Hey everyone! Hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and are ready for the upcoming New Year! 2023 is going to be a great year and Dan's ToyBox is going to be bringing some new things for you to enjoy! Today, we'll check out one of the newest Mafex releases with the Amazing Spider-Man Classic Costume ver. Medicom Mafex #185. This is a smart looking figure and one I was immediately excited for when I saw the release notification several months ago. As I never did get the original Spider-Man, adding this to my collection was a no-brainer!
This is where I would usually give a background on the character, but I'm pretty sure we're all familiar with how Spider-Man came to be, so instead, I'll share one of my favorite Spider-Man stories. In 1982, Roger Stern and John Romita Jr. brought us an unforgettable tale. Spider-Man versus The Juggernaut. The synopsis of the story was that Black Tom Cassidy sent Juggernaut to kidnap Madame Web. Warned in a dream, the psychic Web reached out to the one hero that could protect her: Spider-Man. The web head soon finds himself squared off against the unstoppable force. When brute strength fails, Spider-Man is forced to rely on his wits, agility, and intellect to survive. In spite of his efforts, Juggernaut soon reaches Madame Web's apartment and unknowingly, grabs her from her life support chair. Seeing that the woman is now useless to him, Juggernaut discards her and leaves. Spider-Man, recovering from the fight, works to keep Madame Web alive as NY's finest arrive on scene. Now, more determined than ever, Spider-Man sets out to take down this seemingly unbeatable foe. Once again, the web head and the human tank clash. After expending nearly all of his web fluid and even crashing a tanker truck into Juggernaut to no avail, Spider-Man realizes he has to come up with something creative and soon, else he too will fall victim to the Juggernaut's power. Leaping onto his monstrous foe's back, Spider-Man succeeds in "blinding" Juggernaut by covering his eye slits and through sheer strength of will and determination, hangs on in spite of the blows raining on his back. Weary and beaten up, Spidey is able to guide Juggernaut onto a worksite and into a newly poured foundation of wet concrete. Managing enough strength to leap away, Spider-Man watches as the behemoth slowly sinks into the cement, handing the Juggernaut one of his most humiliating defeats. This two-part story ran in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #'s 229-230 and remains, to this day, one of the best Spider-Man adventures I've ever read.
Before diving into our review, we'll take a quick recap of the criteria and categories. We look at Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability. After discussing each of these, the action figure receives an overall score of Zero (trash) to 10 (Awesome!!) ToyBoxes. As always, I try to be as objective as possible in order to help you make the best-informed decision as to whether or not you want to add a specific figure to your own collections.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
As usual, Mafex packs their figures with lots of goodies and does so in a new, smaller box. Granted, we've seen all of these accessories previously with other Spider-Man figures. I'll still go through them for the sake of being a completist. The Classic Costume Spider-Man comes with six pairs of hands: 1 pair fisted, 1 pair web gripping, 1 pair relaxed, 1 pair wall crawling, 1 pair "thwipping", and 1 pair of magnetic wall crawling hands. He also has a pair of magnetic feet. He also comes with two long and two short thwipping webs, one long web for "swinging" and one long web with a web "anchor" attached to the end. There is also an alternate "angry eyes" head sculpt, the standard Mafex display stand, and a clear peg for the web "anchor." As I said, there isn't anything really new, nor is there an unmasked head, which was a bit disappointing. I tried to attach the unmasked head from the Symbiote suit and discovered the peg on this neck is too big. Undeterred, I grabbed the unmasked head from the Mafex #108 Comic Paint version and discovered that it did fit, though not quite as snugly as I'd like. This discovery led to another one, which I'll discuss in the Appearance section. I do, actually, like the smaller packaging. Everything fits neatly and is more compact for easier storage. The standard accessory packaging gets a solid 7 out of 10, simply for not including an unmasked head.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
When Mafex announced they were releasing this "Classic Costume" version, I was really excited, especially after seeing promo shots. I have a KO version of the first Mafex Spider-Man and try not to do much with it, as the joints are terribly loose. I bought the #108 Comic Paint version and within the first half hour of opening it, broke a wrist peg. So, my desire for a comic accurate Peter Parker red/blue costume Spider-Man pretty much went unfulfilled, until now. First and foremost, when comparing this to other Mafex Spider-Man figures, I learned that this version is actually SMALLER than the others. I had thought it to be built on the same body and to a degree, yes, it is. However, when standing next to the Mafex Ben Reilly, Symbiote Suit, and even Comic Paint versions... this new Spider-Man is just slightly shorter! Oddly enough, though, it looks really good when posed with some of his classic villains in Marvel Legends form. We know that in the comics, Peter is 5'10" tall, thus, a bit shorter than his contemporaries and many of his villains. I actually like that this is a bit smaller as well. On to the rest of his appearance. The reds and blues are really bright, which is so reminiscent of his comic appearances in the 70's and early 80's. There is a black wash which highlights the weblines on the costume, but it's clean enough that it doesn't really dilute the brightness of the red much at all. I am really happy with how clean the paint applications are, especially the white eyes, the spider on his back, and even the smaller spider logo on his chest. Everything is very easy to distinguish and makes the brighter colors pop even more. I was a bit disappointed that my web accessories were a bit warped, so I started working on getting those straightened out and I do kind of wish that Mafex would go back to the translucent webbing or even give these white webs a soft gray wash to be more comic accurate. I do love the sculpt work on the web accessories though and am always impressed with the level of detail that goes into them. I have to admit, as much as I enjoyed the black suit Spidey when he came out in late summer, I really like this classic costume version even more. The sculpting creates it's own shadows, so that a wash over the blue parts isn't really needed. I think I'm going to give this Spider-Man an actual 10 out of 10 for appearance!
