MAN-THING & SPYDER-KNIGHT
As one of Disney’s main focuses when it first launched, Ultimate Spider-Man makes up a large part of the early Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Minimates assortments. It’s not that hard to see why, since it gave them plenty of free reign to do all sorts of Spidey variants, especially with the show running its own take on “Spider-Verse” at the time, as well as still supporting a sizeable stable of other supporting players from around the Marvel Universe. It certainly made for some interesting pairings. One of those pairings was Man-Thing and Spyder-Knight, whom I’ll be taking a look at today!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Man-Thing and Spyder-Knight were released in Series 2.5 of Walgreens’ Marvel Minimates run. This marked the last half-series before that rather odd concept was abandoned for standard numbering schemes. Both figures in this pack are based on their appearances on the Ultimate Spider-Man show.
“Man-Thing is a member of SHIELD’s Howling Commandos. This ‘big guy,’ overwhelms the enemy with his plant-based powers.”
It’s Ted! He’s suddenly all relevant and stuff! Awesome! When the Walgreens-exclusive sets first launched, DST ran a fan-poll, designed to utilize the more obscure guest characters from the animated shows in order to grant unmade characters their first chance at ‘mate-dom. The winners of said poll were Man-Thing and the previously-reviewed Squirrel Girl, who were both split up and thrown in with a respective Spidey variant for their troubles. Hey, at least they got made. This guy was built with the standard ‘mate body at his core, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall (thanks to the various add-ons) and he’s technically still got the 14 points of articulation, though he can’t actually make use of most of the joints because of his construction. He makes use of 10 add-on pieces, with a unique head/torso cover, as well as the bulked-up parts for his shoulders, hands, thighs, and feet, and a torso extender piece. This allows the figure to maintain Man-Thing’s larger stature. It also means disposing of the standard head entirely, so there’s that. The new torso and head does a solid job of recreating Man-Thing’s comics look, especially with the face and the texturing of the shoulders. The rest of the parts don’t have any sculpted elements, but it ultimately works out alright. The paint work on the figure is largely just the same drab green, with a little bit of accenting and just a little but of line work on the limbs. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to get his design down well. Man-Thing is packed with a clear display stand.
“A Spider-Man from medieval universe, this vigilante protects the town of York. He wears a suit of armor with retractable wrist blades.”
Spyder-Knight was a new creation for Ultimate Spider-Man, though he made use of a concept that had been floating around prior to the cartoon’s use of it. He’s got non-standard upper arms and a new set of gauntlets. With the add-ons only on the arms, he does wind up a little bit simian in his appearance. I don’t think it’s quite what they were going for. My figure has both of his gauntlets fused to the arms, so they can’t be posed or removed, which is kind of a bummer. The paint work also seems surprisingly drab in its color scheme, but I guess after looking at screen caps, that’s just how he’s supposed to look. The line work is at least pretty sharp, so there’s that. Spyder-Knight is packed with an alternate gauntlet with a wrist blade, which my figure can’t actually use due to the previously mentioned issue with the gauntlets not being removable, as well as a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The distribution on the exclusives was kind of a mess early on for these, so despite this pack being released in 2016, I didn’t actually find one of these in-store until early 2018, when things really started getting out there. Man-Thing’s one time as a Minimate turned out pretty well. The animated stylings mean that he doesn’t have as in-depth a sculpt, but I actually prefer him that way. Spyder-Knight wasn’t the reason I was buying the set, and he’s not particularly that good either. He’s kind of just a space filler.