SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Marvel Select “The Amazing Spider-man 2”

We have a new Marvel Select figure at the SpartanNerd house…Marvel Select “The Amazing Spider Man 2” Spider-man!

1 package front

Spider-Man came in this box…It isn’t that remarkable.  Just a large window and you can see the components inside.  This was one of two choices in Marvel Select Spider-Man figures available at our local comic book store, “The Tangled Web.”  The other is basically the same figure, but with a crushed car as the stand, and lacking a swappable hand.

Here’s the back…

2 package back

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” references that movie that never should have been made…

(Tobey MacGuire IS Spider-Man…When they announce the premature reboot I was highly disillusioned and haven’t seen either one..)

Regardless of my feelings about what this figure represents, is it a good Spider-Man figure…Read on, oh Hub City Geeks!

Spider-man comes with all the things pictured here, as well as a promotional poster which I threw away instead of photographing.

3 whats in the box minus propaganda

So you get a stand, an extra right hand with a closed fist, two webs, and a stand that is actually the awning under Spidey’s apartment window.

8 stand backside

The stand can hang on your wall like a picture if you want.

I like this stand, and I think the grubby looking apartment with the wall-unit hanging out over a ratty green awning is quite comic book accurate.

(I wonder what several of these stands strategically placed would be like…the whole side of an apartment building!)

5 portal pose

There are pegs on the wall of the stand…Spider-Man’s power is that he can stick to walls, right?  Here is an attempt to make that work.  This was one of many poses I tried…Spidey does have holes in his feet, but why would you stand him up straight on this stand?  That seems to be the intention, however.

4 spider butt

Here you go…you know you wanted to see the backside of Spider-Man anyways.

Spider-Man’s webs are pretty neat!  They both have a little hook that you may use to connect the ends together to make one super long web, or you can connect them to one of Spider-Man’s fingers and make it seem that he just shot the web.  The webs are not straight, they are bent and curved in a tasteful way.

11 favorite spidey photo

This may be my favorite Spider-Man photo ever!  You can see how the webs work in this picture. (above)

12 hanging

I tried to flex Spider-Man into classic comic poses.  This toy isn’t quite articulated enough for some of Spidey’s most iconic looks, for instance, the Todd McFarlane look.  (My favorite, of course.)  Above is my attempt at one of his most famous poses, “the kiss” pose from Spider-Man 3.  His legs just don’t bend that way.  I wish he had upper thigh cut articulation.  Instead, Spidey can’t really move his knees above his waist.

9 a menace

This figure looks good with other Marvel Select pieces.  Here he is on Deadpool’s stand.  Those webs add great flavor…as if he just landed and they are in motion behind him!

13 spider-man and deadpool

Hey, that’s my stand!

You can see that he is a little shorter than Deadpool.  I don’t know if you can tell from the pic or not, but his fist hand has a little hole where you can make it hold one of the webs too!

14 Spiderman and thanos

Thanos towers over Spider-Man.

15 Spiderman and Thor

Thor is much more muscular…however comparing these two isn’t fair.  Thor is not good as an action figure.  (I wrote a previous review of the Marvel Select Thor.)

16 Spiderman backside webbing Thanos

17 Thanos web detail

But compared to these action figures, Marvel Select Spider-Man is clearly superior.

18 Spiderman and the little guys

So what do I rate Marvel Select “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” Spider-Man?

I give the figure a 4/5.  Spidey’s sculpt is just what you would expect.  I don’t care for the newest movie’s design for the spider emblem on his chest, but this figure minimizes that.  The paint is just as good as you should expect for a $25 figure.  He comes with two great webs, and a pretty decent stand.  I subtracted a point, however because he isn’t as flexible as a Spider-Man figure should be.  He IS as articulated as the other Marvel select figures.  But he should have more joints or something.

so, what would you rate Marvel Select Spider-Man?  Do you agree with my rating of 4/5?  Let me know!

SpartanNerd Blog…Blog Photos the way they Should Be!

I have a few really nice figures, and am always reviewing them on this blog….

But up until now, I have only used my kitchen table….Or maybe the “Protector of the Keep” playmate for Magic cards or comics.

But not anymore!

