I’ve had a real love-hate relationship with Hasbro’s Marvel Universe line. The figures are awesome and the fact that they’re now 3 3/4″ and in scale with so many of my other collections is nice bonus too. So what’s to hate? The fact that I can’t buy them anywhere in my area.
Still, I had managed to collect about a dozen of the single carded figures and the much easier to find Secret Wars comic two-packs, before getting so frustrated I called it quits. Unfortunately, the recent releases have brought me back and I’ve been making up for lost time and trying to pick up the figures that I missed out on. It’s been a good week, as I’ve picked up seven figures in the last couple of days and over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be pushing to get all caught up, starting with some of the figures that I’ve had kicking around for a little while.
So, today I thought I’d kick off Marvel Universe week with a look at Spidey and Green Goblin. I picked up both of these figures a while ago, so I don’t have any in package shots. Suffice it to say the card styles for MU haven’t changed much. Each figure came with a Top Secret envelope with a filecard and a little letter. As these were relatively early releases, neither figure came with a display stand [curse you and your stingyness, Hasbro!!! -FF], although Green Goblin’s sled makes for a good substitute.
Spidey is simply fantastic, and this guy remains one of my favorites in the MU line so far. Hasbro could have easily gotten by with a generic body and a good paintjob, but they went the extra mile with the sculpt and give Spidey a lot of personality. Most notably, the web design on his suit is sculpted in, as are the spider emblems on his chest and back, and his eyes. His right hand is sculpted with two fingers out in web shooting position, and his left hand is in a fist. The elongated neck and ball joint system looks fine from the front, but it looks a bit odd from the sides. It’s just an oddity that goes Hasbro’s current 4″ figure bodies.
The paint apps consist of gloss for the red parts with a two-tone blue matte for the rest. The contrast is nice and when combined with the black linework on the web and spider emblems, the color on the figure really pops. There’s a tiny bit of slop here and there on the linework, but considering the scale, it’s still an exceptional paint job.
Spider-Man has 19 points of articulation: He has a ball jointed head. His arms have universal shoulder joints, swivels in the biceps, hinged elbows and swivels in the wrists. He has a balljoint in his chest and a swivel in his waist. His legs feature universal hip joints, double hinged knees and ankles with swivels and hinges. There’s no doubt Hasbro packed a lot of articulation into this small scaled figure, but I’m still not convinced that the double knee joints they introduced with the GI JOE 25th Anni. figures are all that much of an improvement over a regular hinge.
Spidey came with one accessory: A strand of web that plugged into his arm. I didn’t like it, and I relegated it to some random accessory baggie a while back, so I coudn’t include it in the photo.
On the flipside is Norm Osborne, aka Green Goblin and the sculpt here is really amazing. The green on his arms and legs are textured and his head sculpt is wonderful, complete with bug eyes, big ears and an overall disturbingly bizarre expression like a green man-rabbit on crack. His fringed boots, gauntlets and jester hat cap off the overall look of the figure wonderfully. The paint apps are pretty simple here. He’s got gloss purple on his outfit, gloss green on his head, and a matte green for his arms and legs.
Goblin has the exact same points of articulation as Spider-Man, although my figure has a few issues worth noting. His ankle hinges are really stiff, and I’ve only managed to get one to work, the other is starting to stress the post, so I’ve given up on attempting to get it to work for fear of breaking it off. He also doesn’t have a lot of range of movement in his hips, and the ball joints are apt to pop out if you try to make his pose too exaggerated.
While Spider-Man came up short in the accessories department, his counterpart has some cool toys of his own. Goblin has a separate brown shoulder bag, a bright orange pumpkin bomb that pegs into his left hand, and his sled. The sled is a really nice bonus, since he didn’t come with a stand. There are two stirrups to slide his feet into and he can stand on it very securely.
I won’t deny that I’m a huge Spidey fan, and that goes a long way in making these two of my favorite figures. But then it also made me less forgiving of these two then I am on some of the other Marvel characters. So it goes a long way for me to say how much I love the way this pair turned out.