Audio : Spider-Man: Chase for the Blue Tiger (Comes to Life)

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

It can be hard to catch all of the tie-in books that get released on the back of movies and TV series. This one slipped under my radar for a while, until I spotted it on Amazon one day while just sniffing around. This is a "Comes to Life Book", by "Yes! Corporation." Other "Comes to Life" books feature Alvin, Clifford, Richard Scarry, Berenstein Bears and a host of other well known literary properties. Spidey is in good company.

In Detail...

Spider-Man: Chase for the Blue Tiger (Comes to Life)
Year 1995 : SM Title
Find at Amazon.Com
Summary: Book plus Proprietary Format Audio Disk
Publisher:  Yes! Entertainment Corporation
Writer:  Rick Geary
Illustrator:  Rick Geary
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Review

This monster is 8.25" x 11.25". Thick card covers with rounded corners, spiral bound with a clear plastic spiral spine so that it lies open flat with no problems. There are sixteen pages inside the cover.

The audio component comes from a small plastic record disk which is glued onto every second page. Each disk is 2" in diameter. The "record player" is a hand-held battery affair, and rather than putting the disk on the player, you actually hold the player against the disk. Nifty! I sadly don't have a "Story Player (TM)", so I can't tell you what's on the records. But I presume that it's the same text that is on each page.

The characters are the 1990's TV Cartoon version. Peter gets called into see Jonah (and Robbie), apparently the crazy billionaire "Fort" Knox has captured a BLUE TIGER. Jonah and Jameson are off to get the story. Meanwhile, Kraven is mad, he wants the blue tiger himself, so he can put it on his estate and stalk it! Heh, sloppy seconds, Kraven! His pal, Chameleon is going to help.

At Knox's headquarters, Knox turns up in a helicoptor and demands that his tiger be loaded immediately. When the chopper takes off, Jonah tries to come too, but his shows are webbed to the ground. Err... and he's not suspicious, since Peter is the only other person there? Somehow, while still sticking to outside of the flying chopper, Peter has changed to Spidey. Green Goblin flies past in the background, but he's just for illustration.

Spidey somehow gets inside the chopper (there's no crew, just the Chameleon as pilot). He finds the real Knox tied up. The chopper lands at Kraven's estate. They open the box. Inside, is Mr. Knox, and a normal-colored tiger, that is still waiting for his paint-job. Yeah, it was a publicity stunt by Knox. There is no such thing as a blue tiger.

The bad guys are defeated. Knox and Spidey load Kraven's other captured animals to take them back to the wild (with their heads poking out the windows of the helicopter). Knox and Spidey then go back to Knox's warehouse and spray the tiger and wash off the orange paint. Yes, it's a blue tiger after all! But Knox has learnt his lesson, he's putting the blue tiger back into the wild. Parker then helps conceal the tale, but taking pictures of the orange painted tiger to Jonah.

In General...

Now, there are some huge plot holes here. For starters, are we really thinking that Kraven can't spot a blue tiger painted orange? And do we really think that a tiger will stand still while you wash the paint off it with a hose? Oh well, it's a kids book - willing suspension of disbelief is required.

Even so, for a kids book, the double-trick concept of a blue tiger painted orange actually being an orange tiger painted, orange, or blue? I'm not sure. Anyhow, it's a tricky little tale. The pencils are rather amateurish, but again I suspect that kids will totally love them. The colors are bright and bold.

Overall Rating...

An oddball collectable that works well in spite of itself. This book should by rights be totally lame, but somehow it just seems to work. I'd love to know what it sounds like, but even without that, it's a very pleasing item to have tracked down. I'm gonna give it four webs.