The Amazing Spider-Man Spider Jet Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Generation One, Heroes, Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man

General Information:
Release Date: May 2012
Price Point: $9.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None
Images:

*Official photos and text below in italics from The Official Hasbro Web Site.
What’s more powerful and unpredictable than the web-slinging enemy of evildoers everywhere? It’s the Flip and Attack Spider Jet! One minute it’s a speedy vehicle for the forces of good, and the next minute it converts to a powerful armored attack bot! The Flip and Attack Spider Jet uses TRANSFORMERS technology to convert from vehicle mode to bot mode and back again so it’s a double threat to villains. In vehicle mode, pull back and let go to make the Spider Jet charge into the fray! The vehicle automatically converts to bot mode in an instant, so your powerful SPIDER-MAN bot will ready to take on whatever comes at him!

Includes 1 converting vehicle. Ages 4 and up.

Spider-Man JetIn the days of Generation One, the dominant gimmick in any Transformers toy line was the transformation itself. However, additional gimmicks wound up getting added on to figures over the years to make them more interesting. One of these gimmicks from the early days of Generation One was the "Jumpstarter" technology. The idea was a Transformers figure that transformed by itself. You pulled back the vehicle in vehicle mode and it had a motor inside that propelled it forward and then transformed it into robot mode automatically, "jumping" into robot mode. Only two Jumpstarters were released in Generation One, but the two characters have gone on to be featured in Transformers media including the recent "Last Stand of the Wreckers" comic book mini-series.

With the release of the 2012 "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Avengers" movies, part of Hasbro's toy lines for each of these films includes the release of transforming robotic figures using the old "Jumpstarter" technology. In general, these figures are a bit smaller than their G1 counterparts, roughly qualifying as a Deluxe level figure. Unlike the current Star Wars Transformers, these figures are not being marketed as "Crossovers" Transformers. However, they do mention "Transformers Technology" on their packaging. Interestingly however, outside of this small use/mention of the "Transformers" logo, there is nothing else on the packaging mentioning Transformers such as trademark information mentioning Takara Tomy.

Robot Mode:
If Spider-Man were to develop a mecha in his own image, and had it fly you'd wind up with something like this. Unlike the older, more boxy shaped Jumpstarters of Generation One, this Spider-Man "Flip and Attack" Jet is a really sleek looking robot. It's a fascinating mix of angular panels and curved parts. In some ways, it almost looks like Spider-Man himself has integrated armor into his own body. Perhaps the most "organic" looking parts are the head, torso and legs, all of which have curved sections that have the traditional Spider-Man "webbed" pattern found on his costume. The symbol on his chest is adapted from the one used in "The Amazing Spider-Man" film while most of the head uses the design of the traditional Spider-Man mask with big, angled eyes and a web pattern design leading to a pointed chin.

Make no mistake however, this is definitely a robot. On the back of the head are mechanical details leading to tubes on the neck. The fists are big, angular ones and his arms are covered with armor plating including the wings of his vehicle mode on his shoulders. Look on the underside of his feet and you'll see patterns indicating he has thrusters built into them. Overall, it's a really cool design that integrates classic elements of Spider-Man with "Transformers" styled designs.

The Spider Jet is cast in metallic silver plastic. On the back you'll find bits of the white engine and black rubber wheels. Much of the color detail in this form comes from the paint colors which include red, black, white and light blue. The red is the one used the most. This deep red color can be found on almost every part of the figure including the legs, arms, chest and head. The black color is distributed all over the body filling in smaller details including the outer part of its eyes, the Spider-Man symbol on his chest, some designs on the arms and a couple parts on the back of the legs. White is used on the eyes, filling out the area inside the black outline. Finally, the light blue can be seen on his lower body where it is used to paint the cockpit cover in vehicle mode. Overall this is a very "Spider-Man" styled color scheme. Traditionalists would probably demand some dark blue on it (which is not unreasonable) but I don't think this particular incarnation of Spider-Man requires it.

The Spider Jet can move its arms up and down. The head can turn slightly from side to side, but I wouldn't push it too far lest you break the head off.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Spider-Man uses the old "Jumpstarter" style transformation. The legs of the robo latch onto the hook on the chest. Pull back the vehicle until you hear a click and then let go. The vehicle will roll forward on its own and in a few seconds, it springs the legs forward and lands in robot mode. With Generation One's Jumpstarters, one of the complications with the figures was balance. They didn't usually land on their feet, so adjustable weight balances were put on their heads for you to play with to get them just right. The figures in this line don't have such balances, but overall they perform well. I tested each figure out with five successive transformations and only one out of those four times did the figure not land on its feet.

To transform the figure back, just push the legs up and connect them to the hooks on the chest. If the hook is out of alignment, you can just roll the wheels on the back a bit and let them spin so the hook readjusts.

Vehicle Mode:
When evaluating the vehicle modes of the "Flip and Attack" Spider-Man figures, I think it pays to keep in mind that the figure is basically just the legs of a toy thrown over the upper body and clicked into place, so there's nothing particularly awe inspiring about the vehicle mode. Instead, I think you need to take it on its own merits (a sentiment I am likely to repeat in other reviews of this sub-line).

Taken as a whole, this vehicle is instantly recognizable as some type of jet, though it looks a bit more alien than human made. The front has a cockpit on it with a honeycomb type pattern on the edges. The robot arms have wings in the back with smaller, stabilizer wings in the front. The aforementioned thrusters on the robot feet wind up on the back of the vehicle, showing you how it would propel itself forward. Additional sleekness is added by the shape of the armor on top of the robot fists as well as some blade like designs right under the cockpit. Instead of a long, sleek jet, this looks more like a compact fighter jet of some sort, and that works for me.

This mode doesn't really expose any new colors or paint applications. It's clear in this form the black paint applications on the back of the robot legs were meant for this mode as they are right at the top of the vehicle. A majority of the details wind up getting formed by the red paint applications on the arms including the stripes on the wings (reminscent of Starscream's designs).

Final Thoughts:
Not everyone is going to love this toy. Some people will love the "Flip and Change" gimmick (as many of my Transformers friends and I did when we first saw it at Toy Fair) but others may find it one note and boring. Your mileage will vary on this figure, but I am happy to say that by my standards it is a really fun toy that looks cool in both modes (by Jumpstarter standards anyhow) and I'm impressed by how the designers managed to work the figure's design so it lands on its feet most of the time. My only wish would be that there had been more weaponry sculpted into the figure (maybe "web shooters" in the arms?) or that some type of accessory had been included with the toy. Other than that, this figure is recommended!