Tag Archives: Spider-Man

Space Venom – Marvel Legends – Space Venom Wave Build-a-Figure

The Spider-Verse is ever evolving. Old players come back. Sometimes for the better. Venom was a pretty old character. They did whatever they could to keep him relevant. But a homicidal symbiote alien can only do so much. He can take over good guys, bad guys, make alien children who are worse than he is. What do you do when all of that is done? You make him a good guy. Agent Venom is his name, and the suit is worn by none other than Flash Thompson. Wait what? Flash Thompson, the jerk that picked on poor teenager Peter Parker is now a good guy? He cleaned up his ways, went off to the military and became a good soldier before losing his legs.

Superhero landing!

Superhero landing!

Thompson and the Venom symbiote found their way into space, and a bit of adventures, with Venom being taken over with mind control. Finding their way to Venom’s home planet of Klyntar, the other Klyntar helped cure Venom of the craziness, allowing Thompson to tap into the full potential of Venom, creating quite a fine space faring knight, and an intergalactic ambassador of Earth. Can’t say I ever saw that coming from way back in the day when I first read the original comics of Spider-Man and Venom’s run-ins.

 

The figure is exactly what we want with a Build-a-Figure. He is a big boy. Strong and muscular. He as fairly good articulation. Most of the super-muscular guys tend to lose some of the articulation that the slight figures have.

He is mostly black, to no one’s surprise. He has his white trademark spider on his chest. Changing a bit from the original design of Venom, this version has some extra white detailing around the shoulders, and white on the insides of the hands. He still retains the white on the back of the hands. He even has white running up the back of his calves. Hasbro really did to a nice job with the paint this time around.

For his head and neck, it looks more like armor plating rather than organics. His head looks like a helmet with a strong brow and an equally strong jaw. I was surprised by how pointy the chin is. The ultra creepy eyes of the past are gone and what remains are white outlines similar to Agent Venom, with lines that bleed down his jaw.

This is a great finish to this wave. We have had quite a few BAFs from the Spider-Verse. Rhino was the biggest. Finally there is someone who can take him on face to face. Let the battle begin!


Evil Adversaries – Hobgoblin and Electro – Marvel Legends – Space Venom Wave

Here we go again… another Hobgoblin and another Electro. Well, for Hobgoblin, we had to build the figure, and he was a strange version. It is nice to get the standard version. And as for Electro, we only got the movie version, so it is good to get our hands on the crazy masked version.

Hobgoblin was created in 1983, when the write was under pressure to bring the Green Goblin back yet again to battle Spider-Man. Well, when you don’t want to keep bringing guys back from the dead, you create a new villain. This was not just the Green Goblin in a new costume, though it was pretty much the Green Goblin in a new costume. Fly around on a goblin glider and thrown flaming pumpkin bombs at people. Yup, pretty much the same.

With the Build a Figure, I was not terribly impressed. The body was less detailed than I expected. This time around, it is all different. The costume is great, with good details, like the mesh on the arms. The cloak is torn and the folds in the leather gauntlets and boots is well done.

Hobgoblin comes with a man-purse, a bomb, glider, and alternate super creepy head. I was not surprised to see that we are getting a Green Goblin in the upcoming Sandman Wave. Hasbro loves to introduce something like the glider, and then get their money’s worth out of the design. And we haven’t gotten a proper Green Goblin since 2006. That is still during the days of ToyBiz for those who are keeping track.

Electro is a great bad guy for Spider-Man. Even Sony thought so and created a terrible version for their movie. Alas, the toy was not great either. Blue sparkly head with electric hands. Guess what? The head is better this time, but we still only get the electric hands! What gives?!? You pack in 3 sets of hand for Spider-Man, but cannot give Electro a second set of hands with out electricity? That is total garbage.

We do get a couple of nice heads for Sparky here. He comes with the tattooed head with a pot leaf on his face, or is that electricity? Oh, I see. It is supposed to be a tattooed version of his fantastic mask. ūüėČ

Well the good news is that we also get the awesome electric mask. That may be one of the best accessories packed in yet. It looks right, and like any good Spider-Man villain, it is larger than life.

