MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)
“A bright student with a keen scientific mind, Gwen Stacy is girlfriend to Peter Parker.”
Hasbro’s Retro Collection sub-line of Marvel Legends is loosely meant to replicate the Toy Biz toys of the ’90s, which typically means aping at least a little bit of what the ’90s cartoons were doing. Today’s figure, however, kind of spits in the face of that whole thing, since by the time Toy Biz was making Marvel figures, Gwen Stacy was about two decades deceased, and Peter had been with Mary Jane Watson for about half of that time. That, and the fact that Gwen was just a civilian with no costume or anything, meant that Gwen was absent from the Toy Biz Spider-Man line*. Hasbro has, nevertheless, decided to include her in their latest round of Retro-inspired figures, and I’m not really going to fight them on any of it at this point.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Gwen Stacy is the second figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed Marvel Legends Retro Collection assortment, which just started hitting retail in the last month or so. She marks the second of the two figures I’ve looked at so far that don’t actually really fit in the packaging style the line is emulating, but, honestly, that’s become something of a running theme with these figures. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. Gwen uses the Phoenix body as a starting point, but is mostly made up of new parts, with only the legs and hands ultimately being re-used. Everything else is new to this figure, and that’s probably for the best. Gwen is seen here in her attire from “The Night Gwen Stacy Died,” a suitable choice for her, given it not only captures the spirit of the character well, but is also a pretty slick look, and by far her most memorable design. The sculpt does a pretty solid job of capturing her design from the comics, and just generally making her look as one might expect Gwen to look. There’s some really nice texture work on her sweater, and both her jacket and hair get a nice bit of dynamic flow to them, which helps keep her from looking too static. The head sits a touch high on the neck for my taste, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing a different set of hands used (I’m getting a little tired of that splayed oped hand), but the sculpt is overall a good translation of her design into three dimensions. Gwen’s paintwork is overall pretty solidly handled. It’s clean, and it gets the job done. I think I might have liked her jacket to maybe be a slightly brighter shade, just to give her a little bit more pop, but the application is all pretty clean, and she doesn’t look bad in the slightest. In terms of accessories, Gwen gets a handful of items that all seem…misplaced? The big one that caused a tiny bit of controversy was the Mary Jane head sculpt. Some people misread it as Hasbro saying that Peter’s love interests are interchangeable, and were rather miffed at the thought of putting MJ in an outfit that is so clearly linked to Gwen. Of course, I see it more along the lines of Mystique‘s Lilandra head, or Skullbuster’s Reese head, where they *can* be used on the body they’re included with, but are more meant to give collectors a head that can go on another body, effectively giving them two figures in one. I myself like how the MJ looks on Jessica Jones’ body, albeit with a hand-swap as well. Also included are a rolled up copy of the Daily Bugle, which feels more like a J Jonah Jameson bit than a Gwen one, a binder (which is admittedly the one inoffensive piece here), and a Midtown High School yearbook, which long-time Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott pointed out makes no sense for either Gwen or MJ, since neither of them actually went to Midtown High. Odd choice. Still, props to Hasbro for trying *something* I guess.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Gwen’s one of those figures that I wasn’t sitting there desperately waiting to get or anything, but that I was happy enough to see turn up in the line. She’s a solid addition to the ever growing roster of civilian supporting cast members, and definitely a key character that deserves some proper toy coverage. Her accessories are maybe a little odd-ball, but they don’t detract from the core figure, and I’m pretty happy to at least get the MJ head as an option, given I never got the two-pack version back in the day.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.
*Gwen did eventually get the Toy Biz treatment in their Silver Age line, one of their many one-off lines distributed through specialty retailers, so she wasn’t entirely left out of the fun.