Medicom Mafex #143 Ben Reilly Spider-Man 6 Inch Action Figure Review
If you’ve read the Toybox Top 10 Marvel Figures for Christmas this year, you’ll know that the all new Medicom Mafex #143 Ben Reilly Spider-Man figure came in at number one. I’ve had this figure for about three weeks now and cannot get enough of it. I’ve been working remotely, while recovering from Covid and each day, this figure has been on my desk or the table next to my sofa. If the black suit/symbiote Spider-Man from Mafex (coming next summer) is even half as good as this figure is, we’re going to be in for a real treat.
Created as a genetic clone of Peter Parker by the villainous Jackal (Dr. Miles Warren) Ben Reilly seemingly died in their first battle. In truth, the clone survived and disappeared for five years, only returning upon learning that Parker’s Aunt May was sick. Reilly (taking the name from Peter’s Uncle Ben and Aunt May’s maiden name) reconciled with Peter and for a period of time, fought alongside him as The Scarlet Spider. During this time, Norman Osborne and Seward Trainer concocted a plan to deceive Peter and Ben into believing that Parker was actually the clone and Reilly the true Spider-Man. At this point, with Mary Jane pregnant and Parker believing himself to be the clone, the couple left New York, permitting Ben to take up the mantle of Spider-Man. Ben fashioned himself a new Spider-Man costume and took to protecting the city, all the while believing he was the real Peter Parker. Eventually, while in battle with Norman Osborne in his guise as the Green Goblin, Reilly was impaled by the Goblin’s glider. As Ben lay dying, in Peter’s arms, he began to disintegrate thus proving he was the clone all along. Ben would be resurrected and killed multiple times by Warren in his attempts to perfect his cloning and eliminate the cellular degradation inherent in the clones. Reilly would be driven mad by these experiments and eventually show up to torment Peter Parker again later on.
In spite of the wealth of stories containing the clone, Ben Reilly, I am very pumped that Mafex chose to model this figure on his adventures as the Sensational Spider-Man! When this costume first came out, I wasn’t entirely sold. (Much like other avid comic readers, I was furious that Marvel pulled this stunt saying that the Peter we’d been reading about for years wasn’t the real Parker.) That being said, the costume and the character grew on me. Even when Reilly dyed his hair blonde, so as to be more easily distinguishable from Peter. I got used to the character and when Hasbro released a version of this figure, with the Carnage accessories, I scooped it up. Last spring, I saw that Medicom was releasing this figure so I pre-ordered it, hoping that the October release would be accurate. Given the Mafex history of delayed figures, I kept my fingers crossed. Then, in November, I received notice that the figure was in stock and would be shipping. I did see a number of reviews online and that only heightened my excitement for this magnificent figure. Does the Medicom Mafex Ben Reilly Spider-Man earn the coveted Triple A for Accessories, Appearance and Articulation? There’s only one way to find out, true believers, so let’s dive in!
Accessories, accessories, accessories!!! Mafex doesn’t disappoint, ever, with the goodies they pack in these figures. Now, admittedly, we’ve seen all of these before with other iterations of Spider-Man figures from Mafex, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. Ben comes with two masked head sculpts (wide and narrower eyes), an unmasked head sculpt complete with it’s own neck piece with costume and skin paint. He has a removed mask, which has a small hole to be pegged into one of the relaxed hands. He comes with six different webs: two swinging webs, two long thwipping and two short thwipping webs, the typical Mafex display stand, one pair of magnetic feet, one pair of regular feet and seven pairs of hands: 1 pair thwipping, 1 pair fisted, 1 pair web swinging, 1 pair wall crawling, 1 pair magnetic wall crawling, 1 pair relaxed, and 1 pair relaxed with small pegs to port into the mask accessory. Best of all, this is my first Mafex figure to include the little hand “tree pegs” which keep the hands easily stored and keep the wrist peg holes open for easier switching of hands on the figure. I’ve seen something like this with the Sentinel Miles and am so happy to see Mafex is now including these with their new releases. I was also quite pleased, for the first time, the magnetic hands and feet actually do a really nice job when placed on a metal surface. All my previous Mafex Spider-Men have had somewhat weak magnets and slide down surfaces. This figure stayed in place and that impressed me a LOT. Even though there’s little difference in the accessories from figure to figure, the simple fact is, there are a lot of accessories and they all are magnificent. Ben easily earns his A for Accessories.
