#1935: Spider-Man & Jean DeWolff

SPIDER-MAN & JEAN DEWOLFF

MARVEL MINIMATES


In 1985, then up-and-coming writer Peter David penned “The Death of Jean DeWolff.”  Published in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110, the four part story began with the discovery of the titular death of Police Captain Jean DeWolff, a once quite prominent Spider-Man supporting cast-member.  It was rather ground breaking at the time of its publication, shifting the overall tone of the book, and helping to pave the way not only for longer form storytelling, but also darker stories, all within the confines of the mainstream Marvel universe.  In 2012, the story was used as the basis for the 43rd Series of Marvel Minimates.  The first of those sets includes Jean DeWolff herself, alongside Spider-Man.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These two are a pair from the aforementioned Series 43 of Marvel Minimates, dubbed the “Jean DeWolff Saga” by a label on the upper right side of the box.

SPIDER-MAN

Though he had at this point ditched the actual symbiote, Peter Parker was still wearing his cloth replica of his black costume at the time of this story.  It’s fairly fortunate, really, as it better fit the more film noir stylings of the story.  In a meta sense, it gave Minimate collectors another chance at the black costumed look; this was the fourth time we’d seen it show up in Minimate form.  Unlike the prior release of this costume, which made use of a removable mask, this one returned back to the straight vanilla body, with no add-ons at all.  Given the general sleekness of this particular design, it was a definite improvement.  The important details are all handled via paint.  This figure takes a page out of the Big Time costume’s book, and augment’s Spidey’s two-toned look with a bit of accent work, detailing not only the musculature of his torso and legs, but also granting a slightly more human shape to his head and face.  In contrast to the Big Time release, whose accenting seemed a bit too subtle, this figure’s seems perhaps a touch too noticeable; that bright blue really stands out, and perhaps robs the design of some of its more striking elements.  Still, it’s far from bad work.  Spider-Man was packed with a webline, a fairly standard inclusion.  Given that he hit retail shelves at the same time as the Best Of version of the character, it’s a little bit of a shame that he doesn’t also get an unmasked head.  Of course, he hit retail shelves at the same time as that figure, so it’s not like an unmasked Peter Parker head was difficult to find.

JEAN DEWOLFF

Before becoming the unfortunate victim of the murder that kicks off this story, Jean DeWolff had been a fairly prominent Spider-Man supporting player for about a decade or so.  Jean was introduced by Bill Mantlo while working on Marvel Team-Up in the ’70s, as he wanted a supporting cast member to serve as connective tissue from story to story.  I suppose in that respect, Jean was something of a prototype for the live-action versions of Phil Coulson and Claire Temple.  Jean was always known for her retro sense of fashion, with berets and fishnets and the like; this figure follows that, giving us a look that is a good summation of DeWolff’s classic look.  Jean makes use of two sculpted add-on pieces, one new, one old.  The new was her hair/beret.  It’s a very nicely detailed piece, and manages to make her hat not look totally ridiculous, which is always good with this style of thing.  She also uses the knee-length standard skirt piece, first introduced on the Series 17 Gwen Stacy.  It’s a fairly basic piece and perhaps a little limiting to the articulation, but it gets the job done.  Despite getting more sculpted extras than her pack-mate, Jean doesn’t skimp on the painted details either.  The colorscheme is bright and eye-catching, and the detail lines, especially the stitching on her jacket, is some of the best we’ve seen on a Minimate.  She’s even got the proper cross-hatching on her legs for her fishnets.  That’s definitely a nice touch!  Jean is packed with two accessories: a revolver, and an alternate hand holding her badge.  The revolver comes from the Dollars sets, and is still a great piece.  The badge was originally set to be included in the Beverly Hills Cop set, but with that set’s cancellation, it saw its debut here.  It’s always cool to see such pieces find a new home, and given how Jean’s badge factored into the Death of Jean DeWolff, it’s a smart inclusion here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This was an assortment I was quite excited for, so I quite eagerly picked them up from Cosmic Comix when they first showed up at retail.  Topping the original Black Costume Spidey is a very steep task indeed, and this one doesn’t quite get there.  He’s very close, and definitely the best of the follow-up black costume releases, but that bright blue detailing holds him back ever so slightly.  Still, a very strong offering.  Jean could have just been a rather forgettable civilian figure, but instead, DST put in the effort to make her one of the best figures in this wave, and certainly the star of this set.

