Happy Saturday, fellow collectors! Welcome back to another Dan's ToyBox review as today, we look at the Hasbro Marvel Legends "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" Three Pack! The animated series upon which these figures are based came out in 1981 and was supposed to be Marvel's answer to DC's SuperFriends cartoon. One of the series' main characters, Angelica Jones/ Firestar, was created specifically for the show because the Human Torch was unavailable due to similar licensing issues that the previous Fantastic Four cartoon had faced. This allowed the network and Marvel to move forward with their plan of giving Spider-Man teammates with Fire and Ice based powers.
In the series, Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Bobby Drake (Iceman), and Angelica Jones (Firestar) are all college students at Empire State University. The three inadvertently team up to defeat the Beetle and recover the Power Booster he stole from Stark Industries. With this success, the trio decide to team-up permanently as the "Spider-Friends." The three young heroes all live together in Peter's Aunt May's home with her, and a pet Lhasa Apso dog named Ms. Lion. Together, the superheroes battle various supervillains and on occasion team up with other Marvel heroes, such as Captain America and Thor. The series aired original episodes from September 1981 through November 1983 and then aired repeats for two more years ('84 -'86).
If you are familiar with our format, go ahead and jump into the review. For new readers, we grade our figures based on four criteria: Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability. Those factors are then taken into account and the figure then receives an overall grade of Zero to Ten ToyBoxes. For this review, all grading will be done as overall scores for the three pack in its entirety.
Each of the figures comes with character specific accessories. Firestar comes with two head sculpts, one with windswept hair for flying poses, one pair of open hands, one pair of fists, two flame effects, and Ms. Lion. We've seen all of these before with the single packed Firestart figure, though Ms. Lion does feature a new paint job in this package. Iceman comes with a pair of open hands, a pair of fists, and an "ice slide" base. Spider-Man comes with the requisite three pairs of hands: fists, thwipping, and wall crawling. Now, you might think..."Wow, that's quite a bit of stuff, especially in a three pack." and typically, you'd be right. However, all three of these figures are based on pre-existing figures and don't come with anything different than the other offerings. Well, except perhaps, for Iceman as the Retro Carded Iceman figure didn't have splayed open hands. I really think, Hasbro, if you intend to put out something like this, you ought to maybe throw in something that makes the set a bit more unique. These accessories are what we'd expect to get, so they earn a 6 out of 10 for being average. The wall crawling hands push them up from a 5 simply because it's always hit or miss to see a Spider-Man figure with wall crawling hands.
Let's start with Firestar. Of the three, she is probably the best-looking figure in terms of paint and accuracy to the character. The hair on both head sculpts is done really well, however, on the windswept look, the hair is a uniform reddish/orange, which is disappointing when viewed next to the sculpt with her hair hanging loosely down. There are darker streaks of red, obviously designed to give depth to the hair. I do really love the detail on her green eyes and lips, which is identical on either head. The rest of the figure is on the typical female body mold and has orange "flame" paint apps around her forearms and boots. The gloves and boots are a nice, bright red and really do round out the look. The flame effects are a translucent orange/yellow and fit nicely around her wrists and forearms. Ms. Lion is also painted a different color than the original single pack release, but this version is more accurate to the show as in the cartoon she was a light brown with orange/yellow bow ties. Her eyes and nose are a nice, gloss black and the sculpting is really neat on the little pup. I thought I had reviewed the previous release but could not find it in my archives.
If you have the Amazing Fantasy First Appearance Spider-Man, then you essentially have the Spider-Man from this package. The biggest difference, obviously, is the paint scheme and lack of web wings. The spider-logos on this figure are more accurate to the blue/red color scheme as well. I really like the AF black and red webhead and if you've read my review on that one, you can likely guess how I feel about this version. To be honest, my biggest gripe is that the blue has scraped off in some spots on the joints and at his waist, revealing the red body mold underneath and that's been somewhat frustrating as it didn't seem to be a problem with the black and red version. There is also a subtle, albeit noticeable difference in the blue on his upper and lower torso, due to the upper being blue paint on a red mold. I do wish that the eyes weren't so narrow as well. That being said, the white eye lenses are remarkably accurate to the cartoon as Spidey wasn't depicted with the big/wide lenses that came along in the early 90's. The weblines on the costume are nicely applied, which is always a good thing and the belt design does carry over on the lower diaphragm joint to help maintain the look of the costume, though it is very odd looking when crunched forward.
Rounding out the trio is the Iceman. I need to preface this by saying... this is the absolute worst body mold ever for this character. In the cartoon, Iceman is drawn as having some mass and bulk to his frame. This body mold is skinny and scrawny and just looks terrible, especially with the paint scheme. I've heard other reviewers say that using the Age of Apocalypse body with the animated paint job would have been a better choice and I don't disagree. Now, let's talk paint. I get that this is supposed to be a representation of the cartoon character version and, as such, is going to have the cel shading designed to mimic the show, but c'mon... APPLY IT CONSISTENTLY. Why does the darker area on his right arm stop at the top of the bicep/upper arm and not carry onto the deltoid? I mean, even the side of his head has this shading on it. The idea is that the light is perpetually hitting him on the left side as all of the darker shading is on the right. Oddly enough, there is shading running up the center of his pectoral muscles and beneath both and there is a small spot on the left shoulder where it meets the pectorals, yet nothing in the abdominals. I just don't get it, at all. This is probably the worst shading design I've ever seen. Oh, and in the show, Iceman's eyes were a yellow/green, these are white. The ice slide doesn't have any of this shading style to it and it actually looks better than Iceman does. If they REALLY wanted to make this "show accurate" his eyes are wrong and the slide should have the blue cel shading as well.
