Spider-Man Classics
Posted 01/24/01
Overall score - **
*1/2 out of ****

(Originally published at the Comic Book Galaxy)

At last summer's San Diego Comic Con, we were treated to the information that Toybiz would be producing this line of 'super-articulated' figures.  The pictures looked great, and when I did my poll on what lines folks were most looking forward to in 2001, this one ranked at the top.

They've started showing up at Wal-marts and Meijers so far, soon to be everywhere.  If you can find them at Wal-marts, you're better off - I've heard the price there is around six bucks.  I bought these at Meijers, where they were the more common eight dollars.

There are four in this first series - Red and blue Spidey, Black costume Spidey, Venom and Man-Spider.  Each figure comes with a stand and a reprint of a comic book that highlights the character in question. 

Packaging - ***1/2
First the negative - yes, you have to destroy the bubble pack to get it out.  However, there are lots of positives to this style of bubble.  This is a clamshell style, similar to the early McFarlane Toys stuff, and is extremely sturdy.  Not only that, but by using this you can open it up and NOT destroy the card back, which is encased in the shell along with the comic book.  It's not perfect, but it's getting damn close.

Sculpt - ***
Of the four, the sculpt on the red and blue spidey is the best.  I don't like Venom - they tried to go with a half Eddie, half Venom thing here that I just don't appreciate.  I'd have much preferred a complete Venom.  The Man-Spider isn't bad, but isn't a particularly exciting character, and the black suited Spidey is second on my list.

Quality - **1/2
The red suited version has a serious problem - it is certainly super articulated, but on mine it only took a couple minutes before all teh blue paint was wearing off the elbows, knees and hip joints.  I didn't have this problem with Venom, so perhaps it's only the smaller figure that suffers from it.

Articulation - ***1/2
If all four figures were as articulated as the black and standard Spider-man versions, this line would get a **** plus.  Spider-man has supposedly 30 points, and here's what I count - 1 at the neck, 2 for each ball jointed shoulder, 2 for each double jointed elbow, one at each forearm cut joint, one at each wrist, one on each hand for the fingers, 1 at the chest, 1 at the waist, 2 at each hip, 1 at each thigh cut joint, 2 at each double jointed knee, 1 at each cut joint on the calf, 1 at each ankle and 1 on each foot at the toes - that's a total of 33.

The only complaint I have on the articulation, other than the paint rubs I already mentioned, is that the hip joints are less than perfect.  While the legs move well forward and to the sides, they do not move backward due to the design of the pelvis.  But overall the Spider-man figures kick butt!

Too bad the other two aren't up to this same level.  Venom and Man-Spider have very standard Toybiz articulation.  Venom has neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut joint elbows, cut joint wrists, waist, hips, standard knees and standard ankles for a total of 18 points.  While he has fewer points, his ball jointed hips have full range of motion, something that would have been an improvement on both Spideys.

Accessories - ***1/2
Each figure comes with two major 'accessories'.  One is the stand, and the other their comic.  Venom also comes with a small squirt of webbing that attaches to the back of his hand.  Unfortunately, this piece of webbing fit poorly into his hand, and was a pretty useless accessory.

But the comic reprint is a great idea, and another way that perhaps they can generate at least some interest in the stories with kids.  The stands are also awesome - they can be attached to the wall, and the figure affixed with a small plastic waist loop, or they can sit on the top of your desk.  Venom's sits up particularly well, and can actually be hung from three different slots on the back, allowing you to hang it in different positions.

Value - ***1/2
At eight bucks, these are good deal.  considering the stands and comics, plus the additional articulation, they are well worth that price.  If you can find them at a Wal-mart or Super Walmart for down around $6, it's an absolute steal.

Overall - ***1/2
Very close to perfect in a Toybiz figure.  As I said, neither the Man-Spider or the Venom are particularly exciting to me, but I can still recognize how nicely done they are.  The stands are a great touch, as is the comic reprints, and I hope we see Toybiz continue with this line.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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