#1475: Mary Jane

MARY JANE

SPIDER-MAN: THE MOVIE (TOY BIZ)

Back in the day, when super hero movies actually got dedicated toy lines at mass retail, one of the nicer things they offered were figures of some of the less dynamic members of their supporting casts.  Perhaps one of the best examples of this is the toy line for 2000’s Spider-Man film, which gave us figures of J. Jonah Jameson, Norman Osborne, and today’s focus figure, Mary Jane Watson!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mary Jane was released in Series 2 of Toy Biz’s Spider-Man: The Movie toy line, alongside variants of Spider-Man and Green Goblin, as well as a Peter Parker.  She’s seen here in her red dress she wears during the first movie’s World Unity Festival scene.  While it’s not necessarily a definitive look for her, it’s easily the most distinctive look from the movie, and more exciting than her others.  The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and she has 10 points of articulation.  Though many of the figures in this line were super-posable, MJ was on the lower end, more on par with the X-Men: The Movie figures.  Like those figures, there’s not a ton of poses possible, but you can get at least a little bit of variety out of her.  The sculpt was unique to this figure, and it’s actually pretty good for the time.  The proportions are still a little bit exaggerated, and the articulation isn’t integrated as flawlessly as I might like, but it looks solid overall.  The detail work on the dress is actually pretty nice, and the likeness on the head isn’t a half-bad Kirsten Dunst.  The paintwork on MJ is pretty solid overall, apart from a few small nits.  The skin’s a little pasty, and the face is a bit sloppy, but the work on the dress is nothing short of amazing.  It definitely makes this figure worthwhile.  MJ is packed with a section of balcony, which is meant to work as a stand, I suppose.  There’s no foot pegs or anything, and it’s only really stable if you’ve got a window to mount it on, but it’s still a pretty cool piece.  There’s a breakaway feature, allowing it to split, not unlike the damage seen in the movie.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

17 years ago, I picked up this figure in a Toy Zain toystore.  She was rarer at the time, so I almost got her, but she was also $7.99, which was a $2 mark-up from the usual going rate, and I just didn’t know if she was worth it to me.  So, I didn’t get her.  And then I didn’t really see her again, until a few weeks ago, when Cosmic Comix put her out, as one of the many figures they’d gotten as part of a larger collection.  The price?  $7.99.  Nowadays, that’s not so bad, and I was hardly going to leaver her behind again.  She’s actually not a bad little figure, certainly not for the time. 

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#1453: Spider Racer (w/ Spider-Man)

SPIDER-RACER (w/ SPIDER-MAN)

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (HASBRO)

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits physical media next week, and I’m definitely looking forward to giving it another watch.  It was an awesome film that felt a little bit crowded out this summer.  The actual film did great in theatres, but a lot of the tie-in stuff was scarce from day one.  I still haven’t seen the Legends figures in any substantial numbers, and while the more basic line’s coverage has been a little better, it still seemed a little small for a Spider-Man movie.  Back in May, I looked at one of the basic line’s takes on Spidey. I ended up picking up one more item from this line, though it’s admittedly not one directly aimed at my particular demographic.  So, without further ado, here’s Spider-Man driving a car!

