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Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

Lots of people have been the Green Goblin, but only Norman Osborn is truly synonymous with the name. On the other hand, part of the gimmick of Hobgoblin is that different people are constantly vying for the title, swapping it back and forth.

The newest bearer of the mantle is Phil Urich. The nephew of reporter Ben Urich, Phil already had some Goblin legacy - after being exposed to an experimental batch of Goblin Serum, he briefly operated as a heroic version of Green Goblin until his equipment got damaged fighting a Sentinel during Onslaught's attack. Then he kind of went crazy, because that's what Goblin Serum does.

Wanting to impress his not-girlfriend, Phil broke into a stash of Goblin equipment, where he ran into Daniel Kingsley (brother of the real Hobgoblin). The two got in a fight and Phil killed him, and decided to use all the tech to become the new Hobgoblin. He went to work for the Kingpin, but was eventually recruited to be Norman Osborn's "Goblin Knight."

The seven pieces to build Hobgoblin are included with all the figures in Series 1 of the Spider-Man Marvel Legends - even Spider-Girl and Ultimate Spider-Woman, who are both sold under the name "Warriors of the Web," come with different bits. The pieces all fit together nicely, and while you might be able to separate the limbs from the torso, why would you ever want to?

The new Hobgoblin costume was designed by Humberto Ramos, but it's a lot cooler than his Green Goblin. Like Rustin, I liked that suit, but this is superior. He's still wearing a hood, but it has a baggy collar instead of a cape. The face is much more bestial than usual. We know this is a mask, but it even makes the Demogoblin look tame by comparison!

He retains the pseudo-medieval touches that have always been a hallmark of Goblin costumes. That used to mean chainmail on the arms and legs, while now it's on his skirt and up his sides. [Also it's scale mail, not chainmail --ed.] He's wearing long blue-black gloves, matching pants, and dark boots that have three large straps apiece, with giant silver buckles that match the ones that close his belt and hold on his wings.

Yes, wings. Like Hobgoblin said when he discovered the stash, "someone better call Adrian Toomes' lawyer." The black struts make the wings look rather Da Vinci-ish, and plug into a small hole in his back.

The sculpt of the toy is not without its problems. To begin with, the armor on his torso is supposed to be thin plates that lay flat against the anatomy beneath, but here, it's puffier and rounded, like the outer skin of a pumpkin. That's an idea that makes sense for Hobgoblin, but it doesn't match the art. And it's only on the chest and shoulders - the abdomen is closer to the way it should look, which means there's a clear visual disconnect between the upper and lower torso once he's assembled.

Similarly, those silver panels on his sides? They're meant to be more scale mail, like on his skirt; here, they're barely detailed at all. Vaguely lumpy. It's like the sculpt wasn't done rendering when they cut the steel tools, which is apparently a common thing for Hasbro now, because we said almost the exact same thing about Avengers 2 Hulk and his new pecs.

There's also something weird going on around the hips: his entire skirt is supposed to be armor, with a large satchel hanging off both sides of his belt (replacing the need for man-purses); but here, Hasbro has chosen to make very thin pouches that rest against a larger pad beneath. He still looks pretty cool, but if you compare the toy to the art, you can tell it's not an exact match.

For some reason, Shocka was convinced this figure was going to be 9" tall. That's silly, Phil is a normal human being, why would he be super tall? The wingspan is 8½", but even with the hood, Hobby's only reaching the 6½" mark. He has swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, a swivel waist, hinged torso, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinge elbows, swivel biceps (cut straight though at the top of the glove, not hidden by the shoulder muscles), swivel/hinge shoulders, a hinged neck, and balljointed head. The range of motion on the head is pretty limited, thanks to his giant hood.

He does get two (and a half) accessories. The first is the Goblin-traditional pumpkin bomb, cast in translucent orange. Not really sure why - there are flames coming off the top, so it makes sense there, but it could really use an opaque app on the body to make it look not like a ball of pure energy. Next is the new flame sword, with its pattern of fire taken directly from the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #649. The hilt has a ring at the end, and a little blue pumpkin with bat-wings. Cute! The "and a half" accessory is a second, smaller copy of the sword's hilt - it plugs into his backpack, right above the wings. Why? Why would you do that? Why would you make a separate hilt, and then defeat its entire purpose for being by not letting the flame plug into it? Such a weird choice.

When Norman Osborn dubbed Phil the Goblin Knight, the name change came with a new costume that was superficially similar to this one, just with the colors reversed - mostly blue, with orange highlights. So it wouldn't be perfect, but there is some repaint potential with this mold. While this figure won't make the "BAFs should be bigger than normal figures" folks happy (their opinion makes sense, but it's just nice to get a figure we wouldn't have otherwise), the design is cool, and even the strangely soft sculpt and oddball accessory choices aren't enough to drag this Hobgoblin down.

Spider-Man | Anti-Venom | Spider-Man 2099 | Warriors of the Web | Daredevil

-- 05/18/15

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