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Spider-Man & Iron Man Sentry

Spider-Man: Homecoming
by yo go re

So, remember that Spider-Man you had to buy to build the Vuture's wings? The one that you may have already bought last year, when it was in the Civil War toyline? Well good news, you get to buy it again, because that's the only way to get Spidey's sidekick! Er, mentor. Big brother? Uncle-to-be? Something.

When criminals threaten the big city, it's up to Spider-Man to shut them down - but it's going to take more than a few webs to land these bad guys. Fortunately for Spider-Man, he's got the tech-powered strength of Iron Man on his side.

Let's hit the high points on this one fast. From the neck down, it's the same mold (and paint) as the regular release. We only get one set of hands this time - left hand fist, right hand thwip - but by golly, they made sure to include those stupid armpit webs! Can't have a Homecoming Spider-Man without armpit webs! Who cares if they only look right in a single pose and fall out with no provocation, right? Armpit webs for everybody!

Okay, enough of that, let's talk about why you might actually want this figure. You'll notice that we specificed it was the same as the last one only from the neck down. That's because the head is new. The previous Spider-Man had one head with wide eyes, and one head with narrow eyes - this one actually gets both! You know, like a Deadpool squint. But for some weird reason, every single sample of the figure is painted incorrectly, with the white spreading out beyond the sculpted border of the squinty eye in an effort to make them look symmetrical. The edge is deep enough that you shouldn't have any trouble knowing where to stop if you want to customize it, but why was it done this way in the first place?

But that's not all! We also get an unmasked Peter Parker head! The likeness of Tom Hardy Holland is pretty good, if a bit too... put together? He needs to look a little more harried and rumpled. This is how he looks on Class Picture Day, not on an average day. The head is a tight fit on the balljoint, so you won't have to worry about losing it.

When this set was first revealed, it seemed like it was just pairing Spider-Man with a movie Iron Man that had been repainted to look like Ultimate Iron Man - which, technically, it is, but at the time we didn't know that this how he was really going to look in the film. Although it's never named in the movie, this is apparently the Mark 47 armor, which probably has lots of specific tech upgrades over the Mark 46 (for one thing, we know it has WiFi), but the only visible difference is the colorscheme.

Ultimate Iron Man was one of the first Marvel Legends Hasbro made (a full decade ago, now), and it was... only so-so. Vac-metallized parts, a teensy little head that for some reason looked Asian, ToyBiz holdover articulation... it was all good for its time, but like we said, that time was a decade ago. A couple who had celebratory sex after assembling the Annihilus BAF could have a kid in fourth grade now. Time, technology, and toymaking marches on.

The mold is the same used for last year's "Hero Ace Red" Iron Man, though the detail on the torso does not seem as crisp. Can the mold be wearing out already, or were we just fooled before because the paint was helping sell the idea that the edges existed? This sort of softness is not unheard of for Hasbro, so it could be either. Now that the entire waist area is solid grey, the flaws stand out.

It's amusing how much of this toy's articulation is the same as that older one's - none of the same engineering, obviously, but the same types of joints. Today's toy has a balljointed head and torso, and gets swivels in the wrists in addition to the hinges, but other than that? Swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders and a hinged neck were all present 10 years ago, and they're all present here. The old one had a waist that this one doesn't need, but that's its only advantage.

I left the theater after seeing Homecoming thinking that the one thing this set really should have come with but didn't was an open helmet for Iron Man. Then the set popped up at TRU, and what did it have? An open helmet! Magic! This may spoil one of the little secrets of Homecoming (Tony piloting his suit remotely) and isn't a perfect execution (the tech detailing should be at the back of the helmet, not circa cheek-depth), but it really is the one accessory Iron Man needed to have, and he has it. So good on 'em!

We also get one of the repulsor blast effects the Mark 46 came with, molded in blue with white paint. It's not neccessary, but fine.

I saw this Toys Я Us exclusive for the first time on a Tuesday. They had, I don't know, eight of it? Thereabouts. I wasn't sure if I wanted it or not, so I stashed one. By Friday, they were all gone. I mean, yeah, a strong sell-through is good for TRU, but it sucks for us collectors - this "blink and you'll miss it" crap is not fun. At least in this case it's just a repainted Iron Man with a few neat extra heads, not anything earth-shattering. We'd wish that they'd done something more interesting for Spidey himself, but then this set would probably be even harder to find.

-- 08/28/17


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