The holiday season is rapidly approaching. And with it comes the rush of new toys. One such new product is Toy Biz's
latest addition to their Marvel Legends line: another box set featuring Spider-man and four members of his gallery of rouges.
Titled "Fearsome Foes", the set includes Rhino, the Lizard, the Vulture, Carnage and of course Spidey himself. As with the
past box sets, The Fearsome Foes set is a mix of new and reused figure molds. Carnage is the same body as the Spider-man
Classics figure, but with a new head. Spider-man looks to be another reused body from the SMC line, but I don't recognize
which one it is. Rhino, Vulture and Lizard are all new sculpts.
If you want to see some of the past box sets, you can see their reviews below:
Packaging - 7/10The packaging for this set follows the same basic design as the past box sets. It is a wide box with a large window which covers most of the front and wraps around to the top. The Marvel Legends and Fearsome Foes logos as well as the names of all of the figures and a note about the included poster book are positioned around the window on the front and on the top, bottom and sides. The back has photos of the images included in the poster book, a brief blurb about the Spider-man property and profile cards for each character. The write-up and bios are a nice touch, but could stand to be improved. Specifically, it would be nice if the write-up actually gave some info about the four villains which may not be familiar to younger fans rather than repeating general information about Spider-man. The figures themselves are packaged in a plastic tray along with the stands and poster book. Toy Biz deserves some credit for trying to package the figures in something other than a generic standing pose. But most of the poses look less like action poses and more like they are dancing, poorly.
I also need to give a word of warning about these box sets. Toy Biz did not skimp on the twist ties when they packaged these figures. Each figure is held in place by as many as half a dozen ties each. To make matters worse, some of those ties are very difficult to reach due to the confined space between the figures. While you can undo them all by hand, I strongly suggest having a small wire cutter on hand.
Sculpting - Carnage 4/10, Spider-man, Rhino & Lizard 6/10, Vulture 8/10Carnage reuses the same body as his SMC counterpart. I'm not any happier with the way it turned out this time than I was before. I can understand that Carnage is a difficult character to pull off since he doesn't have a specific form, but is more of a chaotic mass with a humanoid shape. This sculpt just seems to lack depth. But the new head is an improvement. The mouth has a much better sculpt.
Rhino is a new sculpt about which there isn't much to say. He is a big mass of muscle wrapped in rhino hide texture. The head might be a bit small, but that is sort of fitting for the character. The only drawback that the sculpt really seems to have is that it is so bulky that it limits the movement. For example, Rhino can't put his arms down by his sides. Once again, that is not entirely inappropriate for the character design but still a bit disappointing.
The Lizard is a nice update over the old Lizard figure Toy Biz re-released in the SMC line last year. The level of detail has been increased considerably. The biggest differences are in the amount of texture sculpted into the clothes and skin. But the figure has several drawbacks. The head is quite small compared to the body. The jaw and teeth in particular are too small to be sufficiently menacing. The tail is the other big annoyance. It sticks straight out from the body which doesn't provide many options for posing it. I would also have preferred a longer coat on the figure, but that is a minor quibble.
This Spider-man figure is a decent version of the web head, but nothing special and not without its drawbacks. The figure has more texture detail than some of the past Spidey figures. But the texture doesn't always make sense. Some areas like the thighs have the costume hugging every muscle in a way that skin tight spandex shouldn't. And at the same time, there are creases in the fabric as if it were a little too baggy. They also left the texturing off of the hips which are completely smooth. The shoulders are rather strange as well. It looks like the figure is suppose to have additional joints in the shoulders, but they were eliminated. The transition to the new parts isn't very well executed nor is the texture on those parts. The fingers seem excessively long. When posed in the web shooting pose, the finger tips of the ring and middle finger reach almost all the way back to the wrist instead of the center of the palm where they should be. The final item that is likely to displease many people is the under arm webbing. Once again, it isn't actually under the arms. The webbing is a single piece that stretches across the figure's back. It is tied to the figure at the neck, shoulders, elbows and hips. It works alright when viewed from the front. But when viewed from behind it looks rather silly and can't be easily removed. While it would probably be cost prohibitive, it would be nice to see the webbing done right as either two pieces of fabric attached to the sides of the body or one piece run through the body. Despite the problems, this Spider-man figure is a nice, slimmer alternative to the version that came with the Sinister Six set while still retaining a similar look.
Vulture is the highlight of the five figures. The design of the character, an old man in a full body stocking, doesn't lend itself to being the most exciting figure. But Toy Biz still did a nice job with it. Like the Spider-man figure, there are some areas where they went overboard with trying to show off the character's muscles. The detail in the collar and the wings is very nice. The design of the wings works surprisingly well. Each wing is split into two parts, one on the forearm and the other attached to the biceps. The lower portions extend up behind the upper portion when the arm is straight. But when the elbow is bent, there is only a small gap between the two sections. But the best part of the figure is the head sculpt which is excellent.
Paint - Spider-man 3/10 Carnage 4/10, others 9/10I'm quite happy with the way the paint work turned out on Rhino, Lizard and Vulture. The quality on all three is quite high. But Carnage and Spider-man are let downs. I didn't like the extremely dark look of the previous Carnage figure. This one is quite literally the reverse. Toy Biz left all of the areas that were previously black unpainted. And all of the low areas that were red before are now painted black. The result is an improvement over the carded figure which looked like it was rolled across an ink pad. But it could stand to be a little darker. Spider-man is the worst of the five by far. Toy Biz gave the figure a black paint wash, but it is really inconsistent. The shoulders and one of the toes seem to have been almost entirely missed on my figure. With the exception of Spider-man, the paint work on all of my figures is clean and consistent. But as with most of Toy Biz's products these days, if you can compare the paint apps before you buy just to be safe, it would be a good idea.
Articulation - 9/10All of the figures have the kind of articulation that fans of the Marvel Legends line have come to know.
Accessories - 3/10The only accessories included with this set are the five stands and the poster book. The stands are the same circular stands that Toy Biz included with the Sinister Six and Fantastic Four box sets. But this time instead of the plastic inserts for each character, the stands have a sticker with each character's face on them. I actually like the stickers more than the plastic inserts. The stands are all the accessory characters like Rhino, Carnage or the Lizard need. But it would have been nice if Toy Biz had included one of their clear stands so the Vulture could have been posed as if he were flying. As with the previous box sets, the Fearsome Foes set comes with a poster book rather than a comic. I haven't been a fan of them with the past sets. And I like this one even less. There are twenty plus images in the book and only three or four of them feature Carnage, Rhino, Vulture or the Lizard.
Value - 5/10Wal-mart is offering the set for $32 and change. I would expect it will be a few dollars more when it shows up elsewhere. The price isn't too bad since you are getting five figures. That averages out to about six and a half dollars per figure, slightly less than the price of the carded figures in most places. But if you are like me and already have several Spider-man figures and the SMC version of Carnage, then you are paying almost $11 each for the others with fewer accessories. The set is still worth getting just to get a Rhino and Vulture figure in their classic costumes. You could always wait and hope that they are released as single figures as a part of the Spider-man Classics line somewhere down the line. But since that has yet to happen for figures that were exclusive to the past box sets like Black Cat and Electro, there is a good chance that if you pass these up you'll be out of luck.
Happy Hunting:Right now I have only heard reports of these showing up at Wal-mart stores so far. I found my set at the Wal-mart on the west side of Madison, WI. It is also listed on their web site, though it is currently out of stock. I suspect that the set will also be available at Toys R Us stores before too long since they have carried the past box sets.