Spider Man Swings Into Action In 2021 (Hands On Reviews)

There is no doubt that Spiderman is a popular hero. Indeed, he is the LEGO Marvel equivalent of Batman. What I don’t really understand is why he seems to be almost always presented in LEGO form with some form of vehicle or another. There are three new sets containing the traditional Spiderman figure, each with vehicles.

We are going to take a look at 3 of the sets released on January 1 2020, with a variety of villains, allies and vehicles. Some of which feel appropriate. Others less so…

First Up: 76172 Spiderman and Sandman Showdown.

Spiderman first appeared in 1962, in Amazing Fantasy #15. In this set, he is up against Sandman, a shape changing super villain, who first appeared in November 1963, in The Amzing Spiderman #4.

This 4+ set contains an easily put together buggie for Spiderman, with a printed wedge brick, depicting the wondrous webslinger’s eyes as headlights! Made of just 22 elements, it is quick and easy to put together, but might provide an introduction to Technic pins for some younger builders.

The Many Aspects of Spiderman

Spiderman’s Bright red head is printed on both sides, and his torso is printed fromt and back, with classic bright blue panels, as well as the red spider on his back, and webbed designs on his arms. He comes aith a single flat web accessory, with points for gripping in two corners, and a bar in another.

Sandman’s legs are replaced by a ‘twister base’ first seen in Nexo Knights, but now recoloured to tan/dark tan. The right side of his torso is printed tan, with stripes, while the left side has merely striped in dark green. His right arm and hand are tan, while the left arm is green, with a light nougat hand. His face has printing on only one side, and he has an angry expression on his face. This is a unique look for sandman, and useful in trying to cature his transition betreen solid and sandy forms.

Sandman comes with a small catapult element, launching a couple of tan 1×1 cylinder bricks towards Spiderman, and while it might be of limited utility, it provides a weapon of some sort to facilitate the battle.

The set has 45 elements, and the recommended price is $17.99AUD. I think it is reasonably priced for what it is: two core Minifigures in a theme, with a couple of play features to enhance the play value for the kids. This set does a good job, being what it is supposed to be: a kid’s set. The transforming Sandman will be great for AFOLs looking for such a figure!

NEXT: 76173 Spider-Man and Ghost Rider versus Carnage.

We have the same Spider man figure as in the previous set. We also have Carnage, a symbiote spawned from Venom bound initially with serial killer Cletus Kasady in Amazing Spider-Man 345, from 1991. This Spiderman has limited web slinging capacity: only having web blasts to launch at Carnage.

Is it just me, or are Carnage and Ghost rider trying to outdo each other in the Sinister Smile Stakes?

The Carnage figure appears similar to the figure which debuted last year, with black printing on a red minifigure. There are black lines, representing part of the symbiotic biomass printed on the front of his legs and feet, and front and back of the torso. There is printing on the back of his head, and his face has large white eyes, and a large jagged smile. The symbiote also has the ability to project tentacles, and these are represented by red Chima flame elements, attached to a 4 bar neck bracket.

Finally, we have Ghost Rider: the second Ghost Rider in LEGO form, this most closely resembles Ronnie Reynes in the role of the Spirit of Vengeance. Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #5 in 1972, but Robbie Reynes debuted in All New Ghost Rider #1 in 2014. Reye’s vehicle of choice is a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, which, while spontaneously burning with hellfire is referred to as the Hell Charger. The Ghost Rider Minifigures features a combined pearl river head, fused with a transparent orange flame element, complete with a skeletal grin. The Torso has a print of the leather jacket worn by this version of Ghost rider, and includes back printing, but the arms and legs are unprinted.

And it is the Hellcharger that makes up the main part of the build. It certainly bears significant resemblence to the 1970 Dodge Charger featured in the 75893: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. The two builds are quite different however, particularly with regard tothe curves in the side panels. However, in this set, it is to allow ready conversion from a ‘Normal Souped Up Charger to the Hellcharger. A collection of ‘Power Burst’ elements is also included, to allow for ready adaptation of the car.

This set is$32.99 AUD / 19.99(euro/usd) /£17.99GBP and has 212 pieces. It has proven popular in the early days of its release, and is already on backorder (USA/europe/UK) or out of stock (Australia). While recommended as a set for 7+, I do find myself somewhat curious as to the suitablilty of Carnage or Ghost Rider as subject matter targeted at this age range, when the media that they appear in is not. Or perhaps I am reading too much into it. I dont recall being too fussed by the Joker’s mass murdering background when I was a kid, so perhaps today’s kids wont be as concerned about these two!

And Finally 71674: Spider-Man’s Monster Truck.

I find myself internally challenged every time I see Spider-Man driving some sort of vehicle. On the big screen, I have seen Peter Parker driven in a normal car, or transported in a Stark Industries Jet. Otherwiose, he mainly seems to get around using his feet. Or webs.

Mostly webs

But I have Certainly never seen him drive around in a self branded monster truck? Where would be park such a thing, and still protect his secret identity, as well as not endanger those that he loves?