THE VEHICLE ITSELF

The Spider-Racer was a mid-sized offering in Hasbro’s basic Spider-Man: Homecoming toyline.  It was released fairly early on, right around the same time as the first four basic figures.  The racer measures about 8 inches long by 5 1/2 inches wide, and it has working wheels and a pop-out Nerf feature.  The overall construction of the racer is new to this particular item, and it’s fairly well-rendered.  The racer is pretty solidly put together, so it’ll hold up to fair bit of play, which is good, since that’s kind of the whole point behind an item like this.  Design-wise, it’s totally concocted from the minds of Hasbro’s designers, of course, but they’ve at least managed to create a vehicle that’s plausible as a real thing.  It’s got consistency in its design as well, so it doesn’t just look like a bunch of random elements tacked together.  There’s a bit of an old-style Formula 1 race car look to it, mixed in with a little bit of the Tumbler from Batman Begins.  It’s hardly the most original thing ever, but I dig it. Throughout the body, there’s lots of little details that add a bit more character to the racer.  I appreciate that they didn’t just leave large chunks of this thing totally smooth and featureless.  The racer’s a single-seater, which is a little bit of a letdown if you’re like me and you want to put a couple of alternate reality Spideys in it for a cross-dimensional adventure, but seems reasonable enough within the confines of a movie-based-racing-centric-solo-hero-vehicle.  The latter’s probably a little more marketable than the former, so I can’t really blame Hasbro on this one.  Paint on the racer is pretty straightforward.  Lot of red and blue, which are the Spider-Man colors and all, so that makes sense.  It’s obviously on the toyetic side of things; it’s not like anyone will be mistaking this for a real scale model of a car or anything.  The application is all pretty clean, and the colors are fairly eye-catching.  One of the selling points of the Spider-Racer is its Nerf feature.  There’s a small Nerf gun built into the left side of the vehicle.  Press it in and it pops out, and then you can shoot a Nerf dart.  There are two Spidey-themed darts included, but only one can be loaded at a time.  It’s a mildly amusing feature, but not particularly powerful.  Since it’s Nerf, though, I did go ahead and get a few words from the FiQ’s resident Nerf-Expert Tim.  Here’s what he had to say about it:

“So, if there’s one defining thing Peter Parker does, besides the whole spider thing, it’s invent stuff.  And take photos.  And get bullied in school, but the inventing is the main thing. That’s why it’s a little disappointing to see that he chose to equip his car with one of the lamest Nerf mechanisms ever.  When you load the dart in the barrel, you press back on the collar piece around it which primes the blaster to fire.  It’s super compact, probably more so than even the Jolt and that means it can at least fold away neatly into the side panel of the car.  It’s the same setup we’ve seen on the Rogue One vehicles and that one Build-A-Saber lightsaber set and it wasn’t great then either.  Sure, it gets the job done, but it might have been nice to see a more  creative solution, especially given who’s driving.”

THE FIGURE ITSELF

A car’s no good without a driver, and by extension, a Spider-Car’s no good without a Spider-Driver.  Fortunately, this Spider-Car does have a Spider-Driver, in the form of an included Spider-Man Spider-Action Figure. Spider.  The figure is very much on the basic side.  He’s about 5 1/2 inches tall (the same scale as the other basic figures) and has 5 points of articulation.  The articulation is less than the other standard figures, but it’s enough to get him seated in the car and holding the controls, and that’s really all this figure needs to do.  Spidey uses the same head and torso as the standard Homecoming Spider-Man, with new arms and legs.  It’s a fairly decent sculpt. Nothing ground breaking, but the costume is translated pretty well here and the proportions look decent enough.  He’s even got all of the proper texture work!  The paint on Spider-Man, like the Racer, is fairly straightforward.  Basic color work with clean application.  At least he doesn’t have any of the weird flaking paint issues the he Homemade costume had.  This figure doesn’t have any accessories, but he’s really just an accessory himself, so it’s excusable here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “why’d you buy this, Ethan?” To explain that, I need to give a little history lesson.  Back in the ’70s, Mego was producing their World’s Greatest Super Heroes line.  The Batmobile was a strong seller, so they decided to give all of the big heroes their own themed vehicle.  This included Spider-Man, whose Spider-Car was sort of worked into the comics, albeit in the rather tweaked form of the Spider-Mobile.  The Spider-Mobile’s picked a sort of a cult following over the years (in no part due to some rather brilliant uses by Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott), and I’ve always been a fan of it, as goofy as it is.  So, I saw this on the shelf this summer, in the midst of trying desperately to find Marvel Legends, and it just called to me.  It’s not some amazing piece of unskippable merchandise, but it’s pretty amusing, and will at the very least hold me over until Hasbro releases an official, comics-accurate, Marvel Legends-scaled Spider-Mobile with a Spider-Ham pack-in figure.  Please?

#1411: Vulture

VULTURE (w/ WINGS)

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A nefarious villain with his eyes set on ultimate technological dominance, Vulture suits up in an enhanced suit that makes him nearly unstoppable.”

