The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a hard movie to like. It was a highly uneven sort of mess, an incoherent hodgepodge of a story/ideas and villains without a semblance of motive or substance. The film did, however, have some good qualities. It looked pretty (effects and action sequences were a true splendor). Andrew Garfield makes for a great Spidey (perfect balance of cocky and snarky). The relationship between Parker/Gwen was played out well (genuine and infectious chemistry). Above all else, this is probably the best Spider-man has ever looked on-screen… like ever. The suit design this time around is without question the closest comic-to-screen realization. When some fans grumbled that 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man‘s suit strayed too far from the look of the original comics (it had a BMX biker look to it and drew in an uncomfortable amount of attention to Garfields crotch), the filmmakers listened. They got it spot on with the eyes, belt, logo, and colors.
And wouldn’t you know it (how’s this for a segway), Sideshow Collectibles (via Hot Toy) has transformed Andrew Garfield’s incarnation of Spidey into a figure. Never has Spider-Man looked so good on-screen and I can say the same about this figure – never has a SM toy looked so damn good. OK, there was that one time in the 90s when Toy Biz made Beach Rescue and Safari Footage Spidey which were the pinnacles of Spider-Man figures (note the sarcasm). But I digress. Sideshow was kind enough to send us The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man figure from Hot Toys for review. It made our Spider-sense – aka nerd-sense – tingle in all the right places (well mostly).
If this is your first time hearing about a Hot Toys/Sideshow Collectibles then let me give it to you straight – they offer the highest quality/detailed figures in existence, and they keep the collector in mind. Short of God himself, no one crafts high-end retail figures like these guys do.
When I say they keep the collector in mind, I mean they package their figurines with intent of keeping the box intact. No yards of tape to cut through, cardboard backings to tear or endless wires to unwind. Their figures and accessories are compartmentalized. You can easily remove (and return) your toy and its pieces without damaging the package. Do you understand what that means? You can open, display and enjoy your figure for as long as you like. If you ever get bored with it or become short on cash, just repackage your figure up and sell it on eBay for equal or more than what you paid for it (some figures resell handsomely).
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Spider-Man figure comes in a shoe box-styled package – I mean literally, at first glance you’d think you just bought an expensive pair of Spider-Man themed Nike kicks (feels like it too – weighing in at approx. 4 lbs, it’s surprisingly hefty). The box art is simple yet striking. It features Spidey in classic hero pose with front-text that reads “I made a choice – this is my path” and the movie title/logo beneath. I like how the art puts focus on the character/figure instead of the movie, as it should be.
Sliding off the top of the box, you’ll see Spidey and his main accessories laid out in the first of two plastic trays, with the second tray beneath housing the figure’s extra hands and base.
What’s in the box? Well just like the movie, there are some questionable aspects as well as some really good things.
The first thing you’ll notice – and likely question – is the curious assortment of seemingly irrelevant clothing accessories. Blue beanie, blue and white striped scarf, orange and green vest and backpack (all of which are highly detailed – mini versions of real apparel) – what the heck? I don’t recall seeing Spidey wearing these in the movie and if he did it must have been a quick scene. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of the movie, I doubt recreating this would be a motivating selling feature. You’d think that instead the figure would come with pants, shoes, shirt and jacket and alternative Peter Parker head so that you could dress Spidey to Parker and vice versa. Likely, Hot Toys wasn’t able to secure Andrew Garfield’s likeness rights, so the design team was left to think “Well… what else can we add to justify the price point?” There was a Andrew Garfield/Parker head in Hot Toys’ Spider-Man figure from the first TASM movie, so perhaps it was just a decision to offer something different? As random as these accessories are, they’re actually kind of fun and allow for unique display options. It’s amusing seeing Spidey wear a beanie and scarf (harkens back to the Toybiz days with Beach Rescue and Safari Footage Spidey). Plus (excuse the sophomoric humor here) if you’re ever cold in the winter, the orange vest makes for a great pecker warmer (no, I didn’t attempt, but the thought crossed my mind).
The figure is also accessorized with 6 pairs of interchangeable hands, megaphone, plutonium canister (which is an exclusive offering to Sideshow), 4 pieces of webbing (2 for cobweb shooting and 2 for imitating swinging) and a diamond-shaped figure stand with Spider-Man nameplate and flexible pillar. More on these in a minute.