The appearance section started out with such great promise with Firestar and went downhill from there. Iceman really kills it for the team as the best I'm willing to give this three pack is a 6.5 out of 10. Remove him and even with my few gripes about Spider-Man, this could move up to an 8.
The Firestar body mold has had it's share of problems in the past and those continue here. Her heads will both turn, however, the sculpt with her hair down is a terrible hindrance to not only up/down movement but to side to side turning as well. Her shoulders raise to a very nice T pose and she has both upper bicep swivel AND pinless double-jointed elbows, which bend in very deep. Both sets of hands pivot and hinge easily and can be swapped with little effort. Her upper torso movement is terrible. She'll turn and tilt, but there is little to no forward or backward crunch. She has no waist swivel and her legs will split maybe 90 degrees due to both the cut of her hips and the high pivot point on the joint. Her knees are also pinless and have double-joints and can bend in very well. The ankles have that forward pin for nice up/down hinge and rocking motion. Spider-Man moves exactly the same as in my AF First App review: His head is on the ball hinge with the back neck cut; however, the new larger hinge does seem to hide the cut a lot better than on the first retro style Spider-Man figure. This allows the figure to look up and down very far, making for some great swinging and leaping poses. The problem though is the under-chin gap. When tilted upward there is a big opening beneath the chin which isn't easily concealed on the figure. The head will also tilt and can turn side to side easily. The butterfly joints at his shoulders work very nicely on mine, allowing for some great cross body punches, however, their backward range is a bit more limited unfortunately. Unlike the previous version, I can raise the arms out to a nice T pose on this figure and the shoulders rotate a full 360 degrees. The bicep swivel works nicely. Sadly this figure has the holes in the back of the biceps to accommodate web wings, which I haven't yet plugged in to see how they look on this one. The double-jointed, pin less elbows bend all the way, allowing Spidey's hand to touch his head and each pair of hands hinges and pivots nicely! The upper diaphragm joint remains a disappointment. There is very little forward crunch, and the backward tilt leaves an odd gap in the chest/torso region. The torso will turn at this joint, side to side, but even sideways tilting is somewhat limited. There is a lower diaphragm hinge, which allows for better overall abdominal crunch, but also eliminates any waist pivot. I was hoping to see splits on par with the Future Foundation Stealth Suit figure, but the Amazing Fantasy Spider-Man cannot get as wide as his brother figure. The splits are still decent, but not as good as I'd hoped. The legs will kick forward very nicely but not back very much. The upper thigh cut turns easily, allowing for some more dynamic posing and the pin less, double-jointed knees give Spider-Man the ability to kick himself in the rear end! There is also a boot cut for shin pivot and that always generous ankle hinge and pivot. Again, is no toe articulation on this figure. Iceman... well... His head will look both up and down very far and turns easily. The shoulders raise out very well and rotate a full 360 degrees also. Surprisingly the butterfly joints work well on mine, allowing some great forward and backward range of motion. The bicep swivel works fine and the elbows, double-jointed, do bend in very deep. All wrists hinge and pivot nicely and are also easy to swap out. The torso is the beginning of the terrible engineering. The diaphragm crunch is just an upper hinge that does bend forward well, but hardly back at all. The waist swivel is awful looking, at least the retro version had his floating belt to cover the hideous flat sections when turning the swivel side to side. His legs will barely reach 45 degrees in a split and though they can kick forward nicely, there is little to no back kick at all. The upper thigh cut works fine and the double-jointed knees do bend in good enough. His enormous paddle feet will hinge up and down decently enough and have good pivot. Where Firestar was the savior in appearance, Spider-Man rescues the grade for articulation, but just barely. 7 out of 10 for the team.
This three-pack can be found on Hasbro Pulse for $74.99. That makes each figure just under $25 each. Individually, Firestar retailed at $22.99, the Amazing Fantasy Spider-Man was about $27.99, and the Retro Iceman initially retailed at about $28 as well but is selling upwards of $30 on the secondary market now. So, theoretically, buying this pack actually saves you money on these three figures. I'm actually impressed enough to give the package an 8 out of 10 for being affordable and selling three figures at roughly the current retail price of $24.99 for most Marvel Legends.
Overall, the set is decent, but nothing to really jump on. Probably the biggest selling factor is getting Spider-Man with this paint scheme. If there was ANYTHING new added to this in terms of accessories, I could give it a higher score, but it's just not really worth more than:
6.75 out of 10 ToyBoxes
There you have it, my friends. Thank you for continuing to support Feedspot's 34th ranked out of 60 Action Figure Blog for 2023. Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!!