Spider-Man Marvel Legends Retro Action Figure
Item No.: Asst. E9312 No. E9317 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Alternate head, fist hands Action Feature:Swappable hands and head, amazing articulation Retail:$19.99 Availability: June 2020 Other: Based on a 1990s figure you may have had
Spider-Man, Spider-Man. Does whatever the last $20 Spider-Man figure I bought does, but maybe 10% better. At Toy Fair, this Toy Biz-packed figure was described to the press in Hasbro's showroom as "hyper-articulated." When you get right down to it, it's a very bendable, flexible figure. When you notice the 2016 copyright stamps you quickly realize that like so many other Hasbro releases, the paradox of the Ship of Theseus comes up once more - Hasbro has been updating its toys piece by piece, rerelease by rerelease. Is it the same toy? Kind of. Kind of not.
The figure's deco and at least some parts are unique, giving this figure largely unprecedented range of motion - but if you bought one of the previous "Pizza Slice" Spider-Man releases, you've probably got something pretty close to it. And given this figure is $20 in 2020, and Toy Biz was slinging figures nearly as good (with toe articulation, no less) for $6, with a stand, and a full-size comic book, around the year 2000 - the absence of a build-a-figure piece or other accessory is felt. There should be more here for the money, even though what you get is rather good.
Like the 1990s Toy Biz Fox Kids-derived figures, this Spidey is more saturated in color and beefier than previous comic-based releases. Even though the webslinger is usually a kid or young adult, here he's ripped and super tall. My previous Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire-era figures could assume many of the same positions, but were a smidgen shorter, a tad skinnier, and significantly cheaper. Having said that, I do like the paint job on this one a lot more - there are no horrible wipes or weirdly sculpted webs or scales to offend the eye. Peter Parker's eyes are nice and big and bright, even when they're squinting.
I loved what I was immediately able to get this figure to do, and I wish I had any sort of handy webbing accessories to make him look cooler in the photos. He looks plenty cool up close, although the muscle definition is a little silly. You can also pop his hands out between fists and web-slinging fingers, meaning the wall-crawling spread-out hands are absent this time around. It's still lots of fun, sturdy, and easily posed without having to worry too much about the joints ratcheting in unwanted ways. You will undoubtedly have a fantastic time with this figure.
If you need a good Spider-Man, this is it - but given all the incremental improvements, maybe you should wait if the price isn't right. The butterfly shoulder joints are welcome, but nothing new - they're just improved from previous releases. The rocker ankles have been around for years, and the double-jointed knees or elbows have been around since the dawn of Toy Biz' groundbreaking Spider-Man Classics line about 20 years ago. Due to how beefy this Spider-Man's limbs are, his range of motion is actually worse than some previous Spider-Men. Its main improvements can be found in the head and torso, with an added notch in the neck to allow the head to go back a bit more plus an unusual double-jointed waist. It has the ab crunch, and a universal abdominal joint too - this is as good as this area gets right now. Usually you get a belt swivel in there, this lets him "stretch" more and look more natural while doing it.
For future improvements, Hasbro has talked up some pin-less joints on future X-Men figures, so seeing those on Spidey would be transformative. Reverting back to a sculpt with thinner arms so they could bend a bit more would be great. I'd love to see toe joints again, but Hasbro has largely stayed away from those during their tenure on Marvel Legends. And in the context of a bigger collection, he's just as tall as the Cap and Iron Man figures I had on my desk - so a smaller stature could be good too. On its own, it's a fantastic action figure, but my hunch is most people buying this one already have dozens (if not hundreds) of other Marvel figures in their toy stash. Recommended until something better comes along, or if you're already happy with a super-posable web-slinger. As this one is just a bit better looking and posing than what I have, I appreciate the upgrade - but it could have really used at least one big accessory.
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