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
For me, Mafex is still tops when it comes to articulation engineering on action figures. Hasbro is starting to make some improvements and SHFiguarts does an amazing job, but Mafex is still my favorite. Given the number of QC issues that Mafex had for years, they have really stepped up their game. If you aren't familiar with import engineering, though, I do suggest taking it slow when learning how to pose your figures. Putting undo stress on joints or accidentally breaking a wrist peg is never a good way to learn. So, with all that, let's see what he can do. Spider-Man's head is on a peg with a slight bend, which allows him to look both up very far and down very deeply. His head also turns side to side easily enough and can tilt for some "attitude." His neck will also tilt forward, back, and side to side. The shoulders have amazing range. The butterflies will allow for forward and backward movement while the shoulders themselves will: raise higher than a T pose, rotate a full 360 degrees, shift up and down, and rotate on the butterfly itself. There is a bicep swivel and the elbows bend in all the way. The hands are on hinged pegs which will move up and down, while allowing the hand itself to swivel freely around the peg. The upper torso can crunch forward, backward, rotate and has nice side to side tilt. The lower torso can also move almost as well as the upper diaphragm joint and when used in tandom, gives Spider-Man an amazing range of body motion! The hips drop down, allowing the legs to kick up very high and split out reasonably well. There is a hidden thigh swivel, which rotates outward to a small degree. The knees are double jointed and can bend very well, only limited by the muscle sculpts. The ankles are on ball pegs and can both hinge and pivot and there is wonderful toe articulation. Honestly, the toe joint on my figure's left foot is the only joint that is relatively loose. Everything else has just the right amount of tightness allowing him to hold some great poses. I would like a bit more upper torso crunch, but on the plus side, there is no horrible gapping on the back when you put the figure into a crouch. I'm really happy with the articulation on mine and feel it easily gets a 9 out of 10.
Figured it'd be kind of fun to see how he stacks up with other Spider-Man figures, so here he his with: Marvel Legends: Cel Shaded Retro Spider-Man, Marvel Legends: Amazing Fantasy First Appearance, Medicom Mafex: Ben Reilly/Spider-Man and Medicom Mafex: Far From Home Upgrade Suit Spider-Man.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
I pre-ordered this figure through BBTS for the retail price of $94.99. I know that I can get Mafex and other imports for less on other websites, but I've always had very good fortune with Big Bad Toy Store and enjoy buying from them. One thing that has impressed me is that with other companies jacking their prices up *cough* HASBRO *cough* that issue hasn't really seemed to overtake Medicom Mafex too badly. This $95 range is fairly consistent across the board and with all the accessories and, really, the care taken with the designs, I feel is a fair price. Unfortunately, with the price of everything else today, these are luxuries for the collectors out there. With that in mind, I'll give this a 7 out of 10 for affordability.
Overall, I really like this figure quite a bit. I'm very happy to have it in my collection and am pleased with how great it looks. Yes, it's a bit pricey and the accessories aren't anything new, but the figure itself more than makes up for those issues. Give him an unmasked head and I'd likely have given this a perfect score, as it is the Medicom Mafex Classic Costume Version Spider-Man #185 earns a solid:
9 OUT OF 10 TOYBOXES!!!
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Keep an eye on Dan's ToyBox this week as we drop a couple more figure reviews and our annual Top 15 Action Figures of the year list! Thank you for hanging out in Dan's ToyBox and until next time... GEEK OUT!!!