After I got Firestar, I finally went back to watch Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends - the 1981 series, one of few shows I remember watching as a kid before the VCR entered the house. (Other honorable mentions include Sha Na Na and The Muppet Show.) While the character debuted on that show before making the jump to comics, and this figure line is unquestionably modeled after the comic mask - the first episode of the cartoon had many of the Bronze Age costumes that Hasbro used for its Kenner toys at a costume party! Watching the old cartoons feels like a sneak peek as to what Hasbro would make in this line - Thor's outfit is a tiny bit different on the cartoon than the figure, but Loki's the same (minus the scaly armor) and Green Goblin is pretty darned close.
The 2009 Hasbro Marvel Universe Firestar [FOTD #103] was based on the cartoon much more closely - the big tell is the mask, which was upturned a bit more on the sides, and she had a large point above her nose. The 375 Firestar doesn't have that - also the 375 Firestar lacks painted lips, which the 2009 version has. I'd say the 2009 version also has slightly better coloring, but she's expensive now. The 6-inch Firestar has swappable heads, so one is more cartoony and the other is more comic-y. No matter the scale, you've got options.
This Kenner-branded 3 3/4-inch figure is bright and cheerful, and speaks volumes of how the toy market works with repaints and the perception of women body types in the media. The figure shares a body and most of her limbs with Storm, Phoenix/Dark Phoenix, Black Widow, The Invisible Woman, and Elektra, with some more parts sharing with Storm and Carol Danvers Captain Marvel. The parts sharing isn't unique to women characters in this line, but in comics and superhero toys there's not a lot of variety in the physiques. You get the same figure with the same shoulder joints, neck joint, wrist swivels, and hip joints, plus there are separately molded boots so you can change up the figure design while continuing to reuse most of your molds. It's quite efficient, but the fact that men can be rocky, hulky, thin or wide, and women are only one body type says a lot about the culture from which these characters came. In the comics, even She-Hulk is similar in terms of proportion - just generally larger.
The Spider-Friends family dog Miss Lion was left out, but that leaves the window open for Hasbro to do a new 3-pack with a non-transparent white and blue Iceman with his ice bridges, another Spider-Man variant, and probably a few improvements on Firestar. Eyes and lips would be nice to match the cartoon, as would a new mask, but what you get here is certainly decent. Odds are a 1980s Kenner line would have leaned more to any comic version, and would have reused parts, and might have even been slightly off-model. What you get here pretty much nails it, except her costume is literally painted-on - so there's no bunched up fabric or visible collar or anything like that.
Adjusted for inflation, this figure is comparable to a similar product of the 1970s or 1980s. Hasbro cut some corners to keep costs down by molding much of the figure in color, except the transitional orange paint between the yellow and red elements of her costume and, of course, the white on her eyes and teeth. Originally I intended only to buy Spider-Man, then when I saw Firestar I went out to find an Iceman and then ordered the fire-powered mutant. And then tracked down Magneto, Carol Danvers, and Human Torch. And it just kept going. As a collection of figures it's pretty satisfying - you don't get everything, but it's colorful and mercifully not overwhelming. I wouldn't necessarily recommend collecting them all unless the price is right, but receiving Firestar, Iceman, and Spider-Man resulted in me buying 40 more figures and watching a ton of old streaming Marvel cartoons. It speaks volumes to the ridiculous marketing power old TV - especially old cartoons - has over modern adults when you see a figure and go "Oh, I loved that when I was in preschool, I should totally get that. And that. And all of those." It's sad to say that the very best thing that could happen for my enjoyment of this line would be to see it slow to 10-20 figures per year, and cap out around 100 before it gets overwhelming.
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