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#1924: Symbiote Spider-Man

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The Venom symbiote gives Peter Parker a black suit with special, enhanced powers.”

After a long hiatus from the line, Spider-Man’s distinctive symbiotic black costume re-appeared in Legends back in early 2017.  That figure was a pretty straight forward “classic” symbiote Spidey, which I guess left the door open for a *less* classic symbiote Spidey?  And wouldn’t you know it?  Dan Slott and Staurt Immomen were kind enough to provide Hasbro with a variant of the symbiote right in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.  In one of the fastest turnarounds from page to plastic, here’s the newest Symbiote Spider-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Symbiote Spider-Man is figure 3 in the Kingpin Series of Marvel Legends, as the second Spidey variant in the assortment.  This one’s just got the normal number of arms.  He’s based on SPider-Man’s appearance from the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #800, where Peter is forced to re-bond with the Venom symbiote in order to defeat the Red Goblin (more on him later in the week).  It takes the classic black costume, and adds a bunch of minor tweaks.  Some work, some don’t.  I like the re-worked version of the logo, and I don’t hate the claw hands, but I’m still not sold on the monster feet, and especially not sold on the eyes.  He looks like he’s wearing some form of funky eye-wear, and it feels like it’s needlessly breaking up an otherwise streamlined design.  All that said, I’ve certainly seen worse designs, and there’s good reason to include him in this line-up (again, more on that later in the week).  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Unlike the other Spidey in this set, Symbiote Spider-Man sticks to the formula of the last few years, and is built on the Pizza Spidey body.  He gets the clawed 2099 hands and the monster feet from Superior Venom, with a brand-new head to top the whole thing off.  If nothing else, the whole thing is faithful to the comics design.  The new head is a fairly nice sculpt.  The eyes still bug me, and the fact that they stick out the way they do means that there’s some potential for them to be bent in the package.  Fortunately, they’re a soft enough plastic that you can reshape them with a bit of heat if its an issue.  Beyond the eyes, though, I really like the shaping of this head, especially how you can see Peter’s nose beneath the mask.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a version of this sculpt without the eyes; it would make for a cool basic Spidey head, I think.  Symbiote Spidey’s paintwork is pretty simple, molded black plastic with white detailing.  It’s the usual for this design.  The white for his symbol is a little sloppy in some spots, but he’s overall a solid effort. Spidey’s packed with a spare set of hands in fists, as well as both heads to the Kingpin Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: I wasn’t really that interested in getting this guy initially.  Yeah, with the standard Symbiote look covered, I wasn’t hurting for another version of it, so I wasn’t sure about this guy, especially with some of those weird design elements.  The desire to get that Kingpin figure really drove this one.  I didn’t expect much, but I was actually quite surprised, and I find myself really liking this figure.  Yes, those eyes still bug me, but he’s a fun toy nonetheless.

I bought Spidey from my friends at All Time Toys, who were kind enough to set me up with this whole set to review.  He’s currently in-stock at their webstore.  If your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out All Time’s website and their eBay storefront.

#1921: Spider-Man – Six-Arms

SPIDER-MAN — SIX ARMS

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Hoping to cure his spider powers, Peter Parker drinks a special mixture and wakes up with four extra arms.”

Let that be a lesson to you kids: if you drink special mixtures, you might just wake up one day with four extra arms.  And then what are you gonna do?  Hide your four arms in your pants when your Aunt May comes around?  Doesn’t that sound awkward?  It sure does!  The message is clear: don’t drink strange mixtures!

