The Amazing Spider-Man Spider Racer Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Heroes, Jumpstarter, Marvel, 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

*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 Racer! 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 Racer 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 Racer charge into the fray! The vehicle automatically converts in an instant to bot mode, so your powerful SPIDER-MAN bot will be ready to take on whatever comes at him!

Includes 1 converting vehicle. Ages 4 and up.

Spider-Man RacerIn 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.

Special thanks go out to fellow fan Derek B. for helping me acquire a couple of these before they hit my area. I appreciate his willingness to help out a fellow fan!

Robot Mode:
Of the four "Amazing Spider-Man" Flip and Attack robots released, the Racer appears to be the most "pure" and traditional looking of the set. While others such as the Battle Hauler have some Spider-Man features with a lot of robot and vehicle parts, this Spider-Man mech has the more streamlined look of its human counterpart. This includes curved sections on the arms, and torso. Even though the legs are angular, several sections are curved, giving them a very organic look.

This sculpt has many details borrowed from the classic Spider-Man costume. The most obvious is the familiar "web pattern", which appears on the torso, legs, arms and head. I also appreciate the use of curved parts such as on the torso to represent the inspiration from the mech's human counterpart. Indeed, in this mode the only significant robot mode kibble are the wheels on his arms and the cockpit in the hip area. I also dig the way a lot of the details are sculpted such as the spider symbol on his chest, which sticks out a bit over the armor underneath.

The Spider-Man Racer is cast in red plastic. Dark blue, silver, grey and black paint applications are used to give it the more traditional Spider-Man costume look. The blue is used on the upper body (mostly on the sides) and the legs. The silver and grey are used for smaller details such as armor around the ankles and the wheels on his arms respectively. Black us most prominent on the Spider symbol on his chest, but it's also used to paint the edges around the eyes. Overall, this is a classic set of Spider-Man colors. It's a very bright looking figure which suits the character but still uses elements from the film such as the exaggerated Spider symbol on the chest.

The Racer only has three points of articulation and one of them barely counts: the head. It can turn side to side just a little but, but because of the shape of his upper body, the areas to the right and left of the head curve upwards, keeping it from staying turned. The arms move up and down and that's about it. For imagination play, the mech does have blasters sculpted into the shoulders, so there's some offensive power on top of its implied speed.

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:
The "Racer" form looks a bit like a spaceship of some sort, mostly due to the very prominent cockpit section in the front. However, taking a look at it more, many of the details are sculpted around being a race car of some type. The back of the legs (now on the back of the vehicle) have parts of a spoiler on them. On the sides you see his two wheels and parts of a fender in the front. While he does have a "spaceship" like cockpit in the center, that section is actually flanked by two headlights. In addition to these details, many of the Spider-Man costume styled details still come out here including those on his arms and on the sides of the legs. Also, this vehicle isn't just built for speed. Sculpted into the back of the legs (and thus, now on the top of the vehicle) are two blasters!

Spider-Man's Racer shows more red than blue in this form, but most of the details were already visible in robot mode. Overall the paint job is good, but I did find myself wishing the headlights were painted to bring out those details more.

One minor note: the aforementioned wheels on the sides of the vehicle are not funcitonal, they are just sculpted details. This vehicle relies entirely on the wheels on the underside of the car that activate its transformation.

Final Thoughts:
While I may be looking for more "mech" like details such as those on the Battle Hauler, this version of a Spider-Man based mech serves a different purpose, it provides the most "basic" looking Spider-mech figure in the line. For those who are interested in this line but want a very "basic" looking Spidey without tons of non-Spidey robot kibble, this is the figure for you!