Spider-Man Super Hero Squad Review: The Sand Pit Stand-Off

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The last hurrah of the Spider-Man Super Hero Squad ended up being more of a whimper than a bang. As a line, it was really all over the place. Some of the two-packs were excellent, while others were lacking. The vehicles and playset were odd but the whole line didn’t meld together as well as it could have. So that leaves the last piece of the Spider-Man Super Hero Squad puzzle: the 5-pack.

The sensational Spider-Man is locked in battle with his most dangerous enemies ever! He leaps from construction crane to bulldozer, slinging webs like never before. Meanwhile, New Goblin zooms through the sky on his sky stick, hurling pumpkin bombs, even as Venom and Sandman fight tooth and claw to be the first to land a punch on the web slinger!

This 5-pack was originally intended for a fall release as a Toys “R” Us exclusive just before the holiday season. But it started appearing at Wal-Marts in very limited quantities, still with the “Toys ‘R’ Us Exclusive” sticker on it. It finally saw a massive released the following spring, but then it was too little, too late. It’s a set of five figures, all of which are repaints and repacks from the first wave of Spider-Man.

Inspired by the end of Spider-Man 3 when Venom and Sandman teamed up to fight Spider-Man and New Goblin, and then the pack just throws in a black costume Spider-Man for good measure, this pack is absurdly cheap on so many levels. Three repacks and two repaints, and the repaints aren’t even that good!

Spider-Man is the same one that came with Green Goblin. He’s a decent figure in a good action pose. It’s just Spider-Man shooting his webbing at the ground while wearing his movie costume. The paint is fine, with the webs applied properly and the reds and blues are appropriately desaturated. He lacks any meaningful articulation because his right arm and waist are inhibited by his web, but his left arm rotates freely.

Venom is a minor repaint of his figure that came with Puma, which was a repaint of his wave 1 figure. Also done in movie colors, Venom is wearing all black and just the spider on his torso is painted dark gray while his eyes are silver, his tongue is pink and his teeth are yellowing. It’s a good paint job, but we’ve seen it pretty much before. I still love the uneven webbing design, and actually prefer that it is unpainted. Venom still moves at the wrists and neck, but there isn’t anything new here.

Harry Osborn is back as the New Goblin and his figure is identical yet again. So he’s still got the weirdly undersized arms and a rather boring sculpt. I don’t care for the New Goblin as a character anyway, but this is the third, and probably last, time he’s been released and he still doesn’t have his sword! Harry still moves at the shoulders and waist.

Flint Marko has returned for an encore as Sandman and he too is identical. His sand still has a great paint job and I love the motion the sand sculpt captures but there is nothing new here. He moves at the forearms and neck, but all of this has been seen before.

The final figure is an actual repaint! Sure, the wall-crawling version of Spider-Man isn’t anything new, but this time around he’s painted metallic! Kind of like Iron Spider, but much more colorful. His whole body is shiny pewter colored and looks kind of neat but doesn’t really make any sense. Besides his eyes and two spider emblems, he’s monochromatic and kind of boring.

The pose is still good and it’s a unique take on Spider-Man that certainly looks different. He almost looks like a statue, which makes me wish this figure was just standing straight up. Then there could be some cool metal Spider-Man variant, but the metallic wall-crawler just isn’t exciting enough to carry this set.

The biggest reason I’m disappointed in this set is a basic one, I already owned all the figures and getting another Spider-Man isn’t a big selling point for me. If all these figures had been repainted or got an extra limb or something to set them apart, it would be a whole different thing. I’ll admit that getting all of the Spider-Man 3 characters in a single pack is great, especially for kids who were fans of the movies but for collector’s, this is an easy pass.

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