SPIDER-MAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES (TOYBIZ)
Spider-Man definitely has one of the best rogues galleries around. Maybe it’s not as cool as Batman’s (though that mostly falls to personal opinion), and sure, for my money, it doesn’t quite have the same flare as the Flash’s, but it’s definitely a strong contender. Of course, with every rogue’s gallery comes the inevitable selection of less than threatening entries. Those, by the way, are my personal favorites. I love the lower tier guys. My favorite Batman villain is Calendar Man for God’s sake! So, I have a real appreciation for them. One of the Spider-Man foes who has never really managed to be anything more than a nuisance is the Shocker, eternal punching bag.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Shocker was released in the third series of ToyBiz’s 90s Spider-Man line. The line was designed as a tie-in to the cartoon of the same time, and as such, the characters drew from their animated designs. Fortunately, Shocker was pretty much unchanged from the comics, so this is just a fairly basic classic Shocker figure. The figure stands just over 5 inches tall and features 7 points of articulation. That’s less articulation than was usual at the time, due to the figure’s action feature preventing him from having elbow joints. And what was this feature? It was dubbed “Shooting Power Blasts” on the box; in reality, he comes with two red missiles, which pop into the spring-loaded arms and can be “launched” by…well, just letting them go. The springs have no locking feature, so the missiles just launch as soon as you let go. Also, the feature doesn’t really make much sense for Shocker. His powers are based on vibration, so he doesn’t actually blast anything. I don’t know. Shocker featured a sculpt that was unique to him. It’s in line with the rest of the figures in the series; the details are rather simple, and the proportions are slightly boxy. He’s a little pigeon-toed, but not excessively, and due to the action feature, his arms are really straight and stiff. That can’t be a comfortable position. Still, the sculpt isn’t bad, and it does a pretty good job of translating Shocker’s design into three dimensions. Shocker’s paintwork is also pretty simplistic, with basic color work. Most of its pretty clean, but the silver areas seem especially prone to bleed over. The figure included the two missiles to go with the action feature and nothing else, though I can’t say I know of anything Shocker would really need to include.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like the vast majority of the 90s Marvel stuff I’ve been reviewing as of late, Shocker was purchased from a vendor at this year’s Balticon. I missed out on a lot of the Spider-Man stuff growing up, mostly due to me not liking Spider-Man: The Animated Series as much as the other cartoons of the time. That said, I still appreciate the series, and I love Spidey’s rogues gallery, so I’m glad to be filling some holes in my collection. Shocker’s not a perfect figure, but he’s fun enough to make the purchase worthwhile.