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Spider-Man

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

This is a question we asked once in regards to ToyBiz's Marvel Legends: if the "variant" of a figure is more plentiful than the "standard" one, which one's really the variant?

He's got a new suit and a new attitude. This web slinger just hit the big time!

Though that bio doesn't actually say anything, it's referencing "Big Time," the storyline that followed the pointless and fan-alienating "Brand New Day." In that story, Peter designed a new stealth suit that was completely invisible, except for the lighted panels on his costume that allowed his allies to see him. So why does the card reference that outfit when it's not what we're reviewing today? Because despite not coming with a piece of the Arnim Zola BAF, Spider-Man is one of the four figures in Series 2 to have a variant - the "standard" (and much harder to find) look is his Big Time costume, while the variant and the subject of today's review is his Future Foundation suit.

FF Spidey is built from Hasbro's version of the Bullseye body, which means he's almost identical to Black Costume Spider-Man, right down to the too-large waist chunk. Come on, Hasbro, fix that already. He does have a few new pieces, which may or may not come from previous Spider-Men: his right hand is a fist, while his left has the fingers curled in a webshooting pose. The shins have been redone at some point, so he no longer has swivel joints there.

The head is larger than Black Spidey's was, so it doesn't look too small on his shoulders. The eyes are simply gigantic - which is something that always varies from artist to artist anyway, so we're not going to try to declare those right or wrong. They're fully sculpted, not just painted on, so that's nice. However? No ear-bulges. Make of that what you will.

Though the Future Foundation costume looks great on the printed page, it's hard as hell to re-create that design on an action figure. And yet, the factory did a really good job! The figure is molded entirely from white, and all the black areas are paint. The edges are all crisp, and things even line up nicely over the joints. There are a few imperfections - the pins in the elbows and knees (as well as the rings in the hips, wrists and shoulders) are white, when they should be at least half black - but given the choice of having white spots on the black areas or black spots on the white areas, Hasbro went the right way. The black areas are already broken up by white lines, so a few more don't really detract from the look. This may not be perfect, but it's certainly hard to imagine it being done any better than it already is.

Like we said, the figure no longer has swivel shins, but to make up for it, he has swivel/hinge ankles to retain the range of motion. The peg part goes into the foot at an angle, giving you some dynamic posing options. Similarly, he loses the swivel forearms, but gains swivel/hinge wrists. Other than that we have a swivel head, hinged neck, lateral pectoral hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, hinged torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs and double-hinged knees.

Spider-Man doesn't have a build-a-figure part, but does that mean he couldn't come with any accessories? A webline? Anything? He's still fun to play with, thanks to all the articulation, but there's no escaping the fact that it feels like you're being shorted, especially when prices are creeping ever-closer to $20 for a 6" toy.

FF Spidey is a perfectly fine choice for a Marvel Legend - but doesn't Hasbro have an entire line of 6" Spider-Man figures, and couldn't this figure (and its variant) have fit in better there? Of course, were it in that line, I would have probably skipped it, and I would have missed out. I really wish the Big Time version were easier to find, because I'd like that suit, too, but at this point it's still almost mythical thanks to Hasbro's weird way of dealing with its waves. This is a reused body with some fancy new paint, but it's a good one.

-- 05/14/12


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