July 13th, 2004
Ninjatron is going to talk about more strange action figures.
You remember these guys, right? The Spider-man classics four pack contained these four crazy action figures loosely (and I do mean loosely) based around the world famous wall crawling super hero. Well from that bizarre collection of action figures came one of the funniest and most popular things I've ever written.
At the very end of that article I mentioned that a brand new Spider-man action figure 4 pack had been released. Well, with so much fondness towards the time I spend making fun of the above toys, I purchased that new 4-pack. For a long while it sat in my room, unopened and unloved, until the moment would come for it to finally receive it's moment in the proverbial sun that is my electric blue brand of digital mockery. That time has finally arrived.
Hooray! More action figures to make fun of!
The box is about the same size and shape as the previous release. The packaging design is totally different and makes no mention of the "Classics" moniker the first set had, though it does have the same text on the back about crime fighting gadgets and high-tech whatevers. All in all, on the surface at least, it looks to be a good value.
So now, let's see what we've got inside.
With Techno Cannon Arm!
Well how's this for a shocker! An honest-to-goodness somewhat regular Spider-man action figure in his usual red and blue Spider-man outfit! Crazy, I know, but in the strange universe of toy marketing, such things can be a very rare occurrence. You'd think that this would be a welcome change of pace from the usual batch of gaudily coloured Spideys with useless accessories that you'd often see in your action figure aisle, except for one glaring detail that I find somewhat disturbing. This guy is one skinny bastard! Just look at him, he's built like a folded up umbrella. CyberFighter Spider-man doesn't quite describe this guy properly. It's more like "Anorexic Crack head Spider-Man". And what's really disturbing is that, for such a thin frame, he's sure got a lot of muscle packed on.
His included accessory is this set of wings which clip to his back in a very insecure fashion. They're made of a very thin and flimsy fabric housed within a bulky, heavy spring-loaded mechanism that is supposed to make them dramatically pop out. The effect is very under whelming when it works, but since it usually doesn't work I guess that doesn't really matter. There is a missile launcher on the end of each wing which can fire a ridiculously large projectile. Umm, he's supposed to glide around on this? Seriously, if anyone actually tried to fly using this hunk of junk, they'd have a pretty short trip before becoming pavement pizza, if not for it being too freakin' heavy to fly then at least for not being fastened onto it very well. Then again, since the Spider-man that this contraption comes with is so damn skinny, maybe it could work after all.
Hold on now, wasn't he supposed to come with a Techno Cannon Arm? What the hell is a Techno Cannon Arm, anyway?
The hands on this guy are permanently sculpted in this strange grabbing position, as if he's hanging on to a lamp post or doing chin-ups or something. This serves absolutely no purpose with the included accessory, which leads me to believe that they just took a random Spidey figure that they had released before and threw in a different accessory so they could call it something new. So while he flies around (yeah, right) on this makeshift set of wings, he's got his fingers sticking out like he's about to scratch somebody. After some playing around, I found a funny picture that was begging to be taken.
Ooooooooooh! It's a scary Spider-man! Aren't you scared of the scary Spider-man? Ooooooooh!
Ugh. this guy sucks. Ok, what's next?
With nothing special at all!
Yep, even though he's got these funky purple duds on, this is just "Spider-man". Not "Electric Grape Battle Spider-man" or anything clever like that. I doubt that Spidey would ever be caught dead wearing a cheap attempt at a futuristic set of super hero armor like this purple disaster. And doesn't photo on the box just make him look so formidable, with his ankles pointed out and his fist looking like he's about to punch himself in the kidneys?
The poor guy doesn't come with any accessories, he's just included as is. To add insult to injury, he has a hole in his clenched fist that looks like it was meant to hold something. What this could possibly be will forever remain a mystery. Perhaps it was some kind of Spider-net blaster? An electronic Spidey-garden hoe? A secret hyper dimensional hand held toaster oven? Who knows? But, judging by the quality of CyberFighter Spidey's winged death machine, perhaps it's best that he not have anything after all.
"This thing sucks. Give me my money back!"
With Missile Glider!
He's the Spider-man.... of the FUTURE! He's also the exact same figure as the previous 4-pack's "Air Strike Spider-man", but with a new paint job, which sort of makes him a lot less futuristic, come to think of it. As far as new variations on Spider-man's costume go, I have to admit that the design on this one isn't too bad. It's totally different than the traditional outfit, but it's still red and blue, and it's no where near as outlandish as his violet-clad buddy.
