In 2001, the Spider-Man Classics line revolutionized the toy industry. For the first time, an "old guard" company proved that it had the ability to produce top quality toys that had both killer articulation and a sculpt detailed enough to stand against McFarlane Toys.
Of course, it didn't hurt that it was about the same time that McToys began their quick slide into statuesque mediocrity.
Classic Spider-Man was far superior to any Spidey we'd ever gotten before, and still holds his own today. With 30 points of articulation, a good sculpt and a free display base, Spider-Man was at the top of the heap.
Unfortunately, he didn't stay there for long. Movie Spider-Man was even more articulated, better sculpted and had more detail. Then Marvel Legends debuted with figures in a slightly larger scale, making poor Peter Parker look pitiful by comparison. The Classic Spider-Man body was used over and over again in the lackluster Spider-Man line to make endless variations of the character, but they were all too small to fit with ToyBiz's new scale.
Finally, that problem has been rectified, with Spider-Man Classic Series 6. In addition to the great Kraven and Daredevil figures, ToyBiz also gave us a new super-articulated Spider-Man body.
That new body will likely be as overused as the old one within a few months, but for now it's very nice. The new mold gives us a figure that is 6" tall, perfect for integrating with your Legends.
When I saw the figure in the package, I thought that the body had just been reused from ML4's Gambit - a fairly generic figure himself. When I opened it, however, I found that Spidey's new corpse was an entirely new sculpt from webhead to toe!
Parachute Spider-Man moves at the toes, ankles, boots, knees, hips, waist, stomach, fingers, wrists, gloves, elbows, shoulders and neck. That's 34 points, giving him the edge over the old body. His shoulders even slide forward and back like the spectacular Spawn 10th's, though they were stuck pretty solidly in place, so Be very careful when you try to make them move.
Sadly, Spidey's hips are still molded from red plastic, just as on the previous Classic Spider-Man. This choice makes no sense, since the costume all around that area is blue, and even if painted, the color soon wears away to reveal the off-model piece beneath. Lame, ToyBiz; very lame.
Spidey's bright red parachute, detailed with black spiderwebs, measures 16" in diameter and connects to the figure via a plastic blue backpack and a 5 1/2" cord. It serves its purpose well, and is easy to roll in a ball and stow away because, let's face it, a giant parachute is lame.
Unlike the Classic Spider-Man figure, the figure's web's are not a sculpted element - they're just painted on. When I thought this figure was a repainted Gambit body, I was okay with that, but now that I know he's an original, I'm fairly disappointed. If this Spider-body becomes as standard as I think it will, then the lack of webs is going to be a disappointment in the long run. If I had more skill with a Dremel, I'd carve the webs in myself - in fact, I may just do it to get some practice. It's not like we won't see a Spider-Man figure with equal quality ever again.
The biggest draw of the new Spidey is that he's big enough to finally fit in with the Marvel Legends figures. If you want him for that purpose, then he's a good buy. However, there are better Spider-Man figures out there, if you're just looking for the wallcrawler by himself, so what you get from this toy depends on what you expect when you buy it.
Why didn't ToyBiz sculpt the webs? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.