#2943: Zombie Hunter Spidey

ZOMBIE HUNTER SPIDEY

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Zombie Hunter Spidey is in a ragtag group of survivors, fighting his way through a zombie-infested world.”

In the original Marvel Zombies, just about all of the major heroes had been zombified, which included everyone’s favorite web-slinger, who in the main story actually served as sort of the token good guy of the zombie group.  For the purposes of the MCU version of the story, the zombies no longer retain their personalities, and Peter Parker is also spared his zombified fate, instead becoming the story’s central remaining human character.  It makes him a solid choice for toy treatment, I suppose, and so I’m looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Zombie Hunter Spidey is figure 3 in the Watcher Series of Marvel Legends, and the second figure in the assortment based on the “Zombies” episode.  The figure stands just under 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The articulation scheme on the figure is a little bit outmoded in its implementation, so he’s not quite as agile as you might hope.  Notably, as a first for an MCU Spidey, he lacks butterfly joints on the shoulders.  Not exactly sure why, but that’s how it is.  Peter’s design in the episode is a mix of a few of his designs from the movies, most heavily leaning on his Homecoming appearance, which is really the most classically “Spider-Man” look of the bunch.  To that end, his sculpt makes use of parts from the Homecoming figure (which does again raise the question of why the shoulder joints were adjusted.)  The figure’s upper torso and arms are new pieces, following the slightly tweaked design of the suit from the episode.  It’s really not terribly removed from the other MCU Spider-Men, which I suppose is the point, really.  During the course of the episode, Peter inherits Doctor Strange’s cloak of levitation, and as such the figure gets its own version of the piece.  It’s totally unique from the ones we’ve gotten with the various Strange figures, which was honestly surprising.  It also has no peg or anything to hold it in place, which does make it a bit hard to keep it seated properly.  Zombie Hunter Spidey’s paint work is notably brighter in color than other versions of the MCU suit, bit it works well.  There’s a bit of shading to indicate the suit’s gotten a little dirty during the apocalypse, which makes sense, and also keeps him from being too bland.  Spidey is packed with an alternate unmasked head, two sets of hands (fists and thwipping), and the right leg to the Watcher Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had not particular attachment to this figure before the episode aired, and I still really didn’t have any after.  Mostly, I got him because I was getting the whole set.  He’s an MCU Spidey wearing a Doctor Stange cape.  That’s really it.  It’s not like he does that badly, I suppose, though the decision to remove the butterfly joints and not to include a peg on the cape both do seem rather strange, and also serve to kind of hold him back a bit.  Ultimately, he’s a rather middle of the road figure.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2677: Peter B. Parker

PETER B. PARKER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“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?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

MARVEL LEGENDS RETRO COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

UNMASKED SPIDER-MAN & DR. OCTOPUS

MARVEL MINIMATES

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.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

PETER PARKER & MARY JANE

MARVEL MINIMATES

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.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

PETER PARKER

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.

MARY JANE

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

SPIDER-MAN & KRAVEN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

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!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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

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

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

POISON

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“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?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

WRESTLER SPIDER-MAN

SPIDER-MAN: THE MOVIE (TOY BIZ)

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!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

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?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

UNMASKED BLACK COSTUME SPIDER-MAN & GWEN STACY

MARVEL MINIMATES

Spidey&Gwen1

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.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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…

UNMASKED BLACK COSTUME SPIDER-MAN

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.

GWEN STACY

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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

GREEN GOBLIN & PETER PARKER/SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL MINIMATES

Goblin&Parker1

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.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

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.

GREEN GOBLIN

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.

PETER PARKER/SPIDER-MAN

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.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

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.