Toy Biz 1/12 Spider-Man

KIT #: 48658
PRICE: NZ $7.00
NOTES: Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can


The story of New York’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man can be likened to a tangled cobweb. Queens high school student Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, a lab experiment gone wrong, and subsequently suffered major changed to his genetic make-up. He gained superhuman strength, heightened “Spider”-senses, and the ability to “shoot” webs from his wrists. The untimely death of his Uncle Ben brought home the injustices rife in the world, and it took this sad event for Peter to learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

With a red and blue costume to hide his identity, Peter Parker took to the streets to fight crimes petty and large as Spider-Man, a vigilante on the run from not only his enemies but also the NYPD. Working his day job as a photographer at J. Jonah Jameson’s Daily Bugle newspaper gave Peter the ideal opportunity to earn a living as well as taking photos of Spider-Man for the Bugle and increase his profile.

With the (often multiple) defeats of such ruthless enemies as The Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, The Vulture, Green Goblin and Mysterio under his belt, Spider-Man continues to protect and serve the good citizens of the Big Apple to this day. His popularity – or notoriety – is such that several cartoon series, a live-action TV series and four motion pictures have been produced documenting his amazing adventures. Way to go, web-head!


This kit is part of a 1996 series brought out by Marvel and toybiz of some of Marvel’s most popular characters in different small diorama settings. There were three categories: Level 1 snap together figures (Spider-Man, Fantastic Four’s The Thing, Silver Surfer and Venom), Level 2 for the intermediate modeller (Hulk, Spider-Man again, and X-Men Storm and Wolverine) and the advanced Level 3 (Ghost Rider, as recently featured in the Nicolas Cage movie of the same name as well as an imminent sequel).

I have never been a figure modeller apart from 1/72 pilots to fill Airfix cockpits so I thought I’d pick a comic character due to large areas of colour, tons of references and fairly easy builds (we shall see?!).

In fitting with the diorama theme, Spidey comes with a brick wall covered with ivy and web inset with Peter’s camera, an area of ground decorated with a crate, crumpled garbage can and a sewer rat. Upon opening the hexagonal box one is greeted by an A4 sheet of instructions and three bags of sprues. One is the two halves of the tan/brown brick wall for the diorama, another for the floor, crate and garbage can in grey, and another for the four red sprues of Spidey himself. At first glance the moulding is pretty good apart from a seam line on the crate, with no other flash immediately present. The web design on Spidey’s costume is impressed so I imagine a dark wash will be best to bring it out, however I imagine it must make an uncomfortable experience to wear. Because, you know, you wear lycra for comfort..... Anyways, the web design seems to be uneven. For example, this web-slinging wrist only has webbing on the palm, not the top of the hand, and a similar story with his feet. A minor gripe as the affected areas won’t be seen.

I predict this kit will, if built by someone other than a younger/first-timer, require some putty around the joins. Hands-to-arms and feet-to-legs may be problems, but you can engrave the putty to match the web of the costume. I would love to comment on fit etc but I haven’t yet had a chance to get parts off the sprues and give it a go.

Accuracy-wise, it looks like Spidey! I’m not sure which version the kit represents, but I’m sure it’s fairly accurate to the comics. The instructions are good with clear diagrams and great tips for first-time builders, but no painting instructions. The box however has a colour photo of a prototype model so this should be guide enough for most. If all else fails, watch one of the three movies or read any of the hundreds (possibly thousands?) of Spidey’s appearances in Marvel comics.


I am very excited to have found this kit on my doormat after work, and to get started. As said before I’ve never built a figure kit, let alone a favourite movie character, so it is a little daunting but a challenge I am excited to embark upon. Keep your eyes peeled for a review.

Up up and away, web!


 Marvel Comics – various issues

Kit box

December 2010

Zac Yates

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