SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOY BIZ)
“A criminal mastermind bent on Spider-Man’s destruction, the Hobgoblin employs an eerie arsenal to carry out his malevolent schemes. Hurling pumpkin bombs and razorsharp bats from his jet glider, the Hobgoblin has Spider-Man constantly on his guard!”
When Spider-Man: The Animated Series was going into production, its story editor John Semper, who guided the show throughout its run, was not part of the initial crew. When he arrived, he discovered that a number of odd decisions had been made by higher ups, in an aim to keep the show more relevant. With the Green Goblin identity having been abandoned in the comics and Hobgoblin serving as the main goblin antagonist, initial plans had Norman Osborne assuming the Hobgoblin identity, rather than Green Goblin. This choice was so cemented that Toy Biz’s tie-in line’s first assortment had already gone into production with Hobgoblin in its roster, in place of the more classic Green Goblin. Semper disliked the choice, but was forced to keep Hobgoblin for merchandising purposes. However, rather than make Norman Hobgoblin, Hobbie was kept a separate character, and the order of the goblin appearances was reversed, with Norman’s Green Goblin joining the show later. But, Hobgoblin was still in the show’s opening line-up.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hobgoblin was released in Series 1 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man: The Animated Series tie-in line, with re-issues in both the Marvel Universe and Marvel Super Heroes lines. The mold was also up-scaled for the 10 inch line, and downscaled for the diecast line. He was based on Hobbie’s classic design, just like the show design. It was really his only look at the time, so it made sense. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 7 points of articulation. His articulation scheme is rather odd; he’s got shoulders, hips, and knees on both sides, but only his right arm gets elbow movement, and he lacks a joint for his neck. It winds up making the figure rather stiff. His sculpt was an all-new one at the time, and wound up more or less remaining unique, though there were a couple of re-issues and minor re-colors. It’s a decent one for the most part. Some of the details are a little bit on the soft side, but the general layout of everything looks pretty decent, and he wasn’t a terrible match for the animation design. His paint work is generally pretty good. The application’s not particularly intensive, but it’s generally clean. Though he’s clearly got sculpted elements on the hips for his shorts to go a little further, they are unpainted. It’s not terribly noticeable, though. Hobgoblin was packed with his Goblin Glider and a pumpkin bomb. His arm is spring loaded, and there’s a notch in his hand so he can fling the pumpkin bomb, and the Glider also features a launching missile at the front. None of it’s terribly obtrusive to the figure’s design, which is certainly a plus.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I didn’t have the regular Hobgoblin as a kid. I was never much attached to the character, really. I did have the little diecast version, and one of my cousins had this particular release, but that was the real extent of it. The one seen in the review came to me courtesy of Max. I’ve been working on my 5 inch Marvel collection for a while, and he had snagged this guy, but ultimately didn’t feel like he needed to keep him, so he was kind enough to pass him on to me. How very kind of him. The figure’s okay. There were better Hobgoblins and just better figures in general in the line. Even the basic Green Goblin’s honestly a better figure. But, he’s certainly not bad, especially for the era.