The first Spider-Man movie was a success in every way: the story was good, the actors delivered and audiences loved it. Even the movie toys, usually a crappy proposition, turned out to be excellent. With tons of articulation and a killer sculpt, movie Spidey was one of the best figures released in 2002. Now we're getting a sequel to the film, and to the toys as well.
He possesses phenomenal strength and lightning-quick reflexes. He walks up walls and spins webs that are as strong as steel. He experiences a tingling "Spidey" sense that warns him of impending danger. But, forever motivated by the responsibility he feels because of his powers, Spider-Man's hero status has come at a steep price. Because with great power comes great responsibility, an sometimes that means giving up personal happiness for the good of all.
We have a lot for which to thank the Spider-Man movie figures: since the movie was getting a line of toys, the short-lived Spider-Man Classics was scrapped, and Marvel Legends took its place; Marvel Legends has proved so popular that Hulk and the X-Men will soon be getting dedicated lines of their own. At a point when ToyBiz seemed to be running out of steam, the Spider-Man movie figures helped kick new life into the company.
Just as the first movie figures raised the bar for Spider-Man figures, so do the sequel's. Based on the movie costume, Spider-Man features a textured costume and "raised" webs - instead of being painted on or carved into the figure, the webs are an actual three-dimensional detail. Each strand of web is carefully painted silver, and none of the paint has found its way onto the red or blue areas of the suit.
The colors are more vibrant this time: brighter red and deeper blue. The spider emblems on his chest and back are larger and his eyes, painted with a semi-reflective sheen on the first figure, are now the more traditional white. The Classics/Movie Super Poseable Spider-Man had more than 30 points of articulation; it was the greatest thing ever seen. But amazingly, the new one's even better.
Spidey now moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists, fingers, torso, waist, hips, knees, shins, ankles and toes, a total of 46 points of articulation. At first, that doesn't sound like a whole lot more than other figures; the numbers come in when you realize that he has three joints in his neck, four in each shoulder (lateral, pull-out, balljoint and swivel), double hips and three torso joints. And when we say "fingers," we really mean it: four fingers on each hand are independently mobile.
There are a few downsides to all this movement, but most of it stems from simple odd planning. While the waist and abdominal joints work nicely, the third torso joint is just strange, like an adaptation of the sort of chest balljoint that the old Spider-Man Classics had. It might have been better if the ab joint had just extended higher into the body. Also, the combined neck joints still don't have quite the range of motion as a nice ball and socket. The raised webs disappear on the joints to allow for free movement, as well, leaving plain red sections in the middle.
Like most of Marvel's figures, Spider-Man comes with a detailed base. Since he spends more time in the skyline than on the sidewalk, his display shows a small Daily Bugle billboard on top of some building. Similar to the piece that came with Spider-Man Classics Series 2 Ditko Spidey, we get a 5" x 3" riveted board above a brick wall and a ledge. The base has two holes in the back for wall mounting and a string tied to one side for Spidey to swing upon. It's not bad, but nowhere near as cool as the gargoyle we got from the first film.
Picking a Spider-Man figure is going to be hard with this new line. While this is the official "super poseable" version, the others aren't exactly slacking off in that department, either. As long as you stay away from Rapid Punch Spidey, you probably can't go wrong. The Magnetic Spider-Man looks pretty swank, in fact, trading fingers and toes for four sticky points.
Who will be the first to break 50? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.