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Spider-Man: Homecoming
by yo go re

If everybody loved recycling as much as Sony does when it comes to Spider-Man, Al Gore would be out of the movie-making business.

A nefarious villain with his eyes set on ultimate technological dominance, Vulture suits up in an enhanced suit that makes him nearly unstoppable.

You already know how the script that became The Amazing Spider-Man was basically a hasty re-write of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4: he was all set for the movie to feature Vulture, Black Cat, and Electro, then the studio told him to put the Lizard in as well, so he threw up his hands and left; Sony got their Lizard movie, the movie got a sequel, and the sequel set up the Sinister Six; then the series got rebooted again so it could get a slice of that Marvel/Disney pie, and used a version of the Vulture who could easily have fit with what we'd already seen in ASM2's teaser scene - it's not hard to imagine the new series picking up the discarded scraps of the last one, just like had happened before.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was an excellent film, with Michael Keaton delivering an amazingly complex performance. That scene of him driving the car? *kisses fingers* Unfortunately, you'll just have to relive it in your memories, because this toy only gives us his green-eyed helmet. It's a nice sculpt, with small air tubes on the mask and a translucent visor over the eyes, but why no unmasked alternate head? Remember Electro? Does Hasbro not get the rights to the villain actors? We see Vulture unmasked often enough that getting a human head for the toy would have made perfect sense, so its lack on this toy is obtrusive.

Vulture doesn't wear a costume - he's got robot legs, sure, but that's just equipment he's wearing over top of green pants. Because he operates at high altitudes, he's wearing a leather jacket with a fur collar that helps make him look more cathartine. The jacket's got a golden zipper, which matches all the latches on his harness. The design of his Vulture legs is nicely realistic. The talons on the feet allow him to securely attach to whatever he lands on, and the metal frame really looks like something that could support a grown adult's weight: the shins are fully enclosed, then the metal continues up the outside of the legs with straps around the thighs to hold them in place; the armor continues over the hips and the ribs, then goes up against his spine, with more straps going over the shoulders and across the chest. And hey, the sculpt of all of it is great, too.

The articulation is typical for a Marvel Legend: balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The knee joints combine to only a 90° angle, which would normally be disappointing, but makes sense for the gear he's wearing - a suit like that probably wouldn't bend past a right angle anyway. The head joint is designed in such a way that he can really look up and down nicely, suiting a flying character.

And hey, speaking of flying, let's talk accessories. Since there's no Adrian Toomes head, the only accessories we get are pieces of this series' Build-A-Figure. Rather than a character, the BAF this time is Vulture's wings. The actual Vulture comes with the central backpack bit, and a clear plastic stand to help support the weight. But buy the other six figures in the series, and you can assemble a full set of flappers!

Like we said before, splitting up the wings was a smart move, because if you don't want the entire series, you don't get stuck with a random arm or something, you get a piece of industrial rubble, just the sort of thing superheroes always seem to be tripping over.

Fully assembled, the wings have a 22¾" span, almost 10 inches wider than Ultimate Vulture's! That makes it pretty dang clear straight away why there was no other way we'd ever get them - Hasbro may be able to sell sets of bikes and riders, but nobody would have been champing at the bit to buy Vulture and his wings. Just the shelf space alone would have turned most stores off!

Homecoming Vulture didn't build his own wings, and they were never meant to look like actual feathers. The sculpt, by Rob Wiggins, is full of small technological details, befitting something that was cobbled together from salvaged Chitauri tech - the toy doesn't match the wings seen in the film perfectly, but the differences are so slight that no one is likely to care. Every little piece looks like it would flex and shift understandably, even though each wing is only made from three large pieces.

The exo-suit gets its own articulation, so you can get dynamic with it! The wings mount to the body via hinges, as do the smaller pieces that have the turbines in them - turbines which spin and pivot. Then, the midpoint of the wing features a hexagonal swivel joint and another hinge. You can get Vulture to stand if the wings are straight our to the sides, but you'll want to use the display stand if you're planning to move them at all (and even then, going all the way forward or all the way back will over-balance him, stand or no). Because of the way the turbines are attached, they can't tip unless you first hinge them away from the rest of the wing.

The pieces aren't numbered (other than on the back of the packaging), and they're also not completely symmetrical, so it is possible to assemble the wings wrong. Just remember that the greener parts go on the back of the flight suit, matching the apps on the backpack. The pack does get a bright blue airbrushing to suggest the glow of its power source, as well.

Hasbro really tried something new and interesting with this "Build-A-Flight-Harness" idea, and it works pretty well. It gets the movie's main villain out in a way that couldn't have been accomplished otherwise - just look at the sad little mini-wings on the Vulture in the "basic" line and imagine ML doing the same. The only major problems with this toy are the lack of a Keaton head, and the fact that the support stand doesn't really support him and keep him standing too well.

Spider-Man | Homemade Costume | Moon Knight | Captain Universe | Tombstone | Beetle

-- 04/02/18

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