Here we have a pack containing another variant Spider-Man (this time with a new accessory) and one of the key people in Peter Parker’s turbulent life, Gwen Stacy.
Wave 4 is the first “proper” wave to feature the new, box-style Marvel Minimates packaging which now is an enclosed box with pictures of the Minimates in action poses.
The first figure in this set is Masked Spider-Man, who was originally known as Grabline Spider-Man. Calling him Masked Spider-Man seems a little strange when all of the other Spider-Men bar the Unmasked Spidey do in fact have masks on. Grabline Spider-Man placed the emphasis on his accessory, which seemed a good way to differenciate between them all.
Name quibbles aside, lets get on with the review. Much like the Unmasked Spider-Man in this wave, this Spider-Man’s body is practically identical to the wave 2 Spider-Man and therefore the detailing, the web lines and the colours are all superb. Regardless, it seems cheap to have exactly the same body as an existing figure, and doubly cheap when there are two figures like it in the same wave! Couldn’t these Spidey’s have been put into different waves?
What brought the score crashing down for the Unmasked Spider-Man figure was the body reuse combined with the Peter Parker hair problems. Masked Spider-Man is similar to the Unmasked figure, in that he also has a unique head. His mask has been pulled up to reveal his mouth (much like in the famous kiss sequence from the Spider-Man movie), but the execution of this has been flawless. He has a grin just the right side of cocky, and you can see where the mask has been folded up. It’s been very well done, and goes a long way to excusing the body reuse.
The other main difference between this Spidey and all the others, is the grabline accessory. Masked Spider-Man comes with another hand you can swap, and on this hand is a grey webline that is sculpted at the end into a “claw” to hold other Minimates – preferably someone on Spidey’s now rather extensive list of enemies. It’s a good idea, building on the web line accessory from the first Spider-Man wave, and adds a lot of playability in a simple yet effective way.
Overall, Masked Spider-Man does enough to stand out and be worthwhile. The mask has been done very nicely, and the grabline accessory works well. I still am a bit annoyed at the body reuse, but, for me, they have added a lot more to this figure than the Unmasked Spider-Man and therefore it scores higher.
MMC Score – 6.5 out of 10
The second figure in the set is someone very special to Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, whose name on the packaging is mispelt as “Stacey”.
Gwen has been given an open, smiling mouth, in the same way as the Mary Jane figure had, but thankfully without the dimples. I still think that it is too over the top with the huge eyes as well. I prefer the more understated faces of Elektra or Jean Grey. The hair piece, much like the other female Minimates, looks good but does stop her looking from side to side as it spreads over her shoulders and across her back.
Gwen is a civilian, much like Peter Parker and Mary Jane, and is dressed accordingly. She has a black blouse with a necklace added on for detail, a lavender coloured skirt, and a light green jacket. Amazingly, if you remove the skirt piece, you can see that the lower half of the torso is all skin colour (apart from the boots, obviously). Would it have killed Art Asylum to put a different colour onto the pelvis piece, just to spare any embarrassment to poor Gwen? I don’t know, but it DOES make for some… interesting customs – try plugging Gwen’s lower torso into the top half of the black Elektra figure. The half-skirt part covers up anything untoward but it does look great.
Gwen comes with no accessories bar the jacket and skirt pieces, but they add to the figure by being very swappable.
Overall, Gwen Stacy has some interesting pieces of clothing to use as customs, but isn’t a figure that leaps out at you. I’ve noticed that I don’t give the civilian characters (Banner, MJ, Parker, Gwen) high marks, because they don’t really do anything that exciting, but they are nice to have as additional participants in the Marvel Minimates Universe – after all it can’t just be populated by superheroes and villians, can it?
MMC Score – 5 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills