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Spider-Man Origins
by yo go re

One of the first worthwhile figures released in the Spider-Man Classic line was Super Poseable Hobgoblin - a figure with a killer sculpt, tons of articulation and no silly action features. That figure set the tone for what we'd expect from the Spidey line until its demise. It's only fitting, then, that one of the first figures Hasbro has given us is a repaint of that same figure.

Spawned in another dimension and devoted to the "purification" of mankind, Demogoblin was committed Demogoblin to destroying all criminals. His crusade led him to continuous conflict with Spider-Man and many other superheroes - fights in which his magical abilities of flight and flame projection, and his supernatural strength assisted him greatly. Despite his evil origins, he was not without compassion, and he made the ultimate sacrifice to save the life of a child in danger.

Wow, it's so rare to find a concise and complete bio that actually tells you everything you need to know about the character in just a few dozen words on the back of a card these days. Can't beat that! Since Demogoblin is a straight repaint of an earlier figure, most of this review will be copied from that one; because, really, if you have one figure, you have them both.

Demogoblin is approximately 6¾" tall, and moves at the ankles, boot-tops, knees, thighs, hips, waist, gloves, elbows, upper arms, shoulders, chest, neck and head. That's a bit light by modern Marvel Legends standards, but it still holds up well several years after its initial release. The elbows and knees are single joints, and he doesn't have any kind of movement in the chest or torso, but his waist is balljointed. If he was made today, a lot of the construction would have been different, but he's already got 23 points of articulation, and that's plenty. You can get him in lots of menacing poses, to deal with the huge array of enemies Demogoblin made in his short life - in addition to Spider-Man, he went up against Ghost Rider, Blade, Dr. Strange, Moon Knight... all sorts of different heroes.

Looking much like his comic counterpart, Demogoblin is dressed in tattered rags - a blue suit with orange trim and bare arms. His body is textured, with the muscle and bone beneath the cloth of his costume making him look like an emaciated Calvin Klein model. The parts that would be cloth look almost like burlap, folding and flowing accordingly. His cape's been torn to shreds, and is attached by a peg to Demogoblin's back - Hobby's cape was removable, but this one seems stuck fast. You can still remove his hood, though, if you want to expose his distorted face.

Speaking of his face, Demogoblin looks truly wicked. During the big "Inferno" crossover, in which the clone of Jean Grey kidnapped her own baby and allied with the forces of hell (running wild in Manhattan at the time), former mercenary Jason Macendale, then using the Hobgoblin identity, willingly had a demon bonded to him in order to gain strength and power enough to defeat his enemies. Macendale and the demon didn't get along very well, as you can imagine, and eventually they were split. The figure has pointy ears, long sharp teeth and a wild tongue.

The hood fits over his head and, when positioned properly, really seems to be conforming to the shape of his head, as one ear pokes out and he peers at you with his one exposed eye. It's difficult to get his hood on correctly; his left ear keeps trying to poke out through one of the holes that dot the mask, when it is supposed to rest in a solid corner further up inside.

Demogoblin only has one accessory, but it's an essential one - his glider. Hobgoblin originally had a fairly mechanical Goblin Glider, but when he was bonded to the nameless demon, his ride got pimped. It started looking more organic. When Demogoblin split off on his own, he rode on a glider composed of pure hellfire. This sculpt is probably a little too mechanical to convey that properly, but the colors help sell it: it's molded from translucent yellow plastic, with solid orange paint fading back from the front. The glider is 6" wide and 4¾" long, and the points of Demo's elfshoes slip through loops on the top. Sadly, though both his hands are in "clutching" poses, he doesn't come with any pumpkin bombs.

Repainting the old Hobgoblin into the Demogoblin was a smart move - Hasbro managed to give us an old toy that was getting kind of expensive for new fans who had missed it when it was originally released, as well as an all-new character for those of us who already had it. It also drives home the point that Hasbro isn't really changing anything: they're just building on what ToyBiz did for the past few years, and moving forward from there.

-- 01/14/07

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