And then I remember: Kids.

Kids love vehicles. And especially trucks. And if one thing is better than a truck, it’s a monster truck. Last year saw monster trucks appear across the LEGO City and Creator 3-in-1 theme. This year, we also see them appear in Technic, through the Monster Jam license. So perhaps it’s not so silly.

The Batmobile succeeds, because they have stylish branding, and get parked in a cave, away from prying eyes. The branding here is garish- so I left it off, until I have a need for Spider-Man branding in an appropriate context. And, Peter has limited opportunity to park it off street, let alone in a garage.

So, while I built the monster truck, my heart wasn’t really in that part of the build, at the time. That said, it’s not a bad build. It has nice suspension, and has a giant net launcher which can be deployed. the cabin only sits one comfortably. One functional aspect of the build is that there are a couple of pegs on the side where a little bit of web element can be plugged in. Just the thing if you are a trans dimensional visitor on a skateboard, and looking for a lift.

I just felt weird being offered Spidey Stickers to place all over it. So I left them off, and will save them for next time.

But to be honest, as an AFOL, the monster truck is the least of the reasons to get this set.

We have Spiderman – again, the same figure as previously seen this year – but also Spider Gwen. Gwen Stacy from Earth-65 had been bitten by a radioactive spider and developed Spiderpowers! She first appeared in 2014’s Edge of the Spider-Verse #2, as Spider-Woman, and subsequently as Ghost Spider.

This is the second minifigure version of Spider Gwen: she first appeared in 2019’s 76115 Spider Mech vs Venom, and then 2020’s 76419 the Menace of Mysterio. The printed body appears very similar to the previous version, but Gwen has a new hood .I think I prefer the old version, over the new: it appears a bit more similar to the comic covers I have seen – more flush with her shoulders, although it is a bit bulky.

Next, we have Mysterio who first appeared in Amazing Spider Man #13, in April 1964. It took 55 years for him to appear in a cinematic form. In Spider-Man Far From Home, he had hologram projecting drones. The figure seen here is similar to the one seen in 76419, except the head is medium stone grey, and his ‘fishbowl helmet’ is now an opalescent pale blue. He has a checked suit, as well as a reddish violet cape, made of a spongy material. He also has a cloud of green ‘mist’ to provide the illusion of levitation. There are also a couple of black white and grey drones that accompany him in this set. the trans neon green touches are nice, especially with a little UV added.

We also have Doc Octopus, Otto Octavius, who first met Spider-man back in the Amazing Spider-man #3, in 1963. This is one of my favorite versions of the Dock Ock, with his 4 machanical arms, attached using clips and ball joints.

He has a more disappointed look on the back of his head… perhaps to use when he gets captured by Spider-Man.

Of course, that’s only two of four limbs restrained…

Overall the figures in this set are terrific, even Spider-Man, although, by this stage we have seen him 3 times in these sets!

When we bring the truck into things, it still works. I just couldn’t bring myself to brand it!

I also appreciate the wide variety of web elements that we see in this set. I also enjoy the way they allow us to attach Spidey and Gwen to the side of the truck!

71674: Spider-Man’s Monster Truck has 439 pieces, and retails for $79.99 AUD. I started cold with this set, and as I spent more time with it, I found I was enjoying the minifigures more and more, and even incorporating the truck in play, as I went.

Ultimately, I entered this process cold to the notion of these being anything more than >ahem< vehicles for making more minifigures available. they each have something to offer on that front: Sandman; Ghost Rider and Doc Ock are all new versions in these sets. Spiderman, Carnage, Mysterio and Spider Gwen have all had some level of update, which makes them worth considering.

I did find myself paraphrasing Captain James T Kirk in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. “What does Spiderman need with a Monster Truck?” And I dont think I have satisfactorily answered that question for myself yet.

In short – these are all solid sets. I would consider the Ghost rider and Carnage set to represent the best value, at 35 dollars, and the car is pretty close to a ‘regular’ Speed Champions design, too. I enjoy the selection with Doc Ock and Mysterio too, and it does feel more like a premuim plaset in comparision to the other two.

Would I score them? As an AFOL, with a part time interest in photographing figures, I had a bit of fun with each of these sets. I would give each of these sets 3.5 – 4 Arbitrary Praise Units, depending on the actual purchase price you can find them for at the time. I appreciate this might be a bit of a cop out. But still, they are fun in their own right, and I now find myself with a good range of Spider-Man figures to play with. If you are starting out with Spiderman at this time in your life, you could purchase all 3 sets, with the 7 different minifigureures (as well as a buggie, monster truck, drones, Dodge Charger, and a couple of spare spider men) for ‘only’ $131. which is not bad value over all. There is also the Spider Mech, featuring Miles Morales, if you are looking for a wider selection, but I’ll leave that to you to decide.

what do yo think of these Spiderman sets? Do you also question the existence of a Spiderman Monster Truck? Which figures would you be excited to get?

Why not leave your comments below, and until next time…

Play Well.

These sets were provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

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