Vague sort of PSA thing aside, the six-armed variant of Spider-Man is something of a classic one.  First introduced in the comics in the ‘70s, and then brought to a new audience courtesy of the ‘90s cartoon, the Six-Armed Spider-Man asks a pretty simple question: what if Spidey had eight limbs, you know, like a spider?  The answer is, unsurprisingly, extra toys to sell.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man is the first figure in the Kingpin Series of Marvel Legends, the first Spidey-themed assortment of 2019.  He’s one of two Spidey variants, and definitely the most classic figure in the line-up.  He’s also the only one you don’t need to complete the Kingpin figure, but let’s not hold that against him.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has a whopping 58 points of articulation.  All those extra arms are certainly good for something.  Of course, it’s a bit of give and take on the articulation.  Though all of the arms sport the standard articulation, the figure’s torso lacks any sort of movement.  While I can understand the complexities of getting a working ab-crunch in with all of the arms, the lack of a waist joint seems particularly egregious.  There’s no practical reason for that joint to be missing, so I can only assume it was a cost saving choice.   Fortunately, the rest of the figure is able to somewhat pick up the slack, and ultimately the lost posability doesn’t hold the figure back *too much*.  This Spider-Man breaks from the last several mainline variants of Peter by being built on a body other than the Pizza Spidey body.  Upon first glance, I thought he might be an all-new sculpt, but a little bit of double-checking shows that he’s actually re-using the vast majority of the ASM2-based Spider-Man from the Ultimate Green Goblin assortment.  The figure was well-regarded when it was new, and a lot of people were content to have it as their standard comic Spidey, but with the introduction of Pizza Spidey the next year, the ASM2 mold was kind of abandoned.  That makes its use here somewhat odd.  I can only guess it’s one of two things.  Either they developed this figure shortly after the ASM2 figure’s release, before it was clear the ASM2 aesthetics were going to be dropped, and just sat on the mold for a while, or they opted for this mold because of its sculpted weblines, allowing for another bit of cost-cutting.  I’m leaning more towards the latter.  Whatever the reason, it means this sculpt doesn’t quite jibe with the rest of our Spidey variants, much like last year’s Spider-Ham.  I will say that at least the weblines are recessed on this sculpt (in contrast to the raised ones on Spider-Ham), so at least giving him painted weblines on your own won’t be quite as hard.  He does also benefit from the ASM2 figure just being a good figure in its own right, and by extension making this one very playable himself.  Even the newly sculpted torso and arms are pretty solid, with the detailing on the torso matching well with the rest of the figure, and the layout of his arms being such that he can actually let them rest pretty well by his sides.  I was anticipating it would be a lot harder to work with them than that.  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the shoulders on the extra arms have sculpted torn sleeves; I expected those to just be painted on.  The paintwork on Spidey is fine.  It’s clean.  It’s bright.  It’s missing the weblines, of course, but I knew that going in. I’m still frustrated by those red pegs on the underside of his arms.  Certainly there’s some sort of fix they can come up with for that, isn’t there?  Spidey is packed with no accessories.  At the very least, I would have liked to see some extra hands.  At least with all the arms in the package, he doesn’t look too light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m gonna be honest, I was prepared to hate this figure.  After being so letdown by the Spider-Ham figure, I saw a lot of the same flaws on this one when its prototype was shown off.  I mostly just bought him because I was getting the whole set.  Then I actually opened him up and played with him a bit, and I realized I really didn’t hate the figure at all.  Sure, there are some definite issues.  I don’t like seeing the articulation cut, and I hope the unpainted weblines aren’t a trend that continues.  Beyond that, though, I found this figure to be a lot of fun.

Six-Arm Spider-Man was purchased from All Time Toys, who got me this whole set to review.  He’s currently still in-stock at their webstore.  And, as always, if your looking for other Legends or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1895: Spider-Man & Mary Jane

SPIDER-MAN & MARY JANE

SPIDER-MAN: HOLIDAY SPECIAL (TOY BIZ)

“Peter Parker spends a lot of the tome swinging from building to building, patrolling the streets as Spider-Man.  But when the holidays come around, Spidey makes sure he’s home in time to spend them with his wife, Mary Jane.  Spider-Man and Mary Jane celebrate the holidays like any normal couple, except that Spidey delivers the holiday gifts by swinging in through their apartment window!”

