Reviews

BANDAI SAMURAI SPIDER-MAN REVIEW

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Ahh Spider-man. Who doesn’t love our favorite wise-cracking friendly neighbourhood spider? I personally love Spider-man, and especially love Spidey figures, so when Bandai decided to bring their samurai line to comic realisations, I knew I had to at least take a look at this figure. There are things I love, and things I not-so-love (is that even a proper phrase?) about this figure, so let’s get to it!

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WHAT’S IN THE BOX

• Samurai Spiderman figure

• Eight (8) total hands

• Samurai sword with sheath

• Two (2) grappling hooks with chain

Like most of the figures in the Bandai line, this figure comes with a good variety of accessories, mostly in the hand department. There are two closed fists, two web flinging hands, two sword holding hands, and two semi-open hands. He also comes with the classic samurai weapon; a sword in a sheath. This particular figure also comes with very unique and cool grapple hooks that are attached to web-shooters that you can swap out. While these are very nice looking, and really add to the figure, I found that mine were very poorly made and broke while trying to pose him. It can be fixed with some pliers and a blowtorch, ok, maybe you don’t need the blowtorch, but I was less than pleased with how easily they broke with minimal handling.

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SCULPT – 8/10

If you have one of these samurai line of figures, or saw my previous review on the Sandtrooper, you will know that Bandai goes all out with the sculpting detail. Every line, every cloth fold, and every piece of armor has impeccable detail, and every detail is actually sculpted on, and not just painted. All the small details such as the spider symbols on the handles of the swords  and the chest and back are sculpted. When such care is taken in the sculpting process, it turns a good figure into a great one, and this one is no exception.

 

 

So you might be asking yourself “Then why did you only give it an 8/10 if the sculpting is so good?”. I’m glad you asked, because while the sculpting is quite good, there are a few things that just make me scratch my head. The armor lines for example, is one such area that they could have done a much better job. It looks like they took the regular samurai armor, and just gave it a paint job, instead of making it look unique to Spiderman. All of his webbing should be rounded, especially in the armor, but instead, they just did sections like the hands, and the bottom part of the shoulder pad are rounded, and not squared. With giving it some of the rounded parts looking like web, they should have done that for the whole figure, and it would have looked much better.

The head sculpt is another puzzling piece to me. The hood looks very weird, and looks more like a venom sculpt than a Spider-man. The eyes have this very strange shape to them, and really do not remind me of Spider-man. The cheeks also look like he is sucking on a lemon. Where the mouth should be, there is instead an indent that goes way to far into the face to look like a mouth. The sculpt is nice, but just doesn’t make much sense to me.

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PAINT APPLICATION – 7/10

Now to the part that really confuses me on this figure. When you think of Spider-man, what colors do you think of? Red, absolutely. Blue, you bet. Purple? Green? Yea right, not in this universe! Unfortunately, this figure has both of those last two colors in spades. All of the web work on the armor and suit is outlined in this green color that just screams Spider-man! Ok, I’m kidding of course, but I’m not kidding about the green. I don’t know where they got the idea to paint this figure in a green outline, but whoever suggested that should be fired immediately, as it completely misses the mark.

So let’s forget about the green color for a second, and focus on how it was applied. Well, it kinda fails here as well. There are a lot of areas where the paint has missed the sculpt, or is bleeding the color underneath. The lines are not crisp, and are very sloppy in a lot of areas.

The cloth armor is also this sort of purple color that just does not fit, and there are multiple shades of it. There is a purple around the eyes that is lighter, the under armor is a much darker shade, and the back is this bright, almost blue shade. I am baffled at how they thought this color scheme would work for a Spider-man. The one positive note is that the red that is the majority of the figure is very nice, but just isn’t enough to save the paint and color scheme.

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ARTICULATION – 8/10

Bandai is knows for their above-average articulation in general, and this figure is no exception. There is a ball joint in the neck and the head that give it a good range of motion, and they continued with the slit in the back of the neck armor so it does not hinder articulation. There is a shoulder joint that allows for some forward and back movement, as well as full rotation, even with the shoulder armor. Double jointed elbows allow the arms to bend all the way, almost touching the shoulder. There is the standard Bandai wrist hinge that allows for full rotation, and either hinge or swivel depending on how you set it.

Where this figure fails in articulation the most is in the waist. There is a single ball hinge that allows for decent motion, but there is no abdomen joint. When I think of Spider-man, I think of these great poses where he is either bent in a nice crouching position, or all balled up while flying through the air, and it is very difficult to get him into these with only one point of articulation in the waist and abdomen area.

There are double jointed knees and a ball in the upper thigh. The feet allow for up, down and some pivot, and the added surprise is the addition of a toe joint. You can get some decent range of motion in the lower body, but due to the lack of articulation in the middle of the body, it makes it frustrating when trying to pose.

The sheath pegs into a hole in his back, and is actually on a ball joint. This makes it so you can position it around, and move it closer to his shoulder to get him grabbing it. This is a nice feature and small detail, but I’m glad they included it.

PRICE POINT – 9/10

You can get this figure for around $60 now, and I think that is a great price point. It is a little high considering some of the failures of this piece, but it falls in line with the rest of the samurai line. The figure is very solid and well made, so I believe the price is well worth it for the quality.

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OVERALL DESIGN – 7/10

The Bandai quality is definitely here with this figure, so for that alone it is a nice figure. It feels very well made, and you can definitely see the attention to detail in most parts. It does have some very weird design decisions, especially in the color, but the overall quality is evident. The chain breaking on me while trying to pose him around left a little  bit of a sour taste in my mouth, but that can be fixed.

I would say that unless you are a Spider-man fanatic and have to have every unique variant of the character as you can, you should skip this one. There are too many glaring flaws that prohibit me from making this a solid recommendation to anyone except die hard Spidey fans.

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wpstan

STAN RUSSELL

Stan is a graphic designer from Orlando, Florida, and has been an avid lover of toys for his entire life. He love’s doing anything that exercises the creative side of his brain and toy photography has been a tremendous outlet for that. When he is not taking photos of toys (which makes his wife shake her head and roll her eyes when he packs toys on all his vacations), he can be find photographing his daughter doing dance, woodworking or flying his drone for cool aerial photography.

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