Medicom 12" Symbiote Spider-Man

Medicom figures have long been hot with sixth scale collectors, but now Sideshow is importing them to the States, making them somewhat (and there's emphasis on the 'somewhat') more affordable.

The first Medicom to be brought in by the fine folks at SS is the black suited Symbiote Spider-man.  Don't know who he is?  Well, with the symbiote being a major feature in Spider-Man 3 next summer, you will.

It's an alien...thing...that attaches itself to a host and empowers it.  It latches onto Spider-man at first, and the costume here is the result.  The movie goes for a slightly different look, but this is the classic comic book appearance.  It also turns the host bad, as many parasites do, and eventually Spider-man sheds the creature.  It moves on to his rival photog Eddie Brock, creating the villain Venom.

Expect to pay around $100 - $125 for this figure, depending on the retailer. Sideshow is importing other Medicom figures, including Venom, Cyclops, and the newer X-men Wolverine.

Packaging - ****
Medicom can do packaging well, and they can do it so-so.  This time around, they opted for the 'well'.  The graphics are terrific, right off the comic pages, but they've incorporated their logos and info into the comic book text.  The artwork continues on the inside fifth panel, and they've gone for a more appropriately sized package.  Unlike some of their other releases, the box isn't three times bigger than it needs to be.

It's also completely collector friendly, and you can pop Spider-Man out, along with all his goodies, and pop them back in later for easy storage.  Nice work!

Sculpting - ***1/2
Sculpting here is largely confined to the head, hands and feet.

The head has a terrific shape to it, very appropriate and very well proportioned to the body.  It does sit up a tad high on the shoulders, but we'll get to that in the Articulation section.

The eyes are sculpted with a recessed edge, giving the face depth and shadow. The entire thing is smooth, with no texture at all, and no other indications of the face beneath, just like the comic version.

The standard hands are fisted, and proportioned well.  Often, hands and heads are too big on sixth scale figures, but there's no problem here.  He comes with three additional sets of hands as well, but I'll touch on those in the Accessories section.

The feet are the big ass booties, which you are familiar with if you bought their regular Spider-Man.  These boots fit over the legs and feet of the body underneath, and run all the way to the knee, giving him a honkin' calf and huge foot.

I'm not a huge fan of the booted feet, although it's a little less of an issue with this figure because the actual costume covers them all the way to the ankle. Still, they are my least favorite visual aspect of this release.

Oh, and that nifty other head you see in the photo to the left?  Yep, I'll talk about that in the Accessories.

Scale-wise, he's right about 12" tall, so he can fit in pretty well with your other sixth scale figures, unlike the Medicom Star Wars line.

Paint - ***
Again, paint is pretty much confined to the head, hands and feet.

The big issue for the paint is that it doesn't match in color and finish with the costume.  This isn't as obvious in photos as it is in person, where it's quite apparent.

That difference aside, the quality is very good.  I also like the metallic or 'sparkly' finish that the paint has, especially on the eyes and white patches of the hands.

Articulation - ****
I have one issue with this Medicom body, and I'll get it out of the way right up front - the neck joint has the head sit too far up over the shoulders.  It leaves a weird gap, and elongates the neck far too much.

However, once you get past that single visual problem, you'll find an excellent body.  Joints abound, and the lightweight body is tight and solid.  All the joints have an excellent range of movement, with the exception of the ankles - it's those boots again.

Even with the neck joint, the articulation in this body is good enough to pull a four star score.  It was close, but the posability with this figure is so amazing that I couldn't score him lower.

He does come with a stand if you want to do the more funky, wild, mid-air poses, but he stands great on his own as well.

Accessories - ****
Here's where the figure really shines.  He includes a second head, three extra sets of hands, and a display stand.

The display stand is clear, very handy for mid-air poses.  It works well, but you won't need it for any poses where his feet touch the ground.

The second head shows the symbiote taking over Peter, oozing up over his head against gravity.  It looks terrific, but does have a slight anime look to the eyes.  It's not overdone though, and works well enough with the comic book theme.

The two heads pop on easy enough, but they also pop off a little too easy.  Posing the head can make it come off, but it's easy enough to reattach.

The hands pop on and off perfectly though, and that's good, since you'll be swapping them in every pose.  Along with the fisted hands, he has casual open hands, action open hands, and web slinging hands.

By using these in different combinations, you can add life and realism to just about any pose.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is a tight fighting black body suit, that runs from the neck to the ankles and wrists.  It is on permanently - no velcro or snaps here.  It fits extremely well, but only bunches a little at the crotch and shoulders.  When it does, it's very natural and realistic.

Thankfully, it covers the boots down to the ankle, but it is not hemmed at the ankles or wrists.  Mine already has a small thread or two at the ankles, and I'm hoping that unraveling does not become an issue over time.

The bright white spider on his chest and back is perfect, without any cracking or misalignment.  I was expecting it to have at least a few issues, and I assume over time it will crack, but out of the box it looked fantastic.

Fun Factor - ***
Once you drop a benjamin on this figure, you might not be too quick to hand it over to a drooling kid.  Then again, it is a very fun toy, very sturdy, and screams to be played with.  Quite the conundrum.

Unfortunately, the costume will fray in the heat of battle, and the symbol will crack a lot faster with Timmy banging him against a wall.

Value - *1/2
I'm scoring this at about $125.  Now, let's be honest here - as cool as this body is, and as nice as the quality of the hands and heads is, this is not a figure that cost anything near $50 or $60 to produce.  What you're paying for here is the Medicom brand name, much like the price tag a BMW or Mercedes pulls in over a standard car.  Sure, the quality IS there, but this body is used over and over for their figures, and the costume is very basic.

Now, you could have gotten this guy for around $100 if you'd preordered him (which I suggest doing for other upcoming Medicom Marvel figures).  At that price tag you can bump him up to two stars.  Hey, that quality is definitely worth something.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much.  Clip any loose threads at the ankles and wrists right away to avoid more fraying if possible.

Overall - ***1/2
This is an excellent 12" Spider-Man, putting to shame all past 12" versions in the black suit.  Unfortunately, this comes at a very high price.  Had this figure been less than $75 tops, he could have grabbed the elusive four stars.

Still, if you have the cash to burn, he makes a great addition to your Marvel shelf.  Pair him off against the upcoming Venom, and let the battle begin!

Score Recap
Packaging - ****
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy - 
Options are getting limited at this point:

- Sideshow has a wait list available, for those that have canceled their original orders.  It's worth a shot!

- to avoid missing out on future figures, check out Alter Ego Comics, Dark Shadow Collectibles or Fireside Collectibles where some of the others, including Venom, are still up for pre-order for under $100.

Related Links:
I've had reviews of a number of other Medicom figures - 

- here's a guest review of the ROTS Vader, Stormtrooper, James Bond, Trinity, Neo, Luke Skywalker, Alien, and Edward Scissorhands.

- and here's my review of the Batman Begins and Darth Vader.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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