#2677: Peter B. Parker



“Peter B. Parker mentors Miles Morales, an all-new Spider-Man, to understand the importance of power and responsibility.”

Up until Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Man movies always had Peter Parker as their lead, and typically a younger version of Peter at that.  Even the comics version of “Spider-Verse” had the mainstream Peter Parker as its central Spider-Man.  So, it was a bit of a shift when the movie’s version of Peter was aged up and moved into the role of mentor for Miles.  It ended up working very well, of course, and gave us a Peter that was consistent with prior incarnations, while still offering up something audiences hadn’t really seen before.  It also gave us a Peter with a lot of kind of goody and distinctive variants on his usual Spidey costume, which are really just ripe for toy treatment, aren’t they?


Peter B. Parker is figure 3 in the Stilt-Man Series of Marvel Legends, the third of the four Spider-Verse figures included.  Like Miles, Peter has several notable looks over the course of the film.  This figure goes for his appearance when he first encounters Miles.  It’s definitely distinctive, and matches Miles in terms of theme, even if it doesn’t quite match up in terms of actual interaction.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  In terms of posability, Peter’s a little more stiffer than Miles and Gwen.  There’s still a good range, but the joints can be a bit tight, and the rather thin limbs can make them a little tricky to get posed.  Also, on my figure, the neck keeps wanting to come out of the torso.  Ultimately, I think this will loosen up over time, but it’s definitely tricky right out of the gate.  And, like Miles, he’s got a little trouble standing, so it takes some more careful posing to get it done.  Peter’s sculpt is all-new (though, as with Miles, I wouldn’t be shocked to see some of these parts get used for a more fully suited Peter down the line), and it’s a pretty great recreation of his animation model from the movie.  The head really nails the disheveled appearance of Peter in the movie, and I love the sort of out of it smile he’s got.  Even the sweat pants and the mismatched shoes look great, and really sell that hastily assembled appearance.  The paint work on this guy is pretty well rendered.  The basic color work is largely handled via molded plastic, but the paint application that is there is pretty clean.  There’s a lot of detailing going on on the face (though I did notice a bit of variation from figure to figure on the stubble), which matches up pretty well with the movie, and they’ve even included smaller details like all of the buttons on his jacket.  I’m still iffy on the total lack of paint for the weblines on what we can see of his costume, but it does mean he matches Spider-Ham.  Additionally, since he’s not supposed to go with the comics style figures, per se, the change isn’t as drastic as it was on, say, 6-Arm Spider-Man.  In terms of accessories, Peter makes out probably the best of the three Spiders, with a second head with the mask on the top of his head, plus three sets of hands (ungloved, and gloved in fists and thwipping), and his fast food beverage.  The lack of a fully masked head lends credence to a full-suited version coming later, and I do like the beanie style look they’ve given him here, as well as the fact that he’s got a slightly changed up facial expression.  They’ve changed up the neck joint, however, making the ball for this one much smaller than usual, meaning it’s a different construction even from Miles.  Not entirely sure why they moved away from the standardizing for these two figures, but hopefully it’s a) just a fluke and b) any further variants of these two characters will at least remain internally consistent.  The hands are a decent mix, with the ungloved ones in particular being designed for use with the drink, which is itself my personal favorite of the accessories included.  In addition to his own accessories, Peter also gets the head for the Build-A-Figure Stilt-Man.


Schlubby Peter is one of the movie’s most distinctive visuals, right next to “What’s Up Danger?” Miles, so he was definitely a design I was wanting to see in some form, especially when the more basic lines completely left it out.  I was definitely down for his inclusion in Legends, and he was another figure I was really looking forward to.  Ultimately, I do wish his posing wasn’t quite as stiff, but beyond that he’s pretty awesome, and definitely a figure I’m glad I have.

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.

#2537: Peter Parker



“Peter Parker is the college student & photo-journalist who is secretly the Amazing Spider-Man!”

The civilian identities of super heroes don’t tend to be the most toyetic things, so they don’t tend to actually get toys, unless their alter ego is really well-known.  Fortunately for ol’ Peter Parker, Spider-Man is kind of up there on the list of well-known super heroes.  So, since all the way back in 1974, Peter’s been privy to the toy scene.  For the majority of the Legends run, Peter’s inclusion has been more through extra unmasked head sculpts, but now we’ve finally gotten a proper full Peter Parker figure!