It’s once more that time of year; another Christmas day, a therefore another Christmas-y review!  I’ve covered all sorts of different topics over the course of the last five Christmas reviews, from basic Christmas concepts (Santa and a Gingerbread Man), to classic holiday specials (Hermie from Rudolph and Charlie Brown from…well, A Charlie Brown Christmas), to one of my favorite Christmas movies (White Christmas).  This year, I’m actually playing it a lot closer to the sorts of things I review on this site from day to day, and taking a look at Spider-Man and Mary Jane…albeit a slightly more festive take on the characters.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Spidey and MJ were released in 1999 as part of a seasonal “Holiday Special” pack, which was an extension of the Spider-Man: Animated Series line that was still running at the time, as well as a more festive take on the Famous Couple’s pairing of these two from the same year.  It included the two figures, as well as a Christmas-themed magnet featuring the two of them.

SPIDER-MAN

Headlining the pack is our main man Spider-Man.  Spider-Man takes his usual look, and adds a Santa hat, belt, and boots.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 11 points of articulation.  He uses the Spidey-sculpt first introduced with Octo-Spider-Man, which would be one of Toy Biz’s favorite sculpts to re-use during their 5-inch days.  It’s not the most posable take on the character, but it worked well enough.  The new parts, with the exception of his belt buckle, are all cloth parts.  It works best for the hat (which, it should be noted, is glued in place), and the belt is decent enough.  The boots, however, are kind of odd, and make keeping him standing a little tricky.  They’re removable if you so choose, though, so you have your options there.  The paintwork is mostly standard, though it’s worth noting that he gets a metallic blue in place of the classic blue.  Not entirely sure why the change was made; perhaps metallic blue is more festive?  Spidey actually does get an accessory; it’s a cloth bag, with a little printed cardboard insert with some presents on it.  It’s a little finicky to get him holding it, but it’s a decent addition.

MARY JANE

Both of Mary Jane’s figures during the Toy Biz run came in 1999, and they were built from the same base figure.  I mean, I guess that’s pretty sensible, right?  She stands 5 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation (though the neck is, as always with this mold, very restricted).  Like her Famous Couples release, this Mary Jane is a repainted Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four line.  It’s  decent sculpt in its own right, though it’s slightly hindered for this release, by virtue of all the cloth and such she’s got glued to her.  The hat’s okay, and the skirt’s workable, but the fake fur on the arms, legs, and especially the torso end up looking really goofy.  She’s just not particularly playable as a figure, nor is she particularly appealing to look at.  She’s definitely the weak link of the set.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I remember seeing this set a good number of times at various stores back when it was new, but I never got around to actually buying one.  As regular readers will have no doubt noticed, I’ve actually had to outsource a couple of my Christmas review items in recent years, but last year, right before the holiday, I actually came across this set at Gidget’s Gadgets, and while I couldn’t get it done last year, I was able to ear-mark it for this round.  It’s goofy, and hokey, and totally without use outside of the holiday season, but the pair does have something of its own charm.

#1883: Mysterio

MYSTERIO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A master of illusion, Mysterio seeks universal fame as a cloaked villain with an unmistakable helmet.”

FINALLY!!!!!! …Sorry, was that too much?  I can get carried away some times.  It’s just…this guy was really hard to get, and I…ah, this is the wrong section for all of this.  Sorry!

