It’s not really a good thing when I have to say that an action figure legitimately looks better in a poorly-lit room than it does in broad daylight. After finding Future Foundation Spider-Man in February and reviewing all of Marvel Legends Series 2, it literally took me nearly half a year to track down the other version of that figure: Marvel Legends Big-Time Spider-Man.
I’ve been following Dan Slott’s run on “Amazing Spider-Man” nearly religiously, so my anticipation for the Big-Time Spider-Man Marvel Legends Series 2 figure was off the charts. Unfortunately, the Hasbro paint department was also off their game–in a “Big-Time” way…
Marvel Legends Series 2 Big-Time Spider-Man is the exact same figure as the Future Foundation Spider-Man I reviewed back in March with a different paint deco, so almost everything I loved about Future Foundation Spider-Man is replicated here.
I was pretty much in love with the stylization and proportions of this sculpt for Future Foundation Spider-Man, and I feel the same way here. The sculpt is full of energy and feels “fun”, if that makes any sense. Big-Time Spider-Man looks lean, dexterous, and ready to leap up and go web-slinging across Manhattan in his crazy neon green costume. This is hands-down my favorite Spider-Man action figure sculpt ever, and I’m totally psyched that it was chosen to give us two brand-new 6″ versions of Spidey in a single Marvel Legends series.
I was extremely pleased with the articulation on this Marvel Legends Spider-Man mold the first time around, and I’m just as thrilled with it this time out. Big-Time Spider-Man, like his predecessors, includes a ball-jointed head with hinge neck, double-jointed ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, double-jointed elbows, double-jointed wrists, upper torso ab crunch, swivel waist, double-jointed ball-jointed hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees, and double-jointed ankles with the eternally popular ankle rockers. With 32 points of articulation and the ability to crouch down, crawl, and take on any number of dynamic poses stably (due to the ankle rockers), this is among the best-articulated Spider-Man action figures the world has ever seen.
Unlike Marvel Legends Future Foundation Spider-Man, Big-Time Spider-Man’s packaging features artwork of the version of Spider-Man included. This is a sort of double-edged sword, as it shows off how cool this costume is intended to be, while at the same time making it glaringly obvious how inaccurate the paint deco on Big-Time Spider-Man actually is. Even so, I am a huge supporter of superhero figure packaging having artwork on the front and back featuring the included character, so this is a definite “Right”.
As much as I liked Future Foundation Spider-Man, there were a couple things that bugged me (no pun intended–really) about him. Since Big-Time Spider-Man is a repaint, he has the same problems. First was that he’s a relatively small figure for about $17 retail and includes no Build-A-Figure part, despite the fact that figures that dwarf him like The Wrecking Crew have pieces of Arnim Zola. You don’t even get a “Tales of Arnim Zola” paper insert!
Secondly, I don’t like that Spidey’s left hand is permanently stuck in web-shooting position. I love the dynamic nature of having a web-shooting hand in theory, but it means that Peter can never be standing around really casually or grasping anything or fighting with both hands. Hasbro isn’t really into change-o-hands, but this is a case where it would have really improved the figure’s posing potential.
I’ve been leading up to this since the intro, so I don’t think anyone will be surprised that I’m about to rail on Big-Time Spider-Man’s paint deco. As I like to be as unbiased as possible when writing my reviews, I try to avoid reading others’ impressions of a figure until I have that figure in-hand myself. That being the case, my jaw figuratively hit the floor when I held Big-Time Spider-Man in my hand and saw him in person for the first time this week.
What Hasbro sold me on was a Marvel Legends black Spider-Man with neon green, energy-like highlights. Sort of like a mash-up of Tron and Spider-Man. That’s how Big-Time Spider-Man looks in the comics, on this figure’s packaging, and in the prototype photos that I’d seen. Unfortunately, that is NOT how the actual Big-Time Spider-Man action figure looks at all.
Rather than simply having Spidey’s suit be pure black with highlights, parts of the figure have been painted totally green and then had the neon highlights painted on top. This doesn’t sound like a big deal until you’re looking at this figure and realize he looks freakishly-colored and nothing at all like the source material. It’s as if Spider-Man had his new costume designed by Madrox the Multiple Man, as it looks far more like Madrox’s color scheme than Big-Time Spider-Man’s. This could maybe pass for a Green Lantern Spider-Man, but Big-Time Spider-Man this is just not.
Worse still, Big-Time Spider-Man isn’t green all-around. Only some of his body parts are painted green, and sometimes it’s only the front of those parts. The result is a completely jarring visual where Spider-Man is actually cut bilaterally between black and green when looking at him from the side. Worse still, only the back of his upper-back has been painted fully-green and the rest of his back is the plain black I expected the whole figure to be. Plainly put, this figure looks ridiculous.
Overall: Marvel Legends Big-Time Spider-Man is a perfect example of a great figure gone bad because of horrible paint deco. I loved the sculpt and articulation of this figure back when I got Future Foundation Spider-Man, and I still do. But that’s rendered meaningless when the paint deco on the figure looks so completely inauthentic and awful that I can’t bear to look at the figure. Even if you think you can handle the paintwork on this figure, wait until you see him in person to decide–photos have a hard time capturing how freakish this figure actually looks in-hand. I haven’t awarded a grade below a ‘C-’ to any Marvel Legends 2012 figure yet, and it pains me to do so to a figure I anticipated quite a bit, but that’s what I feel Big-Time Spider-Man has earned.