Peter Parker is the fourth figure in the recent Spider-Man-themed assortment of the Marvel Legends Retro Collection.  Unlike the three prior figures I’ve looked at from the assortment so far, Peter actually has a direct comparison in the ’90s Toy Biz line that this set is meant to be a throw back to, which featured a standard Peter Parker figure as part of its Series 2 line-up.  That said, this figure still calls attention to the fact that these are comic figures that happen to line-up with a few animated elements by virtue of pretty much not looking like the cartoon’s version of Peter in the slightest.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Peter’s sculpt is technically mostly re-used, but will end up being new to most collectors, due to the Stan Lee figure that he’s patterned on not really showing up in most places yet.  Honestly, it’s a pretty clever idea having the two share parts, given their usual similar build and the fact that Stan was pretty vocal about seeing Peter as something of an author avatar.   But I can get more into that if I ever get the Stan figure.  Let’s focus on Peter.  In addition to using the new windbreaker jacket from Stan, he also uses Spider-Punk’s sneakers, as well as a new head and hands.  The hands are pretty basic in their own right, mostly just getting tweaked posing so that they can hold his camera accessory.  The head is…well, it’s an attempt at something, but I’m not certain it worked. They’re clearly going for a heavily Ditko-inspired head, which isn’t a terrible idea in its own right, since it’s a surprisingly rare thing to see.  What I’m not so big on are the permanently attached glasses.  They’re thick, goofy, and totally opaque, which really plays up the cartoony side of the figure.  If there were at least the same head sans glasses included, it wouldn’t bug me nearly as much, but it feels very limiting this way.  The paint work on this guy is probably the most basic in the set.  It’s a lot of neutral colors.  They look fine, but I was a little bummed by the stark white shoes; the ’90s figure had actual colors, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing those crop up again here.  Also, they’ve painted the eyes under the glasses, which seems a bit silly, given that no one’s ever going to see them.  In terms of extras, Peter’s got the camera I mentioned above, as well as an alternate spider-sense head, which is certainly an improvement on the standard head, but still falls into that slightly limiting category.


I was quite fond of the old Toy Biz Peter Parker figure, and he’s definitely one of the best civilian figures out there.  The prospect of an update was definitely okay by me.  The final figure’s certainly not bad, and I can’t really directly fault anything about the figure.  It’s just a few minor things that hold him back.  That said, throwing on the previous unmasked Spider-Man head actually looks pretty solid.

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.

#2402: Unmasked Spider-Man & Dr. Octopus



Marvel Minimates hit shelves again their second year in early March, kicking off their sophomore efforts with a return to the world of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler.  The second series of the line had given us Spidey and three of his best known foes, but there was definitely a major one missing, and that was Dr. Octopus (who was, probably not coincidentally, the main foe in Spider-Man 2, which hit theaters two months after this assortment was released), who made his Minimate debut here, alongside unmasked Spider-Man, the sort of Spider-Man variant that wouldn’t really be a proper variant in this day and age.


Unmasked Spider-Man and Dr. Octopus were first released in Series 4 of the specialty line of Marvel Minimates, but the set was one of the ones that was carried over unchanged into the Walmart/Target assortments of the time, as well as both figures being released in one of TRU’s 4-packs, alongside Captain America and Absorbing Man.  I actually already reviewed the Spidey on his own a while back, and that review is here.  I don’t talk about packaging much on this site, but it’s notable that these guys were to first to be in the much smaller, windowless box packaging, which would be the line’s main jam for two years or so.  I myself am quite nostalgic for this particular style of packaging, although it did limit the ability to include extra parts with the figures.  Still, it was quite a good look for the line.

Doc Ock was a slight departure for the line, with one of the most extensive add-ons at the time.  Though characters like Hulk and Venom would go without any bulk-up, Ock got his requisite fat piece, which was rolled into his tentacle arms as well.  The arms are rather on the small side, but they did have articulation at each connection, making Ock the most articulated Minimate at the time and for a fair bit.  His hair piece is very similar to Bruce Banner and Peter Parker’s, with the glasses being permanently attached.  At least it makes more sense for Ock’s eyes to not be seen beneath the glasses.  In terms of paint, Ock’s pretty darn basic.  There’s the detailing for the gloves, boots, and belt, which was rather inconsistent in coverage.  I do quite like the face beneath the glasses, though.  Something about those eyebrows is giving me serious Alfred Molina vibes.  Ock didn’t include any accessories, but with the extra arms, that’s not really a big issue.


I got an Ock with my original Unmasked Spider-Man, but I was never as impressed with him, and ended up losing most of his parts over the years.  I ended up replacing him outright a couple of years ago when I found the set for a really low price on Luke’s Toy Store.  Rather amusingly, I only opened them up when it came time to write this review, and I found out they’d been slid into their box upside down, all this time.  Ock’s still not amazingly impressive, but I must admit I have more of an appreciation for him now than I did as a kid.