So, Mysterio.  Former-movie-special-effects-technician-turned-supervillain, with perhaps one of the most distinctive design in comics.  And, of course, soon to be played by Jake Gyllenhaal on the big screen in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.  Pretty cool guy all around.  No stranger to action figures, but being a decently well-known foe of Marvel’s best known hero will do that for you.  Now I’m going to review his latest figure right here and right now.  Let’s get right to that!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Mysterio is figure 6 in the Lizard Series of Marvel Legends.  He is, by far, the most demanded and hardest to find in the set, in part because he’s sort of an army builder (he frequently makes duplicates of himself to fool Spidey), in part because there was a distinctive change to the figure half way through production, and also just because he’s never had a figure that was quite this good.  This is out first officially Legends branded Mysterio, though Toy Biz put out a Legends compatible figure in their Spider-Man: Classics days.  That figure, like many from the line, was marred by a half-formed action feature, and, as an non-Spidey figure, was also rather hard to find.  It was definitely time for a replacement.  This figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  I’m pretty sure Mysterio is sporting an almost entirely unique sculpt.  His hands look to be from other figures, but otherwise he’s all-new.  Obviously, the cape/helmet, and the gloves and boots were always going to be new pieces, but I really have to commend Hasbro for going the fully sculpted route on his body.  They really could have phoned it in here and just painted the grid pattern on a basic body, but they didn’t and the figure looks so much better for it.  I really dig the cuffs to his gloves as well; those are slightly tricky to make work in three-dimensions, but they look quite nice here.  The one slightly off part of the sculpt is the helmet/cape combo.  It’s a nice enough sculpt, but making it all one piece feels slightly off to me, and the way it pegs into his back has it popping off more frequently than I’d like.  And then there’s the topic of the underlying head.  Hasbro was somewhat secretive about what was going to be under the fishbowl at first.  I myself was hoping for another go at a Quentin Beck head (which we sort of saw on the Toy Biz figure), or maybe even some sort of blank head, just to leave a silhouette under the helmet.  Hasbro opted for something more out there, meant to be another illusion created by Mysterio.  It’s a skull with a tentacle running through it, which is certainly…different.  It’s an interesting sculpt, but the helmet ended up being a lot more transparent than most of us had expected, which, coupled with the dark green plastic of the initial release’s head, left a lot of fans unhappy with the end result.  Fortunately, Hasbro was able to change the figure mid-run, so later shipments had the head molded in white instead of green, which works a little better.  I think I might have just preferred for the whole dome to just be a solid piece myself, but this works better than I’d expected.  The paint work on Mysterio is fairly straight-forward stuff, being mostly basic color work.  There’s a little bit of accenting on the gloves, which is cool, and I definitely like the metallic green paint.  I’m not thrilled by the slight change in the color of plastic from the hips to the legs, though it’s not quite as bad in-person.  Mysterio is packed with a pair of effects pieces, which clip onto his feet, making it appear that things are emanating from the ground beneath him.  It’s a fun effect, and really tops off the whole look of the figure, since Mysterio is so often seen with his feet obscured like this.  He’s also packed with the left leg of Lizard, meaning I can finally complete that guy!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s been a long road to getting this figure.  This was the first full series of Marvel Legends that All Time Toys got in, and I just missed the boat on getting Mysterio from them the first time around.  The assortment hasn’t been particularly plentiful at mass retail around these parts either, so six months after getting the rest of the assortment, I didn’t really expect to get this guy.  But, you see, I have these wonderful sponsors who own a toy store, so they were finally able to get ahold of another case of this series, and the Mysterio format was set aside for me.  Yay!  After waiting so long for him, this figure certainly has a lot to live up to.  Does he?  More or less.  There are some definite flaws here, which sort of impact his playability, but for the most part I’m happy with him.

As noted above, Mysterio was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying Marvel Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1866: Scarlet Spider

SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS VINTAGE (HASBRO)

“The clone of Peter Parker left New York and wandered the country returning years later calling himself Ben Reilly.  He became the superhero known as the Scarlet Spider!”

