Gentle Giant's campaign to enlarge the action figures from yesteryear continues.
This effort began a few years with releasing 12 inch replicas of Kenner's 3 and 3/4 action figures from the original Star Wars trilogy. Now that is has super-sized almost every Kenner Star Wars action figure by now, Gentle Giant has moved on to releasing jumbo versions of the action figures that Mattel released as part of its Marvel Secret Wars line during the mid-80s, starting with Spider-Man in his black symbiote costume. This was the first action figure to feature Spider-Man in something other than his usual red and blue webbed suit.
The original Secret Wars Spider-Man figure by Mattel.
I never purchased any of the Secret Wars figures but I've heard collectors complain about how poorly they were made, particularly how the paint on the figures has a tendency to flake and peel. From what I've read about the '80s toy wars, Mattel bought the rights to produce Marvel superhero figures as a way to compete with Kenner's Super Powers toy line, which was based on DC's universe of superhero characters. Yet because Mattel already had a hit with its He-Man toys, the Secret Wars line only existed to cover kids who were interested in superheroes but not He-Man. It's hard to imagine how a company like Mattel could consider a toy line based on Marvel characters to be a lower priority and thus produce substandard products, but that's exactly what happened with the Secret Wars line. I still don't understand the appeal of jumbo figures but given its reputation as a producer of quality collectibles, Gentle Giant's jumbo Secret Wars Spider-Man figure is probably better-made than the original figure itself.
Click here to place your order for this jumbo trip down Marvel memory lane.