#1585: Spider-Man – Battle Ravaged

SPIDER-MAN – BATTLE RAVAGED

SPIDER-MAN CLASSICS (TOY BIZ)

“The amazing Spider-Man uses his sensational spider-powers to protect society from the world’s most dangerous super villains.  It takes all of his super-human strength, speed, and agility to fight the forces of evil.  He often faces insurmountable odds and is forced to combat numerous opponents at the same time.  Not even his amazing early warning “spider-sense” can always keep him from being hurt in battle.  However, Spidey’s incredible determination and will to win lets him triumph in battles against impossible odds.  In the process, his world famous red and blue costume is often torn to shreds.  It’s a good thing our hero created his own costume and knows how to sew up a replacement.  Where else can a superhero bring their costume to be mended?”

Man, Toy Biz’s bios sure were in-depth, weren’t they?  I dig that they got all of Spidey’s usual descriptors in there.  Someone was having a good time with that one.

Spider-Man Classics marked Toy Biz’s first move towards the style that would define the industry for the next decade or so.  The first series was a smash success, and happened to feature both the basic and black-costumed variations of Spider-Man.  When it came time for the follow-up, they had to get a little more inventive for the necessary Spider-variants.  Hence, the Battle Ravaged Spider-Man, a figure I’ll be looking at today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Battle Ravaged was one of the two Spider-Man variants in Series 2 of Spider-Man Classics (the other was First Appearance Spider-Man).  This would mark Toy Biz’s second Battle-Ravaged Spider-Man, following the one from their 5-inch line years earlier.  This figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Rather than just going for a sort of generic battle-damaged look, this figure actually goes for a very specific look, namely Spidey’s damaged appearance from the Todd McFarlane-drawn “Torment” storyline.  It was a fairly pivotal storyline at the time of its release, and it helps the figure blend in well with the rest of the Classics figures, which had all followed a decidedly McFarlane Spider-Man aesthetic.  Obviously, this figure made use of a lot of pieces from the Series 1 standard Spidey.  That figure was very good for its time, and while some aspects of it haven’t aged the best, it’s still a solid offering.  He also gets a new head, right hand and forearm, left upper arm, thighs, and left shin.  These new pieces fit in seamlessly with the old parts, and the battle damaged parts look pretty impressive.  The head’s really the star part of the sculpt, being a pretty spot-on recreation of McFarlane’s battered Peter Parker.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty solid overall.  The colors are well chosen, and the black wash used all throughout the figure helps to really accentuate the detail in the sculpt.  There are some issues with some bleed over, especially on the parts showing the damage, but the overall look is good.  Spider-Man was packed with a wall-mountable display stand, depicting Lizard trapped under debris.  It’s actually really well-detailed, and he even has a jointed neck, jaw, and shoulder.  Very impressive.  Also included is a reprint of Spider-Man #5, which is part 5 of “Torment” and features a beaten down Spider-Man battling the Lizard.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Battle-Ravaged Spider-Man was actually my first Spider-Man Classics figure.  On a particularly rainy day, my Dad and Grandmother had taken me out.  We stopped by a nearby comic book store (which I, sadly, cannot remember the name of) which had this guy and no one else from the series, so he was kind of my only option.  Nevertheless, I thought he was really cool, so my Grandmother picked him up for me.  It’s a figure that shows its age, but I still really like this guy!

#1393: Buzzing Beetle

BUZZING BEETLE

SPIDER-MAN: CLASSICS (TOY BIZ)

When is a figure you want not a figure you want?  That’s a confusing question.  What I’m getting at is that sometimes, there’s a character you really want, and when they arrive, they just aren’t what you wanted at all.  That’s the perpetual story of Beetle.  He’s a B-list Spider-Man foe, so his appearance in numerous Spider-Man lines over the years is no surprise.  What’s continued to be a surprise is the versions of the character we’ve gotten.  Back when Toy Biz was still pioneering the Marvel Legends style, they gave us our first 6-inch Beetle as part of their complimentary Spider-Man: Classics line.  It was…not exactly what was expected.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Buzzing Beetle was released in Series 14 of Spider-Man: Classics as one of the two Spider-foes in the set.  The figure stands a whopping 7 3/4 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation.  This Beetle figure is based on one of the much later Beetle designs.  It’s not exactly one of the more memorable designs that the character’s had.  In fact, Abner Jenkins, the original Beetle, never even wore this armor.  He instead controlled it by remote.  It was eventually worn by Leila Davis, after Abner had given up the Beetle identity, but even that was rather short-lived.  It’s at the very least a visually interesting design.  The complexity of the design means it also requires a completely unique sculpt.  It’s pretty decent work all-in-all.  The various pieces of armor have differing textures, which adds a lot of additional cool factor to this figure.  The design also really lends itself to toy form, so the articulation can be worked in pretty well.  The hip joints are kind of obvious, as were all of these types of joints at the time.  Beyond that, it’s really pretty solid.  The “buzzing” feature was linked to the wings (which my figure is lacking) and the mechanics are placed within the torso.  Due to the sheer size of the figure, though, the mechanics really don’t impede the sculpt or articulation all that much.  There’s also a light-up feature on the visor, which turns it…red?  Yeah, okay.  The paintwork on Beetle is actually pretty great.  The metallic shades are really cool to look at, and the purple and green go really well together.  There’s also some really fun weathering on the purple bits, which helps further accentuate their already more worn-in sculpt.  In addition to the (missing) wings, Beetle also included a pair of missiles (also missing) to go in the missile launchers affixed to the figure’s forearms.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this figure a few times when it was new, and I never bought it.  I was a little bit resentful that they went with this design over the classic look.  Of course, once it was officially gone from all the regular places, I kind of regretted never picking it up.  I ended up fishing this figure out of the $1 bin at 2nd Chance Toyz, which was pretty exciting.  Sure, it’s missing a few parts, but the base figure is still cool.  Really, at the end of the day, I’m actually kind of happy this figure was made when it was.  It’s actually a pretty fun design, and it’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t really be financially feasible in this day and age.  A good toy’s a good toy.

