captain Action looked depressed in his vintage incarnation, Dr. Evil looked stressed out. When Playing Mantis redid him in the early part of the new millennium, they tried to make him a bit more devious looking with paint, to limited results.
Round 2 have added to his sculpt this time around, giving him a devilish sneer and more defined features. His pointy ears and bold butt-chin help him stand out. Seriously, he’s got a chin that would make Robert Z’Dar jealous. He also has some interesting indentations on his temples that look very alien. The overall result is a Dr. Evil that’s corny no more.
The original Dr. Evil had his brain visible, but the new version kicks it up a notch by adding in a removable element to the brain. This plays a bigger role in the deluxe version of this figure as it has swappable brains. Here we just have the ability to remove it, but nothing to add in it’s place. It’s a neat feature, but obviously feels a bit incomplete in this basic Toys R Us version.
One of the things I learned when speaking with the Captain Action/Round 2 folks at C2E2 this past April, was that the original Captain Action was very counter culture. Basically in the 1960’s when these toys first came out, everyone was into the hippie movement and such. The folks at Ideal tried to make Captain Action very straight-laced and as a result Dr. Evil was a dirty hippie. Hence his infamous flip flop sandals and groovy medallion.
Those classic elements are back, but they tried to make them less fashion faux pas and more stylish this time around. The end result is a bit mixed. Dr. Evil’s nehru jacket is still in tact, but the collar is almost comically big. He has his medallion and it’s probably the least changed element from the vintage design. Gone are the sandals and in it’s place are boots that have sandals designed over them. I’m not sure that works all that well, to be honest. I do appreciate the nod to the classic design, though.
Much like Captain Action, Dr. Evil has a disguise. He’s not a “master of disguise” like the Captain, but he assumes other forms. Again, it depends on which storyline you follow. Regardless of that, his Dr. Tracy mask is a core part of his classic costume and it’s recreated here as well. It looks pretty fantastic and the fit is nice and tight. I removed the brain of Dr. Evil to help assist in the mask fitting.
The paint on the Dr. Tracy mask is probably the best paint work of the figure. He looks very human this time around, as opposed to a guy in a bad mask. Some of the older Dr. Tracy masks weren’t very convincing. The rest of the paint is limited to Dr. Evil’s face and he has his infamous bloodshot eyes back. It looks pretty menacing.
“Who’s the Captain now, Mr. Action? Muhahaha!”
The end result is a very effective villain. He’s got enough charm to still have that classic “Captain Action” feel, but he’s redesigned enough that kids of today won’t laugh at him for being lame. It’s a throwback in the best of ways. You can tell that the folks behind Captain Action put some serious thought into the new Dr. Evil design.
Just because Dr. Evil looks like he’s ready for the 21st Century, doesn’t mean the toy is ready for today’s shelves. Round 2 knew this very much as well, as you can’t dump a new figure into the competitive world of 1/6 toys without a serious modern articulation overhaul.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what they did. Dr. Evil shares his articulation layout with the previous Captain Action release. It’s a wonderfully articulated body that is comparative to many of the higher end bodies on the 1/6 scale market. It’s better than the current 1/6 GI Joe body most recently offered at mass retail. Make no mistake, this isn’t the latest and greatest Hot Toys design, but it’s more than serviceable.
There are a couple of general issues. First, the knees on my Dr. Evil are insanely loose. Yes he can still stand up and hold a pose, but I fear that soon that may not be the case. Likewise the plastic used on the body is a very hard, brittle plastic. You could throw the vintage figure down a flight of stairs without fear of breakage. That’s not going to be true here. Of course a lot of the better high end bodies suffer from similar issues, so it’s not like Round 2 cheaped out here.
Dr. Evil comes with almost the exact same stuff that the vintage version came with back in the day. He does have a minor difference. Of course, as mentioned, the deluxe version has a lot more stuff.
You get the aforementioned Dr. Tracy mask, groovy medallion and his laser gun. All of them look quite nice. The removable brain is technically an accessory I suppose, though it was part of the original Dr. Evil design.
Also included is a “comic book” of Dr. Evil #1. I put comic book in quotations, because although this book has 29 full color pages, it’s not a traditional comic. Instead it’s more like a story book with pictures. There’s a nice illustration every couple of pages, but that’s it. Mostly it’s text.
The mask is the best accessory here and it’s quite nice. As I mentioned above, it fits the head great. This was something they had a bit of an issue with in the first releases, but it’s perfect on Dr. Evil.
“You’ve got the body and I’ve got the brain!”
I do wish that this version of Dr. Evil had come with something else. Perhaps a bonus brain that is exclusive to the Toys R Us version. Having only the one brain sort of renders the removable brain element moot.
The gun is a perfect recreation of the classic one. It’s nice as well and it’s made of a nice thick, hard plastic. It’s a bit of an issue to get it into the hand at first, but once it’s in there it holds well and can be taken in and out without too much of an issue.
Is $30 a reasonable amount for a figure like this? That’s ultimately the question that you have to ask yourself. I’m a bit mixed on these basic Toys R Us releases. While I think it’s great that there is a cheaper, basic version available, it does seem like it’s a bit pricey when compared to the deluxe versions.
The deluxe only costs around $10 more and includes a lot more stuff. I suspect Toys R Us is part of the reason that these run about $5 more than I think they probably should. It’s a great basic Dr. Evil though and it’s a cheaper way to get extra bodies for your Captain Action disguises. Plus it’s comparable or a better value than most of the 1/6 mass market stuff out there.
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 8
Articulation – 9
Accessories – Mask, Gun, Medallion, Comic
Value – 7
When all is said and done, Dr. Evil being back is one of the best parts about the Captain Action resurgence. He oozes charisma in this new version and he really completes the Captain Action package. The basic version is a good figure but has a few issues here or there. I suspect it would make many a collector or kid quite happy to find this evil guy under the Christmas tree this year, though!
Remember that all month long we’re celebrating Captain Action with our Captain Action Advent Calendar. Also you can check out Wesitron’s Captain Action Toys R Us Basic Figure Review, for even more Captain Action excitement.