#2409: Masked Spider-Man & Gwen Stacy

MASKED SPIDER-MAN & GWEN STACY

MARVEL MINIMATES

In its second year, Marvel Minimates worked to fill in some of the gaps left by its first year, but also looked to find its footing and how to successfully carry on a brand when you’ve already put out a lot of the heavy hitters.  For their first series in the second year, they had a theme of “retread and new” to their pairings.  This was already visible with the Doc Ock and Unmasked Spidey set from last week, and it becomes even more obvious with today’s set, Masked Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Masked Spidey and Gwen were released in Series 4 of the Marvel Minimates specialty line-up.  Gwen would remain exclusive to this particular assortment, but this version of Spidey wound up paired off with Series 5’s Wolverine variant for the Walmart/Target assortment.  Oh good, he was more places.

MASKED SPIDER-MAN

So, yeah, I’m wondering the same thing you’re wondering: isn’t “Masked Spider-Man” just a regular Spider-Man?  I mean, that would be my guess, but this figure seems to think otherwise.  I believe the figure was originally solicited as “Half-Masked Spider-Man”, and perhaps they realized this was too many words to fit on the packaging.  They were still committed to giving each figure a unique name, though, so “Masked Spider-Man” he became.  From the neck down, he’s the same as the other two non-battle damaged Spider-Men, which I guess is good for consistency.  It means that the majority of this guy is the same as a really good ‘mate.  But now he’s got his masked pulled up to reveal his mouth.  It’s not an uncommon look for the character, and was of course prominently featured in the first Spider-Man movie, so I guess it makes sense?  It would make more sense packed with an MJ, but I digress.  To further mix things up, this guy’s also got a new web-line piece.  Its attached to a hand, and the end of it is shaped to a Minimate torso, allowing him to grab them.  It’s probably the best thing about this figure.

GWEN STACY

After butchering poor MJ’s debut ‘mate, I guess DST felt the need to prove that not every woman in Peter’s life was a horrible monster mash.  So, we got a Gwen Stacy.  How about that.  Gwen didn’t have a costume, but DST opted to put her in the outfit that most people remember: the one she died in.  It’s got a distinctive flair to it, to be sure, and it’s certainly iconic.  Gwen is constructed from the usual base body, with add-ons for her hair, jacket, and skirt.  All of the add-ons were new for this release, and they look decent.  The jacket does really bulk her up, though, especially when compared to other supposedly larger characters, who were still just on the basic body.  Hey, that’s the difficulty of using the same base for everyone, I suppose.  Gwen’s paintwork is cleanly done, and pretty basic, but that’s honestly a good thing, because it’s really that too many details approach that messed up poor MJ.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this set when it was new, but my brother did.  I myself was never majorly impressed by either figure included.  However, I found them from Luke’s Toy Store for really cheap, and I’ve been slowly filling out my early Minimates collection, so now I have them.  I still don’t find it to be a terribly exciting set.  Gwen’s okay, and honestly better than I expected, but Spidey’s just kind of pointless, even moreso than the unmasked figure from the same set.  Fortunately, they would learn how to make better Spidey variants as the line progressed.

#2407: Spider-Man – Spider-Sense

SPIDER-MAN — SPIDER-SENSE

SPIDER-MAN (TOY BIZ)

“Perched on a ledge high above the city, Spider-Man’s ‘6th sense’ begins to tingle – providing a split second warning that imminent danger looms behind him. Back-flipping with a speed and precision well beyond an Olympic athlete, Spider-Man turns to see the ledge blasted into airborne shrapnel thanks to the Scorpion’s thrashing tail! For on the day Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, his life was changed forever. And although he gained super-human strength, amazing agility, and enhanced reflexes – it’s his uncanny spider-sense which alerts Spider-Man to the dangers of his adversaries – and benefits him the most!”