The figure itself is absolutely perfect. It’s an authentic and detailed likeness of Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The body has 30 points of articulation and is approximately 30 cm tall. It’s about as screen-accurate as possible at 1/6th scale. You can easily make out small details such as the hexagon scales covering the suit and the material feels like I imagine the real thing does – stretchy but durable. The black webbing is raised a bit and the entire suit appears to be one stitched-together piece. The suit does, however, affect poseability of the figure. While the fabric is well made, the trade-off is that when attempting to flex the legs at unique angles, the suit pulls them back into place a bit. The webbing is also a point of concern, as it feels like it could be easily rubbed off (the instructions that come with the figure actually warn about this). I don’t know how easy it would be to tear the webbing loose from the cloth, but I don’t really want to find out. I do wish the feet had additional joints in the toes and ankles to allow for more classic poses, like on the box art. The feet do have rubber soles which makes for sturdier standing (something that Hot Toys should make standard on future 1/6th scale figures). All together, from the body shape and proportion to the authentic on-screen suit, this piece is simply (Spidey pun in 3… 2… 1) amazing. And boy, does it photograph well. The suit really pops on camera. Have a look at the image gallery and sideshow below:
My biggest complaints – aside from the oddball accessories and the tight suit limiting posing options – come down to the hands, webbing and base.
Normally, most Hot Toys figures come with full hands with pegs that slide attach/detach to a socket in figure’s wrists. With this Spider-Man figure, the hands are in 2 parts. So there’s the base of the hand (right at the palm) with a peg for typical socket insertion. Above the palm is a magnet for you to attach the top half of any of the 6 pairs of interchangeable hands. If there is a benefit to doing hands this way, it eludes me. Jointed fingers and wrists are not commonplace in Hot Toy figures, but if they have the means to cut hands into two parts, it seems that making articulated hands, at least in this case, could have been an exception. Especially for Spider-Man, a character known for his mobility. Ultimately, it’s not a big deal, as the finished look serves the purpose for whatever pose/action shot one desires.
The webbing… is a disappointment. The figure comes with a total of 4 pieces of webbing – 2 to simulate cobweb shooting and 2 for swinging. The cobweb shooting is alright, looking like you want/expect it to (very action-y) and actually connects to a hole in either web shooter (on the wrists). Having 2 that are exactly the same is the problem. It would have been better if there were 2 versions – 1 as is (with the small gob on the end) and another with tip spread out as if it was about to latch onto something. Now, as far as the webbing to simulate swinging… yeah… not so much. How can you simulate swinging with a straight 5-inch strand? They should have been longer, with frayed or whisked ends at bottom to make it look like Spidey is swinging in forward motion. Also, none of the hand-sets hold the webbing very well, leaving them to easily slide and fall out. The illusion of swinging is very hard to capture, unless you get just the right pose and take a picture cropped just below the end of the web strand.
The figure comes with a big base with a screw-on pole. You attach a black pillar (it looks a bit like a pincer/tong) to the top of the pole so that it can hold ol’ Webhead’s upper waist to help sell the simulation of swinging. The base is heavy and large and takes up a lot of shelf real estate. The pole feels like a nightstick and is rather unsightly. Also, they missed the opportunity to design the base to look like the top of a skyscraper (a card board print out/insert would have been fine) and the pole to look like a flagpole. However, the black color to the pole and base hide well and if you have your figure on a black or dark shelf, it’s virtually invisible and helps sell the mid-air swing motion.
As easy at is to gripe about the accessories, hands, webbing and base – they are minor infractions. You really can get some pretty spiffy poses that make for a striking displays. Regardless, the figure itself is really what’s worth the $220 price tag. I said at the start of this write-up that never has a Spider-Man toy looked so damn good, and I mean it. It’s as if Hot Toys cloned Andrew Garfield (ahhh, bad memories of clone saga emerging) in costume and hit him with shrink ray. Whatever feelings you have about the movie not withstanding, if anyone ever wants a top-notch Spider-Man figure, this is the one to buy/have.
Can’t swing your wallet to the $229.99 price tag? That’s OK, you can pay it off. Sideshow provides a monthly payment plan to help make these big ticket items affordable. Once you have a Hot Toys figure, no other action figure or collectible is quite the same. You’ll walk in a toy store, point and laugh at the cheap plastic things people call toys. Pre-Order your Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Spider-Man 1/6th scale figure HERE.
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