OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Peter Parker

Spider-Man Retro Collection
by yo go re

Well, clearly Hasbro's Retro Collection lines are a "thing" now: first it was just Avengers, then X-Men, they've just announced that Fantastic Four is on the way, and right now we're getting Spider-Man on oversized cards inspired by the old animated series pakaging.

Peter Parker is the college student & photo journalist who is secretly the Amazing Spider-Man!

It's always interesting to see how various adaptations age-down Peter Parker. In the comics, he became Spider-Man when he was 15 years old - if we accept that his birthday is in August, and that the school year in New York City begins in September, then he was a high school freshman when it happened. At the start of the comics, they moved more or less in real time, so he graduated in Amazing Spider-Man #28, four real-world years later. Eventually the timeline began to slide, so after summer break he entered college in 1965's ASM #31, but didn't graduate until 1978's #185 (helping establish the Marvel standard of "three real years = one comic year"). No matter how you measure it, Pete had been out of college for years by the time the cartoon started in 1994, but that's still where the cartoon writers decided to put him.

This figure is loosely based on one released in Series 2 of the 1994 Spider-Man line. It's pretty easy to recognize the inspiration, because there haven't been a ton of plain Peter Parker toys, and that one was the first. [Second, counting the 1975 Mego figure --ed.] Like its inspiration, this one is wearing blue jeans and a brown leather jacket, though his shirt is pale blue and his sneakers are solid white for some reason. That is not what his shoes looked like in either the cartoon or the toy, so why do them that way here? It's a bit distracting, really. Other than the head and the right hand, all the molds used for Peter are the same from Stan Lee, so he manages to look appropriately scrawny.

The head Pete's got on in the package is pure Steve Ditko: the hair combed straight back, the large round glasses, even the pointy jaw, it's all very retro. Which doesn't really suit a figure that's ostensibly inspired by the cartoon, but it works for the character. The glasses have solid silver lenses, but the eyes are painted behind them - they're a separate piece, plugged and glued into the head, but if you wanted to carefully snip them off the figure and permanently remove them, you could do that and have a more modern Pete.

The set includes a second head as well, this one in the traditional "my Spidey sense is tingling" look of half human face, half Spider-Man mask. This head is more Romita than Ditko, with slightly messier hair and no more glasses. The eye on the human side is painted a bit too high, even accounting for the surprised look on his face - it would never line up with the mask's eye on the other side. It's also a shame Hasbro couldn't figure out a way to put some wavy lines coming out of the head like the Minimates could.

Yet again, we've got a civilian wearing pants, but not the Nick Fury legs that would allow them to point their feet in a human direction. It's been years since this mold was introduced, so how are we still dealing with this problem? When you're standing up, your feet don't point inward. Not even straight out, honestly. Feet turn slightly to the outside, to help us balance. How does every toy company get this wrong?

The Restro Collection lines don't do Build-A-Figures, but Petey still gets an accessory: his camera, so he can do his photo assignments for The Daily Bugle. It's a nice sculpt of a blocky old SLR camera, solid black save for the silver on the mounted flash, but it doesn't have a neck strap like the accessory that came with the '94 toy. This figure's right hand is molded wider open than usual, so he can hold it, but he doesn't have enough articulation to get it up to his eye and actually shoot anything.

Like Iceman, the packaging for this figure quotes the beginning of the old toy's bio, but then cuts off the rest: "When Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider, he gained the arachnid's abilities! But his refusal to use his powers to help others resulted in the death of his beloved Uncle Ben! Now, Peter battles crime as Spider-Man, while trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life - for he has learned that with great power there must also come great responsibility!" A few improvements coud be made to this release - removable glasses, Spidey-sense lines, a camera strap, shoe paint - but getting a plain human Peter Parker is pretty dang cool regardless.

-- 09/21/20

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!