Opening in theaters December 14th, Sony’s animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask. Check out the trailer below!
As a toy collector, you know the drill: a new Marvel movie means only one thing – NEW TOYS! In stores now, Hasbro has released an entire figure series based on characters from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (see our story HERE). Supplementing the standard 6-inch assortment starring Mile Morales, Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen and Prowler, Hasbro has released two deluxe figures. This wave rounds out our Spider heroes with the addition of Peni Parker and her SP//dr mech suit and adds a new villain for them all to battle: the mechanized Scorpion! These retail in stores for around $18 each, although collectors can get their hands on both as a set through Entertainment Earth priced at $29.99.
Let’s dive in and check them out…
Packaging for the pair is colorful and eye-catching, but the bare bones open box display leaves me cold. While the plethora of plastic ties help deter theft on retail shelves, I really despise the thought of a thousand grubby child hands having touched the toy I’m about to buy. It’s just another reason to order these through Entertainment Earth: the only people touching these figures are EE’s warehouse employees and YOU opening them up at home!
A few snips later and Peni Parker, SP//dr and Scorpion are free. The first thing to note about these figures is that these are not Marvel Legends sculpt and articulation level. In other words, the Spider-Verse toys are aimed more at casual collectors, and let’s admit it, kids that are seeing the movie. That doesn’t make them bad toys by any means, especially when it comes to their screen-accurate cartoon appearance. However, their articulation definitely left me frustrated and wanting more.
Peni Parker is a 14-year-old Japanese girl who hails from the Earth-14512 universe. Unlike most Spider-People who have actual spider-enhanced abilities, Peni’s power comes from the SP//dr (pronounced “spider”) mech suit she inherited from her late father. Peni’s whole story in the Spider-Verse is highly influenced by mecha anime (think Neon Genesis Evangelion) with her young age and tech-mind aimed at appealing to the whole emoji-hashtag-text-addicted generation (if SP//dr didn’t make that clear enough, there’s also a VEN#m suit).
What I like most about this set is the scale between the two figures: Peni measuring a petite 3-inches tall (pictured above with the Marvel Legends Peter Porker figure) while the SP//dr mech towers above her at 9.5-inches.
What I don’t like, is that there’s no real interaction between the two figures. For being a mech SUIT, you’d think the Peni figure could fit inside SP//dr, but no dice. Alas there’s not even a simple peg system for Peni to perhaps ride on the back of the mech. It’s really a missed opportunity. The best you can do is pose Peni next to her mech. My figure stands fine on its own (I’ve seen some cases where she doesn’t) so you can also have her on display with the rest of the Spider-Verse gang. Articulation is a basic swivel head and up and down arm movement at the shoulders, allowing you to pose Peni running or with arms up in the air, as if celebrating victory in battle against Scorpion.
Being a toy line aimed at a younger audience, the SP//dr mech has an action feature in the form of a web launcher. Surprisingly, it’s pretty powerful (you’ll poke an eye out, kid!) and has a long firing range. Unfortunately, articulation on SP//dr, much like Peni, is limited. It has up and down movement at its shoulders and thighs, as well as swivel forearms and wrists.
What frustrated me is that the sculpted robo-joints make it appear that the figure can bend at the elbows and knees. It’s all an illusion, however, SP//dr is forced to fire his web launcher with his gangling arm fully extended. As a display piece, the SP//dr mech looks cool, but the adult collector in me wanted more. Regardless, kids should have a blast playing with it. I just think that they’ll be frustrated too wondering what to do with Peni…
On the other end of the deluxe Spider-Verse figure scene we have the Scorpion King! Er, I mean, Scorpion. While I dig the aesthetics of the new SP//dr suit, Scorpion’s reimagined mecha-Darth Maul look isn’t speaking to me. 99% of that is because I’m soooooo used to Mac Gargan dressed in his classic green super-villain suit with stinging, wall-smashing tail. The change is rather drastic for this Marvel old timer. Again, kids will probably love it. A robot scorpion? That combo is like french fries and pizza to a young boy.
Measuring 7-inches tall from ground to the top of his nubby head (almost 10-inches to his barbed tail), Scorpion requires some minor assembly out of the box. This involves plugging in his tail (hole on his back) and his two back legs (each has a tabbed slot to fit in one way).
Once built, Scorpion stands solid on his four mecha legs. Following the limited articulation model of Peni and SP//dr, Scorpion features a swivel waist, cut shoulders for up and down arm action, a tail that can swing forward where it attached to his back, as well as a clawed hand that swivels side-to-side at the elbow.
Scorpion also has a prerequisite action gimmick: press the button on his clawed hand for pincer grabbing action! Hey, the Peni figure now has a use
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fans are sure to love Hasbro’s new figures. They aren’t Marvel Legends caliber collectibles, but they certainly don’t sink to Hasbro stiff 12-inch bargain bin figure levels. Featuring great animated deco and sculpts, Hasbro’s Spider-Verse deluxe figures nicely fill in the ranks of the movie line. While my money is on the Peni Parker SP//dr set, passionate fans of the film will no doubt want Scorpion as well. Get them both through Entertainment Earth priced at $29.99 – a savings of $10 off retail!
Scroll on for more photos!
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Samples Courtesy of EntertainmentEarth.com
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