For me, one of the greatest highlights of Spider-Man: Homecoming was its portrayal of classic Spidey foe Vulture.  While I’ve always been okay with the character in the comics, he’s never really grabbed me.  Homecoming’s more conflicted take on the character gave him some real gravitas, which made him almost as relatable as Peter.  It also didn’t hurt that he got one of my favorite redesigns of the MCU, which means he made for a pretty darn awesome toy.  And now I have that pretty darn awesome toy, so I’m gonna review it.  Alright!  We made it to the finish line!  I’ve completed Vulture!  Yeah!  Let’s do this!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Vulture is both a single release figure and the Build-A-Figure of the “Vulture Series” of Marvel Legends.  How’s that work?  Well, Adrian himself is sold on his own, and it’s his wings that are parted out to the rest of the figures in the assortment.  Normally, I review single releases and BAFs separate from one another, but it seemed a little silly to stretch this over two days, so I’m looking the complete Vulture in one go!  The basic figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  The wings add 10 points of articulation and a 15 inch wingspan to that mix (plus spinning turbines to boot!).  The sculpt is all-new, and it’s definitely amongst Hasbro’s best.  I was a bit disappointed with the smaller scale Vulture figure, which was off-model and lacked a lot of detail work.  That’s definitely not the case here.  Not only is he a pretty much spot-on recreation of Vulture’s on-screen design, but he’s also got a ton of awesome detail work all throughout his outfit.  I particularly dig the head sculpt, which uses a multiple part assembly to replicate his visor and visible illuminated eyes, which is a super cool look (and one of the things I was most disappointed to see missing from the smaller figure).  By virtue of the whole Build-A-Wing concept, this Vulture’s wing pack is a nice change from the smaller figure, being both properly scaled to the actual figure and actually articulated.  I will say, they feel a tad thin, and a little under-detailed, and I feel the joints are a bit obtrusive, but I think they’re pretty decent overall.  Vulture’s paint work is pretty decently handled overall.  The colors actually match up with the movie this time, and the application is all sharp, with very little slop or bleed over.  A little more accent work would probably help to make him pop a little more, but it’s still pretty decent as-is.  The basic Vulture figure is packed with the mid-section of the wing pack, as well as a clear stand to help keep him steady once the wings are completed.  It’s too bad he didn’t include the handheld controls from the movie, but it’s possible they were working from an in-progress design for the character in that respect.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Oh boy, this guy.  I actually got the basic Vulture figure at the same time as Beetle, meaning he was one of the first two figures I got from the series.  He’s just been sitting on my desk waiting for his wings since July.  When I finally got all of the figures to assemble him, I was pretty excited, because it meant I could finally review him.  Completed, he’s one of my favorite figures in this series.  And given that this series contains two slam-dunk versions of characters who have been on my wish list for a while, that’s quite a compliment to how well this figure turned out.

#1410: Spider-Man – Homemade Costume

SPIDER-MAN – HOMEMADE COSTUME

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

When Peter Parker discovers spider-like senses and wall-crawling abilities, he develops his own suit to become Spider-Man.”

Hey, it’s Force Friday II!  Of course, it’s not like I’m reviewing anything from today’s event, since I didn’t get anything early (though I certainly tried).  But I am writing this review from the line to get into a midnight opening, so it’s in the spirit of the day, I guess.  Anyway, let’s look at another Hasbro product, based on another Disney-owned property!  It’s Spider-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This Spider-Man is figure 2 in the Vulture Series of Marvel Legends.  It’s the third Spider-variant in the series, and the second based on Homecoming.  This figure is based on Peter’s homemade costume, which he ends up wearing during the film’s climax, following the more advanced suit’s confiscation by Tony.  As I’ve noted before, the design is loosely based on Ben Reilly’s Scarlet Spider costume, which is nifty.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Spidey’s sporting an all-new sculpt, which is a pretty solid piece of work.  He’s not sporting quite the same build as the Stark Tech Spidey, but he’s close enough that they’re believable as the same person.  This figure’s probably the closer of the two proportions wise, so that’s a plus.  The detail work is pretty solid as well, with some cool work on the folds and everything.  There could maybe be a little more texture work, but it’s acceptable for the line.  It mostly follows the movie design, though the goggles lack some of the technical details.  Still, not bad.  The paintwork on this guy is fairly decent, though not quite as impressive as some more recent releases.  However, the colors are decent and the application is mostly pretty clean.  The figure is packed with two sets of hands in both fists and web-shooting poses, as well as a hood piece (both pulled up and down).  He’s also got the flip side wing piece of the one included with the standard Spidey.  Yay for an almost complete Vulture!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this guy from Amazon, at the same time as Moon Knight, since I’d had no luck finding him at retail.  He’s a decent figure, but I do find him to be slightly less exciting in-hand than I’d expected.  I guess he’s somewhat less climactic after already getting the version from the basic line.  Still, I’m happy to have him, and the figure is a solid addition to the line.

