Friday, July 15, 2011

REVIEW: Marvel Universe's Scarlet Spider

Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2011

Cloned from the DNA of Peter Parker to battle SPIDER-MAN, the SCARLET SPIDER gradually turned into one of the web-slinger's most trusted allies and greatest friends. Battling alongside SPIDER-MAN, he found himself becoming more than a clone - the SCARLET SPIDER had finally become a hero in his own right.

Packaging Shots

Scarlet Spider
Scarlet Spider comes from Wave 14, the latest wave to be released by Hasbro. Whilst it's great to see this wave hitting shelves, it's also a little frustrating that Hasbro has already moved onto this new wave, given that the previous wave was so poorly distributed that few people even saw it. Here's hoping Hasbro will be releasing some additional stock of this and the previous waves soon.

Anyway, onto the Review proper!

The figure's basic sculpt appears to be a re-use of a number of parts we've seen before. The muscles are well-defined and everything looks in-proportion but after the realism seen in such lines as GI Joe and even Captain America: The First Avenger, it's a little odd to come back to a sculpt that lacks - for want of a better word - texture. Although given that the costume in the comics is as equally tight and smooth, I suppose we can excuse that.

Were that all the sculpt included, we'd be concluding the Review pretty quickly with a fairly low Score. Thankfully though, the Scarlet Spider's costume is much more interesting than that and the figure reflects this through the use of a number of additional accessory pieces, the largest of which is the sleeveless hoodie, a layered chest piece similar to those seen on a number of GI Joe figures (although sadly, it's not removable.) The sculpted detailing is very nicely done, with folds and creases giving the impression of it being a loose piece worn over the basic costume - just as it was in the comics. Add to this the belt, wrist-mounted web-shooters and the twin ankle pouches and suddenly Scarlet Spider becomes a much more interesting toy.

The head sculpt is pretty much what you'd expect and is perfectly fine for what it is, even if it's a little plain, although it's not fair to blame Hasbro's designers for that, given it's adapted directly from the comicbook design.

Articulation is... interesting. Whilst the arms and upper body use the fairly standard Marvel set-up (and there's still no waist joint) and the leg joints work without issue, the hip articulation is problematic, with the joints being ''sprung'' in a strange manner that tends to ping back to a ''resting position'' when you're posing the toy. The hip joints are also quite loose, but these issues could simply be a one-off with my figure.

A new addition to the articulation set-up is the cut-thigh joint. I applaud Hasbro for adding an extra point of articulation to the toy but - to be honest - they don't really look great, especially as rotating them tends to ''break'' the muscle's shape and leaves weird, angular lines in the figure's silhouette. They worked fine on the World War Hulk figure, so I guess it's more to do with the sculpt than the engineering of the joint but I'm afraid it just doesn't work here for me.

Paint-wise, there's not a massive amount going on but what's here is good. The hoodie features a dark wash  that brings out the sculpt nicely, the wrist, waist and ankle accessories are cleanly painted and the tampo transfers on his chest and back are both neatly applied. My Scarlet Spider's eyes aren't applied perfectly (the outline is a little off) but I've seen worse.

Scarlet Spider comes with his own base. I believe there's a chase variant where the name Scarlet Spider is replaced with ''Spider-Man.'' 

Unusually for a Spider-Man figure, the toy does not come with any kind of web-line.

Final Thoughts
I have to admit, this has been a tough Review to summarise. On the one hand, the figure has a basic core sculpt, horrible hip articulation and thigh joints that destroy the figure's look in all but the most basic of poses. On the other, the accessory pieces look great, the paintwork is neat and the figure captures his comicbook counterpart's look perfectly. I've flipped back and forth repeatedly during this summary (indeed, this is probably the fifth time I've attempted to write it) because whilst production-wise the figure isn't amazing, he looks just so damned good that I can't condemn him for those flaws.

It comes down to this: if you're looking for poseability and complex design, this isn't the figure for you. But if you can look past those issues and want a figure that looks good on the shelf, then grab yourself a Scarlet Spider. You won't be disappointed.

I had high hopes for this wave when I saw the previews and I'm pleased say that if this figure is anything to go by, fans of the line will be in for a treat.

Just so long as you can find them.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreA-

Image Gallery


  1. Still looking for that Doc Strange figure and might pick up a Falcon fig too to go along with my Captain America figure.

  2. You gave a Marvel Universe figure an 'A' grade? He's not even an oversized figure either! I can't believe it. I refuse to accept that the MU line has produced a normal sized figure that is worth a damn, because doing so would probably give me an aneurism.

  3. It's happened before clark - there are some good toys in the line. Bleeding Edge Iron Man, World War Hulk, Galactus, Taskmaster, the Savage Frost Giant... They're all superb toys (OK, so a couple are oversized, but still...)

  4. Grats on snagging one of these. The Doc Strange is the one that I want the most, but I don't think i'd pass on this figure if I saw him.

  5. I'm hoping now Hasbro has - hopefully - shipped all the Transformers toys the shelves are clogged with that they might get around to getting some more MU toys out there... The rumours are though that Doc Strange is this wave's short-pack... /sigh.


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