Spider-Man 3 - New Goblin
Hot Toys

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Hot Toys New Goblin has been out for awhile - I covered it here last fall - but Jeff has provided his own unique look at this underrated figure. Take it away, Jeff!

OK, OK… it will become immediately apparent that I started writing this a while back, but with summer holidays, other more pressing new figures, and the day job to contend with this got pushed back… what can I say?

At the time of writing this review, the new ‘Amazing Spiderman’ movie is due to open in just a few days here in the UK (It’s probably due on DVD soon instead… see what I mean!), I have mixed feelings about it. From the trailers and clips I have seen it looks like Andrew Garfield has certainly captured something of the Peter Parker we all know and love… but I still question whether Sony pictures actually need to reboot with another ‘origins’ story. I mean, we all know (or at least should) the genesis of how the mild mannered student becomes the cocky web-slinger. I’m also still not 100% convinced with the new costume design, and even though I’m a fan of Rhys Evans (and I’m sure he’ll do a great job with the character of Dr Curt Connors) I quite frankly dislike the design of The Lizard as well. But time will tell, as I have yet to see the movie, and when all is in context I may be swayed.

However, I’m not here to dissect the new movie…yet!

No, I’m here to look at what has turned out to be one of Hot Toys strongest and most detailed secondary characters from the weakest of the Raimi Spiderman trilogy. Lets face it Spiderman 3 was a big fat mess. Just about every element of its existence is mired in problems. I wont bother to rehash all the reasons I was so mightily disappointed, other than to say that the first two movies were so good, that it just seemed to implode in upon itself before my very eyes.

None of the acting was too bad, but the convoluted story and messy logic used in bringing the characters together was at best laughable. However, the motivation for Harry Osborn (played by James Franco) to become the New Goblin was at least given some pathos before it all crumbled. So, if I wasn’t a fan of the movie, why am I so fond of this figure? Well its down to Hot Toys incredible eye for detail, and the real world treatment lavished on his stealth Ninja armour, which gives the finished a product one hell of a lift when displayed next to Spidey. As time progresses it looks less and less likely that we will ever get Venom, and although I do now have the symbiote Spidey, it kind of doesn’t make a lot of sense to have two Spidey’s posed together. So as far as companion pieces go, this is the one for me, could he be the one for you?

Packaging - ****
I loved the box design that came with Spidey, and the same production standards have been brought to play on this one. Obviously it lacks the iconic status of the Spider-suit, but the design used is still very strong, and the tactile nature of the embossed and raised elements for the front mask make this look and feel like a top quality product.

The construction is again a straightforward lift off lid, but the top section is made to mimic elements and textures of the Goblins suit, and even has a raised Goblin mask motif placed at its centre.

Once inside, there is a full colour card overlay then the figure is held secure between layers of vac formed black and clear plastic. So even though not as impressive as Spidey’s box it is still a striking design and sits comfortably next to its companion piece.

Sculpting - ****
James Franco is one of those annoying polymorphs who shifts seamlessly between roles, and indeed art forms. His facial features are captured amazingly here in one of the two head sculpts supplied. The expression is serious and focussed, and the clarity of the portrait is up there with some of the finest work that Hot Toys have ever put out. His chiselled features are not unlike James Dean in his prime and the fine detailing on the skin texture and hair are as good as we have now come to expect. The second head is permanently masked with emerald green faceplate and glossy goggles. The sculpting is again expertly executed and looks very convincing in representing the screen seen armour. However, unless you intend to display the Goblin posed with a kit-bashed Harry Osborn standing next to him, I have a strong feeling that the outstanding work on the unmasked head will take preference for most.

Apart from the fists he comes wearing there are also two extra gloved hands in poses designed to interact with his accessories. The detail here is of course adeptly observed and I found they swapped over with ease.

Paint - ****
Once again we get a striking and unfussy paint app delivered by the mediums grand master JC Hong. It compliments the sculpting perfectly by exhibiting fresh even skin tones and spookily accurate glossy eyes. All is just as it should it be! The second head with the mask permanently attached also has some nicely delivered finishes in making the mask and lenses have a super shiny lacquered and glass like appearance.