Well, there you have it. Only two bad guys in this wave. Even Venom is a good guy now. Fear not, we have 4 new bad guys in the upcoming Sandman Wave. Of course it is going to include 3 new Spider-Men, so the Spider-Verse will be growing too. Bad guys are not going to have a lot of hope with this many spiders running around.


Web-Slinging Heroines – Spider-Woman and Silk – Marvel Legends – Space Venom Wave

You know there are a lot of characters in a specific theme, when they give you your own Universe. The Spider-Verse has become something crazy, with so many crossing webs (all pun intended).

We are adding to the Marvel Legends ranks with two more women Spider-types, Silk and Spider-Woman.

Silk is an Asian-American woman who was bit by the same spider Peter Parker was. Apparently the dying wish of that spider was to bite as many people as possible. She is a part of Earth-616, which is the standard Earth from the comics. She has similar powers to Peter, but she does have organic webs that shoot out of her hands. She also has heightened Spider-Sense that she calls Silk-Sense.

She comes on the skinny female buck that a lot of the Spider-ladies come with. It allows for some good movement. Thankfully she came with the flatter feet. No high-heeled boots for these Spider-Women. She comes with an alternate head with her mask down. She also comes with an extra mask piece that goes around her neck. Her head sculpts are both beautifully done. She has a really well done face, and nice hair.

Ashley Barton, known as Spider-Woman is from Earth-807128. This is a very sad Earth. It is set 50 years in the future, and features a dying world, Old Man Logan, and almost all of the heroes dead. It cannot be a good existence.

Ashley is the daughter of Peter Parker’s youngest daughter, and Hawkeye. So her dad is Clint Barton, who is older than her grandfather, Peter Parker. This is a weird existence. From there it just keeps getting weirder and more intertwined. Like her recruitment into fighting along side Spider-Man, who is now Otto Octavius. Who can keep track of this stuff?

Anyway, we get Ashley Barton. Similar to the two Ultimate Spider-Men, this was a set that made sense. Two of the same bodies, with a new head or two, and you have yourself two figures. Ashley has some really nice paint apps, with a very dynamic outfit.

She does not come with any accessories. Some hands would have been nice. I don’t think we have had any Spider-Women come with alternate hands. She does have one grasping hand, which is unique to the Spider-Women. They generally have fists, open, or web-slinging hands.

Next time, we are on to the bad guys of the wave, and the Build-A-Figure. Those bad guys better watch out. The Spider-Team is growing to be very big now. I am going to have to get them all out for one big photo shoot. Hope you aren’t arachnophobic.


Marvel Legends Civil War 3-Pack, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man

This Marvel Legends 3-Pack is one of the problems we are facing with the toy industry. The large number of repaints for a single figure. The companies, in this case Hasbro, is trying to cut the cost on their tooling by reusing bodies. That is all and fine, to an extent. What they have started doing is reissue figures with new paint apps in three packs. Generally one figure we need, and two we don’t. Then they change the same amount as if we were going to buy the three characters individually. I would really like to know the thinking behind this. What we are ending up with is a bunch of this three-pack sitting on the shelves of Target. In the meantime, someplace like Amazon gets a hold of the set, sees the writing on the wall, and drops the price down to $20. That is where I found it, and for that price, it is like getting Spider-Man for regular price, and getting two bonus figures for free. That is a deal I can get behind. But now the question is, does that hurt Hasbro overall?

Another example is the Rogue One three-pack that came out recently. That set had the opposite problem. Two figures we do want (Death Trooper Specialist, and Cassian), and one figure that was in mass market already (Jyn in her Jedha outfit). What that one caused was a huge number of Jyns to be sitting on the pegs at the stores. It seems that overall the problems mount with the reuse of bodies as opposed to actually going about doing something new.

I was not going to pay $60 for a 3-pack that included dirty versions of Cap and Iron Man, just to get Civil War Spider-Man, when you know we are going to be getting one upcoming for the Homecoming movie. But with the price reduced to $20, that was just right. So let’s take a look at this trio and see what we get.

Spider-Man is in his new movie outfit with black accents. I think it works well, and I think he was a great addition to the movie. The outfit is a modern take on the classic outfit.

