Hot Toys Spider-Man (Scarlet Spider Suit) Sixth Scale Figure VGM34 ReviewJose Lopez
It may seem hyperbolic to say that Insomniac Games’ PS4 exclusive Spider-Man (2018) video game is one of the best multimedia representations of the wall crawler to date, truly capturing the spirit of the comic book. It might seem that way, but it well and truly is. So when the game doubled-down on the enjoyment I was having by also allowing me to swap between the many outfits that Spider-Man has worn in his decades-long career, I was understandably pleased. When Hot Toys announced that they would be making figures of those various suits, most notably the Scarlet Spider?! I needed it RIGHT NOW.
Let’s take a closer look..
The Scarlet Spider Suit is based on the costume worn by the first Scarlet Spider character in the Marvel comic books. Birthed out of a much reviled though extremely popular storyline in the Spider-Man titles during the mid-1990s, the original man to wear the costume was none other than a clone of Peter Parker, calling himself Ben Reilly (Ben for Uncle Ben, and Reilly was the maiden name of Aunt May).
The outfit was designed to look haphazardly made, with just enough Spider-Man motifs to be recognizable. Despite the suit representing a completely different identity, the Hot Toys figure (and by extension the PS4 video game skin) is meant to be simply a costume change.
The Scarlet Spider Suit’s box might be my favorite of the PS4 Spider-Man video game series so far, which is saying something since I can’t say enough about every damn one of them. The familiar motifs are here, including the large central image of the character, the background mosaic of moments from the game colored in blue, and the solid red “stripe” running down the side.
What makes it stand out from the rest are both the amazing artwork of the Scarlet Spider web-swinging (in full, fold-out glory) and the unique coloring of the reds and blues, which really pop. By raising the saturation of the coloring of the box to match this particular Spider-Man’s costume better, Hot Toys has made everything feel of one tone, which is a welcome touch.
I have always loved this outfit. Even as a teenager when it first debuted in the comics, there was something about it’s homemade, bargain basement Spider-Man vibe that somehow worked for me. So, while it wouldn’t have taken much to impress me with this figure’s appearance, Hot Toys has done so regardless.
Obviously much credit goes to Insomniac Games for the updated design of this outfit, but boy does this thing look sleek and modern while losing nothing of the original artwork’s charm. By adding some textured lines and the honeycomb pattern to select areas, the costume gains some visual interest that is sorely needed in a 3D representation of a 2D design.
The belt, web-shooters and ankle-bracelets are a mix of sculpted pieces and fabric, and they blend in nicely. I particularly appreciate the camouflage design given to the ankle pieces, which is once again a perfect example of adding something to the original design while not taking anything away.
The hooded sweatshirt looks amazing, and yes, you can put his hood over his head, though it’s a snug fit. The blue of the sweatshirt pops wonderfully against the scarlet jumpsuit, making this easily the most visually arresting Spider-Man on the shelf.
As if shining in every other category was not enough, the Scarlet Spider comes with a plethora of unique and fun accessories that push this release up several rungs of the ladder.
First, there are the expected items: the requisite swappable hands (wall-crawling, web-thwipping, punching, web-line holding, grasping, etc.), the web-line effects, and the stand with dynamic arm. The stand has the same PS4 design as the Advanced Suit, though this one is colored shades of red, pushing the “Scarlet” angle.
As for the web-lines, there is a brand-new one included here, allowing for a somewhat more dynamic look to Spidey gripping his webs. It’s been a long time since we were given a new web effect, so this is most welcome.
We’re also given a cardboard NYC backdrop, which has a different image than the one included with the Advanced Suit.
On to the extras exclusive to the Scarlet Spider, we have some real winners. What self-respecting native New Yorker would be caught dead without a slice, much less a pie, of hometown pepperoni pizza? The pizza box is such a fun add-on, made that much better by adding in a full pizza pie with a removable slice for posing with. The detail put into these is superb.
For more culinary fun, there is also a chocolate frosted donut and a to-go cup of coffee. Speaking as an always-in-a-rush New Yorker myself, a coffee and donut have quite often been my breakfast of champions, so this speaks to me. Hot Toys gets special points for detail here by making the coffee cup come from The Coffee Bean, which is not only an actual coffee shop in the comics, but its one that Ben Reilly himself worked at. Also note the “Since 1962” line, referencing the year Spidey debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15.
Rounding out the many accessories are a smart phone and camera. Not much to remark about the phone as it looks simple and well done, but the camera is a standout. Once again, the designers went above and beyond by giving the working strap raised spider-emblems. I love it.
As has been the case with all of Hot Toys’ various Spider-Men recently, everything has been sculpted perfectly. Scarlet’s head looks amazing, managing to do an exemplary job of matching the texture of the outfit. The large, McFarlane-esque eyes are unique to this version, so there is no swapping function as there is with other Spider-releases. However, the oversized design allows for a good look at the mesh underneath the lenses, giving a very cool appearance in hand.
Additionally, the soles of the feet blend in seamlessly. While they are similar in ways to the Advanced Suit’s, the split-toe design makes them feel different in their own way.
The paintwork here compliments the sculpting well. For figures like this, its important to have the transition from the parts of the outfit that are fabric to sculpted plastic pieces appear as uninterrupted as possible, and the paint does the job. All applications on the web-shooters are particularly strong and clean, as are those on the various accessories. All in all, solid work.
Spider-Man needs to be posable – that’s just a fact. Overall, this figure is quite successful at allowing a wide range of motion. The outfits for these are always going to limit it in some way, but Scarlet Spider’s is much more forgiving than, say, the Advanced Suit. The neck has plenty of tilt, allowing for deep up and down leaning. The wrists and shoulders, along with the double-jointed elbows, allow for plenty of natural looking web shooting stances. The legs have a thigh cut, double-jointed knees and plenty of ankle movement. You can get a healthy forward kick out of Spidey, but there is virtually no backward movement. The feet have a toe cut, though it’s restricted a bit by the costume. The torso gives plenty of forward and backward bend as well as side-to-side turning, as well. One thing you should be mindful of is that the fabric tends to get pinched when you’re bending a joint or returning one to a museum pose, which can damage the outfit. Just pay a little more attention.
In The End
Hot Toys knocked this one completely out of the park. While I’m loving all of the Spider-Man series of figures, the Scarlet Spider Suit excels above the others with a mixture of unique coloring, exceptional sculptwork, tons of accessories and superior articulation. This release is by far the best of the bunch.