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Sandman

Spider-Man 3
by yo go re

When they first got the Marvel license, Hasbro made a lot of mistakes. Their first crack at Marvel Legends had some real clunkers, they tried to sell us the same kind of stupid variants the Star Wars fans fall for, and they completely ballsed-up the Spider-Man 3 toys. Then, when they tried to make up for that by offering us a Spidey-centric line of Marvel Legends, they managed to trip over their own feet there, as well.


click to embiggen

Sandman was available in eight pieces - head, arms, torso, upper and lower legs - which is nothing too unusual for Marvel BAFs. And it would be fine, if the character selection was good, but it isn't. It really, really isn't. Half the series comprises figures that have been released before. And we don't mean that like "oh, here's another Wolverine, here's another Iron Man" - we mean these figure have literally been released before. This Spider-Man, this Doc Ock, this Green Goblin... okay, that's only three out of eight, but it's still almost half the line.

Hasbro took the ToyBiz molds and put them in new packaging. Already got those? Well, too bad, you're buying them again to get a foot, an arm and a leg. No one would fault you for passing - hell, I saw them at Ross and TJ Maxx for $5 and I still didn't bother to buy them. The only reason I have the BAF Sandman is because I traded for him from a reader who didn't want him any more.

And honestly, I can't blame him. Rather than trying to represent the character, this figure represents a scene; specifically, the scene where Flint Marko is turned into the Sandman. His body is composed of swirling sand, which is why the parts photo up above just looks like clumps of dirt. It's a technically proficient sculpt, and must have been a nightmare to tool and mold: in addition to the swirling sculpt, there are spikes rising off the surface and several areas where holes go all the way through the body. The texture isn't as impressive as ToyBiz's ToY-winning Sandman, but they didn't leave him bare, either.

There are only two spots on the figure that aren't sand-based: the head, obviously, but also for some reason the crotch. What? That's silly. Everything is sand, but he needs a belt and zipper? This is a movie toy, so the face looks somewhat like Thomas Haden Church. He's yelling in pain or frustration (depending on whether you think he's just now being turned into sand, or first trying to pull himself back together).

The articulation is underwhelming. The head is a balljoint and the shoulders are swivel/hinges, but from there it's all downhill. Despite the human belt, he has no waist joint. Okay, whatever. There are swivel joints at the hips and mid-leg, but none of them serve any purpose. The sculpt only works in one position, and moving things even a little bit means his "feet" won't actually rest on the floor. So much work went into dealing with the figure's complex mold that he has no sort of elbows or wrists, so really all you can do with him is repose him at the shoulders.

Since half this series of Marvel Legends were re-releases, they needed a really cool BAF to help sell them, but Hasbro didn't make that happen. I'd wager that Sandman is one of the most frequently uncompleted BAFs around, and that's not really a shame. If you want a giant Sandman that's actually fun to play with, track down the Unleashed version. It's better in pretty much every way.

Mary Jane | New Goblin | Doc Ock | Green Goblin
Spider-Man | Sandman | Black-Suited Spider-Man | Venom

-- 02/20/12


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