Action Figure Reviews

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

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Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Toy Biz produced this line based on the cartoon exploits of Marvel's original wall-crawler in Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Sorry if I have disappointed anyone hoping for reviews of newer action figures, but I love these toys, and they have been on my to review list for a long time. Enjoy!

Super Poseable Spider-Man

Having been bitten by a radioactive spider at a science expo, student Peter Parker discovered that he now possessed all of the attributes of the arachnid and became the amazing Spider-Man! Spidey’s dexterity and agility has been increased a thousand fold, and his natural sense of balance amplified as well, allowing him to perform acrobatic feats which would confound an Olympic-level gymnast!

 
This is the best Spider-Man figure released in the series, In my opinion. It has 15 points of articulation: Ankles, knees, hips, waist, torso, head, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. That is quite impressive for 1995 and still not too shabby today. Why is it that in the 90's action figures had such awesome packaging? I dunno why they couldn't continue this in 2000, it seemed to work so well. Many toys in the 90's had illustrations of the toy on the package; which I really love. Some of the action figures in this line came with a "collectors pin". Nothing really to do with this, so into a box it goes along with most of my Marvel Legends bases. The paints apps on these figures aren't very detailed but are pretty clean and have less bleeding along the lines that most toys made today do. I think kids would have a blast with these toys, but sometimes it is hard to tell. In short; a great Spider-Man action figure for its time, but maybe you should pick up a Spider-Man classics version instead.
 
B-

Carnage

While breaking its host out of prison, a spawn of the sinister Venom symbiote bonded with another human being - Eddie Brocks prison cell mate Cletus Kassady. A dangerous criminal, Kassady’s psychopathic tendencies were amplified a thousand-fold when the bonding process transformed him into the nightmarish Carnage! Able to morph his limbs into as many deadly shapes as his twisted mind can conjure, Carnage is living chaos - and certain doom for the Amazing Spider-Man!

 

The best part about this figure is the paint apps. There is a good mixture of red and black all swirled together. It is one of the best Carnage figures ever made, and comes with 3 arm attachments that simply pop onto his hands. There is also a pin included, which looks pretty good in my opinion. When you turn his waist his right arm moves up, which I guess can pass for a poor action feature. This is probably my favourite Villain figure from the line; it looks really good posed with other Spider-Man toys. Carnage is articulated at the knees, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, and head for a total of 10 points. I am fine with this much articulation, it's not too much and not too little.

 

B

Smythe

Alistair Smythe is the son of the scientist Spencer Smythe, who built the very first Spider Slayer, a robot whose sole purpose was to destroy Spider-Man! After his father died, Alistair took over the family business... Creating new and deadlier Spider-Slayers, in an attempt to take revenge upon the amazing wall-crawler, Spider-Man!

 

Smyth has no accessories aside from the pin. When you move a switch on his back his arms flail up and down like he is punching someone. He does come with a ponytail, but I don't really consider it as an accessory. I don't really like it because it does not look like a man's ponytail as it did in the show. Other than that the likeness is dead on; the best attribute of this guy. Not much to say about this guy, he's nothing really to write home about but not really terrible either. I think that Smythe was a pretty good bad guy in the show; he made some pretty tough enemies for Spider-Man to fight. The Tri-Spider Slayer was made by him, and they made a toy of it to (review coming soon!). In short, a good action figure for kids but unless you are a die hard collector I would pass this one up.

 

C

Web Shooter Spider-Man

Not all of Spider-Man’s amazing powers come from the bite of a radioactive spider - some were created by Peter Parker himself. Case in point, his astonishing web shooters! Using his scientific know-how, Parker created a device which, when filled with a secret formula of his own design, could duplicate the super-strong web of a spider!

 

This was the first Spider-Man variant made in this line. When you press a button on his right shoulder a grey piece of webbing shoots out. You move the webbing into the arm by pulling on a black string treaded through a small hole at the top of Spider-Man's shoulder. As is the trend with most figures in this line, the only accessory is a pin. This Spider-Man is articulated at the hips, knees, waist, left elbow, shoulders, and head. The spider logo on his chest seems a little small to me, as it did on the Super Poseable Spider-Man figure. The action feature doesn't last very long, the right arm on my figure split rather quickly. I don't like the sculpt on this figure as much as Super Poseable Spider-Man's. The head seems a little odd. I think that most people would be more pleased with the Super Poseable Spider-Man than this one.

 

C-

Venom

Eddie Brock, former newspaper reporter has joined with an evil, alien symbiote, giving him spider-like powers greater than those of Spider-Man himself! Driven by a twisted sense of justice, Brock has become Venom, humanity’s Lethal Protector... and he’s decided that humanity needs protection from Spider-Man!

 

I really like this figure, despite its cheesy action feature and not coming with any accessories. But let's start at the beginning. Venom has eight points of articulation at the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows. His jaws move up and down like his is chomping something when you squeeze his legs together. The reason I like this action figure so much is because of the awesome sculpting (which is 99.9% accurate to the cartoon) and the clean paint apps. The paint is nearly perfect almost everywhere except for his face, where I noticed very slight bleeding. But it really isn't much to complain about. This toy was pretty hard to find back in the day, but I found mine at a comic shop for $15. This seems pretty fair, but you can probably find it even cheaper as my comic store is ridiculously over priced.

 

B+

Tombstone

As one of the mob’s most crucial and dangerous enforcers, Lonnie Thompson Lincoln was a force to be reckoned with. So when a chemical accident turned his skin rock hard and cold as the grave, he adopted the name Tombstone - an apt moniker for this strong, silent psychopath! Only the might of the amazing Spider-Man has been able to plant this Tombstone into the ground, stopping his reign of terror... but for how long?