Gone are the days of the puff-paint spider webs. Even on his back, we get the classic giant red spider. Nice touch.

In the packaging, Spider-Man comes packed with Cap’s shield in his hand. That of course references his stealing of Cap’s shield during the film. He does not come with any accessories of his own, so they let him borrow Cap’s for a while.

Captain America is a battle damaged repaint of the Civil War Cap. Nothing special going on here, except for a bunch of burns all over his outfit.

Steve comes with an alternate unmasked head. It is a good sculpt, but it does not look a lot like Chris Evans. I would really like to have seen some paint added to the face. I bit of dirt and grime to match the clothes.

Iron Man took a lot of damage in the movie. He looks pretty badly burned in his repaint. This is also a repaint of his Civil War armor, the Mark 46. This is one of my favorite armors that Hasbro has put out. There is a lot of detailing and colors going on here.

His back is strangely untouched. It seems that he should be battle damaged all over, not just on his front.

Tony comes with the most accessories. He comes with hand blasts as well as feet blasts, and they are in two different colors.

He also comes with a maskless face. It is really unfortunate that he does not have any paint apps to the face. He pretty much spends the entire movie with a beat-up face, and it should have been reflected in this face. By the time his armor got this messed up, he was already physically beat up too.

Overall, this is a fine set. I am glad I waited for the price to drop. Spider-Man is great. he looks good, and he fits in so well with the other movie figures. The other two are just minor repaints of their original figures, so paying full price for a little bit of black paint would have been hard to swallow. But at $20 for three figures, this was a deal too good to pass up. That seemed to have been the bottom price. It stopped there, and now it is slowly climbing back up.


Marvel Legends Absorbing Man Wave – Morbius, Speed Demon, and Absorbing Man

Morbius:

A lot of people skipped Morbius. He is not that great of a character, and he comes with a second set of arms. So most people looked at either Ben Reilly or Morbius, and swayed their way to the better figure to get Absorbing Man’s arms.

Morbuis is a bit of a strange guy. He has a weird skin color. Of course he is a vampire, so his skin would be a bit off, but he is pretty far off.  His outfit is just skin tight paint with added bare forearms. Not a lot of originality here. He does come with two capes, so he can have arms up or arms down. That could be useful for the ACBA photographers.

Overall, this is the guy to skip in the line if you are trying to save money.

Speed Demon:

Speed Demon uses the skinny buck, and it works great on a speedster. Wait, are they still speedsters in the Marvel Universe?!?! Ah well, whatcha gonna do?

As with many of the fast guys, he seems to have a good sense of humor, and it shows with the smirk on his face. The rest of his body is just a painted buck, but there really isn’t a lot more they could have done for this guy.

He comes with a second pair of hands laid flat for running. It really adds to the illusion of his moving fast. They could also be used for karate chopping the good guys.

Speed Demon comes with one of the strangest accessories to date. A head mounted on a RC car. This is Silvermane, and he is missing his body. I guess Speed Demon is going to help him get it back. Either way, we get a bonus character in this wave.

Absorbing Man:

Absorbing Man comes with a lot of extra parts when if you get Morbius AND Ben Reilly. He comes with four arms, and two heads, along with the rest of his body, and a wrecking ball. ¬†This is the comic photographer’s dream. Each arm is a different material, flesh, steel, stone, and wood. Even one of his faces has stone to add to the effect of being able to change.

The wrecking ball is garbage. It is a hollow sphere with a molded chain attached. It isn’t even molded into a usable shape. This is definitely going to need some work.

This is definitely a wave for Spider-Man. It is potentially the first wave with 7-1 good to bad guys, if you give Ben Reilly the Carnage parts. Poor Gwen has a lot of work to do. There are generally more good guys in waves than this.

The next two waves coming up, Space Venom, and Juggernaut have nearly all good guys, so the hero factor will once again climb.


Spider-Gwen – Marvel Legends Absorbing Man Series

Spider-Gwen, alternate reality Gwen Stacy. Can’t go wrong with having one of the current favorite characters hitting the Marvel Legends line.

It was a pretty natural choice to make. We have already seen two Spider-Girls using this body, so it is not a surprise to see it once again.  This is not my favorite body. It is fairly thin, and that means we see a lot less articulation than we do with other, larger figures. Even the recent Mockingbird was big enough for full Marvel Legends articulation.

