SPIDER-MAN — SYMBIOTE
MARVEL MIGHTY MUGGS (HASBRO)
It’s been almost a year since I last reviewed one, but I want to remain on the record about not having forgotten Mighty Muggs. Everyone else may have, but I’ll be damned if I will. Launching in 2007, Muggs pre-dated the Funko’s Pop! craze by a few years, and really just missed the earlier designer vinyl push from the early ’00s, making them sort of an odd duck in terms of success. They definitely had their supporters, and the licensed properties in particular did well for Hasbro. Though not quite the smash success that Star Wars was, the Marvel line got a decent run, with six main series plus a bunch of exclusives. There was enough space for a few variants of the heavy hitters, and who’s a heavier hitter than Spider-Man? Not only did he get his basic costume, but he also got that suite symbiote treatment…wait, that sounds wrong….
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Spider-Man in his Symbiote Costume was released in the third series of Marvel Mighty Muggs, alongside Ghost Rider, Doc Ock, and Thor, hitting shelves at the end of 2007. The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has movement at the neck and shoulders (the legs are separate pieces, but do not move). From a sculptural standpoint, there’s not a thing that’s unique about this figure. He’s just the basic classic Mugg body, with no add-ons or alternations. To be totally fair, that’s really the best way to handle this particular design, and works for that whole sleekness angle. The heavy lifting is handled by the paint, which in this case is itself pretty basic and straight forward. The base coat is black, and there’s white accenting. That’s it, and what more would you want. Sure, there’s all sorts of highlighting or creative shading you could try, and Muggs were known for being somewhat experimental with simulating lighting styles, but I’ve always found that such tactics just really muddy up the clean look of the Symbiote’s design. I also appreciate that the design on the logo has been changed from Series 1’s Venom, who was lopsided and monstrous looking. This one is much more symmetrical, and makes sense for the comparatively far more balanced Peter. Spidey included no accessories, which wasn’t very out of the ordinary for this incarnation of the line. I suppose he could have gotten a webline or something.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Mighty Muggs were sort of tricky to judge when they first hit, and so there was a lot of speculation. That made getting a hold of a figure like Symbiote Spidey a little difficult when the line was still new, and I myself never did get one at the time. Fortunately for me (but unfortunately for the line as a whole), as people forget about Muggs, whole collections appear and pretty much go for next to nothing. I got Spidey over the summer, courtesy of Yesterday’s Fun, and I was pretty happy to find him. There’s not a ton to say about him, but it’s worth noting that he’s an example of a design that worked great for this style, and one that wouldn’t have really worked for the updated Muggs, which I guess is why they didn’t make one.