#1409: Tombstone – Sinister Villains

TOMBSTONE – SINISTER VILLAINS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the battle for justice is underway, artificial enhancements make these villains stronger, faster, and even more of a threat.”

I can’t help but feel that this bio worked a bit better for Beetle than it did for Tombstone.  I mean, do filed teeth and access to a gym really qualify as “artificial enhancements?”  Seems a bit questionable to me.

As you’ve no doubt pieced together, today’s focus figure is Tombstone.  He’s a Spider-Man villain.  He’s albino.  He was created in 1988.  I don’t know a whole lot about him.  My knowledge of Spidey foes is generally from very early in his career or very recently in his career.  Late ‘80s additions don’t really fall into that category, leaving old Tombstone here out in the cold.  But he’s got a Marvel Legend, and I bought it, so here he is, I guess.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tombstone is figure 5 in the Vulture Series of Marvel Legends.  His official name is “Sinister Villains,” which he shares with the previously reviewed Beetle.  While he doesn’t really have any ties to the classic Beetle, the most recent Beetle is his daughter, so that’s something.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Tombstone is often seen in a suit and tie in the comics, but this particular figure is based instead on his high-collared jumpsuit look he was sporting into the early ‘90s.  It’s not a favorite of mine, but neither is Tombstone.  The choice of costume is most likely due to ease of parts re-use.  The jumpsuit-ed look allows for Tombstone to make use of the Hyperion body.  The body isn’t without its flaws, but most of them were relegated to the torso.  As luck would have it, the upper and lower torso and the pelvis on this figure are new, which really breaths a lot of new life into the mold.  The weird pectoral shelf thingy is gone, and the proportions just seem more balanced in general.  He’s also got a new head sculpt, which is actually a pretty awesome piece.  The detail work is all really sharp, and his evil grin looks really cool.  In addition to the head and torso, Tombstone’s also got add-ons for his arm and leg straps, which work well enough, though they have to be put back into place every so often.  The paint work on Tombstone is pretty decent.  It’s mostly just black plastic, but the work on his head and torso is actually quite impressive.  Tombstone has no accessories of his own, but he does include the all important second turbine for Vulture’s wings.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Really, I only bought this figure for the Vulture wing piece.  Like I said, I’ve never been much of a Tombstone fan.  I saw this figure several times while searching for the rest of the series, but never picked him up, since I figured I’d get him later.  Then I got the rest of the series, and all of the sudden I couldn’t find Tombstone.  Fortunately, Amazon was my friend on this one, and I was able to get him for below retail even!  For a character I don’t have any attachment to, he does at least make a decent enough figure.

#1408: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN – HOMECOMING

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When crime hits the big city, Peter Parker suits up as New York’s own web-slinging, wall-crawling hero, Spider-Man”

