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Spider-Man Legends
by yo go re

Last year, Hasbro released the best Spider-Man they'd ever made. This year they're trying to top it.

What, you know who Spider-Man is, you don't need us to tell you again. And if Hasbro is going to go to all the effort to put the biography on the back of the box in four different languages, the least we can do is honor their work and help you expand your linguistic skills at the same time. Besides, if you really must know what it says in English, this is the internet - you can find out really easily. (Or just hover your mouse over it and read the text that pops up.)

First things first: the sculpt of this figure is not as good as the sculpt of the movie toy. For one thing, his webs are just painted on, not sculpted; for something to be crowned the best Spider-Man toy of all time, it's got to have sculpted webs, no question about it. This one doesn't have 'em, this one doesn't get the title.

The proportions of the body are good, making him very lanky, and there's a peg hole in his back, so if you have any ToyBiz Doop stands handy, you can make Spidey jump!

He does have good articulation, for the most part. There's a balljointed head, hinged neck, lateral pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed(?) hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge rocker ankles. The hips are a bit of a problem, though. Remember how Superior Spider-Man's hips stuck way out from his body? This figure fixes that, in that the legs don't look like they've been dislocated in an accident, but the cutout that's meant to accommodate the bar isn't long enough, meaning he can only move each leg out to about a 45° angle. DC Direct figures use the same kind of hip joints, but their figures' legs can go all the way out. Keep practicing, Hasbro! It does mean we don't have to worry about red joint-rings appearing as the paint scrapes away - though the pins in the elbows will need to be painted, if you don't want to see red there. Also, this is a case where adding hinged toes would be a huge benefit (since, when he's crawling around on walls, he wouldn't be putting his entire sole against the surface).

One area in which this figure does have an advantage over the movie figure is the fine assortment of accessories it comes with. The first is an alternate head, showing something a Spider-Man has never had before: his mask is half pulled-up, to reveal his nose and mouth. Is he dressing in a hurry? Is he going to kiss Mary Jane? It's up to you!

Actually, it goes with what the bio said about him getting hungry: he comes with a slice of pizza! It's pepperoni, and molded to be held in his left hand - the cheese drips down between his fingers, which holds it in place very nicely. This is an unexpected inclusion, but one that's entirely welcome.

The figure includes three pairs of hands: two fists, two thwips, and two with the fingers spread (ie, "sticking to the wall" hands). The hands all pop out easily, but stay in place well.

The thwip and crawling hands have a slight, cartoony exaggeration, rather than looking like a straight documentation of a human hand. The splayed fingers are a fun inclusion, and since they don't have sculpted webs, might show up on some future "civilian" figure. You could see Tony Stark gesturing at his newest piece of tech with one of these, right?

The Build-A-Figure piece included with Spidey is Hobgoblin's left leg, the opposite of the one that came with Anti-Venom. It's surprisingly short, has three round silver buckles on the outside, and is otherwise all done in shades of blue.

This Spider-Man has some fun accessories, but his hip joints aren't the best they could be, and his webs are only painted, not sculpted. So yes, he's a really good Spider-Man figure, but there's still some room for improvement.

-- 04/27/15

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