MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)
“Peter Parker is the college student & photo-journalist who is secretly the Amazing Spider-Man!”
The civilian identities of super heroes don’t tend to be the most toyetic things, so they don’t tend to actually get toys, unless their alter ego is really well-known. Fortunately for ol’ Peter Parker, Spider-Man is kind of up there on the list of well-known super heroes. So, since all the way back in 1974, Peter’s been privy to the toy scene. For the majority of the Legends run, Peter’s inclusion has been more through extra unmasked head sculpts, but now we’ve finally gotten a proper full Peter Parker figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Peter Parker is the fourth figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment of the Marvel Legends Retro Collection. Unlike the three prior figures I’ve looked at from the assortment so far, Peter actually has a direct comparison in the ’90s Toy Biz line that this set is meant to be a throw back to, which featured a standard Peter Parker figure as part of its Series 2 line-up. That said, this figure still calls attention to the fact that these are comic figures that happen to line-up with a few animated elements by virtue of pretty much not looking like the cartoon’s version of Peter in the slightest. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation. Peter’s sculpt is technically mostly re-used, but will end up being new to most collectors, due to the Stan Lee figure that he’s patterned on not really showing up in most places yet. Honestly, it’s a pretty clever idea having the two share parts, given their usual similar build and the fact that Stan was pretty vocal about seeing Peter as something of an author avatar. But I can get more into that if I ever get the Stan figure. Let’s focus on Peter. In addition to using the new windbreaker jacket from Stan, he also uses Spider-Punk’s sneakers, as well as a new head and hands. The hands are pretty basic in their own right, mostly just getting tweaked posing so that they can hold his camera accessory. The head is…well, it’s an attempt at something, but I’m not certain it worked. They’re clearly going for a heavily Ditko-inspired head, which isn’t a terrible idea in its own right, since it’s a surprisingly rare thing to see. What I’m not so big on are the permanently attached glasses. They’re thick, goofy, and totally opaque, which really plays up the cartoony side of the figure. If there were at least the same head sans glasses included, it wouldn’t bug me nearly as much, but it feels very limiting this way. The paint work on this guy is probably the most basic in the set. It’s a lot of neutral colors. They look fine, but I was a little bummed by the stark white shoes; the ’90s figure had actual colors, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing those crop up again here. Also, they’ve painted the eyes under the glasses, which seems a bit silly, given that no one’s ever going to see them. In terms of extras, Peter’s got the camera I mentioned above, as well as an alternate spider-sense head, which is certainly an improvement on the standard head, but still falls into that slightly limiting category.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was quite fond of the old Toy Biz Peter Parker figure, and he’s definitely one of the best civilian figures out there. The prospect of an update was definitely okay by me. The final figure’s certainly not bad, and I can’t really directly fault anything about the figure. It’s just a few minor things that hold him back. That said, throwing on the previous unmasked Spider-Man head actually looks pretty solid.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy 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.