Amazing Spider-Man Super Hero Squad Review: Escape from Lizard’s Lair

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I intentionally have been keeping myself in the dark when it comes to Sony’s reboot with The Amazing Spider-Man. All I really know about it is Emma Stone is a perfect Gwen Stacey, the Lizard looks weird, Spidey redid his costume and I’m betting on great power coming with great responsibility.

Spider-Man has to save Gwen Stacy from the Lizard!

The Lizard hasn’t shown up in the Super Hero Squad in half a decade, so getting a new version of him isn’t unexpected. But the one thing everyone is talking about concerning the new Lizard is his look. Gone is the classic alligator head and instead he has a vaguely human one instead. It’s a change and fanboys hate most change (remember the Green Goblin debacle?).

The actual sculpting on Lizard is amazing – possibly too amazing for this line. Every inch of him is sculpted with textured scales and bumps that makes Reptil look like an amateur attempt. He looks amazing, but he doesn’t feel like a Super Hero Squad toy since the scaled skin contrasts so drastically with his smooth, white lab coat. But the more I look at this figure, the weirder it becomes.

The head isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It may not be my Lizard but it definitely has a reptilian look to it thanks to the flat face. The smirk is odd but fits with the Super Hero Squad aesthetic. But the head feels slightly off, like it was sculpted separately from the rest of the figure.

Even weirder is the tail that isn’t attached to the body! At most angles, it looks fine but when Lizard is facedown it becomes very apparent that it isn’t attached in any possible way. The paint on the figure is amazing on the scales thanks to some airbrushing and serviceable on the jacket. Sadly, Lizard doesn’t have any articulation.

It seems to be popular now to give Spider-Man a new look whenever possible. I don’t know if the black suit is to blame or the insanity that started after Iron Spider debuted. Either way, this is definitely a new look for Spider-Man. At its core, all the classic elements are there. In fact, it is really only the arms and legs that really changed.

Amazing Spider-Man is cast in rubber similar to the second Leader and the troopers from Galactic Heroes. It’s an odd move, but isn’t much of an issue. Spidey’s head is still cast in hard plastic so his neck is the only point of articulation.

The sculpt is surprisingly intricate with every single line of webbing on his costume being sculpted. Even the silver soles on his feet are given special treatment and new intricate gloves. The only part of this sculpt that I don’t love is the webbing which just feels under detailed, like it was just tacked on at the end.

The paint though is awful. With such an intricate sculpt, the paint really needed to be excellent to pull it off. Instead, the metallic blue has inconsistent coverage and the black lines keep missing their marks. Another issue is the yellow eyes (which don’t make sense to me) which can be an absolute mess. In an odd move, the soles of Spidey’s feet are painted silver. I’ll admit, the idea of Spidey running around in just socks doesn’t make a lot of sense but giving him shoes confuses me more. How is he going to stick to walls?

The final figure in this set is probably the one most collectors are after – Gwen Stacy! Since Mary Jane Watson never got released state-side, the Super Hero Squad has been suspiciously lacking on the civilian front. Played by the lovely Emma Stone, Gwen doesn’t particularly look like the actress. In fact, Gwen doesn’t even look that much like Gwen.

It’s a shame because the sculpt of this figure is pretty good. Historically, females in the Super Hero Squad have been very hit or miss and this one really works. The leaning back stance allows for great stability. For articulation, Gwen moves at the shoulders and neck but her long hair limits the neck a lot.

The biggest problem with this figure (and this pack) is the paint. My biggest gripe is Gwen, like many comic book characters, has an iconic look. And while this one is sculpted that way, she isn’t painted. Instead of the classic purple skirt, black top and green jacket, we get her in some plain light blue jacket and blackish dress. It’s okay but doesn’t pop the way I want it to. Even worse though is how uneven the paint is. Her legs are a mess where her stockings show through parts of her boots, her scarf magically disappears around her neck and her dress has these weird spots that look like she’s wet. At least they got the headband right.

I definitely see this three pack being popular since it is the only one based on the movie. For long term fans of the Super Hero Squad, it is great to finally get a Gwen Stacy, even if the paint is lackluster. But what really surprises me is how much I like the Spider-Man design. He would be an excellent House of M Spidey or some other What if…? version. Even Lizard manages to be impressive. Hasbro just needs to get the quality control back under control.

Amazing Spider-Man Super Hero Squad 3-Packs

Super Villain Surprise
Green Goblin, Ultimate Doc Ock & Spider-Man with Web Shield

Battle Against Venom
Anti-Venom, Spider-Man & Venom

Escape from Lizard’s Lair
The Lizard (movie version), Gwen Stacy & the Amazing Spider-Man

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