The Medicom Mafex #143 Ben Reilly Spider-Man looks absolutely sensational! The paint applications on this figure are tremendous. I’m so impressed with the shade of blue used on this figure and would have loved to see it on the previous comic book version of Spider-Man Mafex released. What makes this even nicer though is the very light black wash over the blues, giving the figure more definition in the musculature and really enhancing the look of the costume. The reds are vibrant and the attention to detail on the Spider Logo is amazing. I was also very pleased when posing it around to see how the design flowed nicely, even with the upper and lower diaphragm articulation. The logo didn’t really “break up” as much as I thought it might. The weblines are painstakingly applied and are very well done. The silver web shooters stand out beautifully against the blue costume and best of all… when looking closely, you can see the nozzle apparatus sculpted on the inside of the wrist. It’s a small detail, but it makes the figure even more appealing for it. The masked sculpts are done very well and the whites of his eye pieces are applied super cleanly. I typically prefer the wider open look ala Bagley’s art style, but this figure looks terrific with both masked head sculpts applied. The most pleasant surprise though, was the unmasked head. Given that this was a clone of Peter, I fully expected to see a blonde version of the original Parker head sculpt. Nope, this is an entirely new sculpt, with different hair styling and yet, it manages to capture the essence of Peter Parker. I enjoy displaying this figure with the unmasked sculpt on almost as much as with a mask. The paint is applied cleanly and the skin tone is really exceptional. The blonde hair could have had a wash applied, however, the sculpting gives enough depth and texture that the natural shadows cast give the hair a natural appearance. The webbing is the same as we’ve seen before, in white plastic and still looks terrific. I’ve been making my own webbing, of late, and have posed this figure with mine, which looks really cool. For review purposes though, I elected to show him with the webbing included. Overall this is an absolutely gorgeous figure to have in hand and just looks, well, sensational. A for Appearance!!!
Last of all, and likely the most important, can he do whatever a spider can? Mafex, for a long time, had notable QC issues when it came to joints and movement. They have really come a long way in correcting those problems and the articulation engineering has blossomed considerably. First off, both of the necks sit on a ball peg and have the typical angled ball peg for the head sculpts. This allows for great upward looking movement, deep downward tilting, head turning/pivoting and a great amount of head tilt/attitude. The shoulders hinge up and down nicely and hit terrific T-poses as well as having full 360 degree rotation. They sit in really nice butterfly joints which allow for shoulder pivot and increased forward and backward hinging. The bicep swivel works beautifully and the double jointed elbows bend in far enough for Spidey to touch his own head. All the hands fit on the wrist peg which swivels and hinges up and down. He has a great upper diaphragm joint which allows for forward and backward hinging, pivoting and side to side tilting. His lower diaphragm sits on a joint which allows for additional crunching as well as waist pivot. When these two joints are used in conjunction, you get some dynamic bending and posing which make playing with this figure just exceedingly enjoyable. His legs have the drop down feature which allows for beautiful forward range of motion and spectacular splits. He’s got a hidden upper thigh swivel, double jointed knees which bring him into heel to butt contact and a hinged peg giving him beautiful ankle hinging, and rocker. Lastly, Spidey has toe articulation which helps nail his nimble wall crawling, perching poses. I really am happy with the articulation on this figure and as I’m certain you can guess, he easily sweeps the Triple A by earning the Articulation grade.
In case you haven’t guessed it by now… I absolutely love this figure. He has moved ahead of the Upgrade Suit Spider-Man from Far From Home as my favorite Spider-Man. It’s funny, for a character I wasn’t overly crazy about back in the comic books, he’s definitely earned a prominent place on my display shelves. As with all imports, this is not an inexpensive figure. I was able to get mine for about $95, which is certainly not unreasonable for Mafex. Coupled with the Triple A, I can honestly say that this figure earns 5 out of 5 Toyboxes and would look exceptional in any collection. This potentially could be a tough figure to find given how quickly he’s sold out in many of the top outlets, but don’t let that deter you from checking out other Mafex figures at www.bigbadtoystore.com. Thanks for checking out the toybox and, until next time… Geek Out!