Yay!  More Spider-Man Marvel Legends!  Specifically of the Homecoming variety.  I haven’t yet taken a look at any of the specifically Homecoming-based Legends yet, but I’m changing that with today’s review.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at the main figure of the film’s titular hero, Spider-Man!  Let’s see how he turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man is figure 1 in the Vulture Series of Marvel Legends.  This is one of two Homecoming-based Spider-Men in this particular series.  This one represents his Stark-designed suit, which is just a slight variation of his classic comics suit.  The figure stands a little under 6 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This figure makes use of a lot of pieces from the Spidey released in the Civil War 3-pack from last year.  He does get a new upper torso, upper arms, and two new heads, which help to fix a number of issues present in that figure’s sculpt.  There are still a few issues present with the final product (the small shoulders and the slightly short arms are really the biggest standouts), but the overall figure looks a lot better this time.  On the plus side of things, the details on the costume all match up pretty well with the on-screen counterpart.  The posablity is also really top notch; there are few Spider-related poses that this guy can’t pull off.  The two swappable heads included with this guy help to replicate a feature that most Spider-Man figures overlook: changing expressions on the eyes.  It was one of the cooler features added to the new Spidey suit for the MCU redesign, so it’s nice to see it carried over to the figure.  The first head has the eyes widespread, in a sort of Mark Bagley style, while the second has them closed tighter, looking more like Steve Ditko’s take on the character.  Honestly, I can’t quite pick which of the two I prefer; I definitely foresee these two heads being swapped out rather frequently on my figure.  Another addition to this figure from the prior release are the “web-wings.”  When Spidey debuted, he had these wings on his costume, and the film managed to work them in a nifty little way.  The figure has removable wings that mount under the biceps, similar to how they were handled on Spider-Woman from the Thanos Series.  They don’t stay in place anywhere near as well, though, and they fall out a lot.  So, they aren’t really practical for long-term use.  Fortunately, they’re totally removable, and the figure’s still pretty awesome without them.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty solid; the colors are fairly bold, and the application is mostly pretty sharp.  In addition to the previously mentioned extra head and web wings, Spider-Man includes two pairs of hands in both web-shooting and fist poses, as well as the mid-section of Vulture’s left wing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Patience is definitely a virtue.  When the Civil War 3-pack hit with its exclusive Spidey, I decided to hold off, guessing that we’d be getting another variation of that costume when Homecoming hit theaters.  And look at that, I was right.  I won’t let it go to my head, I swear.  I found this guy after several days of checking the same few Targets, watching as they added one single new figure at a time to the shelves.  He’s not a perfect figure, but he continues Hasbro’s trend of just genuinely fun Spider-Man Legends figures.

#1407: Beetle – Sinister Villains

BEETLE – SINISTER VILLAINS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“When the battle for justice is underway, artificial enhancements make these villains stronger, faster, and even more of a threat.”

Freaking finally!  That took forever didn’t it?  Can we address the insanity that is having to get four Legends-style figures of admittedly lower tier villain the Beetle before we actually got the version of the character that 99% of people who have any clue about the Beetle would be expecting?  Because it’s kind of nuts.  All I can figure is that Hasbro’s just a real big fan of running gags, and consistently delivering the wrong Beetle was just the best one they had going.  But it’s finally over now, and I finally have the Beetle figure I’ve been patiently waiting for.  Yay!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Beetle is figure 7 in the Homecoming-tie-in assortment of Marvel Legends.  He’s officially named “Sinister Villains,” a name he shares with Tombstone.  I guess it works okay for Beetle, though I’m not sure sinister’s at the top of the list of words I’d use to describe Abner.  I got the figure, so I’m not gonna complain about the name.  This Beetle figure is based on Abner Jenkins’ Mark II Beetle armor.  It’s the design he sported throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, and even into the ‘90s.  It’s definitely his most prominent design, as well as his strongest.  This marks only the second time this design’s appeared as a toy, following the one from the ‘90s Spider-Man line.  This figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Beetle is built on the Bucky Cap body, or at least a lot of parts derived from it.  The legs and most of the arms are the standard Bucky Cap pieces.  In addition, he’s got Taskmaster’s shoulders, as well as the lower torso of Darkhawk.  On top of all that, he’s got a new head, upper torso, and pelvis.  The head’s a fantastic piece, even better than the old Toy Biz figure’s.  It’s sharp, clean, and very nicely scaled for the body.  The pelvis piece is really just a slightly tweaked version of the pelvis used on Darkhawk, just with Beetle’s belt added on.  The new torso mimics the slightly squared-off nature of the shoulders (aiding in selling this as armor, rather than a spandex jumpsuit), and has two sets of ports on the back for Beetle’s wings and forewings to plug into.  The basic wings are the same ones used on the last Beetle, who in turn got them from Wasp.  They were good pieces both times before, and that certainly hasn’t changed now.  The forewings (which, fun fact, are also known as “elytra” or wing cases) are new to this figure, and can be used in conjunction with or independently of the larger wings.  Personally, I kind of dig the folded up look.  Beetle’s paintwork is really great.  He’s done up in all metallic shades, which looks super sleek, and all of the application is really sharp.  Beyond the wings, Beetle has no real accessories of his own, but he does include one of the Vulture’s wing-turbines.  That’s pretty nifty, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This assortment’s line-up was actually leaked a little while before the prototypes were shown off at Toy Fair.  All we had to go on was the names.  When Beetle showed up on the list, I was pretty sure it was this version, but not certain.  I’ve been tricked before.  Maybe Hasbro would drag us along one more time and roll out a first appearance Beetle.  Maybe they’re sadistic like that.  So, when this guy was shown off, it was like a great weight had finally been lifted.  I was pretty pumped. 

