Marvel Legends (Kingpin Wave): Symbiote Spider-Man by Hasbro

No random draw for this week’s Marvel Monday. Instead, I went straight for a Spider-Man figure so I can be sort of topical in light of the Spider-Man movie news. I’m not really going to go into that here much, instead I’ll just say that I haven’t given up hope that either Sony or Disney will see reason and reach some kind of new agreement. Then again, if he’s done I’ll just be grateful for every miraculous moment we got of him on screen. Another reason for this week’s pick is that I’m hankering to finish off another Build-A-Figure, and since I’ve already opened and reviewed two of the six figures needed to build Kingpin, this one will get me halfway there. Oh yeah, it’s the new Symbiote Suite Spidey, so don’t expect a lot of enthusiasm out of me for this review.

Since I don’t have anything to really say about the packaging, I’ll throw it out there that Hasbro has recently announced the decision to remove plastic from their packaging. How’s that going to work with Legends? Will there be enclosed boxes? Will we no longer be able to scrutinize the paint on the figures we buy? How will we know someone hasn’t stolen the BAF part, or swapped the figure for a Toybiz version and returned it? These are all questions that interest me a lot more than how it will effect the aesthetics of the package. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, let’s tear in and see what we’ve got.

As many of you probably remember, Hasbro gave us a Symbiote Spider-Man as part of the Sandman Wave, and it wasn’t that long ago. Of course, that was the Classic version and this is the more recent look of the Symbiote black suit as it appeared in last year’s “Go Down Swinging.” And while I don’t want to sound like a broken record, I am not a huge fan of a lot of the newer Marvel costume designs, and this one ain’t about to change my mind on that matter. Ah, but I’m here to review a figure and given what they had to work with I think Hasbro did a fine job on this one.

The Symbiote suit doesn’t require a lot of fresh sculpting, so Hasbro was able to save a few shekels on this release. From the neck to the ankles it’s just a recycled buck. The body is cast in black plastic and you get the white pattern painted on the chest and back, and wrapping around the shoulders. This is usually a recipe for disaster when it comes to the black bleeding through, but it doesn’t look too bad on this figure. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for monochrome suit designs, so this one does gain some points in that category.

The feet are sculpted into monster-symbiote feet and you get two sets of hands: Fists and claws. As for articulation, at first I thought this was a reuse of the Miles Morales figure, but it actually has the extra shoulder crunches, so that’s pretty cool. Everything else is standards stuff. As a rule, Hasbro’s Spider-Man figures are always loads of fun to play around with and this guy is no exception.

And then you have that head and those eyes. I wasn’t a big fan of this look in the comic art, and I’m sorry to say that I think it’s even worse when translated to an action figure. And yeah, personal taste aside, I think this is just one of those cases where 2D art wasn’t meant to be depicted in 3D. Hasbro did their best, but I just can’t get past how weird it looks. Why did Marvel decide to go with such a strange design? Well, why does Marvel do half the things they do in the comics these days? It’s a mystery. I understand the desire to update and make things look fresh, but I don’t get what they were going for here at all.

So, to sum it up, this is a decent figure based off a design I don’t like. Personally, I think it would have been much cooler to see the classic black suit return in the comic, but then Hasbro and Marvel couldn’t have sold another figure to idiots like me, so I guess they know what they’re doing. As much as I consider Legends a universe building line, I would have easily passed on this one if it weren’t for my desire to not own a headless Kingpin BAF. Then again, the same could have been said for the modern Black Cat included in this wave. And, I think I’ll keep the whole controversial update theme going next week with a look at another figure in this wave, Red Goblin.

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