Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Toy Review – Marvel Legends Infinite Series Superior Spider-Man

I gave the whole spiel about Marvel Legends in last week’s review of Captain America, but today I’m going to talk a little more about the Spidey side of the line and Superior Spider-Man specifically.

Say that five times fast.

I used to follow Spider-Man comics. I love Spider-Man. I have since I was a kid. Not Batman love, but he was always one of my favorites. Him and the X-Men were my Marvel guys. I have no idea why Peter Parker fell by the wayside for me, but he did. I read Amazing Spider-Man back in the late 80s and early 90s. I bought Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man and continued buying it after he left because it kept being good (if not better). In the mid-90s I sold my collection to fix my car and stopped buying comics. I came back a few years later, but for some reason I didn’t continue with Spidey. I wouldn’t read a dedicated Spider-Man comic again until I bought a collection of the first 40 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man in 2004. It hooked me and I stuck with that series until (spoiler alert) Peter Parker died. That is still the best run of a comic book I have ever read. Of course, with that tile being so good it made me not want to read the regular Marvel U Spidey books. So I didn’t. For a while.

Eventually I had to buy a trade of Amazing Spider-Man because I kept hearing about how good Fred Van Lente’s work was. I read "The Gauntlet: The Lizard" and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had planned to pick up other trades and continue to follow the story, but for whatever reason I didn’t. 
 
Then this whole Superior thing happened. Lots of people lost their shit about it. I was not one of those people because 1) I was not currently reading any Spider-Man comics, and 2) I have been reading comics for around thirty years and I know how these things work. Otto Octavius might inhabit Peter Parker’s body for a year, or two, or five. But someday Peter Parker would return. Also; much, much worse things have, can, and will happen in comics from writers less talented than Dan Slott. While I wasn’t going to run out and start buying Spidey books because of the change, I also had faith that the creative team – and more importantly, Marvel Comics (and Disney) knew what they were doing.

Eventually this new Spider-Man showed up in a couple of the books I read (because comic books) and I liked him. I liked that he was kind of an asshole, I liked that he clearly felt that he was better than everybody else, I liked that other characters weren’t just ignoring the fact that Spider-Man was behaving differently. And I really liked that he was just trying so hard to be a good person. But was still an asshole.

So right around the time I was starting to think about maybe checking out some Superior Spider-Man comics I found the new Marvel Legends Infinite series (this is a toy review – remember?), which includes a Superior Spider-Man figure. I didn’t buy it at first because I was only planning to buy Black Cat and Carnage. I want that Ultimate Goblin build-a-figure, but not if I had to buy Beetle or Boomerang or stupid Jamie Fox as Electro or that amazingly crappy Amazing Spider-Man.

I’ll save all of that for a future review.

The Superior Spider-Man figure caught my eye for a few reasons. The head sculpt looked really neat, I liked the color scheme, and it came with… wait for it… AN EXTRA PAIR OF HANDS!!! There are few better accessories in my opinion than alternately posed hands. I mean, barring essentials like He-Man’s Power Sword or the Punisher’s guns.

That first day I picked up Marvel NOW! Cap, Red Skull, a Hydra Agent, and an AIM Soldier. Once I got home I kind of wished I had bought the Superior Spider-Man. I woke up the next morning feeling the same way. So on my way home from work I stopped by Target, hoping they’d still have one and hoping it would still be $14.99. They did and I bought it and now you lucky Phantomaniacs get to read about it and find out if you should buy one, which you will easily be able to because they are warming pegs everywhere now.

FIRST GLANCE

It’s the eyes. Those goggle-looking eyes with the bronze paint look so cool. Otherwise this is yet another use of the plain Marvel Legends male buck.

With extra hands.

EXTRA HANDS.
PACKAGING

So classy! I really like these new boxes. They have a great shape, they display the figures well (and in a neutral position most of the time), and draw the eye amongst all of the other toys in the aisle. Whether they’re on pegs or sitting on a shelf they are easy to see.

This one comes a little closer to having an actual bio, as it takes more than one sentence to explain just what the heck is going on with Superior Spider-Man.
LOOKS

Let’s start with the head since that’s really the only thing to talk about.

It looks great. In the box. Upon closer inspection things kind of fall apart.

