Today I’m back with something I’ve literally waited the better part of a year for–new single-carded Marvel Universe 4″ figure to review. As insane as it sounds, there hasn’t been a new series of Marvel Universe figures released since the Psylocke wave that I reviewed way back in December of 2011. I don’t know if Hasbro was just completely sidetracked with not meeting demand for Avengers movie figures or what, but it’s been way, way too long. I’m starting off this series of reviews with the figure that I had the most excitement for: the new Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales. Miles debuted as the first non-Peter Parker Spider-Man (clones don’t count) last year, and I was pretty giddy to get an action figure of him so quickly. But sometimes, it’s better to wait and get something really good than just to get something fast…
It’s Miles Morales, the controversial middle-schooler who became Spider-Man after Peter Parker’s death in the Ultimate Universe! He just had his first full year of comics conclude, and he’s already gotten his first action figure! That is really pretty cool. How many other comic book characters have gotten such a fast turnaround? Not many.
This Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales variant comes with one accessory: a webbed backpack containing items like his shoes and a camera. I like the idea of a web backpack and it fits very well on the action figure, even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Miles Morales to carry a camera around. We usually don’t get any accessories at all with a Spider-Man figure, so it’s nice to get a logical one like this here.
Miles Morales is the variant of the regular Ultimate Spider-Man figure in this assortment, so he doesn’t get his own unique cardback or artwork. It’s unfortunate, especially considering we’ve seen dual-figure artwork like Madame Masque/Madame Hydra and Thunderball/Piledriver in Marvel Legends, but if it means getting a Miles Morales figure as opposed to not getting one, I can definitely cope with it.
On the bright side, the Deadpool image and quip on the back of the package from the Psylocke series have been replaced with Rocket Raccoon ones for this series. And any appearance to up Rocket Raccoon’s fame and status is always a positive.
Did “The Right” seem a little short? Yeah, I thought so. That’s because there’s a ton wrong with this figure, and I really had to stretch to fill out the positives. I don’t even know where to begin with the problems with this figure, but I’m going to do my best to both be brief and still cover all the bases of what bugs me about this Ultimate Spider-Man action figure…
One of the downsides of getting a Miles Morales figure quickly is that it’s just a repaint. See, there was originally an Ultimate Spider-Man Peter Parker version figure in this Marvel Universe assortment, and the Miles Morales variant was a late addition. Unfortunately, Peter Parker was a high schooler and Miles Morales is a little middle school kid, trapped in an older teenager’s body. While the Miles figure is smaller than Astonishing X-Men Beast and Scarlet Spider and other adult figures, he still looks out of scale and just plain too tall for Miles.
The articulation on this figure is bad in general, but awful for a Spider-Man action figure. It seems like Ultimate Spider-Man has a lot of joints on paper, but they just don’t come together and work well at all. He has 21 points: a ball-jointed head, double-jointed ball-joint shoulders, swivel biceps, hinge elbows, swivel forearms, ball-jointed upper torso, swivel waist, ball-jointed hips, double-jointed hinge knees, and double-jointed ankles. Yes, all that sounds great, but the head is highly-restricted, the lack of wrist joints is frustrating, and the range of motion on the hips is awful. In addition, the usefulness of the double-jointed ankles is greatly diluted by the lack of ankle rockers, which make it hard to stand Miles up in all but the simplest of poses.
The paintwork on my Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales variant is really not that great. There’s a big red streak splotched on one of his silver eyes, silver bleeding onto the red of the mask, and uneven paint on the other eye that makes it look like a chunk of the eye is missing. It doesn’t sound like that big a deal, but there are very few paint applications of this figure, so what is there really needs to be well-done. Instead, it’s sloppy.
This Miles Morales Spider-Man figure has “one web-shooting hand and one grasping hand” syndrome. I rarely like web-shooting hands, but I particularly hate them when a Spider-Man figure’s other hand is a grasping hand. “Look at, Electro–Spider-Man will shoot a web at you and then grab you!”
The main selling point of this action figure is that it’s the Miles Morales Spider-Man costume. Unfortunately, you only get half a costume. The back of the costume has been inexplicably left blank, unpainted black. What the hell, Hasbro? Was this repaint action figure with limited articulation that uses very little plastic really so expensive that it didn’t cost out to paint the back of the costume? This is a cheap and lazy omission, and it really burns me up.
And while we’re on the subject of “The Ridiculous”, I’d like to note how ludicrous it is that Hasbro is continuing to advertise the “Collectible Comic Shot” piece of cardboard worth half a penny included with each figure, which in this case hasn’t even had a Comic Shot of Miles Morales swapped in for the regular Ultimate Spider-Man one. Save a tree and stop including useless garbage like this, please, Hasbro.
Overall: I’m going to be both blunt and totally honest here: this toy sucks. The scale isn’t right,the articulation is poor, it’s tough to get Miles into any cool poses, there’s a permanent web-shooting hand but no fist, the paint applications on mine are flawed, and the entire freaking back of Miles’ costume is left unpainted. In short, this is the most disappointed I’ve been in a Hasbro figure all year long. This Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales action figure is a spectacular let-down, an overall poor outing for Hasbro, and absolutely not a toy that I can recommend to anyone but the biggest Miles Morales Spider-Man fan.