SH Figuarts Spider Gwen (Standard Edition)
Posted on 10 Aug 2023
Well, Spider Gwen has certainly been popular of late, especially around these parts. Not only did SV Action release a highly posable figure (which I reviewed in full over on the UK Anime Network) but I also decided to get in on the Hot Toys version from the first film (can't beat those ballet shoes!) before that vanished forever too. I now have 3 figures on display in the lounge, but how does this latest iteration fare against all the competition?
SH Figuarts is mainly a line competing with Goodsmile's Figma range, being around 1/12 scale and usually arriving with enough accessories to give collectors plenty of options for posing and display. Price wise, they usually hit the UK at around £60, which is only about £15 more than the price in Japan. Factoring in shipping and VAT, that's acceptable. Figma tend to be a bit higher at the £80+ range, and SV Action is between £120-£150 depending on the vendor. Marvel Legends are £24.99.
So there's a lot to consider when picking your Gwen. Firstly, what are you displaying her with? Legends collectors will appreciate that they all work to similar scale, but the SV Action is quite small compared to the other offerings.
3 head options in the box cover all the basic bases
Next up is budget. In my review of the SV Action Gwen, I made the point that the price reflected the vast array of optional parts and the extra Spider-Ham figure. It also has a school uniform torse which can't be posed, but as that needs the legs from the main figure to be complete, is a total waste of time and money. I'd have gladly swapped Spider Ham for a second set of legs. It does have some nice parts though - different hair pieces to get rid of the shaved head look, two different unmasked facial expressions, both beautifully rendered and lots of webbing.
SH Figuarts is smart enough to keep everything in the box in service of the main figure. To that end, you get multiple hands, two hooded heads (squinty and wide-eyed), unmasked head, and hoods in both up and down configurations. There's a very nice inclusion of a second neck, that has the costume cut off to reveal her skin, working well with the unmasked head. You get some webbing and a display stand to finish the package, so even though you'll have parts to store, they aren't large and frustratingly incomplete.
Shedding the extra baggage brings the price down to £59.99 (purchased mine from Kapow Toys) and you have a Legends-scale Gwen that's far more poseable than Hasbro's offering and with a lot more interchangeable parts. Sculpt-wise, Hasbro has captured the stylised look of the film nicely, but you'll never pull off extreme poses with her. Also missing is the level of detail Figuarts has crammed in - the suit has the scaled look of the actual cartoon (instead of being all smooth) but this isn't accurate either - the animation model has the scaled effect on the black pieces, while the parts of the suit are smooth. Only SV Action has caught that detail accurately, but between all scales and smooth, I'll take the textured look every time.
It's cool to see the suit evolution in physical form. Those thigh swivels really hurt the Figuarts silhouette though.
So we can safely say the fight is between Figuarts and SV Action. The SV Action figure is more accurate, but remains a rendition from the first film and not the second - hence the different patterns on the suits and change of footwear between the two. I prefer the ballet shoe look, but the trainers also look good, just not as elegant. Figuarts is more shapely, with a fuller bust and broader shoulders to enhance the hourglass shape. Where it really loses out to SV action is those upper thighs. Cut as separate pieces and adding a thigh swivel, it just looks a bit... disjointed. Strangely, beat for beat, the SV figure can do all the same poses just as well without them, so an odd choice from Figuarts there.
Ultimately I picked up the SH Figuarts version of the ability to display her with the unmasked head inside the hood, a feat that no other figure at this scale has managed. It's nice to have the first and second film designs next to each other too, a nice evolution of the character design in physical form.
Excuse the family portraits, but as a set of complimentary figures, I think these look superb.
Forced to pick one, I think I'd still spend the extra for the SV Action figure, despite my annoyance at the redundant parts. That said, you'll be perfectly happy with the Figuarts version, thigh swivel parts and all - it has a cracking head sculpt, a unique posing option, terrific details on the boots and gloves, as well tons of posing options. It'll scale a little better with other lines too. If price matters, take this route and you'll have a ball.
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