Wednesday, April 22, 2015

REVIEW: Marvel Legends Classic Spider-Man

The Marvel Legends Spider-Man Series
Today we're taking a look at the Marvel Legends ''Classic'' Spider-Man figure, released last month as part of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Wave 3 line up - AKA The ''Hobgoblin'' Build-a-Figure Wave. We've already seen a couple of Marvel Legends figures as part of the Target-exclusive 3-pack (namely Ms. Marvel and Captain America) but how does ole web-head fare? Read on and find out!

Good, Old-Fashioner, Silver-Age Spidey!
Yes, I'm pleased to report that this figure is the ''Classic'' Spidey. It's not Amazing Movie Version or Black Costume or Ultimate or 2099 or even Missile-Launching Ninja Force Spider-Man. It's the Spidey we've known and loved since his first appearance in 1962. And I like that a lot, as I'm a big Silver Age fan and it's great to be able to get my hands on the character in his classic costume.
Now just imagine you're weightless... In the middle of the ocean... surrounded by tiny little sea-horses...
The question is, though, does this figure doe justice to that original design?

Let's begin with the figure's sculpt. Overall it's nicely done, with plenty of muscle detail and a design that captures Spider-Man's classic look well. There are some nice up-close details on the costume (the ''web'' elements of his costume feature indented grooves, which is a neat touch) and proportion-wise he's pretty spot-on. Spider-Man - despite his superhuman strength - shouldn't be a muscle-bound character and should, instead, be more lean and wiry. And the sculpt does a good job conveying that look. Perhaps his torso is a little on the long side but that's a minor - and debatable - point.
As you'd expect from a figure at this scale, there's a good amount of articulation, including a few tricks I'd never seen before.
I particularly like the ''pec joints.'' These swing joints allow the figure's arms to be moved ''inward'' in a way I've never seen before. It adds a lot to the figure's pose-ability and allows for some great arm poses.And as you can see in the above image, the figure's double-joint knees and elbows work particularly well and give a good range of motion.
The figure also includes tilt-joint ankles and wrists - more on the hands in a moment - which also allow for some expressive poses and give him a pretty good level of stability. As you can see in these pictures, I didn't really use a stand (as he doesn't come with one... [angryface]) for most poses, as he can remain upright without too much effort.
There are a couple of problems with the figure's articulation, though. I'm still not sold on Hasbro's hip joint arrangement and with Spider-Man it's particularly annoying. I want to pose him doing 3-point landings and typical crouching poses, but the hips don't really lend themselves to that.
And because Spidey's torso is so slim, the waist joint tends to ''break'' the line of his body when you twist it. There's nothing Hasbro could really do about this and I'd rather have the joint than it not be present but it's still a little annoying.
As you can see here, some poses are less-flattering than others and from some angles his articulation does look a little off.

Paint-wise, my Spider-Man is fair-to-average. There are a few slapdash areas, where the paint seems to have been slathered on a little too thick, especially on his chest and upper body but the overall impression - at least from a distance - is good. I like that they went to the trouble of painting-in the black lines on his ''webbed'' costume pieces. But the red pins on his elbows - whilst they look fine when viewing the ''outside'' of his arms - look a little weird on the inside of his costume against the blue.
Accessory-wise, Spider-Man comes with two additional sets of hands (meaning he has two balled-fists, two splayed ''jazz'' hands and two ''metal'' web-firing hands), an interchangeable head and a slide of pizza. It's neat to have all these additional hands, as it allows for a broad range of expressive and dynamic poses and whilst the half unmasked head is a nice option I found switching the heads to be a far more complicated matter than it should be. Maybe I'm just missing a technique or something. The hands, however, are very easy to switch out although I would advise a little caution about doing it too often, as you could eventually wear-down the pieces to the point where they'll drop out.
As you can see, just switching one hand for another can make all the difference. 

The figure also includes the Build-A-Figure Hobgoblin left leg. Part of me likes the idea of getting a ''free'' figure but the completist in me finds it annoying, as I know I'm not going to buy this complete wave and so I'll be left with unused parts. I suppose that's what Ebay is for, though...

Final Thoughts
I tend to be a little unlucky with the Marvel Legends line-up. It's rare for me to find the figures I want at retail (or maybe the line, being focused heavily on the ''movie'' versions of characters - which I don't like - just lacks the characters I want...), so you can imagine how pleased I was when I saw the classic, no-reboot, non-movie Spider-Man hanging on a peg at Target. But did that good feeling continue when I got him home and out of the box.

The answer is yes.

Sure, there are some paint app issues and the articulation isn't perfect (those hips annoy the heck out of me) and some poses will ''break'' his sleek lines but overall, I'm very happy with my Spider-Man figure. The iconic Spidey costume I loved from my childhood comics is captured perfectly, the articulation serves the figure well and the extra accessories (the hands in particular) are useful, practical and - best of all - look great. The overall result is a figure that will definitely please fans of the classic Spider-Man look and it's exactly the kind of thing I want from the Marvel Legends line: classic characters, done well.

A must-have for any Spider-Man fan.

Image Gallery


  1. I like the half-mask, and the pizza accessory is pretty clever.

    1. I'd probably like the mask more if I could get the heads on and off without almost snapping the neck joint or cracking my knuckles off the desk. :)

  2. "I particularly like the ''pec joints.'' These swing joints allow the figure's arms to be moved ''inward'' in a way I've never seen before."

    This was first seen in Marvel Legends on the Parachute Spidey, that body used again for series 5 Mr Fantastic. Used on series 6 brown Wolverine, series 8 ultimate Captain America, on series 9 Bullseye, and many others.

    The first time I saw it was on Kaiyodo's Evangelion's EVAs back around 1998. I loved it then and I love it now. It really does add to the expressions you can get.

    1. It does indeed! And thanks for the info on the joints!


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