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Super Poseable Spider-Man

by yo go re

If you've read my last Spider-review, you know why Spider-Man must always have a hyphen in his name. You'll recall also that we said that figure was "not the best Spidey ever released, but a close, close second." Today we review the figure that tops the charts.

Only one super hero has lightning speed, rapid reflexes, heightened senses, and the acrobatic ability to walk up walls and leap with abandon, and - last, but not least - a knack for spinning webs. He's strong, he's agile, he's Spider-Man. And he's ready to take on evil in any form.

By now you know that the Spider-Man movie was indeed the giant blockbuster it was made out to be. A mixture of levity, pathos, and action that held true to the comicbook while being inclusive enough for new fans; what more could one ask? Well, one could ask for top-notch merchandise, I suppose. Fortunately, ToyBiz met that need with their series of movie-inspired action figures. Sculpted on a 6" scale, the figures follow the same path as the Spider-Man Classics figures: namely, a spectacular sculpt wed to amazing articulation.

The sculpt is indeed up to par. Based on the movie costume, this 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. His eyes are painted with a semi-reflective sheen, giving them the same mirrored look you saw on the big screen.

A few extra points of articulation were added to Classic Spidey's 30; for instance, he has improved ankles which allow for a stable footing in a wider range of poses. There are now peg joints in his biceps, so he has an easier time trying to pat his head and rub his stomach at the same time. His head has a balljoint connecting it to the neck, so you really get a nice range of motion there, as well; not just side to side or up and down, but also rakish angles, which can make the figure look as if he's trying to determine just what is making his spider-senses tingle.

Overall, the figure has been beefed up a bit, as well; he's more muscular. When we saw promotional images of this figure, the "Mr. Universe" look seemed out of place; however, once you see the figure in person and began to play with it, you can barely even tell. My favorite pose, currently, is to have him crouched somewhere high, as if he had just landed after a leap from his web.

Just as the Spider-Man Classics figures came with a display base, movie Spidey comes with a large gargoyle - patterned after those on the Chrysler Building - that can be mounted on the wall or clamped to the edge of a table. Poking out from the statue's "beak" is a claw and string; pull the string out, clasp it to Spidey's wrist and push the button on the top of the base for "web-climbing" action.

To tell the truth, the web snaps back into the gargoyle with such force that I was rather unsure about actually using the figure in it. We tested it first (with a figure none of us cared as much about) and while it does work safely, I'm still not a big fan of this feature. There's no denying, however, that the gargoyle is a fine piece of work, as well as being an accurate depiction of a prop (or should that be "location?") from the movie.

With a movie-accurate look and articulation out the wazoo, this is the absolute best Spider-Man figure you can currently buy. Get him a Green Goblin to fight and an MJ to save, and you've got yourself quite a collection.

-- 05/30/02

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