SPIDER-MAN 3 (HOT TOYS)
We just got through the whole “three years” hubaballu, and now we’ve got another monumental review? Sheesh, I gotta space this stuff out more.
Hi there readers, and welcome to the 1100th review on The Figure in Question. As with my other “00” reviews, this is another deluxe review, where I look at a slightly higher-end figure. Today’s figure once again comes from out friends at Hot Toys. While HT has been making their mark with a number of figures from the very successful MCU films, they haven’t shied away from some of the pre-MCU films. In addition to a few Wolverines, and a handful of characters from Blade, HT put out three figures from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (well, specifically Spider-Man 3, for whatever reason). The figures hit right on the cusp of Hot Toys exploding in terms of popularity, in much the same way that the movies hit right on the cusp of the whole super hero movie explosion. It was pretty fitting really. Today, I’ll be looking at the basic Spider-Man figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Spider-Man was figure 143 in HT’s Movie Masterpiece Series, placing him between their two Tron: Legacy figures chronologically. He was released in mid-2011, which is a bit odd, since Spider-Man 3, from which his appearance is taken, was released three years prior. As noted, this figure is based on the main costume design from Spider-Man 3. It’s essentially the same design that was used in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, but, like the Stormtroopers in Star Wars, there are small details on the costume that change from film to film, which someone with a more mindful eye then my own could probably point out. Of course, all three versions of the costume are in turn based on the classic Spidey costume from the comics. The only real difference between the movie and comics designs is the movie designs have raised silver webbing, rather than the printed black webbing from the comics. Spider-Man stands about 12 inches tall and, going by the Sideshow website, he has “over 30 points of articulation.”
Unlike most HT figures, Spider-Man possesses neither an actor’s likeness, nor any real discernible head sculpt to speak of, for that matter. I mean, there’s a head, and it’s unique to this figure. The sculpt is certainly important, but in a different manner than usual. The mask is cloth, but there’s a “blank” head underneath, which gives the mask a proper shape. It’s actually very nicely done in that respect. The shape matches pretty well with the appearance of Tobey Maguire in the mask from the movies. The tailoring of the mask itself is pretty good, though it could perhaps be a little better. The seam right at the top is sort of annoying (and it was something that future HT Spider-Men removed); it really should have gone somewhere more inconspicuous. There are also a few issues around the neck of the costume, with it bunching up at certain points in a rather unrealistic way. A lot of this stems from HT’s decision to make the mask and suit all one piece, presumably to emulate the look of the film (where movie magic makes the whole thing look seamless). Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate quite so well to the smaller scale. The later symbiote Spidey forewent the idea entirely and just had the break right at the base of the skull, which looks quite a bit better. The head is topped off with a set of sculpted lenses (which hold the whole mask in place on the head), and they work pretty nicely (though there’s a slight scratch on one of mine), as well as a small bit of rubber for the webbing.
The costume on this figure is technically made up of three parts, though they really function as one big body suit. The main suit is pretty well done. As with the head, there are some issues with the cloth bunching up weirdly in a few areas, which has a lot to do with the one-piece nature of the design. That being said, it’s very well tailored to the body, is incredibly flexible, and offers a really great range of motion. The suit ends at the wrists, but there’s enough extra material to cover the wrists and join up pretty well with the sculpted hands. The boots are a separate part (which you’d really only know if you had to disassemble the figure like I did. More on that in the next section), starting halfway down the calf. They’re actually a pretty clever in design. There’s a sort of a skeleton calf and foot, to keep the articulation at the ankle, which is then incased in a rubber material to maintain a more natural shape. The actual visible boot is really just a sock that slides over the foot, and it’s all held in place by a plastic sole that clips into the base of the foot. The figure was originally shown with plastic boots (like the ones sported by most of my prior HT figures), but after some fans brought up how it ruined the seamless nature of the design and would also rob him of ankle movement, HT changed it for the final product.
The underlying body is, I think, unique to Spidey, though I’m not 100% sure on that. It’s a good body for him aesthetically, being lean but still muscular. It also offers a good deal of posability, and it looks good from under the costume. That being said, the major issue that plagued this body was its durability. Remember how I said I had to disassemble the boot? Yeah, that’s because when I got this guy he couldn’t stand, due to his ankle joint being broken into three pieces. Fortunately, the foot is easy to access and repair, but I’ve heard stories of figures breaking at the hips, shoulders, or even the neck, places that are virtually impossible to fix due to the design of the suit. In addition, to make sure they blended with the costume, Spidey’s wrist pegs were cast in red plastic. Red plastic is notoriously fragile if you don’t pay for a very high quality product, which it seems HT did not. The pegs are only good for about one hand swap, and then they’re pretty much done. Fortunately, this figure was released after a spare set of pegs became the standard, but it’s still very frustrating. I myself have already broken one of the pegs (which is why you only see him wearing one pair for most of the pictures).
Spidey included a fairly decent accessory complement. He has four pairs of hands, several different lengths of webbing, the edge of a building to perch on, and the usual display stand. The hands are in fists, open gesture, web gripping, and web shooting poses. Apart from the issues swapping them, they’re pretty cool. The open gesture ones are my personal faves. The webbing is fairly cool, and tow of the pieces can be slipped over the wrist pegs to look like he’s firing it from his wrists, which is a fun touch. The perch is a pretty cool base, though he has a little trouble actually standing on it. The basic stand is exactly what it says on the tin, but it works for its intended purpose.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Despite being a huge fan of the Raimi Trilogy (even Spider-Man 3!), I didn’t get this guy when he was new. At the time, I didn’t have the funds for Hot Toys figures, and he fell right between my birthday and Christmas, so I couldn’t even really ask for him as a gift. By the time I got into HT collecting hardcore, his price had gone up a fair bit. I thought about getting the black suited version, but it wasn’t really the same. I ended up finding him on Ebay for a reasonable deal, from a collector who had opened him and put him on the shelf, but that was it. Despite his issues, I really like this figure a lot, and he’s probably one of my favorite HT figures I own!