The SpartanWife got me an early Valentines present…And I was completely surprised and blown away by it.

A LIGHTBOX!

Now I can take really good pictures, and edit them like a pro!

Here is a sample!

D Arts MegaMan!

i switched out the armor on Snout Spout last week.
I like my elephant warriors to be more savage!

Teela has proven to be the hardest to photograph.
I think her face is a bit too shiny for the spotlight.  Here I gave here a cooler treatment,
with mystical blue lighting.

Here is Marvel Select Thor, with a black background and a filter.  I wanted an antique look.
I am especially fond of how the hammer turned out.

Skeletor is an interesting one to photograph.  So much detail!  This black and white filter really makes the trio of Panthor, Havoc Staff, and Skeletor feel like they came from a horror story.

A good pic of the details on Panthor’s face.  The Sepia filter makes it feel bronze, or clay even.

One thing, Skeletor’s eyes can hypnotize you if you stare too long at them.
There was masterful design and execution on the face sculpt and painting of Skeletor.

I think this is my favorite picture I have taken with the new equipment.  Nothing too fancy.  But it feels like the cover of a Conan the Barbarian comic book.  I tried to have Vikor hold Teela over his shoulder, but their facial expressions are too calm for that pose to work.  Still, Red is the perfect color to go behind Vikor.

I tried to get a “Catalogue” feel on He-Man and Battlecat here.  

And here he/they are.  Two Bad looks like he leapt off of the comic pages as well.

I have a lot to learn about taking pictures for reviews, and editing them as well with iPhoto or other software.  But I am off to a good start.  The lightbox is a 3X3X3 cube with two spotlights and four background colors.  I have found that sometimes the light reflects on faces a little too much, as in the case of Teela, Mega-Man, and Two-Bad above, but I was able to recover most of the time with editing.  I need to spend more time previewing before shooting, I think.  And also maybe moving the lights back or something.  I also took a few pics right before my iPhone battery died, and I believe that caused them to be a little blurrier. (I took some Pokemon pics that were unusable.)

There are also size limitations.  He-Man and Skeletor barely fit on their cats in the pics.  I cropped down what you see.  But the Griffin is way too big for the lightbox treatment.  And so is Megator, really.

Still, it is a great start and I am having a blast.  Comment on the photos!

(Also check out my recent blurb about Born of the Gods, where I also used the white reflecting material as the background for the cards.)

Oh yeah.  My rating.  The Polaroid Lightbox gets a 5/5!

It folds up for easy transport and storage into a little baggy with pouches for the lights.  It also came with a camera stand that I will have to try out when I use a real camera sometime instead of an iPhone.  I won’t fault it on it’s size.  Really it is perfect for most action figures, and I am a beginner.

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…Marvel Select Thor

I have reviewed an excellent Marvel Select figure before, Deadpool, which you can read here…(And probably should)

I say that because, unfortunately, Thor doesn’t stack up to Deadpool as a figure.  Let’s see why!

Here Thor sits on the shelf at the Tangled Web in Spartanburg, yelling “Purchase me, mortal.  Thou hast the power!”

First of all, the packaging.  Thor comes in a beautiful Marvel box that displays what you are getting very clearly.  Also, there is nice comic book artwork on the left. side.

$24.99.  Not bad.  The Christmas fund will cover it.

The back of the package gives you a nice little backstory for Thor as he is in Marvel Comics.

Apparently, Thor is the son of Odin’s mistress….

Time to tear into it!

Here is what you see when you open the box.  In case you are wondering, the little pamphlet shows off other Marvel Select figures as well as Marvel Mini-Mates.

Thor was strapped in with those stupid bread tie things.  I had to resort to cutting the left foot’s wire-in with nail clippers, because I was afraid I would damage the figure.

What vile power can bind the God of Thunder?
Here he is, freed from his prison.

