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?