The sculpt is nice if you’re the type of person that can accept Spider-Man figures with painted-on webs as opposed to sculpted webs. While I prefer the latter I can accept the former if the deco is good enough. Sadly, this one isn’t. The paint is a disaster (much like the Cap figure). I don’t know what the heck happened to Hasbro’s QC department, but it’s a shame because these figures have solid designs and concepts. Sculpts, even. But this Spider-Man’s webs are a mess. There are parts that don’t line up, there are terrible scuffs in the paint, and the plan to use black paint on a red body was not a great one. The joints have visible red portions that just look bad.

Crap. I was supposed to be talking about the head.

Well, it’s a Spider-Man head. The eyes do look cool. I like that they are raised and have edges around the lenses. But c’mon, man – Spidey’s little button nose isn’t even centered.

The body is just a plain buck, so the paint really needed to be spectacular. Or at least amazing. Unfortunately, like the head, the web of Spider-Man is a mess. Edges don’t line up and there are multiple scrapes and sloppy parts. Sculpt-wise the upper body is good. It’s a lean physique that has a Spidey profile.

One detail that did impress me was that each of Spider-Man’s fingertips – on both sets of hands – has a raised bulb. I don’t know what these are, but they are clearly some sort of important detail that true nerds would be mad about if Hasbro had missed it. They look neat and add a little texture to the otherwise plain figure.

The lower body is weird. I would imagine that Peter Parker is going to have some muscular thighs, but these are huge. They don’t fit the crotch piece that was used and look really odd. There are paint scrapes all over the legs and feet. The feet are painted to look like the weird shoes that a lot of the superheroes seem to wear now. But they aren’t sculpted that way.

ACCESSORIES

This Spider-Man comes with Ultimate Green Goblin’s right leg and a pair of extra hands posed for web shooting.

The hands switch out easily. I’m impressed with the paint on them – it’s probably the best deco on the whole figure. The lines are clean and consistent and there are no scrapes on mine.

I might get around to reviewing the Goblin figure, but I want to go ahead and point out that it’s using lots of parts from the Avengers Movie Hulk, which I for some reason never reviewed.
FUN

While the paint on this guy mostly looks like shit, it is a heck of a fun figure to play with.

The articulation is fantastic. We’ve seen it on other Spider-Man (and non-Spider-Man) Marvel Legends, but it’s still very solid. The figure can do most things you would want a Spider-Man figure to be able to do, but it still has a relatively nice looking profile. Those big ol’ thighs are the only thing that really looks wrong.

The double-jointed shoulders work really well. The double-jointed elbows and knees have very deep bends. The ankles and feet have a great degree of motion and allow the figure to squat. The neck joint is great – it’s a ball joint combined with a hinge to allow the figure to look directly up.
 
The figure is also balanced really well. Not only can you achieve a vast number of poses, it can stand unassisted in most of those poses. Despite the deco making me really sad, I played with this guy for a while and took lots of pictures. It’s definitely one of the best-designed figures Hasbro has produced as far as being able to do what the character it represents should be able to do.
OVERALL

Dammit, Hasbro. This makes 2 new Marvel Legends figures that easily could have been “5”s and because of shitty QC lose points. This is no way to re-re-relaunch Marvel Legends.
I like the idea of this figure, but the execution is lacking.

3 out of 5

You should have no problem finding this Spider-Man at Target or Toys R Us. It’s one of four figures from the current Infinite series that are always on the pegs. The others are the inaccurately named World War II Cap, Marvel NOW! Cap, and movie-style Amazing Spider-Man, which also has a shameful paint job. But I might end up buying one because I want Ultimate Green Goblin way more than I want Mandroid.




5 comments:

  1. Y'know, if I were you, I'd give the movie Spider-man figure a try. he's a really fun figure, with some great articulation, and if you decide you don't like it, well, the boxes for these new ML's are easily resealed.

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    1. If I buy it, it'll be for the Goblin part. I can tell from the box that I don't like it. I just can't tolerate those lazy joints like Bandai does them. A red peg in the middle of a blue elbow drives me nuts. I don't think there's any excuse for that kind of thing.

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  2. The webbing is meant to be than way. The new design does not have symmetrical and even webbing like the classic costume.

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    1. It appears to have been drawn many different ways, but none of them show the webs failing to connect, which is what I had a problem with. Check out the close-up pictures.

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  3. https://i.imgur.com/tK6ZSkk_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium

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