Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Toyologist Review: Web-Shooting Spider-Man

I start this review having absolutely no idea whether I like the toy I'm reviewing. Hopefully by the end, after discussing the pros and cons, I'll be slightly closer to a decision. But I wouldn't count on it.

Web-Shooting Spider-Man is based on the design from this year's Amazing Spider-Man film, and thus he's dressed in an outfit I don't really like. But I guess this isn't really something Hasbro could do anything about (unless they'd released a comic version, I suppose). The children don't mind it, in fact they probably haven't even noticed it much. To them one Spidey outfit is much the same as another.

(Unless it's dramatically different, obviously. Big Time Spidey, I'm talking about you. And you, Future Foundation Spidey. Iron Spidey - you too. And... Wow, Spider-Man has had a lot of crazy outfits. But I seem to be getting off the point.)

The figure is pretty darn huge - approaching Giant proportions. The articulation is very limited - the legs & arms twist, and the head turns but only via the action feature. This isn't something that you could really pose and play with other than via its web shooting purpose.

So, to the main event - the web-shooting. Prior to installing batteries, I was a little intrigued as to how Spidey would manage to fire his shooters any distance since there're no springs to force them out. Turns out, it works pretty well. There's no great force behind them (should you 'accidently' hit Dad in the face with them, it doesn't hurt), but they do fire as far as the string allows (65cm-ish). Accompanying the shooting is a sound effect, which in all honesty is a bit rubbish and exists solely to try and cover the sound of the motor that fires the 'web'. I can't remember exactly what it sounded like in the film, but it's nothing like the 'thwip' that is used in the comics.

There's a cardboard target in the box, which I almost threw out as I thought it was part of the packaging. It's definitely not going to be long before this is extremely tatty and you're making your own targets. Since there's so little force behind the web-shooting, try as I might, I couldn't get the thing to fall over...unless it had some wind-assistance.

And that's about it. As I say, the firing works well but that's all it does. There's no real skill involved in hitting the targets, so nothing that would entice repeat playings to improve your aim. I can see why it costs £35, but I'm not sure you'll get that much play value from it. From time to time the boys pick it up from wherever they've left it lying about on the floor, have a couple of shoots, then it's back on the floor again.

The end of the review is here and I suppose I have to make a decision. Do I like this toy? Um... Well... Maybe...

Oh if only it was redesigned so those web-shooters fired from your own wrists*...

*though probably not a particularly safe idea - children swinging from buildings isn't going to end well.

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