Let’s discuss his articulation.  Compared to the previous Deadpool figure, he theoretically has mostly the same articulation points.  But I used the word Theoretically for a reason.  Actually, only the bottom joint of his double jointed knee moves.  Furthermore, his left leg is tighter than the right leg.  He has rocker ankles, that are quite stiff.  What about his arms?  Well they are pretty tight.  But his hands are sculpted into permanent positions.  No finger articulation.  Just Hammer Holder and Bruce Dickenson “Metal to the Masses” pose  (Thanks Puller, for that bit of poetry!).  His head is hampered by his hair and cape.  The hair and cape are not movable…They are stiff poses.  So really, he isn’t all that much articulated.  In fact, his coolness as a toy is lessoned quite a bit.  He seems more like a statue with posable arms.

Here is what his back looks like.

Now for the really important stuff.  Thor uses a “real man’s hammer!”  (The SpartanNerd’s friends will recognize this saying….)

nicely sculpted detail, it even has a loop.  This is what Thor uses to swing the hammer like a bola, I gather.
Pay attention to the bottom of the handle.  That little bulb of lacquer is going to be a problem.
I wanted to remove Mjolnier from the hand of Thor.  But, that little
blob of stuff made the hammer too fat to get it out of his hand.

I hope you’re reading my captions.  That’s right.  I couldn’t get it out without force.  Force is the enemy of handles made of soft plastic.  I was so afraid I would bend it, I seriously considered leaving it in his hand forever.  But it is the job of an internet reviewer to come forth with all of the truth.  So I pulled it out as straight as I could.

You can see, I didn’t bend it much.
Thor also comes with this stand…er…rock…err…meteor thing.

OK.  He has peg holes in his feet.  But it isn’t any easier to make Thor stand.  Why?  That cape is quite heavy.  Also, his right leg is looser than his left leg.

I believe he stands better without the rock!

Not going to give you a picture, but my MOTUC figures stand quite nicely on that rock!

Here he is holding Vikor’s sword.  He is a tad taller than MOTUC figures.
The scale seems larger.
It makes this awesome sword seem less awesome.
Two vikings.  This is the kind of Thor story I like.
Teela makes a fine barbarian bride for Thor!
Someone’s a little jealous….Vikor, you’re going to mess around and bend your axe!  (Too late!)
Deadpool…”What’s your excuse for being less articulated?”
Thor…”I don’t have to be.  I am immortal.”
Deadpool…”Well, I am unkillable!”

How do I rate this Thor figure?  I am quite a fan of Thor, and I like the Thor movies.  In general I like the comics also, recently having read the whole Ghor the Godbutcher series in the Marvel NOW events.  (I will have to review that story sometime.)  I bought this figure for those reasons.  Plus I already knew the Deadpool was really very nice.  But I was disappointed in the quality of this figure, it feeling more like a statue and less like an action figure.  It only came with one accessory, and it can’t stand on its stand so good.  His articulation is hampered.  And you can’t do anything about it really because the cape is glued on and the hair is stiff.

So I am going to give it a grade of 2/5.  It gets the two points really only because he looks so awesome.  And looks awesome with Vikor and Teela.  But he could just as well continued to look as good on the store shelf.  On the other hand, he wasn’t expensive.  And comparable comic book statues cost over $100.  So looking at it that way he would be a 4/5 as a statue.  (Not having as precise a sculpt as a statue because he was meant to be an action figure…if that makes sense?)

Do you agree or disagree?  Let me know, oh Hub City Geeks!  And be on the lookout for more awesome reviews by the SpartanNerd!

DC Comics Trinity War….This is why I keep reading comics!

Here is my collection of the first three stories in the arc.

I have been following the DC New 52 since the beginning.  Now it is paying off!

This story arc has pulled references from so many places in the New 52 universe…And seriously starting back at the beginning with Darkseid.

And Justice League #23, the final book in this arc, ties so many things together, and then the heroes lose….and you are left on a cliffhanger that makes you want more.

When I turned that page and saw the long-haired version of Aquaman with the hook, I about fell out of my chair.  And then…. Earth 3!  And Alfred!  What about Cyborg?  The Atom was the mole?  And the disease?  And the real murderer…what happened there.

Of course there will be a little break in the action.  We are at September.  This year we get Villains month.  (Can’t wait!)  Then after the break in the action, this story will return in Forever Evil, which is going to prominently feature Nightwing, apparently.