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was reviewing a Legends Scarlet Spider, but I assure you, this one’s totally different and distinct from that one.  Now, of course, you might recall that I reviewed *another* Legends Scarlet Spider a few years ago.  Well, I assure you, this one’s…more or less the same as that one.  But that one has a super hefty aftermarket price, so hey, re-release time, right?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlet Spider headlines the second series of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Vintage line.  For the second round of figures, Hasbro’s really taken the Black Widow thread to heart, and tried to give us more than straight re-issues of prior figures…well, except for this guy.  This Scarlet Spider is by design supposed to be very similar to the Rhino Series figure from 2015.  Apart from one small change, the sculpt is the same between the two figures.  That means he’s 6 1/4 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation, and is build on the Pizza Spidey body.  I was very happy with this sculpt the first time around, and I still really like it three years later.  The small change has to do with his web-shooters, which are now the more rounded capsules we saw with Spider-Girl and Black Widow.  They’re a bit more accurate than the more squared off versions we saw before (which were usually more associated with Ben’s Spider-Man costume).  Apart from that, the biggest changes between the two figures are in the paint department.  His blue hoodie has remained more or less the same, but his red body suit is now far less orange, and his eyes no longer have the black outline.  The brown of his accent pieces is also more of a tan this tome around.  Honestly, I don’t know which version I prefer.  They’re certainly different, but neither really jumps out as “better.”  This release of Scarlet Spider drops the Rhino heads from the last release, obviously, but also loses the open gesture hands from the last one, which I was a little saddened by, especially with the reds not matching.  On the plus side, he does get an unmasked Ben Reilly head, which we’ve not gotten before.  Sure, it’s just a repaint of the unmasked Peter Parker from the Spidey/MJ two-pack, but given how scarce that set was, it’s new to me. Also, he’s a clone, so I guess re-use makes sense.  That’s probably the better rationale, isn’t it?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t initially planning to get this figure.  I’m happy with the prior release, and while I did like this one’s unmasked appearance, I wasn’t sure that would really warrant the purchase.  But, Super Awesome Fiancee’s store got him in, and she sent me a picture, and I liked how he looked in person, so I kind of caved.  There’s not a lot of new going on here, and I don’t really see this guy replacing the prior release, but I do like the extra head, and I think he’s distinct enough to be worth my time.  And, for someone who missed the first release, he’ll be awesome, which is really the main point.

#1853: Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS GAMERVERSE (HASBRO)

“Now a seasoned Super Hero, Peter Parker has been busy keeping crime off the streets as Spider-Man.  Just as he’s ready to focus on life as Peter, a new villain threatens New York City.  Faced with overwhelming odds and higher stakes, Spider-Man must rise up and be greater.”

I had originally planned to continue the Star Wars thing today, but with the passing of comics-legend Stan Lee yesterday afternoon, I’ve decided to shift focus for the purposes of today’s entry.  I never met Stan Lee, but for 23 of my 26 years, he managed to influence every day of my life, be it directly through his introductory segments during the Marvel Action Hour in the ‘90s and his numerous cameos in all of the Marvel films since, or indirectly through the universe he helped to create, and all the characters he created to populate it, and all of the important messages that he would use them to tell.  The man influenced the lives of a great many people he never even met, and taught a lot of us how to be the best versions of ourselves, while at the same time reminding us that nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay too.  Stan had great power, and he did his very best to use it responsibly.  The creation Stan was always the proudest of was Spider-Man, and so I feel it’s only fitting that in his honor, I take a look at a Spider-Man figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Spider-Man is the inaugural release in the Marvel Legends Gamerverse line, which, as you may have gathered from the name, is a line devoted to the current crop of Marvel video games.  Spidey here is based on his appearance in the recent PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game, which hit just a few months ago.  The figure was initially supposed to hit closer to the game, then was pushed back to December, and then was moved up again.  The important thing is that he actually made it out.  So, yay.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  He’s built entirely from re-used parts, but Hasbro’s got a substantial enough library that it’s a reasonable way of handling certain figures, this one included.  He’s built on the 2099 body, and makes use of the head from Spider-UK.  Interestingly, this means we have a Peter Parker figure that’s not built from any Peter Parker parts.  The end result is a figure that actually has something of a John Romita Sr-styling to him (I’d love to see this same combo done up in a classic deco), which definitely works for the game’s version of our favorite wall-crawler.  The paintwork for this figure is, of course, its main selling point, since that’s what truly signifies it as a video game Spidey.  The design is nice and distinctive, and the paint is crisply applied and a solid match for the in-game appearance, all while still maintaining the currently running Legends aesthetic. Spidey is packed with two different sets of hands in thwipping poses and fists, as well as a two of the new webline piece we first saw with the House of M Spidey.  It’s a nice selection of extras, especially in light of some of the recent Spidey variants lacking the extra hands and such.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve liked the PS4 Spidey design since it was first shown off, and was definitely hoping for a figure of some sort, so when this guy was announced, I knew I’d want to get one.  Super Awesome Fiancee was nice enough to pre-order him for me through her store, which proved an especially helpful move, since this guy’s proved rather scarce since his release.  Despite being made up totally of re-used parts, this is one of my favorite Spider-Men of recent years.  He’s just an entertaining figure all-around, and a good fit for today’s theme.