Holy crap, there's you're freakin' Techno Cannon Arm! How the hell did Spidey get his hands on this piece of hardware? Check that out, that's a big missile launching claw! This guy is more like "Hardcore Death Bringer Spider-man"! Nobody's messing with Spidey now! And, as if that third appendage of destruction weren't enough to make villains soil themselves on sight, he's got two more missiles loaded on the opposite shoulder! I have to question the logic of mounting rocket launchers right beside your ear like that, but whatever gets the job done, I suppose. Can you imagine seeing him swinging around the streets with all this gear hanging off him? That'd be freakin' wild! This figure is certainly the star of the whole batch, if for no other reason than its abundantly clear bad-assitude. He does whatever a spider can, and blow crap up!
"Damn it! All right, fine. You win."
Seems like there was a lot of confusion (or, more likely, apathy) when it came to printing the box, because the names of the figures and the descriptions of the accessories they're supposed to come with are obviously mixed up. I'm pretty sure that "Future Spider-man" here is actually supposed to be "CyberFighter Spider-man", "Just plain ol' Spider-man" is supposed be "Future Spider-man", and "CyberFighter Spider-man" is supposed to be "Skinny Super-model Spider-man". I mean just regular Spider-man.
"Get your filthy hands off of that, you freak!"
With Pincer Attack Wings!
Yay, Carnage! One of Spider-man's most famous modern villains gets included in this set. Of course, he's not just any Carnage, he's ALIEN Carnage. You see, he's an Alien. Hmm, given the origins of the character, isn't calling him Alien Carnage kind of, well, redundant? I mean, the whole "Alien" bit should kind of go without saying, shouldn't it? That's kind of like having a toy called "Mutant Wolverine" or "American Captain America".
Of course, if you're really paying attention, you can see that this isn't actually Carnage at all. The head is taken from a Venom figure and the body is from of one of the figures from the Symbiotes line, recoloured to look like an abominable snow monster who fell in the mud. And no, I don't really care which figure it originally was, so don't bother telling me. The point is that this sure as hell ain't Carnage. But, whatever. I'll play along for now.
So his action feature, the aforementioned "Pincer Attack Wings", are activated when you squeeze his legs together. Look at him go! Now, as fun and therapeutic as that is, I once again have to question the usefulness of the gimmick in this particular case. Since those six creepy things growing out of his back are being billed as "Pincer ATTACK Wings", you'd think that they'd be, you know, for attacking and stuff. But for Alien Carnage to actually hit anyone with them, they'd actually have to be within an arm's length from him anyway, in which case he could just slap 'em and be done with it!
He's also got these strange gray tendrils growing from his palms. I'd imaging that they could be used as a weapon as well, however after being crammed inside the box for so long, the soft plastic has significantly warped, making them point directly at his groin. Ok...
"Woah, and I though *I* had problems!"
Team up Alien Carnage and Deep Sea Venom from the previous set and discover a startling revelation! Carnage, who is supposed to red, is now black, but Venom, who should be black, is red! Woah! Well, I guess it doesn't really matter. Comparing those two figures to how Venom and Carnage are supposed to look is like comparing some creepy punked-up goth kids to your high school's preppy chess club.
"Hey, nerds! Give us your lunch money! Now!"
With the last set I remarked how, with 3 Spider-men and only one villain, it was sure a bad day to be a bad guy. But let's be realistic here. There isn't a missile glider or a techno cannon arm or a dance pose that can help. This time, not even six Spideys stand a chance against Alien Carnage and his Pincer Attack Winging rage!
So, there you have it. 4 cheap action figures for one cheap price. In some ways I'd have to say that you get what you pay for, because these figures really aren't all that great. I think most people, be they a hardcore fan and collector or a kid who wants their mommy to buy them a Spider-man toy, would do much better to get an actual Spider-man figure that does things that Spider-man might actually do and comes with things that Spider-man might actually use. Call me crazy but I think that formula works!
But it should be pretty obvious to everyone by now that I'm not like most people. I'm weird, and I get a lot of amusement from strange places. I had a blast opening up this little box of radioactive joy and coming up with all the various ways I could make fun of it. That's why I so enjoy this Spider-man 4 pack! Maybe even more so than the last one,
Two Techno Cannon Arms up! Highly recomended!
Buy us! We don't suck that much! Really!
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