Welcome to the brand new Classic Marvel Figurine collection. I'm not sure what is the exact difference between a figurine and a figure. Maybe figurines are smaller? Anyhow, if you sign up for this glossy periodical, then twice a month you'll get a spiffy new lead-cast hand-painted Marvel figure turn up in the mail, or at your local newsagent.
Only available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
These things are pretty standard. The first one is five pounds, and then all the others are thirteen pounds. You start collecting on the basis that it can't go on for too long, and finish after two years when the get to number 120. Or more likely cancel around number 104 and never finish the set. Total investment two hundred pounds, or four hundred dollars US. Of course, there's also a plastic base to send away for too, and a ring binder to hold those precious issues!
The figures themselves are actually not bad quality, judging by the Spider-Man. Of course, I don't collect figures, and I have no intention of subscribing. But the cast is nice and detailed, and clean. The painting is nicely done too, presumably painted by children in Malaysia working for twenty cents a day, but they've done a nice job - thanks kids.
The material inside is pretty reasonable. The text writer isn't credited, though most of the art is credited to its original creator, which is nice. I presume Marvel has a stock library that it makes available to guys like this. I'd like to know who the writer was and where they're getting their source material. There's fourteen pages of text and illustrations, and a two-page centrefold poster of the cover of ASM #122.
Included with issue #1 is a smaller booklet "Introducing the Classic Marvel Figurine Collection" which consists mostly of a four-page gatefold poster listing the 85 figures which I presume are to be included in the set, and describes a little of the process of creating the figures. It's essentially a promo blurb for the series.
What you see is what you get. I presume that this will appeal both to hardcore collectors but also to middle-aged Marvel fans who spot this at their newsagent and get sucked up into buying the entire run, only to have their wife insist that it not live in the living room, and eventually see it relegated to two cardboard boxes in the basement.
Me I'll probably pick up the Venom, Carnage, Doc Ock, etc. - the ones that have Spidey connections, just so I can review 'em for ya.
There's no denying that these guys know their business. There's enough gloss and pizazz here to please most people. The figures are well done, and the "perfect collector" in me feels pain at the idea of not getting the entire set.
I'm gonna award three and a half webs, for a professional product.
The © in the magazine is 2005. There's no clear publishing date on these magazines, the date I have filed them under is the month I first saw them in the shops in New Zealand. The original release date in the UK is undoubtedly earlier than that.