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Can Hasbro go "Beyond" with the new Ben Reilly Spider-Man Figure?

Welcome to another Dan's ToyBox action figure review. We are looking at the Hasbro Marvel Legends: Retro Spider-Man: Ben Reilly Spider-Man (Beyond version.) I will confess that I haven't opened a recent Spider-Man comic in several years and am unfamiliar with this costume or the story behind it. To that end, I was grateful to find a synopsis of the story on the Marvel Fandom Database website and have shared an excerpt, with the link below. The big question is... did Hasbro hit the mark with this character? Let's find out.

Once the Beyond Corporation bought the trademarked Spider-Man identity from defunct Parker Industries patents, they made Ben Reilly their official wall-crawler for privatized super heroism. After Ben tells Peter, still recovering from Kindred's haunting, the pair team-up against the U-Foes which leaves Peter hospitalized. Unable to continue, Peter gives Ben his blessing to be Spider-Man, before slipping into a coma while Ben apprehends the U-Foes. While May seeks another solution, Felicia helps Mary Jane watch over Peter. Concurrently, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing work as Ben's trainers, employed under Superhero Department Head, Maxine Danger, while the duo covertly investigate Beyond for Monica Rambeau. After Ben encounters Morbius and Kraven, he slowly questions if Beyond is indeed helping those he saves, and if he truly deserves to be Spider-Man but resolves to continue.

With some basic background on the character, let's dive into the review. As always, we will look at Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability. Once we've finished those categories, we'll give the figure an overall rating of zero to 10 ToyBoxes and you can decide if this is a figure you want in your collection.

Accessories: 2/10

The Hasbro Marvel Legends: Ben Reilly Spider-Man (Beyond Version) comes with a minimal selection of accessories. The inclusion of one pair of fists, one wall crawling hand, and one web thwipping hand provides some, but not much, variety for posing and display. After the debacle with the Spider-Man 2 game figure, I'm stunned that Hasbro went cheap here too and packed a single thwip and a single wall crawling hand. While these accessories are functional and representative of Spider-Man's iconic gestures, the lack of any additional interchangeable heads or extra web effects feels like a kick in the gut. The quality of the included accessories is satisfactory, but the overall variety leaves much to be desired. On the plus side, unlike Tarantula, this figure came with something extra.

Appearance: 5/10

In terms of appearance, the figure captures the essence of Ben Reilly's Spider-Man suit from the "Beyond" storyline. However, in panels I've seen from the comics, Reilly's suit appears to be dark blue, not black as the figure would suggest. I did see that the eyes are much larger in the comic, so those are relatively accurate on this figure. Unfortunately, they look terrible on this very odd, shaped head. Where are Ben's chin and jawline? Looking directly at this from the front gives him a slight appearance of having a relatively square jaw, but from the side is entirely something different. The shape and proportion of the head are so out of whack that the figure looks kind of silly. Maybe the design of the eyes helps hide the protrusion of his nose as well, but in profile, the front of his face is almost flat looking. I'm honestly baffled. Even in the comics, with the mask design he still has a human shaped head. There is a plus though. I do like the pearlescent sheen to the eyes, which gives them a nice reflective glow when light hits them. Moving on... the leg design on his spider logo doesn't seem to match the art on the packaging, nor any of the images I've seen. On those, the legs seem to come up over his shoulders, where on this figure, the black lines meet at the top of the bicep. I also looked at images of the spider logos, front and back. I get that they are supposed to be relief/silhouettes which is an interesting design choice. However, looking at the odd shape of the spider on his back, it looks more like a tick (which, incidentally, ARE arachnids) than it does a spider. I'm not sure if this is just the best Hasbro could do emulating the design, but it doesn't look great. I also noticed that aligning the upper torso joint to face straight ahead, causes there to be a slight break in the lower left leg lines. It's not terrible, but it's just noticeable enough to throw the aesthetic off a bit. I'm not even going to waste your time griping about the terrible off center lines on the mask... it's just ridiculously disappointing. If the suit is meant to be red, black, and dark blue, then shame on Hasbro for not adhering to the proper look. If it is black and red though, please let me know in the comment section below.

Articulation: 6/10

Articulation is a crucial aspect of any action figure, especially for dynamic posing and playability. While the Hasbro Marvel Legends: Ben Reilly Spider-Man does offer a decent range of articulation, it falls short of delivering a truly impressive range of motion. He's built on the current Spider-Man body mold and has the same advantages and restrictions as the rest. Starting at the head... he can look upward at a good angle but only slightly downward. His head turns side to side easily enough and does have some wobble/tilt to it. The butterfly shoulder joints are hindered by the interior peg but can move forward and back in limited range. The arms will fully rotate 360 degrees and can be raised out to a solid T pose. The bicep swivels work fine but the double-jointed elbows will only bend just past 90 degrees. The wrists swivel and hinge fine. The upper diaphragm joint is, as usual, a disappointment. While it bends back decently it doesn't crunch forward much. It does rotate and has some side-to-side tilt, which is ok. There is a lower ab hinge, which allows for a deeper crunch, but there is no waist rotation. The leg splits are a disappointment for a Spider-Man figure as they max at about 45 degrees. The thigh cuts are fine, and the double-jointed knees will bend in relatively deep, but not far enough to touch his lower back. There is a mid-shin/boot cut that also works but doesn't look the best when turned. The ankles hinge and have terrific pivot and the toes are also articulated and move with ease.

Affordability: 5/10

One of the key factors for many collectors is the affordability of an action figure. The price point for the Hasbro Marvel Legends: Ben Reilly Spider-Man (Beyond Version) may be a concern for some enthusiasts. While it's not exorbitantly priced, the figure's somewhat lackluster accessories and articulation make it feel slightly overpriced for what it offers. Collectors might find themselves weighing the figure's features against its cost when considering a purchase. I purchased this figure, along with Tarantula through Hasbro Pulse for $25.99. So... we've got one figure with NO accessories and one figure with two extra hands, thus far for the same price. What other disparities will we see in this wave, I wonder?

Overall, the Hasbro Marvel Legends: Ben Reilly Spider-Man (Beyond Version) is an average action figure that falls short of making a significant impact. While it has some positive attributes, such as a recognizable appearance and a reasonable range of articulation, it lacks the wow factor that sets it apart from other figures in the Marvel Legends lineup. With that in mind this figure receives a generous:

4.5 out of 10 ToyBoxes

The included accessories are functional but fail to truly enhance the figure's playability or display options. Additionally, its affordability is questionable given its somewhat underwhelming features. Collectors who are specifically invested in the "Beyond" storyline or Ben Reilly's character might still find value in adding this figure to their collection, but others may find it somewhat disappointing compared to the potential that could have been realized. Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!

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