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Medicom Mafex #186 Scarlet Spider (Comic version)

Welcome to another Dan's ToyBox review. I'm really pumped to bring you this particular figure discussion, especially since I've had the opportunity to do a livestream with ItzDante2.0 on his Instagram. This has been one of those figures that I discovered I like even more than I thought I would!

The Scarlet Spider's origin is a convoluted and intricate story set 20 years apart in the real world, while only being 5 years apart in Spider-Man's timeline. Though I have read these stories myself, I was pleased to find that Wikipedia had a pretty solid synopsis of both storylines, so to make life easier, here it is:

The original Clone Saga

In mid-1973, writer Gerry Conway made the decision to kill off the girlfriend of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, in The Amazing Spider-Man #121 because the editorial team felt that Gwen had become stale as a character, and they wanted to instill an additional element of tragedy into Peter Parker's life. In the follow-up arcs, Conway introduced a new villain called the Jackal and let Gwen Stacy seemingly return from the dead.

The Jackal was the villain identity of Gwen and Peter's biology professor Miles Warren, who could not cope with the death of Gwen, with whom he was secretly in love. As an expert on cloning, he creates clones of both Gwen and Peter, discovering Peter is Spider-Man as a result. The Jackal blames Spider-Man for Gwen's death and wants to kill him. The Jackal kidnaps Spider-Man and forces him to fight his clone. Both men believe they are the real Peter Parker. The two Spider-Men soon decide to work together, but one is seemingly killed by the same bomb that kills the Jackal. The surviving Spider-Man determines he is the original because he is in love with Mary Jane Watson, which did not happen until after Professor Warren created the clone. Spider-Man drops the body of the clone into an incinerator. Gwen Stacy's clone disappears to find a new life for herself.

The Amazing Spider-Man #149, the climactic installment of the original Clone Saga, leaves it ambiguous whether it is the original Spider-Man or his clone who perishes in the bomb explosion. Conway said this ambiguity was unintentional, as at the time he took it as a given that Marvel would never replace the star of The Amazing Spider-Man with a clone.

The second Clone Saga

More years passed before Spider-Man's clone reappeared. He had survived the battle and for five years had lived an existence under the name Ben Reilly (a combination of Peter's Uncle Ben's first name and Aunt May's maiden name) and develops a superhero identity of his own as the Scarlet Spider after returning to New York City. A series of chaotic events followed, in which Peter and Ben were plagued by both a resurrected Jackal and by Kaine, who was an unsuccessful first clone of Spider-Man. In the process, another clone of Spider-Man became the villain Spidercide. Matters were further confused by the interventions of the mysterious and seemingly all-powerful Judas Traveller, a psychiatrist and Scrier, later revealed to be a cabal.

The revelations made by the High Evolutionary were revealed to have been inaccurate, driven by a determination to discredit Warren, who had formerly worked with him.

Medical tests indicated Peter was actually the clone and Ben the original. Peter temporarily retired as Spider-Man, leaving the mantle of Spider-Man to Ben while he prepared for his new role as a father after the discovery that Mary Jane was pregnant; Peter even lost his powers for a time during his 'retirement', although they eventually came back after a near-death experience. The climax revealed that Peter, Ben, the Jackal, Judas Traveller and many others had all been manipulated for years by Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin, who had returned from the dead and had been secretly masterminding the entire saga. Osborn said Peter was the original—having faked the evidence that revealed Peter's status as the clone as part of a plan to break Peter's spirit—a claim that was confirmed when Ben died saving Peter's life and his body degenerated like any other clone's. Spider-Man: The Osborn Journal (February 1997) explains the Green Goblin's role in the entire storyline.

That's an awful lot to take in, so let's jump into the review!!!


The Medicom Mafex Scarlet Spider action figure comes with a decent set of accessories. It includes three interchangeable heads, each capturing a different expression. I have had to give the heads a dip in hot water as I've actually had difficulty getting the two extra heads to pop onto the neck pegs. The inclusion of six pairs of hands, including: web-shooting hands, fists, web gripping hands, wall crawling hands (also with magnets), magnetic feet, and open hands provides a range of posing options. I will confess that I seldom use the magnetic hands/feet simply because they just can't seem to hold the weight of the figure. Additionally, the figure comes with multiple lengths of web lines, allowing for dynamic web-slinging poses. There are two long and two short thwipping lines, two swinging lines, and two stylized web lines. Sadly, in order to get those into the web holding hands, I had to snip the web lines in specific spots. However, it would have been nice to see a few more unique accessories, such as different web effects like his impact webbing. Overall, though, the accessories provided enhance the figure's display and play value.


