So this week, the family stopped nearabouts a Walmart for dinner, so I decided to make a break for it to find the latest 100-page Giant issue of Batman. The main storyline in that book by Bendis and Nick Derrington is really good, and it keeps me checking into the ole’ Wallymarts at least once a month to get my fix. I even thumbed through the latest issue of Superman that Tom King was getting flack for because it’s all about refrigerating Lois Lane–I didn’t find it nearly as offensive, but I didn’t pick it up because the Andy Kubert art isn’t my thang.
Anywho, while I was there, I couldn’t help but stroll past the toy aisle where I found the topic of today’s blog: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Super Collider Playset. Clearanced! For $5!
I saw this set before the holidays when it was still full retail priced at $20, and I scoffed. No way! These are the cons as I saw them:
The Cardboard Background: It’s part of Hasbro’s “Let’s use cardboard for playsets” movement. I honestly don’t mind that they’re using cardboard for backgrounds and whatnot, but they’re still charging more sturdy material prices. Not cool, Hasbro. If you’re giving me cheapo sets, I want cheapo prices to go with them. $5 seems fair.
The Scale: I’ve written before about my reluctance to buy things out of scale. This set aligns with the 6 inch cartoon figures (and even includes a Miles Morales toy), but my heart remains 4 inches tall.
The Green Goblin: I have issues with Green Goblin as giant-hulky-monster. I’m not saying it’s bad; it’s just not for me.
There were a few pros that made me think twice however:
The Kingpin: This is the only place I know to get that Bill Sienkiewicz-style Kingpin. There hasn’t been a 4 inch scale Kingpin released. The Legends Build-a-Figure Kingpin is far too big, and he wasn’t released with the 6 inch cartoon figure line. His grotesque proportions lend him to being fudgeable scale-wise, at least as a background character possibly. I love me some Bill Sienkiewicz art, so I thought this could be worth the risk.
The Spider-Verse: The kiddo loved that movie and had even made mention of wanting a toy or two from the line (outside of Penny and Sp//er which are already in our collection). The Miles toy included seemed like a nice concession to see if the line really was worth going outside of the four inch scale.
The Super Collider: As cheapo as the set looks, the collider was a huge plot point in the movie, and it could be nice to build some diorama scenes around.
So when I saw the set for the same price as an old school Subway sandwich, I thought, this couldn’t be any more of a waste of money than that! So let’s see how it turned out.
First, revisiting the cons:
The Cardboard: My set had a piece of the cardboard Goblin background already bent when I took it out of the box! That was really frustrating at the $5 level, if I would have paid full price, I’d be fuming. Fortunately, it’s at one of the folds that is obstructed by one of the plastic constructs or I might have had to take back my super-clearanced playset. Now, I just know it’s super clearanced. Verdict: Still a con!
The Scale: This isn’t as bad as I expected. It’s a cool backdrop, and there’s really nothing to look over or under-sized. The Miles toy is included, and I like his Spider-Verse costume. The toy itself lacks articulation and isn’t that exciting, but at least the kiddo can see what the line is like. Verdice: Not a con!
The Green Goblin: Although I will readily admit the design of the set with the random plastic Goblin head in the middle is weird, I actually thought the Goblin backdrop looked cool enough. It’s just not my Green Goblin, but in a world of many multiverses, it can be a Green Goblin.
Verdict: Not a con!
Now the pros:
The Kingpin: I didn’t expect a fully articulated figure going in. What I got was so much less than even my lowered expectations. The Kingpin’s head and hands–stickers. The Kingpin’s body? It’s only half-plastic, depth-wise. He’s like one of those cardboard cutout Fatheads in toy form.
Still, it’s Sienkiewicz-style Kingpin…and I guess he was only going to be a background character anyway… Verdict: I’m torn! It’s not good enough to stay a pro, but I like it enough to not be a con.
The Spiderverse: The Miles toy was a bit on the disappointing side as he wasn’t articulated, but the kiddo still liked him. The toy even had the new design spray-painted overtop of an old costume, just like in the movie, so that was a nice touch. I don’t see this as so awesome as to convince the kiddo we need to jump ship, though. Sure he says he likes it, but what does he know?
Verdict: Cost-Effective Pro! In this case, not being really cool is a cost-saving win for dad! The set, the figure, they’re both OK.
The Super Collider: Check out how the set looks with our collection of Spider-Verse toys. It’s pretty cool. It’s very specific to one movie and one scene, so I’m not sure if it’ll be a permanent fixture and continue to “spark joy,” or if it will be Marie-Kondo’d away with the next toy purge, but for now, it’s pretty cool. Verdict: One Trick Pony Pro!
The Gimmick: The target-practice gimmick of toppling the Kingpin off of his perch or knocking the Green Goblin head down to reveal the woozy-Goblin were actually really fun. Never underestimate the playability of short-range missile-firing action! The kiddo and I had tons of fun before I had to leave for work in the morning setting up and knocking down the targets.Just be careful around baby sisters or pets, please. Don’t shoot any eyes out! Verdict: Don’t aim near the face Pro!
The Final Verdict: Lower your expectations (and the price you actually pay) and the set is a win. It loses points for being one scene specific, but it gets them back because it was an important scene in a really cool movie. It loses points again because its really cheap quality (especially with the cardboard and the half-Kingpin), but it gains points because it tries new things I guess (at least it’s a Kingpin). At the end of the day, it was fun. It might not be long-lasting fun, as I don’t see this like the Spider-man cartoon Daily Bugle set or even some city playsets that I keep in heavy rotation with my toy setups–but it’s still entertaining for a time. The kiddo and I had lots of fun setting up the targets, and there’s a good chance Monster Goblin finds his place on a bottom toy shelf somewhere menacing the good heroes of the multiverse from time to time.
Until next time,
I’ll be carefully applying sticker 17 until I realize that’s the spot for sticker 18 and why isn’t this sticker coming back off?!?!