And now, Scary-Crayon reviews... The Lizard -- The Amazing Spider-Man (6-inch movie series)

Figure: The Lizard || Line: The Amazing Spider-Man || Scale: 6 inch || Manufacturer: Hasbro
Year Released: 2012 || Accessories: Reptile sidekicks, display stand || Original Price: $15.96

Aaaand here we are with another toy review -- this time of The Lizard from Hasbro's 6-inch Amazing Spider-Man line. The figure and its brethren are exclusive to Walmart right now, but it wouldn't surprise me if (like the ubiquitous 6-inch Iron Man figures that began as Walmart movie line exclusives) they ultimately end on the pegs of other toy retailers.

So here's the Lizard in package. The package is pretty standard stuff -- if you've seen the packaging for the 3.75" ASM figures (or, for that matter, the packaging from any of Hasbro's Marvel movie lines from the last couple of years), you won't be surprised -- but the abundant dark blue (in keeping with the movie Spidey's costume) makes it even less compelling than the packaging of other lines. Lizard's also posed really awkwardly in the package, with his neck hinge exposed and his arms positioned as if he's trying to pat his head and rub his stomach at the same time. If you display your figures MOC, you should probably pass -- this package will stand out on your wall for all the wrong reasons. (The Walmart sticker is also kinda ugly.)

Out of package, however, the Lizard fares a lot better. I haven't seen the movie, but (judging from screenshots) this looks to be a good representation of the character as he appeared in the film. The sculpting is great, with lots of wrinkles and scaly detail on the Lizard's reptilian hide, and the paint -- while very sparse and inconsistent in places (the "underside" paint on the figure's right bicep is much bolder than the paint on the figure's left) -- does make the toy look better than it would without it. And the figure is tall! At 8 inches, the Lizard towers over Spider-Man -- which is good, considering that he was apparently pretty large in the movie as well. Even though the $15.96 price feels a little steep, the height does make it a little easier to swallow.

Also, once the figure is freed from its plastic prison, you can take full advantage of its abundant articulation (33 points, by my count) to put the Lizard into more compelling poses. Positioning the figure does take a bit of getting used to, given that Hasbro applied a fairly standard articulation scheme to a somewhat unusual body type -- in particular, the use of the new pivoting ankles with Lizard's feet doesn't work well at all. Even so, once you figure out how to keep Lizard's feet flat on the ground and make use of the tail for balance and support -- you'll be able to get some dynamic and expressive poses out of Doc Connors. That said, if you prefer vanilla poses, you won't like this figure; the numerous pin hinges and bulging ball-shaped hips do make it look kinda clunky in basic standing poses.

Another caveat: on my figure, the lower neck hinge was a bit loose (though it would stay in place if I left it all the way forward, which most folks will want to do). To fix that, I recommend using the heat/pop trick to remove the neck/head from the body, then wrapping an elastic band around the base of the post that protrudes from the body. That way, when you replace the neck, the band will be sandwiched between the neck and body. The resulting friction will render the joint tighter.

The Lizard alongside a comic-styled incarnation (also from Hasbro)

Lizard also comes with a few accessories: a display base and three reptile sidekicks. The display base is arguably useless for the Lizard (hence my not using it in any pics, though you can see it in the carded photos); he's too large and heavy for it and stands well enough on his own (especially if you make use of the tail). Still, it'll interlock with any other Marvel bases you have and can be used for other displays, so it's not a terrible addition. The reptile sidekicks, on the other hand, are kinda cool and more relevant for displays involving the figure -- though I certainly wouldn't recommend buying the figure just for them (or buying multiples to build a tiny reptile army). After all, you can find tiny lizards in 8-packs at Dollar Tree. The Lizard's reptiles do have nicer paint jobs than those fellas, though.

All in all, the Lizard's a good figure... though I hesitate to recommend him strongly. If you're a huge fan of the recent ASM film and/or this incarnation of the character, you'll certainly want to have a Lizard in your collection -- but there are multiple options to choose from, including this figure, multiple 3.75" Lizards, an 8" rotocast figure, and the Marvel Select version (to say nothing of the various Lizard figurines out there). If you want a Lizard in a 6-7" scale with a respectable degree of poseability, that limits your options to Hasbro's 6" Lizard and the Marvel Select version, but even there the choice may not be obvious. The Marvel Select Lizard does look a lot better, with better (and probably more movie-accurate) paint and a more menacing look, but it's also bulkier than the character appears in screencaps and isn't nearly as poseable as Hasbro's version. Normally cost would also be an issue, but you can get the Marvel Select Lizard for around $17 at various online retailers (Impulse Creations has the figure for $16.99) -- which is pretty much what the Hasbro figure comes to after tax. So with the price being mostly equal, and the Marvel Select Lizard looking so much better, I suspect that most collectors would prefer to have that figure on their shelves.

For articulation junkies (and customizers; I can see this Lizard making a pretty cool Sauron base), however, the choice is clear. It's true that $15.96 feels like a lot for what this figure is (by contrast, $17 for the Marvel Select figure feels like a bargain). Yes, it's a large and highly poseable figure, but one can get a lot of nicer figures with much better paint (like NECA's offerings or even Hasbro's Marvel Legends figures) for the same price or less. But ultimately, even at this price, the Lizard's strengths do outweigh its negatives -- and for a superarticulated, 6-inch scale ASM Lizard, this Walmart-exclusive offering is pretty much the only game in town. If that's what you're looking for, this Lizard is for you.

-- Wes --
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