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Ned Leeds & Peter Parker

Spider-Man: Homecoming
by yo go re

Peter Parker is a high school sophomore with a big secret. Instead of rushing home to do homework, he spends his afternoons fighting crime as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man! Classmates and best friends, Ned is the only person at school who knows Peter Parker's secret.

That's right, we're still getting Homecoming toys, five years after the fact. This is our first civilian Peter Parker, though; there was a Target-exclusive Infinity War two-pack that was supposed to have Iron Man Mark 50 and an Iron Spider with an alternate unmasked head, but Target never really stocked the dang thing, or there would have been a link to a review somewhere in that last sentence. And before that was the TЯU Iron Man Sentry set, but both of those were just Spider-Man with his mask off, while this is fully Peter.

Pete dresses appropriately nerdy: yellow pants, a green sweatshirt over a plaid shirt beneath, and simple sneakers. It's not exactly something 616 Peter wore in the 1960s, but it looks right out of his closet. It's also very typical of what movie Peter wears: he's got at least two versions of this outfit, meaning Hasbro could repaint these new molds so the sweatshirt is blue and the pants are grey, and that would be equally screen-accurate to what we've got here. (For the record, you can see this outfit about 40 minutes in, when Pete and Ned are in shop class.)

The figure includes two heads: one with that familiar Tom Holland look of worried confusion, the other smiling. The smiling one is awful. Worst we've seen in years. Worst we've seen from Hasbro, period? Maybe. As far as live-action likenesses go. It doesn't look like Holland in the slightest (other than being a white teenager with brown hair). What the heck went wrong? He looks like some kind of demented goblin. Throw it in a bin and just stick with the human head.

Beyond the inhuman face of a cackling ghoul, Peter's accessories include a pair of fists to replace his open hands, a brown book, and his beige backpack. In true Peter Parker fashion, he uses several backpacks throughout the film (as he's always just leaving them places when he changes identities), so this could get repainted just as easily as the clothes - the alternate look would be gray with black panels on the sides.

The original Ned Leeds was a reporter for The Daily Bugle, and was wrapped up in that whole Hobgoblin thing. Movie Ned Leeds is a highschooler and Peter Parker's friend, making him a stand-in for Miles Morales' friend Ganke Lee. Why change it? Well, probably because Ganke is a weird-ass name, and would only make people think of Jessica Walters' "Gangie" on Arrested Development. (According to Brian Michael Bendis, it's supposed to be pronounced "gain-key," not "gank-ee," but come on: nobody reads it that way.)

Ned is slightly shorter than his buddy Peter, but stockier. That means this one set has delivered two completely new teenager molds in this set, without an immediate view of what they could be reused for in the future. Ned's wearing loose jeans, a striped blue shirt, and a tan shirt above. Like Peter, this is a pretty typical look for him, so Hasbro could theoretically throw some new colors on here to represent Ned in a different scene.

Like Peter, Ned gets two heads. Unlike Peter, both his are good. One has a nice Jacob Batalon likeness (sculpted, like the rest of this figure, by Dennis Chan), with the floppy hair and everything, and a little half-smile on his lips; the other shows him wearing Spider-Man's mask. The head is clearly shaped like Ned's, not Peter's, so no fair trying to swap it over! Cool inclusion. And yes, the clothes they're both wearing here are what they had on during the scene where Ned masks up.

Ned's only accessory is a backpack of his own. It's not the same mold as Peter's, which is good attention to detail, and it has a nicely complicated camouflage pattern on it. Because of the size of his arms, he doesn't get double-hinged elbows, just swivel/​hinges, which makes it a little tough to get the backpack on or off. Not impossible, though. There's also a separate watch held on the wrist by the toy's hand, suggesting that Ned is left-handed. Who knew!

This is a pretty risky set - a fully civilian Peter Parker without even a hint at his secret identity, plus his also-civilian best friend? That's a gamble for the toy aisles. But it's fun to have them hang out with Michelle Jones and complete the power trio.

-- 10/17/22

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