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Spider-Man Toy Biz, 2001
Spider-Man Review Capsule
Without hyperbole, the greatest super hero action figure of all time. Fantastic sculpt, ridiculous articulation, good paint, and tons of fun. Highest reccomendation to fans as well as non-fans. Retails from $5.99 and up.

Introduction

Toys as art was always something the toy pundits were expecting, but typically articulation was sacrificed in favor of sculpt. Spider-Man Classics destroys the myth with Spider-Man in his normal costume, which simply does more for the character than any figure ever has. This figure sets a benchmark for every toy to come and makes us sad that we have other toys to look at when this one is just so incredible.

Sculpt

Toy Biz has always gotten out great sculpts between its own staff and frequent collaborator Art Asylum. While we're not sure who made Spider-Man, we're quite impressed.

The figure combines all the elements that made each of the previous great Spider-Man figures so great in the first place. The infamous multi-jointed Spider-Man from Marvel Super Heroes was later resculpted for the cartoon, and these figures each featured extensive articulation in their day with 17 points per figure. Web Traps Spider-Man (rereleased with a new head in Marvel Vs. Capcom) had a magnificent, McFarlane-inspired sculpt with grooves on its suit and a paint wipe to fill in the webbing. Our new webslinger has the sculpt, but with all its joints hidden... and 32 of them.

The lack of metal rivets and unusually placed articulation makes this not just a great toy, but a nice display piece as well. Hang him on you wall, and he look slike a little sculpture. Have him on your desk, and he can pose pretty much any way you might possibly want. The only joint missing-- most likely because it would stick out like a sore thumb given the suit's design-- is a bicep joint, like on a typical 3.75" G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero figure.

Spider-Man is everything an action figure should be in terms of sculpt, hiding the obtrusive joints and looking nothing short of great.

Paint

The toy loses a few points here due to its choice of the materials used. With all the joints, some areas are going to get rubbed more than others, and unfortunately, two of these joints are going to be moved frequently and are painted. The hip joints on our sample were molded in red plastic and painted blue, and within a very brief time, the blue paint scraped off in two spots. Considering blue plastic is used on adjoining parts, this was just an incredibly poor choice of materials on Toy Biz' account and hopefully they'll get wind of this before making the next series.

The rest of the paint more or less works. The white on the eyes is pretty evenly applied, the black paint wipe fills in the webbing, and no other joints are experiencing any problems. Overall, it's pretty good-- except for that one pair of spots.

Considering how atrocious some of the X-Men Evolution Wolverine and Cyclops figures turned out, we're pleased with the results on the Spider-Man Classics toys.

Stand

16bit Labs found that the stand works pretty well. While most stands are designed to stand on a flat surface, these were designed with walls in mind, making it look like the figure is about to hop off the wall. Cool stuff.

The back of the stand looks like it was originally designed to have a removable suction cup stuck in it, but obviously it ain't there. As things are now, you can stick it over a pushpin or a nail or something and it looks pretty darned great. We stuck it on a bulletin board and were pretty stoked with the results.

Testing

16bit Labs scientific tests of this figure left no stone unturned in discovering that this was, in fact, a great figure. He can sit in pretty much any position, stand on his base in a variety of positions, and well, just look cool.

And most importantly, The Tiki gets along with him just fine.

Comic

Issue #301 of The Amazing Spider-Man was reprinted and bundled with this figure.

Fin

The toy is superb for its size and price point. As far as retail toys go, nothing compares with this figure, except perhaps its black counterpart. It is not possible to get a better toy for your dollar in this or any other country. Buy two, keep one to play with at school or the office.

Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Reviewed on March 14, 2001

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