Marvel‘s Spider-Man has undergone a lot of changes over the years, and plenty of people have their favorite version of him. For some, it’s the classic, red-and-blue costume-wearer who first appeared during the 1960s, while for others, it’s the one with the black-and-white costume that was popular for a while during the mid-to-late ’80s. Some prefer the African-American kid in the black-and-red costume, who stars in the comic book, Ultimate Spider-Man; and some even favor the Iron Spider, from the period in which Spider-Man wore a suit made by Iron Man. The whole Spider-Gang is celebrated in the current Disney XD animated series, Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors.
Hasbro has a new line of toys based on the TV show, and the action figures all resemble their comic book counterparts. Some of my favorites in the line include the Web Slingers figures and vehicles, each of which captures a key element of Marvel’s wall-crawling family: their ability to project webs at adversaries. Each of the Web Slingers toys includes two webs, which are long, super-stretchy, and have a loop at one end. The loop hooks onto some part of either the figure or vehicle: In the case of the Iron Spider, it’s the tab on his wrist; while for Agent Venom (who wears that aforementioned black-and-white costume) with ATV, there are tabs at the front of the vehicle.
After Spider-Fans hook the web on, they can pull it back as far as their arm muscles allow—and then let it fly! Each Web Slinger comes with illustrated paper targets featuring deadly foes, such as Electro and the Green Goblin, which prove fun for web-shooting practice. Admittedly, it takes a while to get the hang of web-slinging, and some dexterity is required to stretch the webs out so they travel a satisfactory distance, thus validating the recommended age range of 4 years and up. But hey, the actual Spider-Man from the comics needed time to get the hang of his Spider-Act, too, so even if you start out as the Barely Passable Spider-Man, keep at it and you’ll ultimately be fine.