#2388: Peter Parker & Mary Jane



During the first year of Marvel Minimates, DST put together a few exclusives to bulk up the line a little further than just the core three series.  In the nature of repurposing all over the place in those early days, one of those exclusives, Grey Hulk and Ultimate Spider-Man, was a pairing of figures that would be literally everywhere by the end of the line.  The other notable exclusive is today’s pack, Peter Parker and Mary Jane, a pair of figures that were never directly re-released in any fashion.


Peter and Mary Jane were available at San Diego Comic-Con in 2003, alongside the previously mentioned Hulk and Spider-Man.  More than the other set, they feel like a direct continuation of Series 2’s Spider-Man theme, and pretty much slot right in with that set.


We got a half-Spidey/half-Peter ‘mate in the main line, so this figure creates the counter part to the full Spidey, giving us a full Peter.  Yay, I guess.  He’s built on the standard old-style ‘mate body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation.  He got a new hair piece and book bag.  Both would see re-use later, but they were new here.  Like Bruce Banner, the glasses are opaque, something I don’t like as much here as I did on Banner.  Beyond that, he’s just paint, which pretty much just replicates the Peter half of the Series 2 figure directly.  It’s definitely a ’60s Peter, that much is certain.  It fits in alright with the style of the early ‘mates, so I can’t really knock it.  Peter was packed with a book accessory, to go with that book bag, I guess.


Peter’s main love interest and a long time fixture of the comics, Mary Jane didn’t really get her proper due as a Minimate until 15 years into the run.  She did get this…thing, however.  Mary Jane was the standard ‘mate body, but with a new hair piece.  A hair piece that was clearly aiming for some kind of recreation of John Romita’s look for MJ, but…well, it missed the mark a bit, and ends up looking more like a crappy mullet.  With the one piece of new sculpting dressed down, let’s talk about the paint.  Oh, it’s not good.  There’s way too many lines on that face.  That would be too many lines for a modern-style ‘mate.  For a year one release?  She looks like she’s a million.  The eyes are okay; it’s really he lower half of the face that ruins it.  Moving past the face we can stop and ask “what is she supposed to be wearng?”  MJ was pretty well defined as always having pretty flattering wardrobe, but this ain’t that.  She’s got a sleeveless shirt that may as well be a pillow case, plus capris, and…dress shoes?  I don’t know.  I don’t think this replicates a specific look.  Wouldn’t it have made sense to, I don’t know, go for that distinctive design that she has on that distinctive panel that everybody remembers that introduced her?  No, that would be too on the nose.  Let’s go with this ugly thing.  Making things uglier, the plastics on the various parts of her pants don’t match at all in coloring, which looks awful.


I got this set from All Time when they got that large collection of ‘mates back last fall.  At this point, I was really just working on filling in my “year one” set, which these guys are a part of, and that’s about the only reason I bought them.  Peter is kind of meh, and not exactly enough to sell the set on his own.  MJ, on the other hand, is quite possibly the worst Minimate in existence, and is certainly the worst the first year had to offer.  Clearly, the reason neither of these two saw re-release is because they just really didn’t warrant it.

#2036: Spider-Man & Kraven



Unwittingly bonded with an alien symbiote, Spider-Man has the enhanced strength and abilities he needs to take on his deadly enemy, Kraven the Hunter.”

The last time I reviewed a Kraven figure, I remarked that long-running lines require a somewhat cyclical nature.  Well, uhh, I’m now reviewing a re-release of Kraven from that very line…so, hey, here we are.  Guess we’ve already come back around to him, haven’t we?  I, of course, already had the previous Kraven, but one more certainly couldn’t hurt too much.  Nor could one more of the Spider-Man he’s packed with!


Spider-Man and Kraven are a Target-exclusive Marvel Legends two-pack, clearly patterned after the much-loved “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline.  The set started hitting shelves just a few weeks ago, and will hopefully be showing up in plentiful quantities throughout the summer.  Both figures are tweaks of prior figures that have packed up a sizable aftermarket price.


Spider-Man’s black costume (or at least a cloth copy of it) was central to “Last Hunt,” and is enough of a fan favorite that a re-release of his Sandman Series figure definitely makes sense.  The basic figure is essentially identical.  Same base body and head, and for the most part, the same paint scheme.  The symbol is ever so slightly different, with the head being a little wider.  It’s minor enough that you’d only notice the change with both releases side by side.  The main change-up is the accessories.  They were kind of the let-down of the original release, but this one amends that.  He loses the open gesture hands of the original, but exchanges them for the missing web-pose hands that were sorely missing the last time.  He also gains an alternate unmasked head, which is a re-paint of the unmasked head from the Spidey/MJ pack, now featuring some battle-damage.  Of course, since I still don’t have that, I’m just building a continuing collection of non-standard Parker heads.


