The exclusive for wave 24 is Tarantula, a fairly obscure (to the casual fan) Spider-Man villain from the 1970s. Despite the fact that this is a B-list character, his release isn’t too surprising as DST seem to love Spider-Man and his rogue’s gallery. I fully expect to get everyone from Hammerhead to Swarm before all is said and done. This is a review of the variant only, it won’t cover Back In Black Spider-Man as he has already been reviewed.
The packaging for Tarantula is similar to the others for this series and the previous wave, with the green-tinted, Spidey-themed background and control art-type pictures of each figure on the front of the package. As has become convention with the window-boxed Marvel figures, the figures themselves are packaged with their masks off, but the control art pics show the figures with their masks on. The word VARIANT is emblazoned in glowing yellow next to Tarantula, similar to the box for War Machine Mark II. Each side shows an action picture of each figure (this time using the actual figures), and the back has another green-tinted background, pics of all 7 figures in the series, and little blurbs about each character in the pack.
Tarantula’s blue mask is a re-use of the piece that came with Iron Fist. This was likely a cost-saving move, and though it works well enough, this mask looks a bit odd to me, with the tassel flowing directly sideways out of the back of his head. It was made this way for Iron Fist, in part, because his collar piece necessitated it, but it seems really unnatural on other ‘Mates such as this. However, Tarantula was often drawn with it flowing, so I guess this is somewhat accurate to the source design. You can pretend that he is flying through the air sideways, or standing in a stiff breeze, but in an ideal world, the tassel part would not look so stiff. From pictures I have found, the original Tarantula’s mask seemed to cover the entire back of his head, but this one only covers the top half, which is another minor issue.
He comes with one of Tony Stark’s hairpieces, so you know he has a full head of black hair, but as he is, he appears bald when the mask is on. Tarantula’s face under the mask is very nice, with a maniacal laugh that screams “bad guy”. With the mask on, you might think that he is just being happy, but when you take it off, there is no doubt that he is insane. He also has a pencil-thin mustache, and bears more than a passing resemblance to Errol Flynn.
The rest of Tarantula’s outfit is a nice representation of the source design, with a huge tarantula (I guess) design on his chest, 4 of its legs leading down his arms and legs, and detailed web-like designs around his ankles and wrists. One pretty significant issue here is that this character is known for his spiky shoes, which he uses to stab his enemies, injecting them with drugs. However, the Minimate has no such shoes, he just has regular feet. I can understand that DST did not want to spend any extra money on new molds for this variant, but this is a pretty important characteristic of this character, so it is too bad that the spiky shoes are missing.
Tarantula has no accessories, but as indicated above it’s the lack of spiky shoes that hurts him most.
In Conclusion: Tarantula is another nice Minimate foe for Spidey, with a very nice outfit and face, but the issues with his mask and his lack of spiky shoes keep him from being great. Despite all this, I think he is worth tracking down, as I don’t imagine we will get an updated version for such an obscure bad guy anytime soon.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
Review and pictures by karamazov80