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Toy Biz Worldwide

The Amazing Spider-Man
12" Rotocast Figure


Toy Review

By Mark Patraw

Manufacturer Information:
Toy Biz Worldwide
(A division of Marvel Entertainment, Inc.)
New York, NY 10016


The Package:
I bought mine used/loose, so I don't have the packaging. However, I did buy another figure from the same assortment (Green Goblin), brand new, when they first came out, so I can give you an idea of what to expect if you do get a hold of a mint one. They come in a medium-sized, mostly-open box, that is predominately light blue in color. The figure is secured to the cardboard packaging via twisty ties, but, in all other respects, it is left "exposed" for the world to see and touch. On the upside, there is absolutely no confusion about what you're getting and you can inspect the figure more closely than you could if it was completely enclosed, but, on the downside, the unprotected figure is subject to getting scratches, rub marks, or even broken in the most extreme cases. If possible, make sure your Daredevil has his nunchuku, as I imagine they'd be relatively easy to steal from this sort of packaging.

First off, let me say that Daredevil is not one of my favorite Marvel Comics characters; I wouldn't even rank him in my top 100. I just don't find him very interesting/exciting. Why did I buy him then? Well, one, he was dirt cheap, two, I like sixth-scale toys, and three, while he's not a favorite of mine, I do like Marvel Comics characters in general, so he's still welcome in my collection. Here's the blurb from the back of his 1990 Marvel Super Heroes card if you're unfamiliar with him:

"As a result of an accident that involved a radioactive isotope when he was a teenager, Daredevil lost his sight . . . but all his other senses were enhanced to incredible superhuman levels! He also gained his amazing "radar" sense, which, in most ways, more than makes up for his blindness. With his superior athletic ability, Daredevil takes risks that most people who can see what they're doing wouldn't dare take!"

Daredevil's sculpt, while pedestrian (he is just an athletic guy in red spandex after all) is very well done. As is the case with almost anything that's largely monochromatic, the subtler points tend to get lost when viewed as a whole, but upon closer inspection, you'll notice the male physique is captured very well here. Other than the musculature, a few folds/wrinkles in the costume's fabric is about as elaborate as it gets, but I feel less is more in this particular case. The face sculpt is calm and thoughtful, a look that befits the Daredevil character. The only real complaint I have about the figure's form is that the upper arms are too wide/muscular in comparison to the lower arms. Toning them down, or beefing the lower arms up some more, would have resulted in a more uniform look. I remember I was not at all impressed with Daredevil's sculpt when I first saw him in the store, back when he came out (I attribute that almost solely to the exceptional quality exhibited by the 12" Green Goblin figure--it made the other characters in the assortment look mediocre, at best, in comparison), but, now that I actually own it, and have inspected it from every angle, I like it quite a bit. This Daredevil isn't "true" sixth-scale, standing at roughly eleven-and-a-half inches tall (my Marvel Super Heroes card lists his height at 6', which would make him an even twelve inches tall in sixth-scale), but it's close enough. Being a rotocast figure, Daredevil is also lighter than you might expect for something of this size. Rotocasting is a plastic casting process that results in hollow, rather than solid, pieces, thus decreasing the weight/materials used/cost, making it possible for Toy Biz, and other manufacturers, to produce larger toys cheaper.

The paint job on this figure is pretty impressive, even more so when you take into consideration that Daredevil is almost completely red. The crimson of his costume is brought to life with some fairly subtle airbrushing--adding shadows, darkening it up, and giving it a much more realistic appearance than a flat, one-color approach ever would. The eyes are a brighter, glossier red that helps them stand out from the surrounding hues. The skin tone on the face contrasts nicely with the rest of the figure, but is a little sloppy where it meets the edges of the mask. The "Double D" symbol of his chest is also very clean and well centered, although it doesn't pop out as much as I'd like, due to the fairly dark colors blending in with the surrounding outfit to some extent.