Beetle’s actually the very first figure I found from this series.  I didn’t buy that one, due to not having the money on me at the time, but I found this one about a week later, right after seeing Homecoming for the second time, in fact.  After Moon Knight, he was my biggest want from this series.  I’m glad I found him before Moon Knight, because it allowed me to enjoy him on his own, and not just play second fiddle.  This figure’s really great.  Another strong figure in a line-up of very strong figures.  And now I finally have the Beetle figure I’ve been waiting on for twelve years. 

#1406: Spider-Man – Cosmic

SPIDER-MAN – COSMIC

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“With incredible strength, stamina and cosmic senses, Spider-Man battles tirelessly on the side of universal justice.”

So, as you may have pieced together from my review of Moon Knight yesterday, I’ve finally tracked down the entirety of the latest Spider-Man Series of Marvel Legends.  This particular series is about half Spider-Men variants, so I’ll be alternating between Spider-Men and non-Spider-Men.  Today’s Spider-Variant actually has roots in another toyline: Micronauts.  Marvel’s tie-in comic for the line added a whole lot of original concepts, including the Uni-Power, an extra-dimensional force that imbues its host with the great cosmic power, thus transforming them into Captain Universe.  The Uni-Power’s been passed around a lot; that’s kind of part of its gimmick.  One of the hosts was Peter Parker, because that’s what happens when you sell the most comics. That’s where today’s figure comes into play.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man (that’s what the packaging says; just “Spider-Man.”  How is the average consumer to know of is cosmic-ness?) was released in the Homecoming-tie-in series of Marvel Legends. In the main universe, Peter gave up the Uni-Power, but there have been a couple of alternate universe versions of him that didn’t.  This figure appears to take the most influence from the Peter Parker of Earth-13, who played a decent role in the “Spider-Verse” event.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  This guy marks the second use of the Spider-UK body.  It befits the more powerful and experienced nature of the Earth-13 Peter, and it’s still a favorite of mine.  I hope we see it used for more than just Spider-Men moving forward.  The standard masked head is pretty basic; I won’t be surprised to see it turn up on other masked characters.  It’s a decent enough piece, I guess.  I wish the chin were just a little more pronounced, but it’s a minor complaint.  There are two additional heads.  The first is an unmasked Parker, whose beard signifies that is definitely the Earth-13 version.  He’s not directly patterned on the art of Oliver Copiel (who drew most of Earth-13 Peter’s appearances), going instead for a more general look.  It’s a very nice sculpt, and one of Hasbro’s better human heads.  The second head isn’t a Spider-Man head at all; instead, it’s a more generic Captain Universe head, allowing for this figure to pass for a number of the Uni-Power’s other hosts.  So, if you so desire, this guy doesn’t have to be a Spider-Man variant at all, which is very nice of Hasbro.  The paintwork on this guy is generally pretty solid.  Some of the application could be a little cleaner, but I’m really digging both the metallic blue and the pearlescent white.  It looks really sharp.  In addition to the two extra head sculpts mentioned earlier, Cosmic Spidey is also packed with the outer wing of Vulture’s wing-pack, the mirror of the one included with Moon Knight.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Obviously, when this series was shown off, I was a little distracted by the Moon Knight figure, so I didn’t really pay Cosmic Spider-Man much mind.  I actually passed this guy up a few times while I was out on the hunt for the rest of this series, since he wasn’t a priority of mine.  But, after several unsuccessful runs, he was the only figure left at one of the Targets I checked, and I was desperate not to leave totally empty-handed.  I also had a gift card, so that helped.  He’s not a bad figure at all.  Cool concept, cool design, cool execution.  It all adds up to a pretty fun figure.