Kraven’s been absent from Legends longer than Spidey’s black costume.  His Rhino Series release was four years ago now, and just predates a lot of collectors getting into the re-launched line, meaning he still goes for a bit of a premium.  His re-release is definitely the main driving force of this set.  Where Spider-Man was a fairly straight re-issue, Kraven is actually quite different from his prior release.  Where that one was his most recent appearance, this one is a classic Kraven.  He gets a new head, right hand, and belt, and swaps out the boots of the last release for more streamlined parts.  The head is by far the best piece; the crazed expression is a perfect recreation of Mike Zeck’s Kraven from “Last Hunt,” and it’s a marked improvement over the more generic sculpt of the last release.  Another marked improvement?  The paint.  It’s sharper, bolder, and just generally better detailed than the last release.  Hasbro’s definitely gotten a lot better at this part of the figures.  Kraven includes the same spear as the prior release, and also adds in a hunting rifle, which is a pretty classic Kraven sort of piece.


Since I have both of the original releases, when this set was originally announced I didn’t know if I’d be picking it up.  The images of the new Kraven head definitely did a lot to sell me on him, but the Spider-Man didn’t look to have much new to offer.  I was out looking for the Endgame Hawkeye and Widow (who I still haven’t found), and came across this set, and upon seeing the unmasked head and webshooter hands was definitely sold.  Both figures included are improvements over their original releases, and I don’t regret grabbing this one at all.

#1785: Poison



“Believing himself to be a living miracle after seemingly coming back from the dead, symbiote-possessed Peter Parker rejects the Venom identity and calls himself Poison.”

Guys….I’m gonna critique the bio for a sec here.  I know, I keep promising I won’t, but it’s sort of important.  So, the “living miracle” “back from the dead” “gave up the Venom identity” Peter Parker, aka Poison, mentioned in the bio appeared in What If? Spider-Man: The Other in 2007.  He is *not* the character this figure is based on.  This figure is instead based on the Peter Parker Poison from last year’s Venomverse, where a symbiote-wearing Peter Parker was one of the first victims of the host-devouring symbiote hunters known as the Poison.  In Hasbro’s defense, neither character is anything bordering on major, so they can be forgiven for some slight confusion.  Now, let’s get onto the figure, shall we?


Poison is figure 3 in the Monster Venom Series of Marvel Legends.  After the pretty obvious choices of Venom and Carnage, Poison is undoubtedly out of left field, given he’s got, what, three appearances?  If that?  But, I guess if Hasbro’s content to give us every single Spider-Man from Spider-Verse, it shouldn’t be a huge shock to see them dipping into Venomverse as well.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Poison is built on the Spider-UK body, which is a favorite of mine.  That said, he actually gets a surprising number of new pieces.  He only actually shares his upper arms and lower legs with the standard body; everything else is brand new.  This allows for the figure to properly replicate Poison’s inorganic, exoskeleton-like appearance.  It serves as quite a nice counterpoint two Venom and Carnage from the last two days.  I definitely dig all of the etched detailing work on his torso, head, and upper legs as well; its something that could have easily been overlooked.  The tendrils mounted on the front of his torso showcase the last traces of the symbiote Poison assimilated, and while they can be a little odd to work with at first, they certainly do add a unique flair to him.  Poison’s color work is more involved than you might think; he appears just straight white and black at first, but the white is actually a slightly pearlescent plastic, and there’s some light silver accent work running along yhr engravings, giving them a nice extra bit of pop.  It’s a small touch that really adds a lot to the figure.   Poison includes no character specific accessories, but he does still get the left arm of the Monster Venom Build-A-Figure, which is certainly a sizable piece.


I had no clue who Poison was prior to this figure being shown off, and therefore didn’t really think much of his announcement or really plan on picking him up.  Like the last two days, it was really that Monster Venom piece that was pulling me in.  That said, after getting all of the figures in hand, Poison is undoubtedly my favorite of the set.  There’s just so much coolness going on with the design, the sculpt, and the paint.  Who would have ever thought a character like this would get this sort of treatment from Hasbro?

