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Super-Poseable Hobgoblin

Spider-Man Classic
by yo go re

The Spider-Man Classics line has metamorphosized. Formerly high-end collectibles with tons of articulation, ornate bases, varied characters and reprint comics in a clamshell package, they've recently turned into a more standard line of blister-carded figures with maybe ten points of movement, few accessories, and row after row of vanilla Spider-Mans: Spider-Man with a backpack; Spider-Man with a catapult; Spider-Man with magnets in his feet and hands.

Okay, the magnet one's kinda cool, but that's beside the point.

The basic super-poseable Spider-Man from the original Classics line is used and reused, maybe with a slightly darker paint job, maybe with a new head, but basically the same. There might only be one figure that comes with a nice base, maybe a different one will have some articulation, but the new series aren't as good as their progenitors. I don't know; maybe ToyBiz wasn't happy with the first two lines selling out consistently, and wanted something that would take up shelf space. Well, they got it.

However, that's not to say that all of the new Spider-Crop are bad.

Fleeing from Spider-Man a bank robber stumbles into the hideout of the notorious criminal Green Goblin, discovering much of his weaponry, equipment, notes and private journals. The bank robber notifies fellow criminal Roderick Kingsley of the hidden lair. Betraying the bank robber, the power-mad Kingsley uses the Green Goblin's equipment and knowledge, along with an altered version of the original costume, to become the Hobgoblin, a dangerous foe for Spider-Man.

Hobgoblin stands out from the rest of Series 2 of this new Spider-Man line; he's got a wonderful sculpt, mega-articulation, and a cool base/accessory. Consequently, he's also the hardest to find.

Looking much like his comic counterpart, Hobby is dressed in tattered rags, including an orange tunic with blue arms and legs. His body is textured, with the muscle and bone beneath the cloth of his costume making him look like an emaciated Calvin Klein model. The parts that would be cloth look almost like burlap, folding and flowing accordingly.

The figure has a removable plastic cape and hood. The cape's been torn to shreds, and plugs into a peg on Hobgoblin's back. The hood fits over his distorted face and, when positioned properly, really looks as if it is conforming to the shape of his head, as one ear pokes out and he peers at you with his one exposed eye.

Speaking of his face, Hobgoblin looks truly demonic when you take his hood off, which means this isn't Rocerick Kingsley. When the character first appeared, he had a rather standard rubber mask; he was later replaced by a mercenary named Jason Macendale who, looking for more power, had hiself bonded to a demon, and that's what this version apparently represents. He's got pointy ears, vicious fangs, and a wicked tongue. He'd make a great custom vampire for Blade to fight.

Hobgoblin only has one accessory, but it is big and badass. Rather than something lame like a Hobgoblaster or whatnot, he comes with his modified Goblin Glider. 5¾" wide by 4¾" long, the glider is nicely detailed with technological elements and a big demon face. It has no gimmicks or movement, so there's nothing to break. Or fall apart. Put the points of Hobby's elf-shoes through the loops on the glider, and he's locked in pretty tightly.

The figure's official name on the packaging is "Super-Poseable Hobgoblin," and it certainly fits him. He's articulated in the same manner as the Marvel Legends figures - that is to say, "at every conceivable point." Ankles, boot-tops (though those were very stiff), knees, thighs, hips, waist, gloves, elbows, upper arms, shoulders, chest, and two neck joints. The only thing missing is a point at the ribcage, but I personally don't miss it; he's already got 23 points of articulation, and that's plenty. You can get him in all sorts of menacing poses.

The figure isn't without its faults, however. A few of his joints were stuck when I opened him, so he got to spend some time in the freezer before I could play with him. Other owners have reported having a lot of trouble getting his cape to stay on his back, and having to resort to superglue. For the hidden articulation crowd, Hobby's two chest joints swing his shoulder blades out and away from his body, exposing the hollow interior of the figure.

It's difficult to get his hood on correctly; his left ear keeps trying to poke out through one of the holes that dot the mask, when it is supposed to rest in a solid corner further up inside. I also had to turn his neck around backward to get his head to tilt forward enough to get the tips of the cape underneath (the hood holds them down so they're not hovering above his shoulders) without dislodging the hood.

This really is a good figure, one that fits in well with the best of ToyBiz's recent offerings. Now we just need a similarly styled Green Goblin.

-- 10/22/02

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