MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)
“Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker now possesses all the arachnid’s attributes—he’s the Amazing Spider-Man!”
Long-running, ever-improving lines have a pretty much unending need to keep updating those core characters, lest they fall behind and look out of place with the latest releases. Also, core versions of main characters have a tendency to get really pricey the further you get away from their initial release. In 2015, Hasbro produced a standard Spider-Man update for their newly rebranded Marvel Legends line. Dubbed “Pizza Spidey” by the fans (due to the slice of pizza he included as an accessory), he was the gold standard for Spider-Man figures for five years. But, even with two separate releases a couple of years apart, he remained fairly tricky to acquire for a decent price on the after market. Faced with the prospect of needing to do another re-issue, Hasbro instead has decided to re-invent the wheel and set a new gold standard for Spider-Men.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Spider-Man is the final figure in the latest round of Marvel Legends Retro Collection figures. He’s been by far the most in-demand of the whole assortment, so one might be forgiven for not even realizing he’s supposed to be shipping with the rest of the set. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 36 points of articulation. That makes him Hasbro’s most articulated standard Spider-Man (6-Arm does slightly edge him out, by virtue of his, uh, six arms), by a few points. But simply having a high count doesn’t mean anything if the posability’s not there, so how’s the actual range of motion? Not bad. His articulation design takes a page out of Hasbro’s Classified Series and Lightning Collection figures, and gives Spidey a ball joint/ab-crunch combo on his torso, as well as a set of drop hips. All of this is in addition to the highly articulated arms and legs from the 2099 mold, as well as an incorporating of that mold’s very useful butterfly shoulders. About the only joint I’m not super jazzed by is the neck joint, which isn’t terrible, but also isn’t quite as posable as I’d hoped. I’d really like to have seen the Classified-style neck joint crop up here. Also, another slight tick against the figure is one less about him personally, and more about the overall planning of the line. Hasbro just introduced the pinless double joints on a couple of their figures, which is something that would have finally fixed the issue of Spidey’s inner arms always having those jarring red pins sticking out. Sadly, this figure just missed the boat on those, and still has the issue. It would have really pushed the whole “new gold standard” just a bit further if Hasbro had managed to get that new styling on this figure as well. The actual sculpted details are pretty basic. He’s still using a lot of the 2099 mold, but with the new torso and head, which match pretty well to that build. It makes him more of a John Romita Sr-style Spidey, which is exactly what a number of fans (my self included) were hoping to see. On the color work, aside from the somewhat annoying peg issue I already discussed, this figure does also have a few issues with bleed over on the transitions from red to blue. Fortunately, they’re pretty minor, and he does look pretty solid overall. They definitely got the classic color scheme down well. Spidey is packed with a second head, with slightly squintier eyes (pushing the Romita look a little more), as well as two sets of hands, one in fists, and the other in thwipping pose. No open gesture hands or pizza does knock him down slightly in my eyes, but this isn’t a bad set-up.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was a really big fan of Pizza Spidey…like a really big fan. So the prospect of replacing him was iffy for me. Sure, he looked cool, and all, but could he really be that much better? Is he really cool? Absolutely! Is he a great standard Spider-Man? Yeah! Is he a better standard Spidey than Pizza Spidey? Honestly, no. They both bring cool stuff to the table. The posabilty is better on this guy for sure, and I dig the Romita look, but the streamlining on the accessories and the fact that he still hasn’t fixed the elbow issues makes him feel like more of lateral move than anything.
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.