Alright guys, after a brief stop over into the strange bizzaro world of The Stapler in Question, we are back at home with the action figures. Yay! So, back in the 90s, the 5-inch scale Marvel figures, produced by the very much at the height of their game ToyBiz were totally my jam. The figures were (at least loosely) based on the then current cartoons. Amongst those cartoons was Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which ended up with a fairly nice toyline of its own, at least for a few series. So, let’s have a look at one of Spidey’s greatest foes, the Green Goblin, as he was presented in said line.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Green Goblin was released as part of Series 3 of ToyBiz’s Spider-Man line. The cartoon did this odd thing where Hobgoblin preceded Green Goblin, which resulted in Hobs taking the Goblin slot in Series 1. And Goblins never go for even numbered series. That’s just not how they roll. The figure is about 5 inches tall, with 9 points of articulation. He’s pretty much standard for a ToyBiz figure of the time. He’s based on the character’s animated appearance, which itself was a fairly faithful recreation of the comics design. Mostly, it just comes down to style cues, resulting in a slightly “friendlier” looking Goblin. Surprisingly, Green Goblin got his own sculpt, which shared no pieces with Series 1’s Hobgoblin. I think that may be the only time these two have both appeared in a line with no re-use at all. Impressive. The sculpt itself ends up being quite impressive, with not only some pretty good proportions, but also some killer texturing, especially on the scaly arms and legs. They aren’t super-detailed like some of the sculpts that followed, but they are a great example of using just enough detail to suggest the rest (which, incidentally, is how Goblin was drawn for most of his classic appearances). Also, it’s an odd thing to point out, but this figure has some of the best hand sculpts of any figure from this time. Most were molded in a generic clasping positon, but Goblin has one splayed as if it’s just thrown a pumpkin bomb and one in a pointing position. I don’t know what he’s pointing at, but at least it’s different. Goblin’s paintwork isn’t quite up to the same level as the sculpt, but it’s pretty much on par with just about everything else being offered at the time. The colors match up pretty well to the show’s design. The colors don’t so much match up to themselves, however. The purple ends up changing a few times over the course of the figure, which is rather distracting. There is also some rather noticeable bleed over around the edges of the gloves and boots, and the edges on the shorts aren’t even close to being even. Green Goblin included his faithful goblin glider (which even launched missiles) and a pumpkin, but pesky child-Ethan lost them! (Or did he?)
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As into the ToyBiz Marvel stuff as I was as a kid, I actually ended up avoiding a lot of the Spider-Man line. The cartoon never really gripped me like the others, so I just never really had the connection. So, Goblin here wasn’t part of my “initial collection.” He was a later acquisition, fished out of a bin of low priced figures at a nearby comic book store sometime around the mid-00s. I don’t know exactly why I picked him up, but I imagine I was just filling in some gaps in the collection at low prices. Going back to review this guy, he surprised me. With most of the 5-inch figures, the nostalgia filter is firmly in place, but not for this one, and yet he still impressed me. That really says something.
What is it about Spider-Man TAS figures that is so appealing? They’re not particularly great but I own some along with some 90s FF figures and I love them. Just the right amount of cartoonishness.
They really are surprisingly appealing figures. I often find myself far more drawn to them than some of the more recent stuff. They’ve just got a certain charm to them.
Is there any difference in the figure itself from the Animated Series version to the Marvel Universe version? I know the packaging is different but the figures and accessories do not look different to me.
There are possibly some very slight changes in exact shades of plastic/paint, since they were produced a few years apart from each other, but they’re functionally identical.