SPIDER-MAN & MARY JANE
SPIDER-MAN: HOLIDAY SPECIAL (TOY BIZ)
“Peter Parker spends a lot of the tome swinging from building to building, patrolling the streets as Spider-Man. But when the holidays come around, Spidey makes sure he’s home in time to spend them with his wife, Mary Jane. Spider-Man and Mary Jane celebrate the holidays like any normal couple, except that Spidey delivers the holiday gifts by swinging in through their apartment window!”
It’s once more that time of year; another Christmas day, a therefore another Christmas-y review! I’ve covered all sorts of different topics over the course of the last five Christmas reviews, from basic Christmas concepts (Santa and a Gingerbread Man), to classic holiday specials (Hermie from Rudolph and Charlie Brown from…well, A Charlie Brown Christmas), to one of my favorite Christmas movies (White Christmas). This year, I’m actually playing it a lot closer to the sorts of things I review on this site from day to day, and taking a look at Spider-Man and Mary Jane…albeit a slightly more festive take on the characters.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Spidey and MJ were released in 1999 as part of a seasonal “Holiday Special” pack, which was an extension of the Spider-Man: Animated Series line that was still running at the time, as well as a more festive take on the Famous Couple’s pairing of these two from the same year. It included the two figures, as well as a Christmas-themed magnet featuring the two of them.
Headlining the pack is our main man Spider-Man. Spider-Man takes his usual look, and adds a Santa hat, belt, and boots. The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation. He uses the Spidey-sculpt first introduced with Octo-Spider-Man, which would be one of Toy Biz’s favorite sculpts to re-use during their 5-inch days. It’s not the most posable take on the character, but it worked well enough. The new parts, with the exception of his belt buckle, are all cloth parts. It works best for the hat (which, it should be noted, is glued in place), and the belt is decent enough. The boots, however, are kind of odd, and make keeping him standing a little tricky. They’re removable if you so choose, though, so you have your options there. The paintwork is mostly standard, though it’s worth noting that he gets a metallic blue in place of the classic blue. Not entirely sure why the change was made; perhaps metallic blue is more festive? Spidey actually does get an accessory; it’s a cloth bag, with a little printed cardboard insert with some presents on it. It’s a little finicky to get him holding it, but it’s a decent addition.
Both of Mary Jane’s figures during the Toy Biz run came in 1999, and they were built from the same base figure. I mean, I guess that’s pretty sensible, right? She stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation (though the neck is, as always with this mold, very restricted). Like her Famous Couples release, this Mary Jane is a repainted Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four line. It’s decent sculpt in its own right, though it’s slightly hindered for this release, by virtue of all the cloth and such she’s got glued to her. The hat’s okay, and the skirt’s workable, but the fake fur on the arms, legs, and especially the torso end up looking really goofy. She’s just not particularly playable as a figure, nor is she particularly appealing to look at. She’s definitely the weak link of the set.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I remember seeing this set a good number of times at various stores back when it was new, but I never got around to actually buying one. As regular readers will have no doubt noticed, I’ve actually had to outsource a couple of my Christmas review items in recent years, but last year, right before the holiday, I actually came across this set at Gidget’s Gadgets, and while I couldn’t get it done last year, I was able to ear-mark it for this round. It’s goofy, and hokey, and totally without use outside of the holiday season, but the pair does have something of its own charm.