The Lizard in The Spectacular Spider-Man anima...

The Lizard in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When you think of the “Jekyll & Hyde” analog in the Marvel Universe you probably think of Bruce Banner, the incredible Hulk. But he’s not the only one. In fact I would wager Doctor Curt Connors may be closer. Attempting to create a serum that could restore his lost arm, Connors used lizard DNA, since some lizards can allegedly regrow limbs. He would soon regret not going with a starfish or something since he not only regained his lost limb but became the Lizard, a monster determined to turn the entire human race into lizard people just like him. This may be the hardest foe Spider-Man has to fight since he is friends with Connors in both identities but the Lizard shares nothing of Connors save his chemical genius.

 

Toy Biz released a Lizard action figure as part of the second “Spider-Man” toy line, and this is the version I have, although he’s appeared in toys before and since. This is the same company, I remind you, that gave us the failed attempts at Doctor Octopus and the Rhino we’ve seen in previous reports. They have good points but not enough to outweigh the bad ones. Will the last of our Spider-Foes make the cut or complete the trifecta of disappointment?

Lizard 1

Favorite TV miniseries: V

There is one thing I never complain about with the figures and that’s the sculpt and coloring. They do look like comic book characters come to life and this is no exception. The clothing has a decent wash adding to the design of ripped clothes. The skin looks like lizard skin. The teeth are nicely colored and as we’ll see later they even did a good job with the mouth. Competing the look are his eyes, which are very lizard-like. I can’t even complain about the jacket molded to always be flowing open because it’s needed for the tail and as a display piece looks nice, a rarity for posed toys in my opinion. I didn’t buy a statue here.

Lizard3

“Say ‘ahh’. Like this!”

I’m jumping ahead showing off the mouth that can open and close to show off the level of detail. You can see he has his own ID card like Doc Ock did but look inside the mouth. They painted in his uvula. That’s attention to detail. I would have accepted the molded tongue but they went a step further on this one. The teeth are not very sharp. I just did the “paper in the teeth” test and it barely did anything. Still, he looks menacing, doesn’t he?

"All I'm missing is my top hat."

“All I’m missing is my top hat.”

And then we get to articulation. Once again Toy Biz doesn’t deliver but for some reason this doesn’t bother me here as much as it did his “friends”. While I wouldn’t have minded if the tail had the same wire as Doctor Octopus’ tentacles, it still spins at the “butt” and can be positioned to make some really good poses, and the jacket helps as well. While he can’t look up and down, that may be in keeping with the character design. He can turn his head around to give him a better range of emotion. No ab crunch but he has a good waist and his shoulders work well enough for a figure of the time. (Around the late 1990s.)

That’s not to say there aren’t some disappointments. While the elbows are locked a decent pose for the Lizard I would have liked some actual working elbows. He also has no wrist articulation, just the bicep swivel. The legs could have used some ankles but I can work around that. For once the posed right foot is actually an asset and you can stand the figure well enough flat. The problem is that the hips are posed wide like on Doctor Octopus. Maybe you’re meant to keep his legs bent, with the knee articulation just enough to get some decent poses to him. The right knee on mine is not as tight as it should be but for the most part it holds when the other leg, tail, and jacket help support him.

"Come on out, Oscar the Grouch. I know you're in there!"

“Come on out, Oscar the Grouch. I know you’re in there!”

The Lizard’s lone accessory is this garbage can, which he can’t hold. It’s a nicely done trash can and the lid comes off but I get the feeling it was meant to use against the Lizard. His hands are molded to look fierce more than to be functional and the last of wrist articulation doesn’t help.

Lizard5

Decision: Stays

Unlike the other two, the things done right more than make up for what was done wrong. I’m sure there might be a better version out there now that isn’t based on the first of the new Amazing Spider-Man pictures but this actually works just fine for my needs. Looks like third time was the charm with this one.

This isn’t the last of my action figures, but it is the last Marvel supervillain I own. I may try something a little different for next week, though.

 

 

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