One of the first outlets where I could express my burgeoning geekhood was in my toy collection. While I would inevitably stuff my room to capacity with all things Star Wars, that wasn't my first experience with toys from a major nerd franchise. My first obsession with collectible playthings in the mid- to late-70s was with none other than ol' Web Head himself, Spider-Man.
Looking back, my Spider-Man collection was a modest one. I had some Spider-Man t-shirts, some ViewMaster and Pocket Flix sets, a few comics and even the classic Mego action figure. Then again, most things related to Spider-Man were pretty modest back then. Don’t let the picture above fool you; back in the late 70s, it was hard to come by some top-notch, non-comic-book Spider-Man stuff.
During that time, there was only one Spider-Man cartoon on syndication, there were no video games, and the only live-action adventures could be seen on Electric Company and a short-lived TV series featuring Nicholas Hammond. That was as good as it got. No big-budget big-screen Spider-Man movie in the works (let alone a big-budget big-screen Spider-Man reboot after a trilogy of big-budget big-screen Spider-Man movies), no Spider-Man action figures with 20+ points of articulation and highly-detailed plastic sculpting and paint jobs, and certainly no high-end video games such as the recent Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.