Marvel Legends (Absorbing Man Wave): Ben Reilly Spider-Man & Spider-Gwen by Hasbro

Even with Mondays dedicated to Marvel Legends, I’m still falling behind, so today I’m checking out both figures in the “Edge of Spider-Verse” slot. This way I can get to the BAF next week and then start in on either the Giant Man Wave or the Juggernaut Wave. Sorry, Rhino Wave, I’ll have to come back to you. You’re all ready so far overdue, I might as well save you for a slow Legends month, if that ever happens.

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This “Edge of Spider-Verse” duo gives us two worthwhile characters for our Legends shelves, touching on both old and new. We’ve got Ben Reilly in the costume he wore while standing in for Peter Parker as Spider-Man, and of course in Spider-Verse. And we also get the new hotness breakout hit that is Gwen Stacy as Spider-Gwen. I’ll confess that I sat out most of Ben Reilly’s run as Spider-Man back in the day and have always preferred him as Scarlet Spider, but I have been enjoying reading Spider-Gwen quite a lot. Let’s start with Ben Reilly…

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I won’t spend a whole lot of time on Reilly, because in essence it’s still just another variant on the Spider-Man costume that we’ve been seeing an awful lot of in this 6-inch line. I’m not complaining, mind you, but I feel a little bad for any collectors out there who aren’t really into Spidey. And I mean that on a couple of levels. Anyway, this is the body that we saw recently used for both Superior Spider-Man, and the Hobgoblin Wave Spidey, so it features those additional lateral shoulder crunches and is overall an excellent buck for old Web-head. The main addition here in terms of sculpt are the external web shooter cuffs.

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One of the things that struck me most about the Superior Spider-Man design was how much it called back to this outfit, particularly with the larger and darker fields of blue, and the pronounced spider emblem on the chest. It’s not my favorite look, but I do like it. The paint here is especially crisp and the red is quite vibrant. There’s a little red bleeding through behind the whites of his eyes, but nothing too terrible.

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Hasbro really loaded this guy up with extra pieces. For starters, you get a whopping three pairs of hands, which include two thwipping hands, two fists (hurray!), and two hands with splayed fingers. And that’s not all…

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Probably the coolest thing about this figure is the inclusion of the head and hands to make Spider-Carnage. Considering how much is already in the package, this just feels like Hasbro going above and beyond. It’s a lurid love letters to fans of Web of Carnage and proves that even though Hasbro is cranking out Legends figures like crazy, they’re still managing to put in that little extra effort.

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So, yes it’s another variant of the Spider-Man costume, and while I’m just that level of crazy where I can’t get enough Spidey variants, I can understand if some collectors are getting Spidey-Fatigue. Indeed, I think he’s catching up, or maybe passed, Iron Man as Hasbro’s Marvel Legends lovechild. But, regardless, this is a great looking figure and I never tire of playing with this buck. OK, moving on…

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We have one of my more anticipated figures in recent Legends releases, Spider-Gwen. She’s been a breakout character from the Spider-Verse story and I’m glad to see that Hasbro wasted no time getting her a 6-inch figure. She was also an absolute bitch to get at a decent price, but thanks to Dorkside Toys, I was able to get her at a good price. Unfortunately, she doesn’t entirely live up to my expectations.

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Her costume is simple enough and from the neck down the costume is achieved entirely through paint. The deco is largely black on white with some spider web patterns under her arms and inside her hood. Also, the soles and toes of her shoes are blue. The paint is fairly solid, although the lines could be sharper and there’s a little yellow discoloration on my figure’s chest and shoulder area.

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You get a few options with the head. The figure comes out of the packaged masked and with her hood up. The paint on the mask features a gradient rose color around the eyes. The hood is separate from the head, so it doesn’t really impede the neck articulation much at all.

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Also included is the extra unmasked head with a hood that’s sculpted in the down position. I think the head sculpt is excellent, and the paint is fairly tight, but I’ve said before that I wish Hasbro would paint the faces rather than leave them bare plastic. The waxy sheen on the skin is just a little off-putting. In fairness, it’s far more obvious under studio lights, but there’s always a little of it present making Ms. Stacey look like she’s been perspiring from working out.

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Alas, you don’t get the same options with the hands. Gwen comes with a thwippy right hand and a left fist and no extras. Considering she comes in the same slot as the Ben Reilly Spidey I just looked at, it’s hard not to feel that the gal is getting shafted here. Then again, I understand that these figures need to cost out across each assortment. It’s a zero-sum game, so while some figures benefit from more, others feel it in the end.

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Unfortunately, Hasbro still isn’t on the ball when it comes to the articulation of many of their female figures. Here’s what you get: The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with swivels in the thighs and lower legs, and double hinged knees. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint under the chest and the neck features both a hinge and ball joint. Some of the biggest omissions as far as I’m concerned are the swivels in the biceps and double hinges in the elbows. Also, the lack of a waist swivel is a bummer. In some characters, those fewer points don’t always matter as much to me, but in the case of Spider-Gwen, the reduced pose-ability really hurts

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I don’t want to come down too hard on Gwen. What’s here is fairly solid, but she is insanely acrobatic in the panels of her comic, and that’s something that just isn’t reflected nearly well enough in the figure. I never spend the extra bucks for Marvel Figmas or Figuarts. It’s too deep a hole to dive into. But I’d definitely consider it in the case of Spider-Gwen. It’s just kind of a shame that the umpteenth variant of Spider-Man in this wave feels like it got a lot more love and care than the one and only Legends Spider-Gwen. Of course, it helps that the former figure had a great body to build on, but maybe that just means it’s long past time that Hasbro invest in tooling a new and more agile female buck.

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And that wraps up the individual figures in this wave. Reilly gives us Creel’s last two sets of arms and Spider-Gwen gives us… his ball and chain? Yeah, considering that she’s probably one of the most desired figures in the wave, I found it odd that she got bundled with a BAF part that you don’t really need, and a recycled one at that. Nonetheless, stop by next Monday and we’ll cobble together The Absorbing Man! With notification that my X-Men wave shipped today, I’m now officially backlogged with three whole waves!

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2 comments on “Marvel Legends (Absorbing Man Wave): Ben Reilly Spider-Man & Spider-Gwen by Hasbro

  1. I totally empathize with you on jumping down the Fimga/Figuarts rabbit hole. They almost got me with the Ghost in the Shell S.A.C. Motoko, but (luckily for my wallet) they’ve yet to announce any other Section 9 team members for the line. I’m concerned I might start an even worse PVC anime statue habit with all the amazing stuff Max Factory’s been kicking out. Here I thought I could just get two Bishoujos as samplers and call it a day lol . . .

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