The appearance of the Medicom Mafex Scarlet Spider is exceptional. Ben Reilly's first costume is elegant in it's simplicity. The bright red body suit, ankle pouches, belt with extra web cartridges and oversized web-shooters, coupled with the blue, sleeveless hoodie is a classic design, with nods to the original Spider-Man suit. I'm impressed with the cloth goods for the hoodie and the fact that the hood itself is wired, which allows for different posing options itself. My only real issue is that the Spider emblem is much smaller than I recall it being in the comic books. I feel like it covered nearly his entire chest in the books, where on the figure, it's relegated to the upper left side. That, though, is my only issue with how it looks and that's relatively minor concern. The stitching on the hoodie is really tight, which is a relief when it comes to cloth goods. I actually looked mine over very carefully for any stray threads. I even like the strings dangling from the hood. I've heard other reviewers say that they'd have liked those to have been bendy wire as well, but I think I'm ok with them being actual strings. I will say though, surprisingly, my favorite head sculpt is the more jagged looking eye lens version, which I believe was what Tom Lyle's initial design looked like when the character appeared in Web of Spider-Man #118. I think, sometimes, the simplest designs tend to be the best looking. This is certainly the case for Scarlet Spider. I remember when the character was first introduced. I had my card/comic shop and initially hated the costume. I think it was also because the idea was that we were to think Ben Reilly was actually the real Peter Parker... but, as with his Sensational Spider-Man costume, the design grew on me over time. I do regret the fact that I've missed out on getting a Marvel Legends version of this figure, but having this Mafex in hand more than makes up for it.


Medicom Mafex figures are known for their impressive articulation, and the Scarlet Spider does not disappoint. The figure boasts a wide range of articulation points, including double-jointed elbows and knees, a ball-jointed waist, and a highly posable neck. The joints are sturdy and hold poses well without any major stability issues. The figure's web-shooting hands allow for dynamic web-slinging poses, while the additional hands provide versatility in action poses. The articulation on this figure truly captures the agility and acrobatic nature of Scarlet Spider. In fact, the joints on mine were so sturdy that I needed to hit it with a hair dryer to get him moving a bit easier. I'm grateful to have the sturdy/stable joints though as it makes holding poses so much better. Going through the articulation, his head easily turns side to side and can look up and down quite well. When coupled with the neck movement, he can look very down very deeply and up for great swinging poses. The shoulders are on their traditional butterfly joints and, thankfully, the cloth goods don't hinder the articulation points at all. The arms can swing forward and backward very well, rotate a full 360 degrees and lift out to his sides in a just above T pose. The bicep swivel works just fine and as mentioned the elbows are double-jointed and can bend in very well. The wrist pegs are very small, so hinging the wrists with the bigger web shooters is a bit limited, but the ability to turn the wrists is smooth. I wondered if the hoodie would be a problem for the torso articulation and it's not. He can do some amazing crunches with both the upper and lower torso joints, tilt side to side, rotate, and bend backward. We know this is Medicom's standard body for Spider-Man and it continues to prove effective! The drop-down hips, while not popular with many reviewers are still a favorite for me. They allow the legs to get into a near full split, as well as increasing the range that he can kick forward. The hidden thigh swivel is a nice feature, as always. The design of the knees helps to keep clean lines when bending them in, quite deeply and the ankle swivel and hinge is generous as always. Even the toe articulation is sturdy on mine, which is good when trying to put him in crouching poses.


As a premium collectible, the Medicom Mafex Scarlet Spider action figure falls into a higher price range. While the quality and attention to detail justify the price to a certain extent, it may still be a significant investment for some collectors. The figure's exclusive accessories and high-quality sculpting contribute to the overall value, but affordability is subjective and dependent on an individual's budget and priorities. I purchased mine on BBTS for $104.99. I know that there are other online retailers from Japan which will charge less, but the shipping costs can be prohibitive, coming from overseas. All in all, though the prices have been slowly increasing on imports, I'm still ok with paying a bit more to buy from a domestic company and save on my shipping costs.

Overall, The Medicom Mafex Scarlet Spider action figure is a superb addition to any Spider-Man or Marvel collector's lineup. With its impressive appearance, exceptional articulation, and well-designed accessories, it captures the essence of the character perfectly. Although the affordability may be a slight drawback for some, the overall quality and attention to detail make it a worthwhile investment. Whether you're a fan of Scarlet Spider or simply appreciate well-crafted action figures, this Medicom Mafex release is undoubtedly a standout piece that delivers on its promises and earns:

8.5 out of 10 ToyBoxes

I hope you enjoyed our latest review and I hope you enjoyed the livestream with me and ItzDante2.0. Video will be posted when available. Until next time... GEEK OUT!!!


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