Toy Review: Super Hero Squad – Battle for Doom’s Castle

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I love the fact that this set is called “Battle for Doom’s Castle” instead of Battle for Doctor Doom’s Castle for one simple reason: he isn’t a doctor. Victor von Doom dropped out of college before graduating, making him one of the few characters named Doctor Something who doesn’t actually have a doctorate.

Iron Man and Doctor Doom face off once again as the armored avenger invades the evil tyrant’s lair! The fate of the world rests in the mighty hands of Iron Man, because Doctor Doom has an evil plot that only the high-flying hero has a chance of stopping!

Iron Man isn’t anything new and at first glance seems like an odd choice for an opponent of Doom, since Doom usually faces the Fantastic Four. But during a Mighty Avengers storyline recently, Doom and Iron Man go back in time and fight, showing just how similar the two really are. But Iron Man is in what looks the most like his 90s cartoon armor, just a slight repaint since it was released just a few waves ago with Spider-Woman.

Painted in glossy red and yellows, Tony’s suit looks different from the other versions released. The black eye slits work much better on this version than the gold one and he doesn’t end up looking like the Iron Man 2020 version. His articulation is all intact, neck and both arms.

Doctor Doom is a brand new (and much needed) sculpt. The original one came out in wave three of the Super Hero Squad and doesn’t quite fit in with the style of the line. This new one casts “cuteness” aside and goes for an accurate depiction of the villain. His armor has an intricate sculpt, with a billowing cloak. Best of all though is his face; it looks like there is a person behind it.

Doom’s cape is a separate piece, but the color of his tunic match perfectly. His articulation is limited to only his arms, and those are limited by his cape but the figure looks great. Clean paint and fun little details (like the fact that his belt buckle is shaped like the letter “D”) make this figure a necessary upgrade from the big fisted behemoth that came before him.

When the first two playsets were released, I was less than kind to the Danger Room set but loved the Avengers Super City one. Doom’s Castle took everything that was great about the Avengers Super City and made it even better. The playset is similar in a lot of ways, minimal paint applications, apply some stickers yourself and you’re done!

Doom’s Castle is only a few colors: brown, purple, gold, green and gray: all colors the scream Doctor Doom! But the real fun is in the details. The gold plated draw bridge can be locked into place, while the Doom bannered wall on the other side flips. The whole area is sculpted with stones and asymmetrical that really makes it look like a castle. Large axes on the wall and golden hangings really add some extra depth to the set.

But while the other sets only had one or two special features, Doom’s Castle has three – not including the gun! The platform above the gate contains a trap door allowing unsuspecting heroes (or dumb villains) to fall to their doom (no pun intended). Above it is a swinging hook on a rope with none other than Dragon Man riding on top of it. Maybe it’s possible foreshadowing of figures to come, or just a fun nod to adult collectors. To kids, he’s just a gargoyle with an ax, but to adults he’s a great Easter egg. On the other side of the set is the catapult that is designed to launch figures in the air! The inner child in me thoroughly enjoyed launching Iron Man across the dining room.

Unlike the other two sets where the missile launcher felt like an unnecessary addition, it makes a lot of sense in Doom’s Castle. Cast in purple and painted gold, it still has a terrible spring that can barely launch but it looks right on the set. Doom would have some newfangled gun protecting his fortress and this one is no exception. Even the set connector looks better, instead of being a neon eyesore it is a dull gold color.

The first two playsets really felt like trial runs of how Hasbro wanted to make these sets but this one feels like they got a bullseye. Iron Man is a necessary evil of repainting a figure while the new Doom figure is exceptional. Combined with the best playset to date, this is clearly the strongest one released. To collectors, it’s a solid display and Doom is amazing. For kids, this is a fantastic deal: it’s got a hero, a villain and a multitude of features that add to the set as a whole. With an MSRP of $20, it’s worth getting.

Super Hero Squad Playsets

Wave 1
Avengers Super City with Iron Man & Spider-Man
Danger Room with Wolverine & Sabretooth

Wave 2
Battle for Doom’s Castle with Dr. Doom & Iron Man

Wave 3
Crusaders of the Cosmos with Iron Man & Silver Surfer

Written by jestergoblin

December 28th, 2009 at 12:01 am

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