Early in its run, Toy Biz’s 5-inch Spider-Man line actually tried to have some valid variants of its main character.  They weren’t always perfect, and sometimes there were some definite reaches to justify a whole new figure, but they gave it their best shot.  In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, there was this animation gimmick they had every time his spider-sense went off, where he’d get this drastically different, rave-esque color scheme for a few moments.  It was different enough in Toy Biz’s eyes to milk a few figures out of it, the first of which is today’s offering.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Sense Spider-Man was released in Series 5 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man line, which hit shelves very late in 1995.  He was one of three Spidey variants in the line-up, with the other two being battle-ravaged and six-armed.  The figure stands just under 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is kind of wonky, in that it doesn’t really match with any other figure Toy Biz produced, in this line or any other.  The arms move only at the shoulders, but the legs get all sorts of range at the hips and knees.  He seems to be built with a wall-crawling pose in mind, which makes sense with his built-in action feature, which sort of mimics this with his arms…or at least it did when mine still worked.  It was pretty easily worn out.  It’s a little odd that they didn’t put in a little motion on his neck, since its inability to move the head upwards kinda wrecks the credibility of most crawling poses, but there it is.  The sculpt follows the model of the earlier Spideys from this line, being quite sparse on the sculpted details, opting instead to paint most of them on.  In that respect, the paint’s pretty good.  It’s taken a bit of a beating on my figure, but it’s held up alright, and the color work matches the scheme seen on the cartoon pretty well.  It’s a somewhat unique look, and I can certainly get behind it.  This guy was packed with a web-line, web hook, and a collector’s pin, though none of them really did much for the figure.  But hey, extras are extras, right?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

For Easter when my cousin Rusty and I were four, our grand parents bought both of us one figure from this series.  If you’re thinking this is the one I got, you’re wrong.  My cousin got this guy, and I got Six-Armed Spidey.  I wasn’t happy with that decision as I recall (which seems a but silly to me now, because Six Arm is clearly the better option.  Silly child Ethan), and my parents ended up working out some sort of deal (I’m sure related to cleaning my room or something) in order to take me to the mall and get me this guy for myself.  He’s not bad, but I don’t know how exciting he is, honestly.  I really wanted him, though.

#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.

#2324: Demogoblin

DEMOGOBLIN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Boy do the Spider-Man foes have some confusing legacies.  Following the death of Norman Osborn, and by extension the Green Goblin, the Goblin role in Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery fractured.  While the Green Goblin identity remained in play, we were also introduced to the mysterious Hobgoblin, a variant on the legacy role.  Hobgoblin himself became a legacy character, actually fairly early into his life.  The fourth man to take on the name was Jason Macendale, who had previously been the original Jack O’Lantern.  Macendale would end up gaining demonic powers from the demon N’astirh during the Inferno cross-over, and those demonic traits would eventually be separated from him and made into their own character, the Demogoblin.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.  Look, he’s got a toy, and I’m gonna review it.  Let’s get to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Demogoblin is the build-a-figure for the first Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends for 2020.  He had previously been shown off as a single-carded figure for the Lizard Series back in 2018, but was replaced by Lasher in the assortment proper.  He’s been rumored for every Spider assortment since, finally showing up here.  I know a lot of people are happy to finally have him.  Demogoblin has had one prior figure in this scale, as part of Hasbro’s early Spider-Man Origins line, but that was a rather hasty repaint of Hobgoblin, making this his first proper figure.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Given the common lineage, this figure does end up re-using a fair number of parts from the Space Venom Hobgoblin, itself a variant of the Bucky Cap mold.  Demo reuses the torso, arms, boots, and cape from that figure, as well as getting the standard Bucky Cap legs in place of the scaly ones Hobgoblin was sporting.  It’s all topped off with a new head, forearms, hands, and webgear for the torso.  While Hobgoblin did include a demonic Macendale head as an extra, this one goes even further with the demonic appearance, incorporating more inhuman features, and a far more tattered hood.  I really like it, and it’s an improvement on the prior piece in pretty much every way.   The rest of the new parts similarly continue that trend of improvement, and he makes for quite a dynamic looking figure.  The paintwork matches the usual Demogoblin color scheme.  Everything is cleanly applied and does its job.  This figure is one that probably would have benefited from maybe a wash or something to help really play up that demonic side, but I suppose there’s a lot of room for error when you spread something like that across multiple build-a-figure parts, so maybe it’s for the best that they didn’t attempt it.  Demogoblin gets an all-new glider, which is distinct from both Hob and Green Goblin, and even features a flight stand (borrowed from The Black Series), which is the sort of trend I’d love to see continue with such things.  It also helps to make him feel a little more worthy of that build-a-figure slot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m not personally that invested in Demogoblin as a character, but after he was displaced (admittedly for a character I wanted more, so no complaints there) I understood why people were anxious to see him turn up elsewhere.  Like a lot of recent BaFs, completing my Demogoblin was really just a side-effect of getting all of the figures in the set, and not really my main focus.  He did turn out really nicely, though.