Poison was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1377: Wrestler Spider-Man



In light of the recent re-re-launch of Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, why not have a look back at Spidey’s first turn as a movie star.  Though they have been eclipsed a bit by some of Marvel’s more recent offerings, the Raimi Spider-Man films are still some of my favorites (yes, even the much maligned Spider-Man 3).  Another favorite thing of mine?  Prototype super hero suits.  Today’s figure combines both of these things.  Without further ado, here’s Wrestler Spider-Man!


Wrestler Spider-Man was released in the third, and final, series of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man: The Movie tie-in line. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  He’s based on Peter’s initial costume, which, as the name suggests, he makes for his wrestling match against Bone Saw McGraw.  Well, part of the figure is based on that, anyway.  This guy’s actually a two-in-one, representing both a standard Spider-Man *and* Wrestler Spider-Man.  The base figure is the standard Spidey, which is generally pretty nicely sculpted.  He’s not quite as mobile as the actual standard Spider-Man from this line, but you can get some pretty solid poses.  There’s a touch of preposing to him, with a slight hunch to his torso, which makes for some Spidey-worthy poses.  The head is unmasked, and is a pretty spot-on likeness of Tobey McGuire as Peter.  The standard Spidey look is finished off with a removable mask.  Said was prone to tearing, which is why my figure is missing his.  The paint work on the standard Spidey is really quite nice; the suit has the basic colors down, and there’s a ton of great accent work exhibited throughout.  The head also gets a pretty solid paint job, though the skin does seem a little bit pale and pasty.  Still, it’s far from bad.  To transform him into the Wrestler Spider-Man, the figure includes a spare set of arms and feet, as well as a rubber shirt piece, mask, and pants.  The sculpted parts are quite nicely detailed, and swap out with relative ease.  The extra add-on pieces are a little difficult to get on, but the end result is that they’re pretty form-fitting, and that makes for a much better final figure.  Like the standard mask, the Wrestler mask was also rather prone to tearing, meaning my figure’s missing that one, too.  Good thing he’s got that nice Tobey McGuire likeness, right?


As I noted in the intro, I really like prototype super suits, and this particular design is one of my favorites (the year Spider-Man was released, I actually made this costume to wear for Halloween).  I remember this guy being announced in ToyFare, and anxiously awaiting his release.  I ended up getting him during a trip to KB Toys with my Grandmother.  He’s definitely my favorite figure from this particular line; I just wish the masks had held up a little bit better.

#0706: Unmasked Black Costume Spider-Man & Gwen Stacy




Hey, you guys like Minimates, right? Well, if you’re still following this site at this point, you kind of have to, don’t you? Though Marvel Minimates based on the latest Marvel movie are more or less a certainty these days (unless you’re Fant4stic…), they weren’t always such. X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Hulk, and Fantastic Four all had to make due with loose, comic-based tie-ins. It wasn’t until Series 14’s X-Men 3 Minimates that we would see any direct representation, though that series sure did open the floodgates. It was followed shortly thereafter by a whole two series based on Spider-Man3, which included the pair I’ll be focusing on today, Unmasked Black Costume Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy.


These two were released as a two-pack in Series 18 of Marvel Minimates. Gwen was the regular release figure, who was swapped out for Mary Jane in the variant set. But, I don’t have Mary Jane, so…


Spidey&Gwen2Wow, that’s a long name isn’t it? Need a few more adjectives there Pete? Trying to compensate for something? Every single pack in these two series featured a Spider-Man variant and he’s the one for this set. Yay. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has the standard 14 points of articulation. He is, of course, based on the symbiote version of the Spider-Man costume, as seen in the third movie. He’s got a specially sculpted mask piece, with his mask part of the way rolled up. I’m not a fan of this piece; it’s awkwardly shaped, and, for some reason, the bottom, unmasked portion of his face is a part of the piece, making his head look really bloated. Also, given that this figure is packed with Gwen, one would presume the rolled up mask is meant to replicate their kissing scene from the movie. Except for one thing: Peter’s still wearing his normal costume at that point in the movie. So, I’m not really sure what this is meant to be. Overlooking the whole bit with the wrong costume, the paint on this figure’s not bad. The weblines are nice and clean, and the texturing on the unlined portions looks great. Under the mask is a Peter Parker face, with more or less the same expression as what’s on the bottom of the mask piece. It doesn’t really look much like Tobey Maguire, but it’s a decent enough Peter. The expression’s totally wrong for this costume, but oh well. The figure included a spare hairpiece, allowing him to actually live up to his name.


