Comics : Spider-Man 3 Fun Pack (Hunter Lesiure)
This review was first published on: 2008.
Hunter Leisure is a Australia/NZ brand which produces the occasional Spider-Man activity pack. They seem to specialize in complex bundles - everything comes with pencils or crayons, and consists of several different components which are individually not very large. Variety is definitely their differentiating factor.
Three years after their initial disappointing offering (Spider-Man Fun Pack (Hunter Lesiure)), the guys from Hunter Leisure are back to cash in on the Spider-Man 3 mania with a new fun pack. I guess it can't be any worse than the last one.
Spider-Man 3 Fun Pack (Hunter Lesiure)
Year 2007 : SM Title
Summary: Includes jigsaw (to color), stickers, standups, activity pad, 4 crayons
We're not off to a good start here, as I notice that there are a couple of splotches of missing color on the cover of the activity pad, before I've even opened the packet. Clearly quality control was not a high priority. Still, let's not try and get off on the wrong foot.
First up, the crayons. Four small coloring crayons in the same colors as the last Hunter fun pack - red, blue, green and yellow. A sheet of stickers the same size as the last one, though with 11 smaller stickers rather than the 7 small/medium sized. This time the stickers actually feature some characters other than Spidey! There's one each of New Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman, and a Black Spider-Man to complement the half-dozen red-n-blue Spideys.
Then there's a "tear out the characters to create your own Spidey scene" sheet of paper. These are basically like stickers, but you have to tear 'em out along the perforated lines. That, plus the fact that they're not sticky. There's no actual scene to put these against, so I'm not sure how you're supposed to use 'em. Arrange them on the carpet, presumably?
Then there's a 32 page activity pad. Nice white paper for some puzzles, a few coloring pages. Only one side of the paper is used, meaning that there are only 16 actual pages of entertainment here. Not a lot, really.
The art for the activity pad is definitely better than last time. I think the art and puzzles are perhaps taken from the Spider-Man Color/Activity Books (HarperCollins) which appeared around the same time. Strangely, though Venom and Sandman are mentioned by name in some of the puzzles, it is only ever Spider-Man that appears in the pictures.
Finally, the piece de resistance - the "color it in yerself jigsaw puzzle." This is a flimsy little 80 piece puzzle with line art. It features Spider-Man and some buildings. How on earth you're supposed to color in buildings with red, blue, yellow and green I do not know. The puzzle is shrink wrapped. After removing the shrink wrap, the puzzle is bound to disassemble into pieces (certainly it will do so in the hands of a six year old). This will naturally render it impossible to color.
The whole idea that a young kid with four chunky crayons could make anything other than a total abortion out of this color-it-yourself puzzle is completely laughable.
Add to this the total lack of depth in the activity book, and the bizarre decision to include sticky stickers and non-sticky "paper characters", and the final result is a patchwork fiasco. Yet another poorly-conceived cheap-ass "not much fun" set from Hunter Leisure.
At least the artwork is better than last time, and we get a few hints of some villains. But the jigsaw puzzle is a cruel joke, leaving a bitter 1.5 web aftertaste.