This assortment is probably the most balanced Spidey assortment I’ve encountered as of late.  While I’d rank the Velocity Suit as the weakest entry, I actually have some trouble picking a favorite, not because they aren’t good, but because I like several figures in the line-up quite a bit.  I think all of the figures in this set stand out nicely on their own, and I quite enjoyed this line-up of figures.

#2323: Vulture

VULTURE

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Adrian Toomes uses a specialized flying suit to soar through the skies as The Vulture.”

Hasbro has been really working at wrapping up a lot of iconic Marvel team line-ups.  In the Spider-Man department, they’ve had their sights set on a fully updated recreation of the original Sinister Six.  We’re still not *quite* there, but at least we now have all six members in generally classic costumes and from the same universe, thanks to a proper update of classic foe the Vulture.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vulture is the final single figure in the Demogoblin Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s actually our third Legends Vulture under Hasbro’s tenure, following the movie and ultimate incarnations of the character, but this is the first proper classic old-man Toomes since back in the Toy Biz days.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Like the last comic-inspired release, this guy is built on the Pizza Spidey body, with a new set of arms, a new head, and an add-on piece for his collar.  The head is impressive, because while it’s definitely a new sculpt, replicating Adrian’s aged appearance, it’s got the same exact expression and likeness as the ultimate head (…which, *technically* isn’t Toomes, but the package still identified him as Toomes, so…).  It’s also a good match for how he tends to look in the comics.  The new arms come in tandem with a new set of wings, which plug into the shoulders and forearms.  They’re really great…from the front.  Yeah, they’re really only presentable from one side, which makes them look weird if you catch them from the other direction.  I’m not quite sure why Hasbro opted to handle this way.  It’s not the end of the world, but it is annoying.  It also continues to the paint, where one side gets a nice gradient and the other is just unpainted plastic.  Not hugely surprising, but again a little let down.  The rest of the paint is pretty solid, though.  Rather than paint lines all over the body suit (which has the potential to look sloppy and a little goofy), they’ve done them at key points more as accents.  I wasn’t sure about it at first, but in person I think it really works.  They also did a solid job again with capturing the old man look on the head; he’s even got liver spots!  Vulture is packed with a second head sporting some head gear.  Technically, this should make the second head Blackie Drago, but the face still seems to be Toomes.  Not sure if someone at Hasbro just missed that it’s supposed to be a different guy or what the deal is.  Still it’s a pretty cool piece, and gets us closer to a proper Drago than anything else has.  Vulture is also packed with the head of Demogoblin, which I’ll be looking at alongside the rest of the figure tomorrow.

 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Ultimate Vulture figure was a perfectly serviceable figure, but as we got more proper classic incarnations of the old Spidey foes, he looked more and more out of place, so this update was very much appreciated.  I’m not the world’s biggest Vulture fan, but I like a lot about this figure, and I think he does a fine job of giving us that classic appearance.

I picked up Vulture from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2322: White Rabbit

WHITE RABBIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A brilliant woman with a twisted mind, Dr. Lorina Dodson is the deranged Queen of Crime, White Rabbit.”

The best part of a successful super hero toyline is once it gets far enough in that all the main hero’s primary rogues have gotten coverage, and then you get to have the fun of those second and third stringers.  For me, it’s those lower tier characters that really make or break a rogues gallery, especially when they get a good gimmick.  The literary gimmick is not an uncommon one, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is one that’s spawned a few on its own.  The most prominent, of course, is Batman foe the Mad Hatter, but Spider-Man gets in on it to with his own Carroll-ian foe, the White Rabbit, who has recently gotten a nice little notoriety boost courtesy of Nick Spencer’s current run on the main Spider-Man book.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

White Rabbit is part of the Demogablin Series of Marvel Legends, where she is by far the most obscure figure offered up.  It’s her very first figure, which really isn’t that much of a surprise I suppose.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and she has 29 points of articulation.  White Rabbit is constructed from a pretty solid mix of old and new parts.  She’s got the jacket and arms from the Civil War Scarlet Witch figure, plus standard legs and feet, as well as all-new parts for the head, torso, and boots.  The new and old combine into a pretty faithful recreation of her comics design (with the patterning on Wanda’s jacket even serving as a solid approximation of the plaid pattern of White Rabbit’s jacket), and are just generally a pretty nice selection of parts.  I like the continued trend of slightly more dynamic head sculpts, especially as it applies to the hair on this figure.  She’s maybe a little bit restricted on the articulation front, especially at that mid torso joint, though, so her posing is a little more limited.  That said, while it’s restricted by Legends standards, she’s still quite poseable.  The paint work on White Rabbit is all pretty basic.  It’s cleanly applied, and matches with the comics color scheme, so it certainly gets the job done.  White Rabbit is packed with her umbrella, a blast effect for the front of it, and the glider and flight stand for the Demogoblin build-a-figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