Spidey&Gwen3This was actually only the second time Gwen made into the Minimates line. This one’s based on her movie appearance, of course. Her inclusion as the heavier packed figure between her and Mary Jane was somewhat odd, seeing as she has a rather minor role in the film. That said, she was played up pretty heavily before the film’s release, so that probably influenced DST’s decision. She was based on her appearance from the previously mentioned “kissing scene” (which only further emphasizes Spidey being in the wrong costume). She’s built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for her hair, jacket, and skirt. All of these were new to this figure; they’re well sculpted, and they capture her look from the movie very nicely. The skirt would go on to become a standard piece, which is still in fairly current use, but the other parts remained unique to Gwen. The level of detailing on her hair and jacket is actually very nice, and marked the some of the Marvel Minimates line’s earliest transitioning into the more modern style of Minimates. Gwen’s paint work is fairly basic, but it does a pretty good job of translating her look from the movie into the ‘mate style. Her jacket could probably stand to be a few more shades removed from the flesh-toned plastic, but that’s a minor issue. The face has a rather good likeness of actress Bryce Dallas-Howard, which is good. Gwen included no accessories.


I got this pair, as well as all of the other regular release Spider-Man 3 Minimates, as a Chritmas gift from my parents, the year they were released. Purely looking at the quality of the ‘mates, they’re pretty well done. The mask on Spider-Man is weird, but it’s easily swapped out for the much better looking hair piece that was included. Gwen is actually a pretty top-notch ‘mate, with some fantastic sculpted pieces, a good likeness, and pretty decent paint work. As a whole, though, neither of these two is particularly exciting. Maybe they would have fared better if they’d been packed with other figures.

#0697: Green Goblin & Peter Parker/Spider-Man




The line may have made it well past 60 series, but Marvel Minimates had rather humble beginnings. It started with three series, each centered on one of Marvel’s hottest properties of the time. Since there was no guarantee of anything past those three series, quite a few heavy hitters made appearances. The figures were also a lot more simplistic than they are now, making for a very different product. Let’s jump back into the old days of the line with Green Goblin and Peter Parker/Spider-Man.


This pair was released in the second series of Marvel Minimates, which was also the first series to be Spider-Man themed. It was far from the last.


Goblin&Parker2You certainly couldn’t bring Spider-Man into Minimates without his greatest foe (aside from Aunt May’s health), Green Goblin! Goblin is presented here in his classic incarnation, pointy shoes, man-purse, and all. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the older Minimate body, which is more or less the same as the current body, with the exception of the longer feet, which are just downright odd to see nowadays. The longer feet are actually hidden by a set of larger boot pieces, which were done in a slip on fashion here, rather than just being a unique sculpt as they would be now. The figure also features add-on parts for his hood/hat thing, a hand holding a pumpkin bomb, and the previously mention man-purse. All of these parts are pretty well handled, and they add up to a pretty decent version of the character. Paint-wise, Goblin is fairly simple, with mostly flat color work. There’s a bit of slop here and there, but nothing too terrible. He has detail lines for his face and belt buckle, which are nice and sharp. The face is definitely more on the cartoony side, but it fits with the style of the time. Green Goblin was packed with no accessories, since DST had yet to brave the goblin glider. Still, with the amount of sculpted pieces here, the lack of any extras seems reasonable.


Goblin&Parker3Given it was a Spider-Man series, it’s not really a shock that a Spidey variant found his way into this set. (In fact, Spidey was in every set in this series). This is probably one of the more unique figures from the series. It depicts Peter as he was sometimes seen, when his spider-sense would kick in while he was out of costume. Typically, it only showed up on his face, but I’m sure it manifested this way at least once. His lone unique piece is the hair for the Parker half of the head, which is actually glued in place, being that pegs had yet to be added on the hair pieces. It’s a perfectly fine sculpt, though it is, unsurprisingly, much more sparse on detail than the more current stuff. It ends up looking a little weird from any angle over than head on, but I don’t know that there’s a way to avoid that. The rest of the detail is handled via paint. For the most part, it’s pretty well handled. The biggest issue the figure faced was slop between the two halves, which gets pretty bad in a few areas. Some people weren’t fans of Peter’s goofy smile, but I kinda like it. Oddly enough, the Spider-Man half is painted in a different manner than the regular Spidey, so no parts were straight re-uses. The figure included no accessories.


This set was one of my earliest sets of Minimates. After getting the Yellow Daredevil & Elektra set, and thoroughly loving them, I went back for more, and this and Series 3’s Cyclops & Jean Grey jointly became my second venture into the line. This isn’t the best the first three series had to offer, but I’m pretty sentimental about these guys, even if they’ve become outdated next to newer releases.