The gloved hands are also given some delicately observed detailing on the intricate fine points (like the shiny emerald green knuckle pads) to help bring the overall effect together. Another demonstration in perfection delivered to order. 

Articulation - ****
Because Harry is fully dressed with not much flesh on show it means the classic True-Type could be utilised to full effect. You can get the low-down on the bodies functionality and what lies beneath his outfit over the course of these breakdowns here, here, and indeed here.

Little remains to be said other than he poses well, with the only restrictions being imposed by the clothing, and those restrictions are far from bad.

Accessories - ***1/2
Goblin Jnr comes with a nice selection of goodies to create maximum carnage. We get-
- One Sky-Stick (hover-board)
- One extra head with mask
- One short knife
- One long knife
- One sword
- One closed pumpkin grenade
- One open pumpkin grenade with blades extended
- One acrylic short stand for the hover board
- One display base with long pole for flight poses
- Two extra hands

His stand out piece is of course the turbo hover-board, it clips to the soles of his boots with small dumbbell type pegs, and the uber detailing is just beautiful. The lower section with the propulsion unit and blades is on a rotating joint that can spin a full 360 degrees. Once turned it exposes a tiny black switch, by flicking this on you illuminate tiny LED’s that give the integral rotor blades a nice ethereal green glow.

The three bladed weapons are a simple creation for the artists at Hot Toys but still show plenty of finely observed detailing, as do the pumpkin grenades both closed and open. His right gauntlet has three panels to which you can attach the articulated bladed weapons, these feature small hinges allowing them to be angled flush to the arm or turned up for attack mode.

 The knives and are held in his thigh worn knife holster and the mid length sword is housed in the techno-scabbard he sports on the back (I seem to remember the midi one extended in the movie to become the long one),this is held there by tiny ‘mock’ metal clips.

Lastly he has his display base which is the same size and shape as the one that came with Sweeney Todd, but this one features a long transparent pole that slots into a hole at the rear of the stand and has a spring-loaded waist gripper at the other end to hold the figure up when displayed in flight poses. Actually, I say lastly, but there is also a short clear acrylic stand that the Sky Stick can slot into, allowing for a ‘more compact’ display if you plan on putting him in a Detolf or an already crowded shelf.

So, a good selection made all the sweeter by that cool Sky-Stick.

Outfit - ****

I’ve already raved about the portrait and the paint, but this is the category where this character delivers its full quota of awesome. The original (Willem Defoe) Goblin was far more ‘fantasy’ in the design of his over the top green armour. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the design, and would dearly love a 1/6th version in my collection. But I also have a feeling that we might get an even more iconic version (for that read comic book) from the reboot if they intend to reintroduce the character in the planned sequels before the licence runs out with Sony. But I must admit I dearly hope Marvel don’t renew their licence, as we need some Spidey movies made under the Marvel umbrella so he can fully interact with the rest of the characters in their Avengers universe… as long as they have the guts not to reboot for a third time and just respect we all know who Spider-Man is and kick off at the deep end.

I mean, did we need an origins story for the re-imagined Sherlock Holmes, no; characters like him and so many others are so embedded in a collected consciousness of pop culture that they don’t need constant reintroductions… in my view anyway! Likewise I hope Zack Snyder’s Superman doesn’t feel the need to wade through all that set up… we know who Superman is, he’s a freakin institution, just tell us a new story worthy of the character!

But enough of my ranting, back to his threads!

The relatively real world feel means his outfit actually looks more hi-tech stealth combat rather than spandex clad homoerotic super-villain. It consists of black boots, black trousers, a pleather and sculpted plastic knife holster, black zip-up skin-tight shirt under a snug fitting black gilet. Over this is his harness for the back mounted sword, and lastly he has a set elbow pads and three arm braces with interchangeable hinged blades for his right arm.