#0310: Daredevil – Yellow

DAREDEVIL – YELLOW

SPIDER-MAN CLASSICS

YellowDareDevil1

In the 90s, Toybiz was king of the toy aisles with their expansive selection of action figures based on characters from the Marvel Universe. Eventually, opinions and expectations of toys began to change. Toybiz wanted to stay at the top, so they changed with the times. In an effort to tie into the hype of the character’s first foray onto the big screen, Toybiz launched Spider-Man Classics, a line that upped the scale, the detail, and the articulation. The second series of the line introduced not only an outreach to other corners of the Marvel universe with the character Daredevil, but also the very first instance of something that would become a staple of future Toybiz lines: the Variant. A slight change to one of the figures in the series, packed at one to a case. The figure immediately caught collector, and scalper, attention and its price sky-rocketed on the aftermarket. What was this figure everyone had to have? Yellow Daredevil!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

YellowDaredevilWilsonDaredevil was released in the second series of Spider-Man Classics. This figure is the variant of the regular Daredevil, dubbed “Yellow Daredevil” because it’s based on Daredevil’s first appearance costume, which was predominantly yellow. The figure is 6 inches tall and sports 30 points of articulation, a point that is proudly boasted on the figure’s packaging. Daredevil’s sculpt makes use of the basic body sculpt of Black Spider-Man from the first series, with a new head, hands, feet, as well as an add-on for his billy-club holster. The sculpt hasn’t aged all that well. The body is long and lanky, and the hands and feet are a bit on the large side. For the time, it was pretty impressive, though. The head sculpt is one piece that still manages to look pretty good. It’s a bit exaggerated, but it works. I will admit I also really like the sculpted tread around the bottom of his feet. It does a lot to make the figure stand out from the Black Spider-Man it was based on. Daredevil’s paint is a bit of a mixed bag. There’s some great detail work, and they’ve done some cool things to make the design pop. I do like the slight occurrences of red on the black areas, which is a nice way of paying tribute to the red highlights he was often seen with. However, the figure shows quite a bit of slop, uneven paint application, and a few very fuzzy lines. These aren’t immediately apparent, but do crop up with a tiny bit of examination. It becomes a bit more forgivable when you remember these figures had a retail of $7. Daredevil includes his billy-club, a wall mountable display stand that looks like a stained glass window, and a copy of Daredevil #241.

YellowDareDevil2 YellowDaredevil3

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Yellow Daredevil figure has for quite some time been one of my personal grails. For whatever reason, I’ve always been fascinated with the design. When word of this figure first broke out, I was eager to get one. In fact, my Dad made it his mission to try and find me one. Sadly, we were never able to find one on the shelves. As the original “variant figure” the figure maintained a hefty value on the aftermarket. More than once I picked one up at a convention, only to be told the price (usually well over $100), which would lead to do the “back away slowly” move. Years passed and I pretty much gave up. Instead, I resigned to just get every other figure of Yellow Daredevil (which incidentally led to my getting into Minimates, but that’s a story for another time). A few weeks ago, my local comicbook store Cosmic Comix posted on their site that they had gotten in a pretty large collection of figures, and they would be selling them for a set price. I got there to pick up my comics and looked over the table of figures. I found one or two, but nothing really jumped out at me. I walked up to the counter and the owner, who knows I’m a big action figure collector, asked if I’d like to look at the more expensive figures before they were officially priced. This is a scary idea for me, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to look. I moved one figure from the top of the stack, and there was Yellow Daredevil. As it turns out, he’s actually gone down a bit in price in the last few years. On top of that, the owner agreed to cut me a pretty great deal. So, I got the figure I’ve been trying to find for 13 years, and I got him for a pretty reasonable price. Is he the perfect figure? No. There’s some definite flaws. But, to me, he’s more than just a figure, he’s an accomplishment.  After all that time, I’m just glad to finally have this figure.

And yes, I took him out of the box. Deal.