#0500: Spider-Man




Holy crap, it’s been 500 whole reviews. I really wasn’t sure I’d get this far. I had originally planned to do another high-end figure review (Mech-Test Tony Stark, for those who are curious) but I decided to do something else for a couple of reasons. It’s an item that I realized deserved the deluxe treatment and in doing some background research for the review, I discovered that there were almost no reviews of this figure, which I felt wasn’t fair to the figure or the company that produced it.

While Mego may not have been the first company to produced licensed figures, they were definitely one of the most influential. They ruled the toy aisle for most of the 70s and they were not only the one of the first prominent example of Marvel Comics-based figures, but they were also responsible for bringing a fair number of people into the Marvel fanbase and revolutionizing the action figure industry as a whole.

There has been quite a resurgence of Mego style toys in the last few years, but one property has been noticeably absent. Due mostly to contract issues with Hasbro, Marvel was out of the running for the Mego style. However, Diamond, who had helped kick off the resurgence of the style with their Star Trek Retro Figures, found a way around that. By releasing the figures in larger deluxe sets at a higher price point, they can technically classify them as “collectibles” and not be in direct competition with Hasbro. So, each figure comes packed as a recreation of their original Mego figure, with two full sets of alternate pieces, allowing two full additional figures to be built by just supplying a basic Mego body. The first figure to be released is one of Marvel’s top characters, Spider-Man!


SpiderManRetrob12Spider-Man is the first figure in Diamond’s new Marvel Retro Figures line. He will be followed by Captain America, due out later this month, as well as Wolverine and Thor later this year. The figure uses the standard Mego-style body (re-tooled with a few improvements by Paul “Dr. Mego” Clarke), meaning he’s about 8 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. This is body is essentially the same as Mego’s Type II body, which was their go-to body for the vast majority of their basic male figures. The Mego body is really helped set the standard of what was expected from an action figure body, so it’s a very strong starting point for a figure. It’s also worth noting that this new version is a lot sturdier than the original Mego bodies, and even a little sturdier than the ones Diamond used for their Star Trek and Planet of the Apes Retro lines. It’s always nice to see a company actively working to improve these kinds of parts of a product.

SpidermanRetrob11This figure is a little different from the figures I often review for this site, in that there are three possible looks, which are effectively three separate figures. So, let’s start off with the basic, original Mego-style Spider-Man, which is how the figure is assembled in the packaging. As a recreation of the original, he makes use of the original Mego head. Mego’s Spider-Man sculpt was certainly one of their most distinctive pieces. By today’s standards, some of the details, especially the etched in weblines, are a little on the soft side, however, for the time, it’s truly a remarkable sculpt. It has a lot of character to it, and I do believe that it’s one of the few Spider-Man sculpts to actually note the presence of a nose under the mask, which is a very nice touch. The head has been painted to pretty much match the original. The edges of the black outline around the eyes are a little fuzzy in some spots, but the overall look is quite nice. This version features a one-piece costume, with all the proper details silkscreened on. The costume replicates the original “circle logo” Mego figure, which had a rather distinctive circle cut out of the webs around the spider emblem. Mego ultimately replaced this with a more comic-accurate version, but this one is often remembered for its more unique look. The costume has a bit of a shine to it, which isn’t quite accurate to the original, but actually looks rather sharp.

SpiderManRetrob4The next “figure” included is the updated version of the basic Spider-Man. Essentially, this one is what a Spider-Man Mego would look like given all the advancements in toy making technology. This one gets an all-new head sculpt, which offers a more conventional take on Spidey’s noggin. The eyes are wider, the weblines are finer, and the head has a more… head-like shape. It’s also a little smaller, to keep it more proportional with the body. This head really feels like a genuine evolution of the Mego head. It’s definitely different, but it has a lot of the same charm. Plus, that nose is still there, which really sells the whole thing for me. The paint also feels like the next step after the Mego version. The colors are the same, but this time around, a black wash has been applied to give the weblines their proper color. The black around the eyes also seems a little sharper on this head, which is great to see. The costume on this one is expectedly more elaborate than the previous one. The tailoring is just a bit tighter to the body, and the stitching has been brought more in line with the outlines of the costume. The reds and blues are more defiantly separate on this one. He also has the classic underarm web-wings, which are done with a very nice netted material and manage to SpidermanRetrob7actually look pretty respectable. That can’t really be said for most attempts at replicating them. The weblines on the red portions of the costume are finer, though they are oddly a little lighter, as well, which doesn’t seem to have been the intent. They end up being more of a brown than a true black. It’s a minor nit with an otherwise very nice costume. While the original Spidey had printed on boots, this one has a pair of sculpted boots, done in a manner that matches the head sculpt. They’re well sculpted, and certainly a little tighter fitting than most Mego boots. Admittedly, I still find myself partial to the printed boots, but that’s more of a personal preference. The sculpted boots still work quite well. This Spidey includes three sets of specially sculpted hands, each done with a web pattern that matches the head and boots. There are a pair in the classic web-shooting pose, a pair of fists, and a pair that are open in a pose perfect for wall-crawling. All of the hands are fantastically sculpted, and the web-shooting hands in particular are a great version of a piece long missing from the Mego Spider-Man. In addition to the hands, Spidey also includes a pair of web-shooters and a camera belt.  Neither are essential pieces, however, both make for some entertainment value.