White Rabbit is the sort of character that is right up my alley when it comes to these line-ups.  She’s relatively obscure, got a distinctive look, and cool gimmick.  I was definitely down for her when she was shown off.  In-hand, she can easily fade into the background of this particular line-up, but she does what she does well.

White Rabbit came from my sponsors at All Time Toys, and is still available here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2320: Superior Octopus

SUPERIOR OCTOPUS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Otto Octavius suits up in a high-tech spider suit to protect the city as the Superior Octopus.”

Hey, remember when Doc Ock died and then put his mind into Peter Parker’s body and then took it over and then fought for dominance with Peter’s remaining subconscious and then ultimately relented his hold on the body so that Peter could take back over in order to defeat Green Goblin and save the day once again?  Well, that just turned out to be the set-up for the rest of Doc Ock’s story.  The events of Spider-Verse led a pre-giving-the-body-back-to-Peter Ock to create a back-up of his mind in the Living Brain, which he then used to reconstitute himself in a clone body that merged Octavious’ DNA with Parker’s during the events of “The Clone Conspiracy,” thereby leading to the creation of the Superior Octopus! Wooooooo!  Yay comics!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Superior Octopus is figure 3 in the “Demogoblin” Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s sort of a two-fer figure figure, being both a high-profile Spider-Foe, and also kind of being a Spidey variant, which no doubt made him an easy sell for the assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 42 points of articulation.  Ock is nominally built on the 2099 body, although it’s a slightly changed, slightly improved version of it, getting a retooled torso section.  It’s not wildly different from the standard pieces in terms of general sculpt and musculature, but in place of the previous ab-crunch joint, this one gets a ball-joint instead.  There’s some give and take on the range of motion on the respective joints, and it’s a little bit of a shame that Hasbro didn’t take advantage of this opportunity to go all out and do the joint combo they’ve been doing on their Lightning Collection figures, but on the whole, I do prefer this joint both in terms of poseability and aesthetics.  In addition to the tweaked base body, Ock also gets a new character specific head, hands, wrist bands, and back-pack with the tentacles that give him his namesake.  The new head and hands match the source material nicely, and also meld well with the pre-existing parts.  It’s again a bit of a shame that he just has the one set of hands, but the combo here works well enough.  The tentacles are handled in pretty much the same way as the last Ock, being solid pre-posed pieces with joints at the base and the claw.  The slightly thinner nature of them does make them a little more workable and less obstructive when posing him, and by and large, I like them a lot more than the standard Ock pieces.  The paint work on Ock matches up well with the comics design, and I certainly like the color scheme here. That bright green just really pops on this figure, especially in contrast to the otherwise monochrome colors.  Ock doesn’t get any of his own extras beyond the tentacles, but he does include both arms for the Demogoblin build-a-figure, who I’ll be taking a look at later in the week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Superior Ock is one of those designs that was really just begging for toy treatment from the moment it was introduced, so I was neither surprised, nor upset when it was shown off for this line-up.  Honestly, it was probably one of the figures I was most looking forward to from this assortment.  There’s not a ton of new or different going on, but he’s a good example of slight tweaks to an already successful formula working out well for the final product.  Now, I really wouldn’t mind an updated Superior Spidey to match this one in terms of quality.

I purchased Superior Ock from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2319: Spider-Man – Velocity Suit

SPIDER-MAN — VELOCITY SUIT

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Peter Parker enhances his spider suit with speed-boosting technology to become velocity suit Spider-Man.”

