Thursday, December 16, 2010

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Spider-Man 2099

In a future ruled by a corrupt and profit-mad corporation, Earth is starved for heroes.  SPIDER-MAN 2099 is the first of many to fight back against the scheming of Alchemax.  Granted his powers in a laboratory accident, he fights the company from within, and uses his technical genius to keep his identity hidden from the high-tech Public Eye security forces.

He's just a repaint of the black-costume Spider-Man with a few custom parts.

What, you want more?  Okay but there's really little else to say...


Spider-Man 2099 uses the now-standard Marvel Universe packaging, modified for Series 3 to include Steve Rogers (in place of Nick Fury/Norman Osborne) and with art by Olivier Coipel.  At least with this illustration Spider-Man's face is covered, so we're not 'treated' to another 12-year old superhero on the packaging.

I like that Hasbro print individual images for the packaging, though.

Spider-Man 2099

Alright, I'm going to get this out of the way right now: this is a very disappointing figure.  I'd probably even go as far as to say it's the worst of the Marvel Universe figures I own.  I really hate being negative, as it makes me look like I'm being all cynical and cool.  I'm not.  It's just a very bad figure and - if you can put-up with my complaining for a moment - I'll explain why.

Firstly, it's a very obvious repaint of the black costume Spider-Man  and that wasn't a great figure to start with, given that it lacks any kind of waist-articulation.  As Spider-Man is probably the most agile character in the Marvel world, he should be poseable in some pretty extreme positions.  Except here, he's not.

Secondly, the very limited poseability of the figure's torso is further hampered by his web-cape.  I know it's something that's present in the comicbooks and has to be included for the sake of accuracy but it's just not very well-designed.  It should have been cast with a slight billowing effect, because as it stands, it's positioned perfectly to get in the way of the joint.

Thirdly, his forearms are a new cast.  Which is nice, as it's always good to see custom parts on figures. And all would be fine and ticketty-boo were it not for the fact that the forearm spines get in the way of the web-line included with the figure.  After much twisting and jiggling, I managed to get the web to affix to his arm and shoot-out in the appropriate direction. but most of the time you'll be left angry or laughing at how comical the figure appears with the web firing off at a tangent.


My biggest issue though is that the figure feels brittle.  His joints crack whenever you attempt to move them and what movement is there is very limited, for some reason.  My other black costume Spider-Men don't suffer from this problem, so I can only assume a different grade of plastic has been used to cast this figure, presumably because of the metallic sheen to his costume.  I don't know.  But whatever the cause, I felt whenever I was posing him I was in danger of snapping his limbs off.  That's not good at all.

As for the paint-job, it's not bad.  He has a nice metallic look to his costume although the mask isn't very accurately applied on my Spider-Man 2099 and suffers a couple of blank spots and runs.  The red stripes on his arms are also a little messy.

Spider-Man 2099 includes his own stand (which interestingly only calls him ''Spider-Man'') and a re-use of the ''tangled-web'' web-line that snaps onto his wrist.  It's cast in a semi-transparent, smoke-coloured plastic and is actually the best bit of the figure.  It's just too bad it doesn't fit the figure very well.  He also comes with his (pre-attached) web-cape, that's made of the same material as the web-line.

Final Thoughts
I completely understand that Hasbro is re-using and re-painting stock figures and I understand that it's not commercially viable to produce individual sculpts for every single figure.  I have no problems with this approach and when they're done right, such figures can actually be very good.

However, Spider-Man 2099 is a joke.  And a bad one at that.  The core figure is a poor choice to begin with, given its lack of waist articulation (something I've noticed in most of the Series 3 figures - I wonder if Hasbro are cutting costs by removing this joint-piece), with the web-cape further hampering this already limited range of movement.  The web-line accessory is pretty useless, as it's nigh-on impossible to position it on the forearm sensibly thanks to the arm-spines and what joints there are feel brittle and weak.  To say the entire toy feels more akin to a Dollar Store bootleg than a product from a toy giant like Hasbro does a disservice to Dollar Store toys.

I'm sure you can tell from my tone, I actually feel pretty angry about this toy.  Okay, maybe ''angry'' is a little overly-dramatic and I know that there are much more important things in the world to get heated about than the quality of a plastic plaything. I just don't like being robbed and that's exactly how I feel after laying-down my $8 and change for so poor a figure.


Production QualityC
Final ScoreC

Image Gallery


  1. That is too bad about this figure i always like the Spider-Man 2099 design. What Spider-Man figure would you recommend from this line?

  2. Any of the single-figure, carded Marvel Universe Spider-men are pretty good. The one in the Sentry double-pack is weird, though (his torso is oddly proportioned) but the others are fine.

  3. As I never liked this version of S-M, I had already decided to skip this figure. Your review sealed any lingering maybes.

  4. Yeah, it's a really disappointing figure, Shamus. I know it's a repaint and - as I said in the review - I accept that. But it's the fact that the plastic feels brittle and cheap that's the real kicker.

  5. Damn, this one time I was looking forward to getting another MU Spider-Man. I think it's time
    Hasbro started using a new stock body with better proportions and articulation.

  6. It's worrying, but the three figures from this new Wave I've reviewed have all had their hip articulation removed. I'm assuming it's a cost-cutting exercise from Hasbro but it's not something I'm liking.

    I also have the Modular Armor Iron Man and Iron Man 2020 still in their packaging (reviews coming soon!) but from what I can see they also appear to lack hip-articulation...

  7. Hasbro has been using whatever they have at hand, so that's why I can see the figures not having a swivel leg. It'll take some time before all the figures has this.

    Are you sure about the Bleeding Edge (I know it says Modular but fans know this as BE) armor not having this joint? Could it just be well hidden like the Extremis armor? As for 2020, he uses the Classic armor from the first year as it's base SO I expect the lack the of leg swivel.

  8. I've just reviewed the Modular Armor Iron Man/Bleeding Edge Iron Man and having played with - I mean, ''posed it'' - I'm afraid to report it lacks waist articulation.

    The review is here:

  9. I was severely disappointed with Spider-Man 2099. The articulation is really limited and it just felt cheap.


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