People must really hate Spider-Man. Green Goblin is one of his very first foes dating back to 1964, and he's appeared on a lot of the cartoons since. Heck, I saw him on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends in the 1980s and today's toddlers see him on Spidey and His Amazing Friends, where the Green Goblin was in short supply back in 2022. People want this character, and for good reason - he's got a glider! And a wacky hat! While most incarnations of him incorporate some sort of pumpkin bomb, this one does not - but it has gorgeous packaging that serves to ask why. It's a beautiful piece of art that makes the figures look better, and the graphic design on most modern for-kids toy lines have boxed that are somewhere in the neighborhood of acceptable - I can't help but wonder if that may be nudging the appeal of new toys down a bit, but I digress. We're here to talk Kenner-branded goodness today.
Hasbro used the same basic buck for most of the toys, but mercifully Green Goblin got some new parts to make him better. The hands, feet, satchel, and head are all new, as is the glider accessory. The chest, arms, and legs are recycled from several figures dating back a few years. It would be nice if he was a bit different in his build than the younger Spider-Man, but hey, whatever, we got one and odds are they'd be skinny had Kenner made them in the 1980s. Due to parts reuse, the green "skin" lacks the scales or detailing from the old comic books, but at least you get the pointy ears and giant, silly hat. Of note, that hat is a separate purple plastic piece affixed in palce - it looks great and should hold up to play wear. Assuming anyone were to play with it, that is. The satchel looks nice and fits well, and the figure's curly boots slip right in to the glider - but the glider won't balance with the figure standing on it. That's a downer. You'll need to make him lean forward with his arms out to balance, or put something under the glider to keep it up.
I love the bright colors, and he stands great on his own. Green Goblin fits in old Kenner vehicles quite nicely, although the disconnect between the nicely detailed hands and boots from the rest of the body is kind of weird. It's also the kind of thing Kenner frequently would do, taking a comic/movie-style Robin action figure, altering the head to the stylized 1990s animated look, and releasing it with no additional sculpt changes. I know it's kind of a slam to have lower expectations for some Kenner-style figures, but taking shortcuts is very much the kind of thing we saw a lot back then. It's still a nice figure, and that pink bag certainly adds to the sculpted detail without having to change the torso - and the belt is merely painted-on.
Im being greedy, but he should have had more accessories. The Green Goblin needs the glider and the bag, but the bag is there for his pumpkin bombs. Other incarnations of the figure (including cheaper ones from Hasbro) had the accessories, and it would have been a real treat to see them included here or with another figure as an accessory somehow. Alas, it was not meant to be. But at least you can appreciate the crazy painted white teeth and creepy yellow eyes.
The Marvel 375 Retro line doesn't really feel like the kind of thing Kenner did, but you could make a convincing argument that it isn't far off from what Mattel actually did do with its Secret Wars line. I'm glad Hasbro managed to squeeze in a few Spidey villains in a line of mostly good guys, and I hope they can somehow find a way to get us a few other baddies before the line goes to the big closeout bin in the sky. I assume Hasbro made an adequate number of these because the going rate as I write this is pretty close to retail price, but I don't know if I've ever actually seen Norman Osborn's green alter ego on store pegs. (I bought a case from work.) If you are old enough to see the Bronze Age of comic books as definitive, I'd recommend picking up this figure and as much of the line as you like. From where I sit, it scratches the super hero itch in ways previous lines didn't, to the point where I'm eyeballing my 6-inch Legends and considering selling most or all of them off.
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