Oh yeah, how about some more Marvel Legends?  I know that’s what everybody is really craving.  Well, I kicked off a whole week of reviews with a Spidey variant.  What better way to follow that up than with another Spidey variant?  You can’t have too many Spideys, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Velocity Suit Spider-Man is the second of the two Spidey variants present in the Demogoblin Series of Marvel Legends, which is the first Spidey-themed Legends assortment of 2020.  Like yesterday’s Mark III Spider-Armor, this figure has been branded as part of the “Gamerverse” sub-line.  Unlike yesterday’s figure, he’s a more natural fit for that branding, since the Velocity Suit was one of the suits created specifically for Spider-Man for the PS4, and aside from game-specific tie-ins, it’s remained exclusive to that source.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  As with the Spider-Armor, the Velocity Suit is another all-new sculpt.  It’s definitely not something Hasbro *had* to do with this guy; I could see them getting away with a base body and some add-ons, but it wouldn’t be quite right, I suppose.  It’s a fairly decent sculpt, but I don’t find it to be quite as technically impressive as the Spider-Armor was.  A lot of the details are a bit more rudimentary here, and he feels more blocky and less sleek than he should for a suit called “velocity.” Also, despite the general nature of the design being less restricting, I found the range of motion on this figure to be a little bit of a let-down when compared to the Armor.  It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t quite feel like it lives up to the current Legends standards.  Despite the reduced range, the joints are actually fairly obvious on the sculpt, with the torso joint in particular sticking out like a sore thumb.  It’s not ideal.  In terms of paintwork, he’s generally okay, aside from one notable thing: the blue.  In the game, his suit’s more of a red/grey combo, but it’s a more standard blue on the figure.  It’s not terribly different, but it’s enough that the design does look a little…off.  It also removes some of the impact of the bright blue on the symbol, which would have stood out a bit better against a more subdued color.  The actual application’s alright, though, and I do like the sort of glossy finish.  The Velocity Suit is packed with another web effect piece, this time one that wraps around the shoulders, as well as the left leg for Demogoblin.  As with the other Spidey, I would have at least liked to see a spare set of hands included here to help the package feel a little less empty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Of all the game original suits from Spider-Man, this one was probably my least favorite, so the fact that it got a figure wasn’t exactly thrilling to me.  It doesn’t help matters that the other Spidey variant turned out really well, and this one didn’t seem to quite translate to the toy form as nicely.  This isn’t a bad figure, and I certainly can’t fault Hasbro for wanting one of the two “Gamerverse” figures to be something actually original to the game, but he just doesn’t work so much for me.  The web effect is nice, though, and at least I can just stick him at the back of my Spider-Verse shelf.

I picked up the Velocity Suit from my sponsors at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2318: Spider-Armor MkIII

SPIDER-ARMOR MKIII

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Oh man, we went a whole week without any Legends reviews.  That was a rough week, wasn’t it?  Everybody pull through okay?  No one lost during the long drought?  It’s okay, we’ve made it to the promised land which is…more Legends.  Whew.  And hey, it’s a Spider-Man.  That’s a rare sight!  …Listen guys, there are a lot of Marvel Legends, and I’m buying pretty much everything, and I have to review them sometime, so, you know, just go with it, huh?  Let’s just smile through another week of Legends reviews, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Spider-Armor Mk III is one of two Spidey variants in the latest Spidey-centric round of Marvel Legends.  It depicts Peter in his improved anti-Sinister-6 armor from “The Ends of the Earth.”  The suit then re-appeared as an alternate costume in Spider-Man for the PS4, which is how it earned its spot here, officially under the “Gamerverse” sub-line.  It’s a fairly unique design, with a fairly prominent role in a big Spider-event, which matches up with a few other figures we’ve gotten, so I really can’t complain about it showing up here.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  The armor gets an all-new sculpt, as it really has to.  It’s actually a pretty impressive offering, managing to capture the design from the comics, as well as keeping it slightly more real-world as it appeared in the game model.  There’s a lot of really nice layering to the armored parts, as well as some really great texturing in the under suit elements.  It also manages to bulk him up sufficiently from the standard Pizza Spidey body, making it look like he’s actually wearing armor.  Posability on this figure is a little more limited than your average Legends Spidey, but it kind of comes with the more heavily armored territory, and he’s still got a solid range on most joints.  Honestly, I was expecting him to be a lot more restricted than he ended up being. The paintwork on this guy is pretty decent; he’s a little more reserved in color than most Spidey variants, but still keeps enough of that distinctive scheme to make him easily identical.  The armor was also pretty consistently depicted as a little washed out, so it’s accurate to the source material.  The application is all pretty sharp, with no noticeable slop or bleed over.  The Spider-Armor is packed with a web effects piece that can slip over another figure’s face, as well as the right leg of Demogoblin.  It’s annoying that we aren’t getting alternate hands standard with Spider-Man variants; at the very least, I’d like a set thwipping and a set in fists.  As it stands, he does feel a little light.  That said, I do really like the web effect piece, and I appreciate that Hasbro is willing to try some new things here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I can’t say that this design was at the top of my list of most wanted Spidey variants (honestly, I’d prefer a Mk I armor myself), but do like this design well enough, and I can’t deny that it translated well into toy form.  The all-new sculpt is definitely fun, and I dig the new web effects thing they’re trying out.  If this figure had one or two more extras, he’d be fantastic.  As is, he’s still a very passable figure, and I feel worth a Spider-fan’s time.

