Yey! Cheap MUs! I really, really love cheap figures! Who doesn't, anyway? After buying most of my toys at suggested retail price (or even above SRP), markdowns are truly something I look forward to and cherish. Getting a few figures for cheap is like being rewarded for contributing to a company's (or retailer's) bottom line. Though the idea of hauling a ton of figures on sale seems fun, the sad part is that in reality, I have to keep my purchases in check due to an upcoming trip abroad. I would love to army-build some of those Marvel stuff on sale but I don't have the financial flexibility to do that right now and so, I have to limit my purchases to the figs that I actually need for my collection. Figs like these three.
I was able to get this set from one of the booths at the Christmas Toy Fair last December for only 950 bucks (22 USD) and if that doesn't sound like a good deal to you, I don't know what does. The figs were sealed but their damaged cards prevented the seller from commanding a higher price for the set and that certainly worked in my favor. I don't really give a lot of importance to an action figure's packaging since I set all of my toys loose and that's one key in getting more mileage out of my money.
So, let's talk about the figs and let's tackle the Armored Avenger first! This Iron Man fig is just a repaint of the single-carded IM fig from Wave 3. One look at it and you know it's pretty old. The thing I don't like the most about this fig is its lankiness, it's so thin that it's absolutely impossible to fit an average-sized man inside that armor. The figure isn't really bad, but it definitely pales in comparison with the more modern figs we're getting as of late. Hasbro knew that as well so instead of re-releasing this same fig in the Iron Man 2 line's Comic Series subset, they decided to start from scratch. They made an entirely new figure of the very same armor and the two figures turned out to be worlds apart. I'm not sure what to call this particular armor though, it looks a lot like the Post-Protoclassic armor because of its rectangular belt buckle but the groin armor should have resembled a pair of boxer briefs if that was the case. Since the groin armor resembles a pair of slim briefs, this armor could possibly be the Classic Red and Gold Model V armor, but then again, the belt buckle should have been trapezoidal in shape instead of being rectangular. Confusing, right? Still, it's a welcome addition to my 1:18 Iron Man armory and that's the thing that matters the most.
Moving on to the next figure, we have the Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman. We've already covered the Marvel Universe Jessica Drew Spider-Woman last November and we all know how gorgeous that figure is, now it's time to check out the 1:18 rendition of the Spider-Woman that I'm more familiar with. Back when I was a kid, Julia Carpenter was a member of the Avengers West Coast. It's funny because in the comics, I don't remember her doing anything special and this toy follows suit. Other than filling up a hole in my 1:18 Avengers roster, this figure doesn't really do a lot for me. The new head looks good but that's where the fun stops. I don't mind seeing this generic female body over and over again as long as the paint apps are nice but unfortunately, the paint apps on this one are very dull. This is a very boring fig but it's essential to my collection nonetheless.
Our last figure for the day is Wave 9's Iron Spider-Man. Well, that's how the packaging labels the fig so we'll call it that way too but that doesn't mean that the label's correct. As far as I know, Iron Spider-Man only has three appendages (waldoes) on his back while this figure clearly has four. The Red Team members (also known as the Scarlet Spiders) used a very similar costume that has four appendages on the back and that's exactly what this figure represents.
If you're wondering as to why they labeled this fig as Iron Spider-Man, let me tell you about a theory I came up with. I think what Hasbro really intended to do was to give us an Iron Spider-Man fig but while they were working on it, an idea popped up. By giving the figure four appendages, they could sell it to collectors as one of the Scarlet Spiders and since the three Scarlet Spiders are identical, collectors would be getting three copies of the same fig. Of course they couldn't just label the fig as Scarlet Spider because that name might not be familiar to casual buyers (especially to kids) and so to target both markets, they labeled it as Iron Spider-Man. If someone wanted a real Iron Spider-Man fig, he/she could simply remove one of the appandages off and voila, he/she's got one! What do you think? It's a win-win situation for everybody unless you can't live with an extra hole on the back of your fig.
This Iron Spider-Man figure borrows a lot of parts from the Wave 3 Black Costume Spider-Man figure. The head is new while the upper torso is from the Wave 8 Archangel fig. An extra piece has been glued to the back to allow for the appendages' installation via four separate ball-and-socket connections. The appendages move well and they stay pretty much in place when posed but surprisingly, popping them off is a breeze. Iron Spider-Man is a great fig and I'm glad I bought it for my Iron Man armory.
I'm really happy with this purchase. Yes, only one of these three figures truly impressed me but the other two figs have their place in my collection as well. I guess it's safe to say that action figures don't need to be great to be relevant.