I did not plan on collecting this line, but collecting a small - seemingly dying (or definitely dead) - action figure line is super rewarding and fun. Symbiote Spider-Man was part of wave four, and is one of three "Kenner" Spider-Man figures since 2020. Surprisingly, they each have at least one non-shared part between them!I would've been satisfied with repaints. I don't have a lot of alien costume Spider-Man figures, but I have picked up a couple before saying "ugh, I gotta stop." But obviously, I didn't, and this one is pretty good.
From the original Secret Wars "event," this figure represents something fans now consider an obligation in many toy lines - a black repaint. With the likes of Scourge/Nemesis Prime, numerous Guylos redeco Zoids, Shadow Stormtroopers, Anti He-Man, and the like, it's just something that tends to sell and fans like to buy. The fact that this costume was the secret origin of Venom didn't hurt either.
This figure is a slightly better version than what Mattel actually gave us for Secret Wars. Their figure lacked the white markings on the hands, and the spider on the suit looked more like an ant with extra limbs. The new 2023 one has a spider that's closer to the artwork - the proportions seem to not quite match, though - and the eyes are much bigger and alien-like. The hands even have the little black dot in the white trapezoid, so they did a nice job here. I assume this was a very cheap figure for Hasbro to produce.
With no accessories and minimal paint, they did a good job. The paint is clean, the articulation is perfectly good, and he stands well. As he should, there's not much new here - he takes the Spider-Man [FOTD #2,342] mold and swaps out the right "Dio fan" hand for the normal gripping one. I appreciate mixing it up a bit for the sake of variety. The figure's neck, shoulders, wrists, and knees all move - and that's it.
I can't fault this figure for what it is - it's well-designed, on-model mostly, and it sold extremely well. (Good luck tripping over one at retail.) What I don't like is that it's a figure with no accessories and no paint at a high-for-a-toy price - it's cheaper than a ReAction Figure from Super7, but comparably sized figures from other manufacturers have more gear and articulation for 20% cheaper. But they don't have the Spider-Man license. Hasbro put a ring on it.
If you're the kind of person who finds great joy in simple Kenner-style figures from the 1980s, this is one more lap around the track - or another swirl around the drain - before the Kenner generation is too old for toy companies to bother with anymore. This line's stingy release schedule makes it such a treat to collect since it doesn't have to occupy a place on my hunting schedule, but that may be bad for business since it's a relatively low-dollar product. I don't expect the line will last forever, but at 3-4 waves per year I'll stick around until the end. Or until metallic repaints start.
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