#1395: Vulture & Spider-Man

VULTURE & SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Adrian Toomes uses a specialized flying suit to soar through the skies as the Vulture – but when this winged menace threatens justice, it’s up to Spider-Man to swing in and stop him in his flight.”

Didn’t I *just* review a Vulture & Spider-Man two-pack?  It’s like Hasbro has a reason to be releasing multiple Spideys and Vultures all of the sudden.  I mean, I guess it could be the movie, but I’m not sure.  As has become the norm these days, Hasbro’s taking advantage of the hype from this new movie and using it to put out a few comics-based figures in addition to all the movie fare.  Today’s focus set is a pair of those figures.  Let’s check them out!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Vulture and Spider-Man are a Walmart-exclusive two-pack, as part of Hasbro’s 6-inch Marvel Legends.  They started hitting not too long before Homecoming’s release.

VULTURE

It’s been twelve years since we got a comics Vulture.  Seems like a reasonable waiting period to me.  Where the last one was a classic Vulture, this one’s actually based on his Ultimate counterpart (who, if you want to get technical, isn’t Adrian Toomes like the bio says; he’s actually Blackie Drago.  Of course, the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon uses this basic design for Toomes as the Vulture, so I guess it’s not totally inaccurate.  Also, few enough people know Vulture at all, we probably shouldn’t be throwing a whole second, more obscure character at them.  This is a really long parenthetical).  The Ultimate costume isn’t that far removed from the classic design, just a bit more armored and sleek, and the wings are different.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built on the Pizza Spidey body, with a new head, torso, pelvis, and forearms.   The new pieces mesh pretty well with the old, and he replicates Mark Bagely’s artwork for the character very well.  The head in particular really gets that Bagley style down.  I really enjoy the crazy grin he’s got going on.  Sure, he’s a little young for my preferred Vulture, but that’s accurate to the source material, so I’m not going to complain.  One thing I will complain about ever so slightly is the wings.  Moving past the fact that I’m not super into the Ultimate Vulture styled wings (they just look too much like Archangel’s wings), I’m annoyed that they aren’t at all articulated.  They plug into place, and due to the way they attach, they don’t have any sort of movement.  It’s kind of boring.  I mean, they still look cool, but I just wanted a little more out of them.  Vulture’s paint work is pretty solid.  It’s very green, but it’s a few shades of nice, metallic green.  Everything is nice and sharply applied, and the colors all accent each other well.  In addition to the removable wings, this guy also includes an extra, helmeted head, which is based on his appearance from the cartoon.  It’s a fun extra, and makes for a cool alternate look.

SPIDER-MAN

Can’t have a Spider-Man multi-pack without another Spider-Man, I suppose.  This one’s a slight re-deco of the Ultimate Spider-Man from the Space Venom series.  I didn’t get that figure, but I did get Miles, who uses the same sculpt.  Miles was a very good figure, and by extension, this guy’s quite good too.  He has essentially the same paint work as the Space Venom figure, but with two minor changes.  First, the blue has been changed to a bolder, less teal shade.  Second, he lacks the stripes of red running down his arms.  Why make these changes? Because now, instead of being an Ultimate comics version of Peter, he’s Peter from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.  Which means this is actually another Spider-Verse figure.  I can get behind that.  The figure lacks the unmasked head, right fist, and left thwip hand of his single-release counterpart, which is a bit of a letdown, but he does at least get both open gesture hands.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I saw this set a few times and passed on it.  Vulture’s never been super high on my list, and the Ultimate design even less so.  Plus, I hardly needed another essentially standard Spider-Man.  I ended up grabbing this set because while I was out looking for the Homecoming series, I came across this pair on clearance for a 50% mark-down, at which point I was essentially just paying for the Vulture figure.  For that price, it seemed more worth it to me.  Vulture’s a decent enough figure overall.  I have some minor issues, but he’ll do.  Spider-Man’s decent in his own right, but is definitely a “more of the same” sort of deal.  I feel like it would have been nice to get a more unique variant, but at least this one gets us another Spider-Verse entry.

#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.