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A Web of Disappointment: Hasbro Marvel Legends: Retro Spider-Man Tarantula Action Figure Review

I imagine that the meetings at Hasbro's Marvel Legends planning division go something like this...

"All right everyone, people are snapping up Spider-Man stuff like there's no tomorrow. It doesn't even matter what we put out or what we pack with them! I mean, we slapped $35 on the Spider-Man 2 figure, left important accessories out and people STILL bought it! How can we screw them next?"

"Oh, I got it... let's throw a classic villain at them!"

"But... people WANT classic villains."

"I'm not finished... let's throw a classic villain at them on an old body mold, with minor changes and... get this... NOTHING ELSE!!!"


Yes, I bought this figure because I wanted Tarantula. However, I will NOT buy another Marvel Legend that doesn't at least come with alternate hands. Hasbro's latest offering, the Marvel Legends Retro Spider-Man Tarantula Action Figure, is a perfect embodiment of missed opportunities and consumer frustration. Promising to bring the iconic Tarantula character to life, this figure falls flat on every front, leaving collectors with a sense of bewilderment and disdain. Let's break down its deficiencies across our four key criteria.

Something's missing... I just can't put my finger on it.


The term "accessories" appears to be a foreign concept to Hasbro when it comes to the Tarantula figure. Inexplicably, this figure comes with absolutely NO accessories. Zero. Zilch. Nada. In a market where even the most basic action figures are bundled with extra pieces to enhance display and play value, Hasbro's decision to omit any form of accessories is nothing short of a slap in the face to loyal customers. Collectors expect more than just a glorified plastic statue at this price point.


Probably the best aspect of the figure. Hasbro did a good job of getting the simple design correct. The paint applications are clean, and the line work is crisp. I would have liked to have seen the black lines below the knees continued on the joint because bending the knee causes a break in the lines. The same goes with the abdomen crunch. When bending the figure backwards, the legs break, and it looks awkward. I will admit that the sculpt on the facial expression is done very well, with one side of his mouth curled up in a smirk. The paint apps on the mustache and lips are nicely applied as well. At first, I was a bit disappointed that his mask/bandana was such a bright blue, it's grown on me, and I actually do like how it stands out against the rest of the figure. The only other "new" addition to the figure are the stingers added to the toes of his boots. The are separate pieces, glued into a cut-out on the toe and are flexible enough that you don't have to worry about accidentally breaking them. The biggest disappointment here is that this is merely a repainted figure with the minimal amount of effort put into creating new head and boot sculpts.


We've talked about the Sunfire Body Mold so much that the articulation is almost not worth going over. This is the basic Legends articulation we've had for years and about the only redeeming quality is that the butterfly joints actually work halfway decent on this figure. You can get the arms swept back to a much greater degree, thanks to the shorter shoulder pin. Aside from that, the same basic articulation applies... good range on head movement, full shoulder rotation, bicep swivel, double jointed elbows that bend in fully, wrists that pivot and hinge. This buck has the old diaphragm hinge that bends forward reasonably well and, backwards to a degree. The waist swivel is here, with the terrible landing platform hips. Leg splits will go to a bit past 45 degrees. The upper thigh cut works fine, knees are double jointed and bend in deeply. There is a boot cut, which works fine, and the ankles hinge and pivot as expected. There really is nothing to be excited about with this articulation and the only reason I bumped it to just above average was the good range of the butterfly joints.


Here's where the rage truly sets in. The Marvel Legends Retro Spider-Man Tarantula Action Figure is priced on par with other Marvel Legends figures that come with SOME accessories and improved articulation on newer body molds. Why are we paying $25.99 for this, when for $1 less, you could buy Torpedo from the G.I. Joe Classified line, with more accessories and better articulation. This egregious decision by Hasbro is an affront to collectors' intelligence and a blatant cash grab. For the same price, consumers can purchase figures that offer significantly more value, making the Tarantula figure's price tag feel like a cruel joke.

Overall, the Hasbro Marvel Legends Retro Spider-Man Tarantula Action Figure fails to meet even the most basic expectations of what a collector's item should offer. Its lack of accessories, just over average appearance, tired articulation, and unjustifiable price point culminate in an experience that is frustrating and disappointing. Collectors would do well to steer clear of this lackluster offering and invest their hard-earned money in figures that actually deliver on their promises. Hasbro fails with a very poor:

2 out of 10 ToyBoxes

I shouldn't, but I do expect better out of Hasbro than this subpar effort. At least give him extra hands. Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!


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