Like most rotocast figures, a lot of Daredevil's joints are of the cut variety, which can be pretty limiting, as they're only good for rotation (not to mention looking absolutely horrid when you move them out of the one "proper" position where the sculpted elements line up--take a gander at the purposefully contorted mess I made in the last photo at the bottom of this page to see an extreme example of this), but he also has several pivoting pins and a few pseudo ball-type joints that help make him more pose-able than you might initially expect. Here's the run down: Semi-ball jointed neck (it can rotate and pivot downwards, but you can't get him to look up); semi-ball shoulders (they rotate and move a little bit in/out of the shoulder sockets); cut biceps; double-pin elbows; cut forearms (where the glove cuffs end); pin wrists; cut mid-chest (it may look like a rocker chest, but it isn't); cut waist; cut hips (V-line); cut thighs; double-pin knees; cut shins (where the boots end); and pivot ankles. That's twenty-seven points by my count, which is pretty impressive for a rotocast figure, although, granted, some of the joints are somewhat redundant (cut thighs and shins for example). Assuming you don't get unlucky and have a bum knee or ankle joint on yours, you'll find Daredevil stands well on his own, in a variety of poses (the only photo I "cheated" on, leaning him against the blue background for support, was the kicking one).

Daredevil only comes with one extra, his nunchuku. Normally, one accessory isn't that great, but, considering that these inexpensive rotocast figures often come with no extras, it counts for more than it usually would. Plus, it's something he actually uses in the comics regularly, not some made-up crap. The two stick sections are painted white and connected by a length of black cord--the weapon measures about six inches in length, fully stretched out. The paint tends to pick up rub marks easily (why didn't Toy Biz just mold them in white plastic and be done with it?--my best guess is that the mold for the 'chucks was also part of the figure's mold, and thus, used the same color of plastic to save money/time). When not in use, these can be securely holstered in the small pack on Daredevil's left thigh. His left hand is molded with a cylindrical opening to house either handle, and the fit/grip is good and tight.

When this 12" Amazing Spider-Man line of rotocast figures first came out, they ran about $10 a piece, which was a superb value (for comparison purposes, consider that Toy Biz's smaller 6" Marvel figures usually ran about $7-8 during the same time period). As I bought mine used/loose, I paid even less than that.

Final Analysis:

- Outstanding value. Getting a quality 12" figure for ten smackers, or even less in my case, is a very good deal.
- Excellent sculptural rendition of "The Man Without Fear".
- Solid construction with lots of articulation.
- Very good paint work; making an almost completely red character visually interesting really needs this kind of shadowing to make it pop.
- The inclusion of the accessory is welcome, as these types of figures usually don't come with anything. Poor Green Goblin didn't even get a pumpkin bomb, let alone his glider.
- Remove the thigh pack, cut the horns off, file/sand the horn stubs down, and you've got yourself a decent universal sixth-scale male base body for customizing. Buy two and convert one into Bullseye!

- While the number of moving parts are plentiful, the rotocast nature of this figure's construction--namely the large number of cut joints--limits the articulation in several respects.
- The open packaging used for these figures leaves them vulnerable to damage and theft. If possible, inspect before you buy.
- The painted "DD" emblem on his chest blends in a bit too well with the rest of his costume--it should stand out more.
- Proportionately, I feel the upper arms are too big/thick, or conversely, the lower arms are too thin/small.

Where to Buy:
This is an older figure (2006), so you're unlikely to find it at any of your local retail stores now, unless you've got one that stubbornly holds onto old stock until it sells. When they were new, I remember seeing Daredevil, along with Venom, Spider-Man (both black and normal costumes, if memory serves), and Green Goblin, at both the local Wal-Mart Super Center and Target stores. I picked mine up, loose-but-complete, albeit with some scuff marks, for next to nothing at a local thrift store (fifty cents + sales tax, I kid you not). Your best bet is probably eBay or a trade/sale with another Marvel toy collector.

For Parents:
I don't have the packaging, so I can't give you the official age recommendation from the manufacturer. That said, this is a large and solidly constructed toy that should be able to weather some serious abuse during play. It's conceivable that the nunchuku could pose a choking hazard and/or a child might twist the string around a finger/toe and cut off blood circulation, so I wouldn't let really young ones play with those without adult supervision. If you're religious, I imagine the 'devil' in his name and the costume/red eyes might be a cause for some concern, but, I assure you, Daredevil has nothing to do with Satan and is a dedicated crime-fighter in the comic books.

(The art above is from the 1990 Marvel Super Heroes Daredevil card and is presented solely for comparison purposes with the source material.)

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