SpiderManRetrob3The third, and final, “figure” is a version of Spider-Man’s alter ago Peter Parker. Right off the bat, there’s one minor issue with Peter, and it’s not really an issue with the Peter pieces, but rather the Spider-Man body. The body is molded in red plastic. This is clearly meant to make the two Spider-Man costumes more convincing, but it leaves Pete without a proper body. His clothes will mostly cover the body, but the few flashes of red are rather noticeable. For the purposes of the review, my Parker is assembled on a spare body I got from Dr. Mego a few years ago. The figure has what appears to be an all-new head sculpt. The original Peter just made use of the Shazam head, which obviously couldn’t be done here. This head does appear to have at least taken the facial features of the original as an influence, so the sculpt holds on to some of the original’s style. One of the things that really stands out about this sculpt is the hair, which features some really great fine detailing, often lacking from genuine Megos. This head has easily the most complex of the three paintjobs, and ends looking quite nice. All of the paint work is clean, with pretty much no bleed over. There’s a tiny bit of slop where some brow paint ended up on his ear, but other than that, things are pretty good. Peter’s outfit is also probably the most complex. It’s made up of five pieces in total: shirt, pants, vest, and shoes. The shirt and pants are decently tailored, and pretty much just look like Mego clothes (apart from the use of Velcro). The SpiderManRetrob8vest is also nicely tailored, however, it’s a real pain to get on over the shirt. While the separate pieces are nice, it seems like a shirt/vest combo might have been more practical here. The shoes are well sculpted and well painted. They go on with ease, which is always a plus. They do look a little large, but that’s just something that goes hand in hand with removable shoes. Peter also includes a pair of the standard Mego hands in the proper flesh-tone, as well as a pair of glasses, a camera, and a copy of the Daily Bugle. The glasses are good in theory, however, they don’t stay on very well, and they look super goofy to boot. The camera is definitely a nice piece, and really helps make the figure. It would be cool if it had a strap, but it’s still great as is. The Bugle is just a single sheet of paper; it’s more there for the appearance than anything else, but it’s a cool touch nonetheless.

In addition, the set also includes a booklet with a few articles from various Mego experts, which was an entertaining read.

SpiderManRetrob2Also, I don’t talk about packaging much, but there are a few things to note here. First of all, this is a really attractively packaged set. I’m not one for keeping things in the packaging, but if I were, I’d certainly be pleased with this. Sadly, the packaging really can’t be salvaged once the figure is opened. The extra pieces are blister packaged, so they have to be torn off the backing. Also, the replica Retro packaging is really cool. However, for some reason, some sort of adhesive was used to hold it in place. I managed to get mine out without damaging it too badly, but it was a lot of work. Given the obvious effort that went into it, I can’t imagine that the adhesive was intentional.


Most of my experience with Megos was playing with my dad’s old figures when I was younger. However, Spider-Man was actually one of the few that my dad bought for me, so that particular figure definitely has a soft spot for me. As such, I was eager to get this updated version.

This set was picked up from Luke’s Toy Store, who I generally deal with for my Minimates purchases. The store decided to give the Retro Figures a try with this one. Sadly, it sounds as if I may have been the only person to buy the set from him, which is a real shame. I think a lot of people are turned off by the price of these sets. Admittedly, they are on the expensive side. However, you’re essentially getting three figures, which brings the per figure cost down quite a bit. About the only thing I would say in regards to the price is that it would be nice if Diamond included at least one extra body, or if they provided an easy location to order extra bodies at a reasonable price. I had a few extras I’d gotten from Dr. Mego a while back, but the average consumer won’t know where to find such things.

All in all, this is actually a really fun set. It offers both the chance to re-buy an old favorite, and the chance to get a loving update on that figure. And for me personally, it provided me with the chance to take a Mego out of its box for the first time ever, which was a really cool experience. I intend to buy every figure this line offers, and I would urge anyone who was a fan of Megos to do the same.