We see a pair of new heads this time around. Spider-Gwen’s mask is a nod to Spider-Man’s mask in the eyes, but with a pink spray around the eyes. It is definitely unique form all of the other Spider-People. She also has a hood that she can wear up. It allows for her head to move beneath, which is a nice touch. ¬†Pop off the head, and you can change the hood to a down position. We also get an unmasked Gwen head, which is a must have. How many Spider-Men have we had without an unmasked version. We NEED a Peter Parker so Gwen and Peter can have a talk.

Gwen only comes with the hands that were on the body. For all of the hands we get with Spider-Man, we don’t see a lot of extras with the Spider-Women. It would have been nice to get alternate hands with this one. She has a fist and a web-shooting hand.

The BAF accessory she comes with is a wrecking ball for Absorbing Man. It is a plastic ball of junk. The chain is molded into place, and not in a good design. The ball is hollow, with a big fat seam running around it. I think this one is definitely going to need to be customized after I find the right thickness of chain to go with it.

Overall I like her. I don’t love this figure, mostly because of the small body with some poor articulation.She is definitely a must-have for Marvel Legends and Spider-Man fans. Anyone who doesn’t care about Gwen can skip her, since she does not have a necessary accessory for Absorbing Man.


Diorama building – Old Dock (6 inch scale)

I am always looking to make better photographs, and set my figures in dynamic poses.  One way of doing that, I had discovered a few years back, was to make a scale model diorama to get the figures into a scene.  The first diorama I did was the back alley with a million and a half bricks.  It turned out so well in my mind, and I was hooked on dioramas.   My second diorama was more recent and a lot easier.  It consisted of a fake rock wall, and a sand base.  That one was really easy, and allowed me to utilize it by any scale from Marvel Legends up to Power Rangers Zords.

Now I have embarked on my biggest and best diorama yet.  Phase 1 is the dock that I had imagined and is now a reality.  I thought ahead enough to take pictures along the way so I could take you with me on the journey to completion.

Step 1: I used thin redwood strips used for latice work. I had them left over in my shed from an arbor I built. I hacked them off at around 8 inches across. Then I split them twice to get three thinner strips that were uneven.
I built a frame with the same wood. I used an air powered nail gun that had tiny little nails in it. This probably could have been done with glue as well, but this was way faster, way cleaner, and will probably hold together better.

Step 1a: Since I used a dull chisel, the wood broke unevenly to leave the ends ravaged by the sea.  Of course if you were going for a new dock look, you would want to cut them evenly.

Step 1b:  I nailed two pieces together to make a more dynamic dock that will give me more options for photo shoots.

Step 2:  I bought a long dowel rod that was about an inch across.  I cut it into two sizes.  Three I made longer, and the rest I left short.  To get the old texture with cracking wood, I smashed them with a hammer around the edges.  The closer to the top, the bigger the split.  If parts fell off, I let them fall off.  The wood has a great weathered look at this point.

Step 3:  I nailed the posts all around the dock.  This is a good time to make sure you are keeping them all level.  I managed to get them all flat except for one on the back side that is about 1/4 inch off the floor.  Oops!

Step 4: I painted the whole dock with a wash of watered down brown acrylic. ¬†While the paint was still wet, I added some washes of black. ¬† Overall there wasn’t a whole lot of need for more of a wash, since the redwood already had a lot of different colors. ¬†I used the black wash mostly around the base of the piers where water would be eating away at the wood.

A closeup of the split pier.  A hammer is all you need.  Hit it all the way around, and it will start to split.  Make sure to get down in the cracks with the wash.  You want it to be as dark or darker than the exterior wood.

Spidey is checking out the dock for the first time. ¬†Since this is Phase 1, I don’t have a base of background for the dock yet. ¬† For now it is sitting on the sand display. ¬†That works, but there is a WAY bigger display coming for this one.

Up next, I am working on the base of the display. We will see how it turns out.  My first time working on making water.  So far so good.  Pictures and instructions to follow.  For now, we will get back to some toy reviews.  I have a back log starting to pile up.


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