Excelsior!

#1836: SP//dr

SP//dr

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Yo Shinji, get in the robot!  Your dad loves you, get in the robot!”

What, you weren’t expecting me to start this Marvel Legends review with a quote from Neon Genesis Evangelion?  Well…too bad?  It’s my site, I do what I want, which in this case means I’m gonna quote Evangelion for the purposes of drawing comparisons between the plugsuits from Evangelion and Peni Parker’s mecha suit, SP//dr, who just so happens to be the latest Spider-themed Build-A-Figure, who just so happens to be the figure I’m reviewing today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

SP//dr is the Build-A-Figure for the second 2018 Spider-Man-themed series of Marvel Legends, another entry in the every-growing Spider-Verse line-up in Legends form.  The figure stands 9 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  The mech is a touch under-scaled to go properly with the standard Legends figure.  It’s probably about 3/4ths the size it should be as is.  That being said, it still reads as suitably larger than the other figures, and its not as underscored as *some* Build-A-Figures we’ve gotten over the years.  I find its size to be reasonable enough.  The articulation on this figure is just a touch imbalanced.  The movement on the legs and torso is really great, with a lot of range and mobility.  The arms are something of a different story, with the shoulders being just a slight step-up from straight cut joints, and the elbows just being single-jointed.  It’s not enough to ruin the figure, but it does make posing it a little bit frustrating.  The figure is sporting an all-new sculpt, which I’d imagine will be staying largely unique.  It’s definitely a strong one.  The details are clean and sharp, and its quite faithful to the suit’s design from the comics.  The actual suit lends itself rather nicely to toy form, though that’s hardly surprising from a take-off of Evangelion.  I’m always happy to see Hasbro do something that relies on technical detailing, as it really plays to their strengths.  SP//dr’s paintwork is fairly decent.  It’s bright and eye-catching.  The application could stand to be a little cleaner, though, as some of the red sections miss their mark by a fair bit.  It’s definitely a piece-by-piece thing, though, as some of the parts for mine are a lot better than others.  SP//dr includes no accessories, but as a Build-A-Figure, that’s perfectly acceptable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like SP//dr well enough as a character, though I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to build this one when it was first shown off.  Of course, that’s really just because I was lying to myself, because seriously, in what world was I *not* going to want this figure.  It’s a Spider-Man-themed fighting robot.  That’s totally up my alley.  It’s a figure that’s not without of flaws, but the overall product outweighs the cons, and makes for quite a fun toy.  I’d love to get VEN#m and Daredevil to go with it, but that might be ever so slightly reaching, I guess.

There’s a lot of re-treading in the SP//dr Series, but with SP//dr and Ock as my last features in the reviews, that re-treading starts to make a lot of sense.  I had a long wait for this set, so there was a lot of anticipation and a lot riding on them.  I have to say, the individual figures impressed me a bit less this time around, with my favorite of those being Daredevil, a figure that’s really not that different from the last two Daredevils.  Maybe I’m just really a Daredevil fan.  Nevertheless, the set does sort of come into its own when fully assembled, and I think SP//dr makes the whole thing worth it.

#1831: Scarlet Spider

SCARLET SPIDER

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“The product of a failed Spider-Man cloning project, Kaine is an unstable villain who dons the suit of Scarlet Spider.”