Now comes the cheapskate talk.  There is supposed to be a new Justice League vs. Master of the Universe dropping sometime.  I will be getting all of those, being a slave and all, and will probably pick up variant covers if I see them.  (This story is supposed to be in-universe….Don’t know how that is going to work!  And since it is a Justice League title, there will probably be a lot of variants available.)

And I will have to read Forever Evil…I know I am going to pick up a few villains comics that I am not subscribed to….AND THEROS comes out this month….

Something has to go…And I think it is Thor.  I read all of the Godbutcher and Godbomb stories, plus #12 this week.  I am well pleased.  And feel I can part with him for awhile.  I also have the Tangled Web pulling Batman\Superman for me…I might have to have them stop that.  And make room to get the Forever Evil books.

But what next?

Maybe I should stop….Is this madness?  Maybe I should wait and buy the graphic novel of Forever Evil….It’ll probably be out around February or March…Probably cost $20-$25.   And be an enjoyable read even.

One thing I know…I had thought about subscribing to Justice League America….but it was announced that after Forever Evil, it was going to become Justice League Canada.  I am not on board with that!  JLA has been good….Good enough to subscribe to.

But I guess after the fight with the Justice League proper, their purpose is used up.  (Has DC Comics already forgotten….Justice League International didn’t sell…)


How I see comics……

          The SpartanNerd is a bit of a cheapskate.  So his comics come by the old fashioned snail-mail…..(I save a little money that way.)  Such is the way of a breeder.  What does this mean for a blog about comics?  Well, it means that after ComicVine, Pop Culture Network, and whoever else has already reviewed them, I will have my two cents to add….Literally two cents.  On a RARE occasion, I will get a book on the Wednesday that it comes out.  Sometimes, I get them over two weeks late.  This sucks pretty bad….

          So what books am I subscribed too?  I jumped on DC Comics The New 52 wagon when all that news dropped.  I began buying the digital books.  This was OK, but I missed the nostalgia of owning the actual paper books I stockpiled as a kid, thus the subscriptions.  I started here because 1) Marvel messes around too much with Spider-Man, who I love just as he was in the 1990’s pre-clone          Todd MacFarlane era, 2. Big Iconic characters that used to be too intimidating with a 50 year back-story…such as Batman and Superman, would now be more accessible.  3.  It seemed like a good place to start with stuff I wasn’t SOOO familiar with in the first place.  So I subscribed to five titles that I read the most.  Detective Comics, Batman, Batman and Robin, Action Comics, and Justice League.  I have since dropped Justice League (too much Shazam) and picked up Aquaman.  Why no Batman: The Dark Knight?  I didn’t care for the art, but I have picked up a couple of the books.

           It also turns out that here at the edge of the world there are a couple of fine establishments that sell comics, closest to me is Mad Max’s Comics and Games, but also on the west side of Sparkle City there is the highly regarded and established Tangled Web.  I STILL find myself darkening comic store doors on Wednesdays and weekends.  What books do I pick up?  Believe it or not, Batgirl!  I started reading Justice League of America.  I bought Ninja Turtles for awhile.  I picked up every Masters of the Universe comic I could.  I also bought a major haul of books from a Tangled Web recently in a doorbuster sale.  I grabbed almost every associated title that went with “The Court of the Owls,” and “Death of The Family” when those stories were hot.  I also began reading the new Thor book, which has been pretty cool so far.

           Part of my thinking in this was of course that I would not miss any important details.  So How did I miss THE DEATH OF DAMIAN WAYNE/ROBIN?  DC really ticked me off on this one.  Here I am a near hardcore fan of Batman, loving the whole New 52 take on Robin….And they kill him off in the one book I haven’t been reading…..Batman Inc.  AND I find out by reading Batgirl…which I picked up at the store thinking it would be spoiler free (even though it said “Requiem” on the cover?  That was cold, DC Comics.)

          In the next few posts over the next few days, I will try to bring anyone who cares…. (anyone out there?)……up to date on what I have thought about each of my regular titles.  I might just distill the Bat books down into their story elements of Court of the Owls, Death of the Family, and Requiem.  I’ll address Justice League, Superman, and some of the other books I have picked up as well.  Stay tuned, Hub City Geeks!

SpartanNerd