#2675: Miles Morales

MILES MORALES

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A Brooklyn native and just 13 years old, Miles Morales is a Spider-Man unlike any we’ve ever seen before.”

Released in late 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was a pretty big success, both financially and critically, being perhaps Sony’s best translation of the Spider-Man mythos to the big screen.  It helped a lot that it was the first Spider-Man movie not to retread on more or less the same story we’ve seen many times before, in part due to the fact that this film’s focus wasn’t on Peter Parker, but was instead centered on Miles Morales, who had as of that point not gotten any sort of cinematic treatment.  Due to the film being produced outside of Marvel, and therefore being subject to some slightly different licensing, the toy tie-ins at the time were rather on the light side.  We got some basic figures, and one pack of re-decoed Legends that weren’t even really movie accurate.  Demand for something more faithful was definitely there, however, and now, 2 1/2 years after the fact, the movie’s starting to get some proper toy love.  I’m kicking things off today with the movie’s main character, Miles Morales!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles is figure 1 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s the first Spider-themed assortment of this year, and four of its six figures (seven if you count the Build-A-Figure) are based on Into the Spider-Verse.  Miles has a handful of looks over the course of the film, but this figure is based on his look from the “What’s Up Danger?” sequence, where Miles first suits up before the film’s big climactic battle.  It was the look used for a lot of the advertising, and in the teaser trailer, and it’s also part of what is probably the film’s signature moment.  Plus, it’s just a cool look.  So, that all adds up to it being a very nice choice for Spider-Verse Miles’ first proper figure.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme for this guy goes for Hasbro’s general “less is more” sort of feeling they’ve been aiming for as of late, where there are less joints, but they wind up with an overall greater range of motion that makes the figure easier to pose, but also doesn’t hurt the aesthetics quite as much.  Miles is an all-new sculpt, so there’s no parts shared with any of his prior figures.  After the last “Spider-Verse” figure was just a strict, and quite frankly rather inaccurate, repaint of the comic style Miles, a totally unique sculpt is certainly called for.  It’s a pretty good match for the animation film from the movie, with one notable, but fairly excusable exception.  As with all of the other merchandized versions of this design, Miles’ shoes aren’t the Nikes he was sporting in the movie, but rather a more generic sort of sneaker.  Obviously, the additional licensing fee isn’t really going to be worth it for a figure on this scale, so it’s a sensible choice.  They’re a little less sneaker, and a little more boot looking on this figure, but ultimately, they get the idea across.  Otherwise, the sculpt is quite faithful, down to the really scrawny nature of the limbs.  In the case of the legs, this does make him a little more difficult to keep standing, but not impossibly so.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these parts, notably that masked head and the torso, show up on a fully-suited Miles at some point down the line.  Miles’ paint work is generally pretty basic.  A lot of the colors are molded plastic (aided by the separate construction of a lot of the pieces), but there’s some base color work in a few spots.  There’s some fuzziness on the edges of the red parts, and one of the fisted hands on mine has a spot of missing paint, but generally he doesn’t look too bad.  Miles has a decent selection of parts, including an alternate unmasked head and two sets of hands (fists and thwipping).  The head’s a close match to his animated appearance, though the hair does seem just a touch short for proper accuracy.  Also, each of the heads gets its own ball joint, rather than there just being one in the neck, as is the usual way of handling things.  It swaps just fine, but it does mean there’s no chance of swapping this head onto other bodies.  The hands are useful, but I still lament the fact that we aren’t getting the open gesture hands with Spider-Men anymore; it would really go well with this particular design for replicating the skyscraper scene.  Alas, I’ll just have to make do with the two sets we got.  Miles also gets the shoulder gear from the Build-A-Figure Stilt-Man.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really enjoyed Into the Spider-Verse and was quite disappointed by the lackluster tie-ins at the time.  We’ve been slowly seeing some proper stuff show up, with both Hot Toys and MAFEX getting in on the game, but they’re on the higher end, which sort of puts off the idea of getting the whole team of spiders from the movie.  Legends was definitely my preferred medium, and I was pretty excited when Hasbro announced these figures.  Miles getting this design first really works for me, and it makes for a very impressive and distinctive looking figure, and certainly one of the coolest Miles figures out there.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure 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.

#2649: Miles Morales – Maximum Venom

MILES MORALES — MAXIMUM VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the Venom symbiote attaches to Miles Morales, he gains extreme new powers.”

