Spider-man Movie II Ultimate 18" Figure

Well, I'm only about five months late for the premier of the second Spider-man Movie and the rush of product that accompanied it. But as the saying goes, better late than never, so lets just call me early for the upcoming release of the movie of DVD. At any rate, today's review focuses on the eighteen inch, super poseable, ultimate Spider-man figure that was released in conjuntion with the second movie. As the first and thus far only figure of its type from Toy Biz, this figure is all about producing one of the biggest, most articulated figures most people have ever seen.

Packaging - 8/10

The figure comes packaged in a large window box. The window occuppies the majority of the front panel as well as about half of the top panel. The movie logo is on the right edge of the front panel and the figure's name in under the window. There are also a dozen photos of the figure in various poses. There is also a sticker on the window promoting the sixty-seven points of articulation. The sides of the box feature fourteen photos of the figure and once again points out the amount of articulation. The back of the box features more of the photos around a large image of the figure pointing out each of the sixty-seven joints. The box is attractive and shows off the figure well. On top of that, it leaves no doubt about the main selling point of the figure, it is even explicitly spells it out on the back. This is the "most articulated Spider-man ever!" It is also worth noting that there are two versions of the packaging that feature the figure in two different poses within the box. One has the figure in a crouching pose as if it were clinging to the back of the box. The other version, which is the one I purchased, has the figure in a pseudo leaping pose. The one drawback to the packaging is the durability. The sheer size and weight of the figure requires a large box which in turn means the window is quite large. At that size, the window substantially weakens the box. It doesn't seem to be a major problem from what I have seen in stores, but for long term effect for those that like to keep things MIB could be more serious. You're also going to need to budget some serious time to get this figure out of the package. The figure and accessories are held in place by about twenty-three twist ties. It's still better than some figures these days that may be bolted, screwed or even glued to the package, but it still seems like Spidey got tangled in his own webbing.

Sculpting - 9/10

The sculpt for the Movie II Spider-man suit isn't the hardest design to pull off. Most of the details as simple texture details such as the raised webbing and fabic texture. The muscle sculpting is nicely done, though overdone. I doubt Tobey McGuire is quite as ripped as his action figure(s). The fingers seem to be too long as well. I'm sure this is a compromise that was neccessary for the added articulation. When the fingers are curled up, it isn't noticable. But when they are streached out straight, the added length can be seen.

Paint - 9/10

The paint scheme on Spider-man isn't too complex, red and blue with silver webbing. And after all of the Spider-man figures that they have done, and on a much smaller scale, you would expect them to be able to get it right. And for the most part, they do. The webbing lines aren't perfect though. And on many of them the paint does bleed both onto the nearby red areas and off of the webbing. There are also a few areas where the articulation has already begun to wear the paint off. But in the end, the overall effect is very good. It's only when the figure is exaimed in detail that the shortcomings become evident.

Articulation - 9/10

It's herasey, I know, not giving this figure a perfect score for articulation. But I do have my reason. But first, lets look at where the sixty-seven points of articulation went on the figure.
  • ball joints at the top and bottom of the neck (x2)
  • swivels for shoulders at the chest (x2)
  • ball jointed shoulders (x2)
  • biceps swivels (x2)
  • double jointed elbows (x4)
  • rotating forearem (x2)
  • hinged wrists (x2)
  • triple jointed fingers and thumbs (x30)
  • ball jointed torso
  • hinged torso (just below the ball joint)
  • ball jointed waist
  • ball jointed hips (x2)
  • rotating thighs just below the hips(x2)
  • double jointed knees (x4)
  • rotating shins (x2)
  • double hinged ankles, one forward and back and the second swiviling the feet (x4)
  • and finally, double hinged toes (x4)
There's not a hole lot more that Toy Biz could pack in as far as the number of points of articulation, as least not without making them redundant. Most of the joints are the ratcheting variety, meaning that the figure will hold a pose quite well. Too well in my opinion. It takes a fair amount of effort to get each individual joint into the desired position. I suspect this problem will fade with time as the joints are work a little. I also realize that this type of joint was probably neccessary due to the sheer weight of the figure. A normal joint that was held in place just by friction wouldn't be able to support the figure for long.

Accessories - 2/10

It's pretty obvious that the emphasis with this figure was the articulation. But Toy Biz appearently felt the need to include some sort of accessory. So they did: a clip on web shooter and three webbing projectiles. The shooter clips onto either of the figure's wrists. The projectiles can then be inserted into the front of the shooter and fired using the button on the back of the shooter. There are three different projectiles: a ball of webbing, a small web and a slightly larger spray of webbing. Due to the size of the projectiles and their design, the don't fly very far. And the shooter doesn't attach very securely to the figure's wrists. So in the end, it will probably end up as just another useless accessory.

Value - 8/10

The regular retail price for the figure is $25. Though as stores start to clear out the remaining Spider-man 2 merchandise, the price is likely to drop. I purchased the figure during Target's clearance sales before the fall reset for a mere $10.84. For that price it obviously gets a higher score. If I were forced to pay the regular $25 price or even the usual sale price of $20 the score would have been down to about a 5. It is a great figure, and it makes a great desk decoration or kid's toy. But for $8 or less one can buy the latest super poseable Sider-man figure that is almost as poseable except for the fingers and takes up far less space and is compatable with many other toy lines. But for those who want a bigger version of their favorite web head, this is likely to be winner.

Happy Hunting:

Toys R Us or Kmart will probably be your best bet to find the figure right now. As I mentioned, Target has already clearnced the figures in their local stores here in Madison, WI. I haven't seen them in Walmart recently either so they may have been dropped from their fall layouts as well. (There is a reqasonable chance that the up coming DVD/video release of the movie may result in more merchandise on the shelves for the holidays.) You can also still find the figure online at Amazon, Walmart.com and Kmart.com all have the figure in stock currently.