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New Goblin

Spider-Man 3
by yo go re

You'd think, by now, we'd be tired of pointing out how terrible Hasbro's Spider-Man 3 toys were. But no, we're going to be pounding on that one for some time to come. After all, it was their terrible performance that made Transformers movie toys so hard to find. After being soundly ignored by discerning fans, Hasbro threw us a bone with an odd, numberless Marvel Legends series that mixed re-packaged ToyBiz figures with new figures based on the third movie, including SM3's New Goblin.

It's more than the green gas that gives Harry Osborn his strength. He is driven by a rage beyond anything that ever infested his father, and focused in a way the Green Goblin - in his madness - never was. He has one goal and one wish - the death of Spider-Man and the destruction of all he loves. Screaming through the sky on a highly advanced sky-stick, his strength and speed are enhanced by enough weapons to equip a small army. Against an enemy this vicious who has such intimate knowledge of his secret identity and habits, Spider-Man has no hope of a quick victory, and only the faintest chance of survival.

After Spider-Man 2 pretty much set it up, there was tons of fanboy speculation about what role Harry would be playing in number three. A new Green Goblin, like in the comics? Hobgoblin, to set him apart from his father? Nothing, so they could use him in the fourth movie? Turned out none of those answers were quite right. Harry set himself up as a new Goblin, but without the costume. Since the only thing he wanted was to kill Spidey, his uniform is very utilitarian.

Since Harry isn't trying to look like a goblin (the name "New Goblin" never comes up in the film - it's just a merchandising thing), his outfit doesn't look like a costume. He's wearing a padded black suit, like you'd expect to see on BASE jumpers, and he has the thick plastic boots of a skier or snowboarder. The back of the costume is actually more intricate than the front, since that's where everything is buckled, fastened or laced together.

Rather than a distorted, grinning mask, Harry is hiding his identity (or maybe just protecting his face) behind a rather pedestrian facemask and goggles. I mean, sure, they're technologically advanced - he's not wearing Ray-Bans and a bandana over his face or anything - but you watch the X-Games or the Dew Tour and you'll see guys wearing stuff just like this. Sadly, the mask isn't removable, so we don't get to see James Franco's face. For the 5" scale figures, Hasbro did masked and unmasked variants, but there's none of that here. You'll have to settle for his wavy hair.

The New Goblin does have nice articulation, however: he mixes the ToyBiz- and Hasbro-style joints, providing what is currently the best selection of articulation. Let's break it down! Balljointed ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed wrists, double-hinged elbows, balljointed torso, swivel biceps, balljointed shoulders, and a balljointed neck. His right knee is a bit loose and rubbery, but that's just on my figure, and it's not so bad that he can't stand or pose nicely. And bonus points for the pouch strapped to his right thigh: not only does the sculpt accurately portray the way the straps would compress his pants, but the belt wraps up around to the opposite hip without impeding the movement at all. Nice work!

Though the pouch/holster thing is just sculpted, Harry does have a few functional accessories. We'll start with the "ionic sword," which is an electrified blade with a serrated section of the back of the blade. Well, okay, it's just electrified in the movie, but it pinches into the removable clip on Harry's back, and the green hilt fits in the figure's right hand. Matching the movie, there are three silver blades on his right forearm.

The figure also comes with his version of the Goblin Glider, the Sky-Stick. More of a flying snowboard than a pair of bat wings, the sky-stick holds all the character's armaments, including pumpkin bombs and machine guns. There are footpegs over the twin turbines, which matches the movie: those things create a vacuum to hold Harry on the board. The engine is supposed to rotate so Harry can fly the board in "narrow" mode, but it's a solid, molded place of the board. Still, there's a ton of impressive detail sculpted all over this thing, right down to the Caution labels around the turbines.

The Spider-Man Movie Legends (or whatever the hell this line is called) each include a piece of the series' BAF, Sandman. Yes, there's a dull Sandman figure in the line, but the BAF is a big swirling mass of sand. It's a nice look, but since so many of the figures in this series are retreads of figures that were not only released in conjunction with the original movies, but were also re-released by Hasbro in two-packs just months before! Thanks for wasting our time, guys. Anyway, Harry has Sandman's head, which could almost work as a piece by itself. Almost, but not quite. The head is hollow, so you can see through the mouth, and it will obviously join the torso with a ball and socket joint.

New Goblin Harry Osborn is really a good figure, but since he was part of an under-ordered line that's loaded with not only old characters, but actually old figures, he's way hard to find. Unlike the 5" figures, this isn't a half-assed effort designed solely to cash in on a famous name, so you don't need to be a fan of Spider-Man 3 to find this a good toy.

-- 01/31/08


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