Season 3 of Marvel’s latest Spider-Man cartoon was dedicated to an overarching theme: “Maximum Vemom.”  Essentially, the symbiotes got proper Oprah treatment and were just handed out to everyone in the studio audience super hero community.  While Peter Parker is classically the Spider-Man with symbiote experience, this time around Miles got in on the action, getting his own Venomized appearance in the process.  Marvel Legends doesn’t tend to cover the cartoons, but they’ve made a little bit of an exception here, with a few Venomized figures to help fill out this Venom assortment, and Miles is included among them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles Morales is figure 4 in the “Venompool Series” of Marvel Legends.  He marks our third variant of Miles under the modern banner, though this one’s certainly less all-purpose than the last two.  The figure stands 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Miles is largely built out of the same parts as the prior, more standard Miles, using the smaller male base body.  He does get a new head, arms, hands, and feet to grant him that more venomous appearance.  They add a fair bit more detail and texturing, which is cool on its own, but does make him feel generally less cohesive when compared to the pre-existing parts.  Honestly, the way the jaw ends up looking more beak-like and the feet end up looking a touch on the large side, the whole figure kind of screams “chicken” to my eyes, but maybe that’s just me.  Whatever the case, he’s not a very imposing looking figure by my count, nor do I feel he really does all that great a job of translating Miles into a more symbiote-inspired appearance.  He winds up looking like someone got Miles’ regular design a bit wet.  He’s just…droopy.  At the very least, the core body’s a good one, so he’s at least a solid figure from a just playing around with him sense.  In terms of paint work, he follows the general Miles color scheme, albeit with some more metallic finish on the black sections. It’s not terrible, but the whole thing does sort of contribute to the overall runny feeling of the design.  Miles includes no accessories of his own, which is a real shame.  He does include the left arm and alternate hand to the Venompool Build-A-Figure, however.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The venomized designs aren’t really my thing, so I had no interest to speak of in this figure.  In hand, I still don’t have much interest in it.  The base body is good, so he’s at least some fun to mess with, but otherwise he really does nothing for me, other than give me an opportunity to reflect on how good the standard Miles figure still is.  I guess that’s not the worst thing, but it doesn’t speak well to a figure if the best thing it does is remind you of how much you like a figure you already owned previously.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure 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.

#1287: Miles Morales – Ultimate Spider-Men

MILES MORALES — ULTIMATE SPIDER-MEN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With amazing agility and wall-crawling skills, these young web-slingers take down the bad guys!”

Hey, remember waaaaaay back when I was reviewing Marvel Legends?  It’s been, like, days.  Plural.  I think I might be going into withdrawal.  Could be serious.  Near as I can tell, the only surefire way of avoiding that withdrawal is to review some Marvel Legends.  Oh darn.

Today’s figure hails from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe (or at least he did.  It’s sort of complicated).  I’ve only briefly touched on the concept before, but in a nutshell, it was launched in the early 2000s as a more grounded, more accessible line of comics, geared towards newer readers.  After a few years, the universe was suffering from a lot of the same continuity lock-out as the main universe, thereby robbing it of its main hook.  To try and salvage some things, Marvel repurposed the ‘verse, and started using it to try out some more daring story telling.  For instance, in the main universe, killing Peter Parker and replacing him would never stick, but in the Ultimate ‘verse, they were able to do just that.  Following the death of the Ultimate Peter Parker, readers were introduced to his replacement Miles Morales.  Miles was a serious breakout for the Ultimate line, and actually kept it afloat for several years, before he was eventually moved to the main universe.  By virtue of bearing the title “Spider-Man,” Miles has gotten an assortment of figures, one of which I’ll be taking a look at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Miles was released as part of the illusive Space Venom Series of Marvel Legends, under the title “Ultimate Spider-Men,” which he shares with the ultimate version of Peter.  This is Miles’ second time in this particular style; the first was released as a Walmart-exclusive figure in conjunction with the release of the first Amazing Spider-Man.  That figure was built on a very out of date, very ill-suited body, and was generally not well-regarded with the fans, on top of being nearly impossible to find.  This new one’s better on at least one of those counts.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Miles is built on the same base body we saw on the Sam Alexander Nova figure (it actually debuted here, though).  It’s a good, solid base.  Aside from the lack of butterfly joints at the shoulders,  and the addition of cut joints on the shins, it’s very similar to the Pizza Spidey body, which is certainly a plus.  The masked head (which is shared with the Peter figure as well) is also pretty similar to the Pizza Spidey head, though there are some key differences that help bring it more in line with the usual depictions of the ultimate masks.  I really dig the slightly wider eyes; it adds variety.  Miles also sports an unmasked head (putting him ahead of the main universe version of Peter in that respect).  It’s a really nice sculpt, and really manages to capture Miles’ in-comics look without getting too bogged down in any one artist’s style.  The level of detail, especially on the hair, is top-notch, and he’s got a nice, friendly expression that suits Miles really well.  The paintwork on Miles is generally pretty good.  The web pattern is sharp and evenly placed. Some of the reds on the rest of the body are a little thin, and there’s some slight slop here and there, but for the most part it looks pretty good.  The unmasked head is even better, with clean application all-around, even on the eyes!  In addition to the extra unmasked head, Miles also includes three pairs of hands (in fists, open gesture, and web-firing poses), as well as the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Space Venom.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve noted in a few prior reviews, I didn’t have much luck finding this particular series at retail.  While that was a bummer all-around, the one figure I really, really wanted was Miles here, since I really needed him for my Avengers/Champions line-up.  While on a trip up to see Super Awesome Girlfriend’s dad, I stopped by the local Walmart, and they just so happened to have the remnants of this particular series.  I was initially only planning to get a Miles for my Dad, but Super Awesome Girlfriend insisted on going back and grabbing the second Miles for me.  Because that’s just what she does.  This is definitely a solid addition to the line, and a figure worthy of Miles’ awesomeness from the comics.  He really makes for a fun toy!  Now, if I can just get around to finishing Space Venom…