Stopping by with a quickie today thanks to a pile of Marvel Universe figures that I found on the pegs while doing some last minute Christmas shopping at a somewhat distant Super Target. I’m going to kick off a look at this quartet of new(ish) figures with Scarlet Spider. Now, don’t get me started on the Clone Saga. Love it, hate it… like a dead rat in the middle of your living room, its tough to ignore it. I’m firmly entrenched in the “not loving it” camp. And yet, I can’t seem to dislike the outfit in all its cheesy glory. Scarlet Spider may have his origins in the 70s, but this outfit is a jumbled cliche of everything that was wrong with comic character designs of the 90s. And yet somehow it always worked for me.
So, the thinking here was let’s take Spider-Man’s traditional outfit and make it all red. Fair enough. But wait, there’s more. Top it off with a blue sleeveless hoodie (!) with a spider emblazoned on the front and back (!!). Oh yeah. Wait, you can’t have a superhero without superfluous pouches, so let’s put a couple on Scarlet Spidey’s feet, thus inventing the Ankle Pouch(!!!). Toss in a utility belt and we’ll turn his webshooters into heavy silver bracelets. It’s a symphony of ridiculousness, and again for whatever reason I really dig it. It scratches that nostalgic itch in me from when I was going to college in the early 90s and desparately trying to hold onto my youth by reading the comics du jour.
Scarlet Spidey comes on a standard Marvel Universe card. He’s carded upside down similar to the way some previous Spider-Man variants have been packaged. Unfortunately, gone are the days of the Secret Documents envelope. You do at least get a figure stand. The character art is nothing special, but it gets the job done.
Say what you will about Scarlet Spider’s design, Hasbro executes it fairly well here in figure form. All the extras on the costume (the hoodie, the pouches, the webshooters, and the belt) are separate sculpted pieces. I’m guessing this is more about being able to reuse a standard buck, but the new tooling definitely makes the figure look more unique. The sculpted hoodie does lead to one other little problem, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Scarlet Spider features some crazy articulation for a 3 3/4″ figure, but a little less than we usually expect from the MU line. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, hips, and ankles. Hinges in the elbows and double-hinges in the knees, Swivels in the biceps and thighs. And the torso, well, that hoodie keeps the torso from having any articulation. He can’t even swivel at the waist. I’ll note here that coming out the package, SS’s leg popped off at the hip. Sure, it’s a ball joint and it pops right back on, but I haven’t had that problem with an MU figure before.
When you come down to it, I think Scarlet Spider is going to be one of those love him or hate him figures. I wouldn’t say that MU figures are pegwarming anywhere around my parts, but based on the online prices for him, I’m thinking a lot of fans are choosing to leave him out of their collections, along with Namor. I can’t argue that there are plenty of Marvel characters who should have been included in the line way before SS here, but I’m still glad Hasbro made him, and I think they executed him really well.