I picked up the Spider Armor from my sponsors at All Time Toys, and he’s still available here.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2259: Spider-Man & Carnage

SPIDER-MAN & CARNAGE

MARVEL MINIMATES

The early assortments of Marvel Minimates were home to some quite distinctive ‘mates.  While they are by and large a simpler selection and design, that can’t be said for every release.  In fact, the two ‘mates I’m looking at today remained some of the line’s most detailed for a long period of time, to the point where replacing them with updates seemed quite a daunting task for quite a while.  Without further ado, let’s have a look at Spider-Man and Carnage.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spider-Man and Carnage are the final pairing from Series 2 of the main Marvel Minimates line, hitting alongside Series 1 and 3 in the summer of 2003.  Both would see re-release in a TRU 4-pack the following year, and Spider-Man would also be released in a TRU 5-pack and as a single in ’03, as well as packed with Green Goblin at Walmart and Target in ’04, and with Gajin Wolverine at Target in ’06.  He got around is what I’m getting at.

SPIDER-MAN

Perhaps the definitive classic ‘mate was this Spider-Man.  He was easily the poster child of the line’s launch, and remained front and center until the arrival of a new “standard” classic Spidey in Series 24.  It’s not a huge shock, I suppose, given that he’s Marvel’s most recognizable hero and his design allows for the showcasing of a “pure” Minimate body.  He stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation, and is constructed on the old long-footed body.  As with any standard Spidey, he’s great for taking a step back and appreciating the basic body at its best.  The heavy lifting, of course, is done with paint, and this Spidey had some of the very best.  All of his weblines are properly defined, something that would disappear as the line moved on.  Additionally, the face of his mask is really a perfect boiling down of Spidey’s classic mask.  No ‘mate that followed ever quite got that same feel.  It’s not 100% perfect; the blue is probably a touch dark, and compared to later releases, the lack of any musculature can be a little glaring.  On his own, though, he’s very strong.  Like the other Spider-Men in this inaugural assortment, he was packed with a webline piece.

CARNAGE

Having just escaped the ’90s, we were all still very invested in Carnage at this point, making him a solid choice for the final villain in this initial line-up.  It would be his only Minimate for a resounding 11 years, in no small part due to how well this one was implemented.  He’s fairly similar to Venom in his constuction, being a base body with a new set of hands, but it’s important to note that the hands on this one aren’t the same as on Venom, which was honestly a little bit surprising, but not unappreciated.  The real star of the show is again the paint.  Carnage’s distinctive black and red swirls are present on every visible surface, no small feat given how often details on the sides and backs of limbs got cut as the line progressed, or even compared to how sparse the rest of the early ‘mates were.  Heck, he gets full detailing on his hands and feet, the one place even Spidey’s weblines don’t go.  That’s impressive, and is part of why it took them 11 years to top this one, with a ‘mate that was rolling in the sculpted add-ons.  This one did it without those.  Carnage was packed with an extra hand, shaped like an axe, to demonstrate his shape-shifting abilities.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t actually get this set new.  My brother had one, but I ended up getting just the Spidey from elsewhere, and never felt compelled to track down Carnage until he was far too expensive on the aftermarket.  Then I got the 2014 release, and just didn’t feel the need to go back.  When All Time got in a large ‘mate collection back a few months ago, I managed to add every figure from the first year of the line to my collection, minus one: Carnage.  There was but one Carnage in the lot, and that went to Max, who’s definitely the store’s resident symbiote fanatic, so I wouldn’t dream of fighting him on it.  However, I did send him a photo of my shelf containing all but that one missing ‘mate, and he decided to go and be one of them pesky nice and generous people and give me his Carnage so that I could complete the set-up.  Can you believe the nerve of this guy?