….I think some wires may have been crossed on that bio.  Yes, Kaine is a failed clone, and yes he started as a villain, but he was firmly in the hero court by the time he adopted the Scarlet Spider title.  It was Ben Reilly who was the “villainous” Scarlet Spider after his recent resurrection.  So…there you have it.  I truly don’t envy the person who writes these bios, by the way.  Not only do they have to wade through all of these similarly named characters with similarly named backstories, but then there’s jackasses like me on the internet just tearing their work to shreds.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Scarlet Spider is figure 2 in the SP//dr Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time we’ve seen Kaine as Scarlet Spider in the Legends line-up; the first one was at the tail-end of the Return of Marvel Legends line, and is notable for being the final Spider-variant to be built on the old Bullseye body, meaning he was actually fairly quickly outmoded by the introduction of the Pizza Spidey and 2099 bodies.  Given his prominence in Spider-Verse and Clone Conspiracy, a re-do was very definitely warranted.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation.  Kaine uses the 2099 body, which gives him a slightly different build than the guy he’s a supposedly a clone of.  Of course, the two builds really aren’t all that divergent, and Kaine is traditionally depicted as being a little sturdier than Peter, so it’s a reasonable choice for the character.  Scarlet Spider gets a new head and hands to complete his look.  The head’s kind of fun, being more on the expressive side.  They could have easily re-used a prior Spidey head, but I appreciate that they created a proper one for him.  The new hands include his “Sting of Kaine” stingers, and I was happy to find that, unlike the alternate Iron Man hands we’ve been getting, they still retain all of the standard wrist articulation.  Kaine’s paint work is fairly clean, and nicely details the two-toned nature of his costume.  Kaine is packed with an alternate head, hands, and the left arm of SP//dr.  The head is re-used from Cosmic Spidey, and depicts Kaine during his his Carrion-virus-degeneration from Clone Conspiracy.  It’s a bit more story-specific than I’d like, but I guess this was the best way for Hasbro to get some re-use out of it. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While Ben Reilly’s always going to be my Scarlet Spider of choice, Kaine’s prominence during Dan Slott’s run on Spider-Man gave me an appreciation for the character, and I’d been hoping he’d get a re-do.  This figure’s a pretty strong one.  It might have been nice to get a new head-sculpt, rather than the re-use, but the standard figure is definitely well-handled.  Now, how about a classic Kaine?  Anyone?

I purchased Scarlet Spider from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1830: Spider-Man – House of M

SPIDER-MAN — HOUSE OF M

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Quick on his feet and agile as they come, Peter Parker becomes the wrestling sensation known as Spider-Man.”

Ah, “House of M”, the second in an insanely long line of mid-00s-era events that were designed to “shake the world to its core and break the internet in half.”  Boy was that a greeeeaaat time.  My distaste for most things that Brian Michael Bendis is involved in has been no secret on this site, and “House of M” is certainly high on the list of things that have earned said distaste.  But alternate universe stories are prime choices for variants of main characters, and “House of M” has some decent ones, including everyone’s favorite web-slinger Spider-Man!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

House of M Spider-Man is figure 7 in the SP//dr Series, the second Spider-themed series (I guess third if you count the Venom set) of the 2018 Marvel Legends.  He’s the resident Spider-Man variant of the assortment.  This is the second time we’ve seen the House of M design in this scale; the last one was during Toy Biz’s final year with the license, and was part of their more action-feature-prone Spider-Man line.  This one is his first proper Legends release.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  You remember when I reviewed Pizza Spidey way back when?  Cool.  Well, this figure uses the exact same sculpt as that one.  No surprises there, since the designs really aren’t that far removed from each other, and they’re supposed to be the same guy.  Sensible re-use is sensible re-use.  The main breaking point between the two is the paint.  It’s still not crazy different, since the designs are still quite similar, but it nevertheless captures the slight differences in the costume design.  I gotta say, I actually like the red/blue used on this figure a little more than the basic Spidey, for what its worth.  House of M Spidey includes a web-line piece (which I hope to see become a standard inclusion going forward), and the left leg of the SP//dr Build-A-Figure.  That’s it.  No extra hands.  No unmasked head.  Nothing special.  This late in the game, we shouldn’t be getting any Spidey built on this body without the extra hands.  That’s kinda lame.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, dislike of “House of M” aside, I do kinda like this variation of the standard look, and I was certainly interested when he was first shown off.  The web-line in particular had me interested, since we haven’t gotten anything like that yet for the modern Legends.  The final figure gives me mixed emotions.  Just the base figure is actually surprisingly strong, but the lack of any sort of extras really, really hurts him here. I’m not sure why Hasbro opted to cut those extra hands just for this one variant is beyond me.

I purchased House of M Spidey from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.