 
Tombstone has ten points of articulation. He doesn't look much like he does in the T.V. show, but he still looks okay. I don't really like the eye lashes on him, it looks like he used way too much mascara in my opinion. Other that that the paint apps are pretty good except for a few black specks on his arms.When you press a button on his back he punches. Tomstone comes with two arm gauntlets that pop onto his fists, a gun, and a pin. I like the look of him withought the arm gauntlets better, but they aren't too bad. His right fist has a hole in it for the gun. Tombstone here seems to be a delux figure, the later figures in this line seemed to have the oversized card and more accesories. I don't think that the gauntlets were really necessary for this figure, but the gun probably was. Once again, I don't like how different he looks from the cartoon; He should have been like the illustration on the package. Anyways, so far since he is the only Tombstone figure made you don't have much choice if you are looking for one to put in your collection.
 
B-

Hydro-Man
Lots of accesories for Hydro-Man, a pump, a water shooting device, a ice thing that he stands in, and a pin. When you insert the pump into the back of the water shooting thing he can shoot water. The ice thing has small wheels on the bottom so that he can roll around. I like how they made the pin clear this time, it is a nice change. I don't care for the sculp much, his chest and arms are way to big for my taste. The arms don't bother me as much because he can make them bigger like he did in the show. Once again Toy Biz has done the whole "mascara thing" to his eyes like they did with Tombstone. His translucent arms have white specks on them, which I think looks pretty good. Hydro-Man has eight points of articulation at his head, waist, arms, hips, and knees. His large arms are really heavy so you can't pose them anywhere but at his sides. As is the case with Tombstone, this is the only figure of this character made. Hopefully a new version will be made soon in the Spider-Man classics line.
 
C+

Carnage Unleashed

While breaking its host out of prison, a spawn of the sinister Venom symbiote bonded with another human being - Eddie Brock’s prison cell mate Cletus Cassidy. A dangerous criminal, Cassidy’s psychopathic tendencies were amplified a thousand-fold when the bonding process transformed him into the nightmarish Carnage! Able to morph his limbs into as many deadly shapes as his twisted mind can conjure, Carnage is living chaos - and certain doom for the Amazing Spider-Man!

 

This Carnage is better than the first figure in almost every way. He has the same ten points as the other version, at the knees, hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, and neck. Plenty of accessories for Carnage Unleashed: two symbiote attachments that go on his hands, a removable mask, a bendable piece of symbiote, and a pin. You can't really see the bendable piece of symbiote in the pic as it is wrapped around Carnage's waist; but trust me it is there. The paint on the removable mask doesn't last very long as the soft rubber used is always bending. As is the case with many of the later Spider-Man TAS figures there is the weird painting of eye lashes that looks more like mascara. Cassidy's head also looks a tad too small but it is understandable as they may have had to make it smaller for the mask to fit over his head. Other than that Carnage's sculpt is nearly perfect. His right hand is in a closed fist with two symbiote prongs sticking out of the top (Looks kind of like a Predator's wrist blades extended). Carnage Unleashed is an awesome figure in my opinion, but some people prefer the original version to this one.

 

B+

Hobgoblin

Hobgoblin has six points of articulation, which seems a little low. He has hip, knee, and arm joints. His accessories include a glider and pumpkin bombs that he can throw. You can also include his removable cape an accessory. I had no trouble throwing the pumpkin bomb, his action feature works surprisingly well in that his right arm swings down when you release it from a raised position. I think that kids would have lots of fun with the glider, even I did. Hobgoblin's sculpt is pretty average; I liked it except for the slightly off face. The cape included is just orange plastic, it is not painted which I don't have any major problems with. Hobgoblin was probably one of the weaker figures from series one, I would highly recommend the Spider-Man Classics version to this one.

 

C+

Tri-Spider-Slayer

This 3-in-1 6-wheeled vehicle combines the strength of its awesome components into a massive missile-firing, pincer-crushing arthropodal colossus that’ll make the wall-crawler think more than twice before picking a fight with his robotic rivals! All 3 mechanical arachnids move independently with free-rolling wheels and all 3 lock together to form Spidey-loathing Super-Villain™ Smythe’s™ most brilliant and most lethal creation: The TRI-SPIDER-SLAYER™!

 

Smythe made lots of things to attack Spider-Man, most of them were unsuccessful but the Tri-Spider-Slayer did pretty well against him. Just like in the Animated Series cartoon there is a green scorpion on the bottom, a blue tarantula stacked on top of the scorpion, and a black spider sitting in an indent on top of the blue tarantula. As for action features, the scorpion's pincers move together when you pull back on its tail. When you release the tail a grey missile is flung down at the ground, which actually looks better than it sounds. The blue tarantula's middle set of legs clamp together quickly when you press an orange button on the back. When you press either of the two orange switches on the front of the blue tarantula one of the two missiles will shoot out. And finally, the black spider sitting on top shoots water out of its mouth if you press in its stomach; also when you pull the red switch on the very top of the black spider its legs close.

 

Mine seems quite durable; it has taken drops from shelves and been played with by children. Plus it is more than ten years old and everything still works perfectly. I think that Toy Biz should have included a Spider-Man figure with this, it probably would have sold much better as you don't need to buy anything else to play; but most kids probably already had a Spider-Man toy when they got this. I remember this being extremely difficult to find and was definitely more expensive than people were used to paying for toys. I honestly don't believe anyone would be able to find this anywhere, but if you did manage to then I would say buy it! I am positive that you will not be disappointed.

 

A-

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