The footwear is sculpted and looks like a hybrid of Prada dress shoes, crossed with snowboarding and tactical assault boots, featuring some hi-tec bindings and clips. Over these he wears his long black trousers with working zippers at the ankle and working pockets and belt loops. The under shirt is beautifully tailored with fine detailing on the intricate seams and Nehru style collar with a clip fastener. The most impressive pieces are his zip-up gilet with a lace up and webbing back section, over which he wears the back mounted scabbard for his long sword. Both items feature some great details on finely observed clips, straps and webbing. The whole thing looks like a cool climbing harness designed by Oakley. At the elbows he wears sculpted pads and on the right he has three separate bands strapped to his forearm with small emerald green rectangles that can be slid out and replaced with the hinged blades.

All in all the detailing and fabrication is top notch, on an outfit that is actually far more complex than originally meets the eye. It bodes well for characters like Bane and indeed the new and improved TDKR Bat Man DX when they are delivered, but we knew they were more than up to the challenge already!

Action Feature - ***1/2
When you were a kid I bet you loved it when a toy made noises or had a light up feature… I know I did.

But having grown up… well, at least a little (my wife and daughters might disagree) these kind of features become less important, especially if it gets in the way of accurate aesthetic or functionality. Luckily the light up feature doesn’t harm here, and much like on the Iron Man figures it helps enhance the finished product… not greatly, but an enhancement is an enhancement.
As described above, by turning the lower propulsion unit you expose a tiny black switch, when this is switched on a couple of green lights are activated in the base, they are not the brightest lights you will ever see, but the gentle green glow is strangely rewarding!

Value - RRP ***1/2 Sale price ****
There is no denying that this is a spectacular looking figure, but his biggest problem is the fact he’s a secondary character from a the worst of the Spiderman movies. Even though Venom was rubbish in the film, at least his character design was close enough to the comics that he translated into a ‘real world’ version. Sadly the New Goblin looks more like hardcore extreme ninja sk8terboy, with added pointy bits rather than anything resembling what we know as the Goblin.

So with an RRP of $170 it’s no surprise that six months after his release, he is still readily available. However, in terms of actual bang for buck he is far stronger than some recent more popular releases. However, the RRP doesn’t necessarily need to be the price you pay! If you act swiftly enough you could still stand a chance of buying this from one of Michael’s sponsors listed below for a full $40 less, and at $120 this is a big fat bargain.

So to sum up, I would say that if this is one of those figures you have admired and coveted for a while, there is a reason for that desire, and that reason is that it is a bloody great figure. So if you do decide to take the plunge I can almost guarantee you wont be disappointed (especially at those sale prices). However, if you are one of the nay sayers who has never understood why Hot Toys even wasted their time on this character, perhaps it’s best you leave now, in fact why did you even read this far, there’s ten minutes of your life you’ll never get back!

Fun Factor - ***1/2
As far as actual ‘big kid’ play value goes this is a peach. It poses well, it looks fantastic and it has a light up hover-board and a specially designed stand so you can display him in mid-flight. Even better if you have Spidey too you can put them in no end of groovy action poses interacting with each other.

But as always, it shouldn’t need to be pointed out that this is NOT intended for kids, his pointy blades could have someone’s eye out, or even more distressingly, be broken by tiny careless fingers. But if you are in the habit of giving your kids $170 action figures to throw around the sand box, good luck to you!

Overall- *** 3/4
You should have gathered by now, that not unlike my views on the Babydoll figure from Sucker Punch, what we have on our hands is a killer figure from a below average movie. That is a fact, no two ways about it. The price is of course going to keep many from plunging for this figure, which is understandable. But for those who do take the plunge, you will be handsomely rewarded with an amazingly detailed and striking piece of 1/6th design!

Where to Buy -
Sideshow still has The Goblin available to order for $169.99 or you can try some of Mike’s sponsor below where you could potentially save $40 on the RRP.

BBTS in stock @ $120.00 

Urban Collector in stock @ $135.99 

Fan Boy in stock @ $154.99 

Or hit ebay where the BIN prices are between $150 to $175.

This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Jeff Parker.

This page copyright 2000 - 2010, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour