“Amazing Spider-Man” 12-inch Action Figures (Toy Biz 2005-2006)

Some time in 2005-06 I saw a pair very nice Spider-Man and Venom figures in a toy store, which looked part of a set: about 12″ (30cm) tall, sturdy plastic, quality mold and paint, multiple joints (the package read “27 points of articulation”). The figures just looked good and promised to be fun to play with, and as I recall not very expensive too. Spider-Man and Venom being two of my favorite childhood characters, I had no doubts that I should buy them figures, and had a lot of fun playing with them, posing or just admiring them on the shelf.

Fast forward to early 2018, and I still like them a lot. Since I never saw them for sale again, and generally have seen very few action figures of comparable quality, I decided to look them up and learned that they were part of a series of six action figures from the Marvel Universe, released by Chinese manufacturer Toy Biz between the years 2005-2006. They were actually a sub-series of “The Amazing Spider-Man” toy line (sometimes referred to as the “Deluxe” sub-line), with the 1/6 scale (12″/30cm size) as the defining property: the others toys in the line were of the more common 6″ size.

Although not an action figure collector, in this particular series, as there were only six figures, two of which I already owned, I decided – what the heck – I’ll hunt on eBay for a couple of weeks, and see if I can complete the set. Fortunately, it did not take long to get them all in good condition, and at prices which seemed OK to me. Having obtained and played with all six, I conclude that they are all very nice, but not all the same: there are subtle advantages and disadvantages to each figure. This write-up is me just sharing my thoughts, accompanied by pictures to demonstrate. Hopefully some of this will be interesting to Marvel fans or die-hard toy collectors.

Common features

All figures are very poseable with 26 to 33 articulation points, including: double hinge joints at the elbows and knees, which allow almost 180 degrees range of motion; multiple swivel joints in the arms and legs to simulate muscle twists and achieve a wide range of postures; ankle and wrist joints for hand/foot motions, and a head that can turn 360 degrees and also has some vertical motion to it, albeit rather limited. In fact, I would say that the limited vertical head motion is probably the biggest downside of this series.

All of the figures are strong plastic, hard enough to be solid and sturdy, but not too hard to be brittle. They feel very sturdy, and even with the crazy number of moveable joints (which themselves are quite strong), there are hardly any weak points that fell they could just snap. The figures look like they can take a lot of beating, and are unlikely to break by accident.

Most of the surfaces are matte paint, but some are just a little bit shiny. The paint quality is reasonably high: small nicks and scratches develop, but there is no visible peeling anywhere. However, some figures have mild discoloration in certain parts.


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The classic Spider-Man in the traditional red-and-blue costume also gets the most traditional figure design, with the typical “slim but muscular” Spider-Man look. The mold is very nice with all the muscles nicely outlined, down to fine details like the veins in the legs. Some might consider him too muscular, but I think he is just about right.

There are 27 articulation points: 6 in each arm (wrist, forearm, double elbow joint, upper arm and shoulder), 6 in each leg (ankle, shin, double knee joint, thigh and hip), plus head, torso and waist. The ankles, knees, wrists and elbows are hinge (pin) joints; the shoulders, head and torso are ball joints, albeit with some what limited range of motion; the rest are plain peg (swivel) joints that just revolve 360 degrees around the axis of the peg. These can form some really ridiculous positions, but when used in moderation, allow attaining certain postures and subtle balance shifts that would otherwise be impossible.

The figure is quite poseable: the arms are completely free to turn and twist; both torso and waist can be turned; the legs have good motion in them, although with hips being swivel instead of ball joints the natural positions are somewhat limited: splits or yoga postures are very easy, but simple forward/backward leg motions force an angle. Fortunately, the thigh and shin swivels help balance it somewhat. Last but not least, there are huge ranges of motion in the ankles (almost 180 degrees), which is important to keep Spidey balanced as his weight shifts back and forth.

A small issue I have with the figure is that the leg parts are not fully symmetric, causing Spidey to lean left when both legs are straight; bending the knees slightly and putting one foot in front of the other is required to get him to stand straight up. I am not sure if it is how all of these figures are, or whether some of the joints on mine got a little bit out of place. He is also a bit bowlegged, but once you change his posture a bit, it is not as obvious.

The eyes are painted in phosphorescent “glow-in-the-dark” paint (as mentioned on the package) – a nice little addition, although with no obvious basis in the canon.

The weakest thing about this figure is the paint job. Fundamentally it’s very nice and accurate, but there are two problems. First – the knee pins, knee hinges and inner elbow pins are red and painted over with blue. The blue paint eventually chips off, leaving Spidey with red dots around the joints. The second problem is worse – it appears that two different kinds of red paint (or perhaps two different painting/coating processes) were applied to different parts of the figure, so they do not look uniform. The differences are subtle at first (I did not notice them when I first bought the figure), but intensify with time (perhaps due to air or sun exposure), causing noticeable color mismatches: certain areas (feet, hands, elbows, front of the pelvis, and the red spider on the back) develop a paler and more “orange” hue compared to the other red parts in the costume.

I thought it may be a problem with only my figure, but looking at pictures of similar used figures online, showed me that a lot of them have this issue. On mine it is very noticeable at this point – if the figure looked like this when it was new, it would probably be considered a significant defect, and grounds for a recall.

There is another interesting fact about the paint of this Spider-Man figure: there are two versions of it, differing by the shade of the blue parts in the costume- the traditional bright blue (known as ‘Twilight Spider-Man‘), and the much darker variant (known as ‘Nightshade Spider-Man‘). Mine is the ‘Nightshade’ design; the ‘Twilight’ seems to be identical in every way except the color. It is unclear whether Toy Biz really meant for these to be viewed as different figures, as even the packaging looks exactly the same, with ‘Twilight‘/’Nightshade‘ mentioned only in small print next to the bar code at the back. Some action figure catalogs treat them as separate figures, while others do not. From pictures I’ve seen, some ‘Twilight’ figures also suffer from the discrepancy of reds. Funnily, the relative hues seem to be reversed: it’s almost like Toy Biz mixed-and-matched the wrong parts for the two designs.


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Spider-Man‘s nemesis, and an anti-hero in his own right, Venom is done in the classic all-black symbiote costume, with the dual white spider logo on chest and back, connected on both sides of the torso to form a continuous pattern. The paint job on the logo is very nice, catching all the fine detail of the mold. Other than that, there is very little to say, positive or negative, about the paint – it’s all black, so it’s not like they could screw it up in any meaningful way. I understood from other reviews, as well as pictures I’ve seen, that some versions of this figure have a bluish tint applied to the paint, but I cannot detect any traces of it on my specimen.

The only place that has any kind of extra paint detail is the face (eyes, mouth and tongue), which is rather nice. The tongue is very long, and some teeth have the slimy green hue. Some may consider it hideous, but I think that’s the point. The eyes also have a greenish tint, but they do not glow in the dark.

The mold on Venom is extremely nice. He has all the fine details of muscle that Spider-Man has, and then some: very detailed symbiotic bulging veins, long arms, huge clawed fingers that just beg to grab someone across the face, and can be used to hang off objects. I like how they made him taller and bulkier than Spider-Man, in the same way that Eddie Brock is bigger than Peter Parker. He stands a bit hunched – otherwise he would be even taller. Overall, his size and proportions seem just right, in my view, better than most Venom figures out there, which are either too huge or too thin.

The articulation points are exactly the same as Spider-Man‘s in number (27), location (head, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, ankles, shoulders, arms, elbows, forearms, wrists) and joint type. The main difference is that the wrist joints now combine hinge and swivel rather than plain hinge. For Venom, since the hands are shaped for grappling, it allows some more natural-looking poses, although almost the same functionality could be achieved via the swivel joint in the forearm.

Venom is at least as poseable as Spider-Man, and probably a bit better. The torso ball joint is improved, with a greater range of motion; the ankle joints seem to have a bit less range, but it’s still more than sufficient. With his huge arms he may seem difficult to balance at first, but in fact, it gives you more flexibility in weight shifting, and his overall greater bulk and wider foot base make him easier to stabilize. His arms are actually so long that in certain poses they can reach the ground and serve as additional support points. The ability to grab objects is an extra bonus. The hunched stance makes some positions seem a bit exaggerated, but I think it goes well with his disturbed, twisted character.


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Daredevil (Matt Murdock) is not originally a “Spider-Man” character, so his appearance in this toy line may come as a surprise. Still, Daredevil and Spider-Man are good friends in the Marvel Universe, and cooperated on multiple occasions. Daredevil (both as Matt Murdock and as his masked alter-ego) appeared in a two-part episode in the 1990s Spider-Man – The Animated Series, where he played a key role in teaching Spider-Man the true identity of their common arch-nemesis – Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. “The Kingpin”. To fans of the above (excellent) TV show, Daredevil will not feel out of place.

When examining the figure, one thing is immediately obvious, and a bit surprising – major parts of Daredevil (torso, upper arms/legs) are completely identical to that of the Spider-Man figure, with only the paint being different. Only the gloves, boots and (obviously) head parts are different. According to certain databases, this figure was released in the final, third wave of the series – it is possible Toy Biz were looking to throw a new character on the market with only minor investment, or perhaps they had a large leftover of unused Spider-Man body parts. One can only guess.

The Spider-Man mold is, by and large, very good, so it is not bad that Daredevil uses the same, but there are a couple of unfortunate differences: the biggest one being the design of his boots, which greatly reduces ankle motion range, making the figure significantly harder to balance in certain postures. Also, somehow the tensions in his knee joints make him even more bowlegged than Spidey. Stretching the joints by bending his legs outwards makes the effect less pronounced.

Otherwise, you get the same 27 articulation points, and, unlike Spider-Man and Venom, Daredevil comes with a weapon – a pair of nunchaku connected by a string. Although it is strong, like any string, it will rip if pulled too hard, like any string, so be careful. The nunchaku can go in Daredevil‘s left hand or in the holster on his left thigh. The canon does not give a decisive answer on whether Daredevil is left-handed, but the location of the holster on his left leg has been firmly established.

Like with Venom, there is not much to say about the paint, as it is mostly done in a single color (in this case, red). The gloves, boots, holster and horns take a darker shade to stand out, but I feel that the “DD” logo on his chest could have been made a little more noticeable. Overall, Daredevil is not a bad figure: definitely a bit less poseable than Spider-Man or Venom, but the weapon partially compensates for that.

Green Goblin

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My first reaction when I saw the Green Goblin figure was to question whether it really belongs to the same series – it looks so different from the rest of the figures. The basic properties (size, materials, articulation) are the same, but the design is significantly more detailed than of the others, both in mold and in paint. Whereas Spider-Man, Venom and Daredevil all feature plain, smooth costumes, with a basic one-color or two-color scheme, Green Goblin‘s costume is both multi-layer and multi-color: with a blue body suit, a belt, chain-mail plates on arms, legs, knees, chest, back and bottom, oversized purple gloves, boots, and hat. The latter look so real you are ready to believe they can be taken off (they cannot; only the flaps of the hat can be moved around a bit). To top it off you get the classic and particularly evil-looking green face mask with pointy ears.

The outfit design is taken from Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1-12 comic series, which ran in 2004-2006 and coincided with the production of this figure line. It’s amazing that Toy Biz chose such an elaborate outfit for the Green Goblin, considering that many more popular designs exist, which are far simpler and likely cheaper to produce. The end result, though, is a figure that looks nothing short of amazing, and immortalizes a great look from a comic series that never became popular and faded into obscurity.

Words really do not do the Green Goblin justice when it comes to detail – every crease and stitch on the boots, gloves and hat, every wrinkle on the suit, every shingle on the armor is beautifully molded and painted. The choice to make the chain-mail paint somewhat blackened, rather than shiny, is a great one – it does not end up looking cheap or fake and you can almost believe it’s real metal.

The great looks come with downsides when it comes to postures. Although there are still 26 articulation points (only the torso joint is missing), but due to the elaborate, multi-layer mold, their ranges are more limited. In particular, the armor plates tend to get in the way of knee and shoulder movements. Like with Daredevil, there is limited range in the ankle joints, so balancing is a bit harder (the weight and the large foot surface compensate somewhat). Finally, the wrist joints have been changed from peg to swivel, which means they essentially duplicate the forearm joints, and do not add any freedom of motion.

Like Daredevil, Green Goblin comes with accessories, in this case – two shoulder bags to hold bombs and various combat accessories (which were also part of the original outfit this figure is based on). In line with the rest, the bags are well done and have many details like belt holes and buckle, and even a catch on the larger bag; they look like they can be opened, but really they cannot. They are more for looks than for function – the limited range of articulation makes it hard to even come up with poses where Green Goblin would try to reach into one of the bags, and a lot of the time they just get in the way of advanced positions. It seems that many collectors end up taking them off the figure, and eventually misplacing them (judging by multiple used Green Goblin figures offered with one or both bags missing).

Overall, compared to the other figures, Green Goblin definitely trades flexibility for impressive looks, but with a little creativity, some nice poses can be made.

Page 2: House Of M Spider-Man, Black Costume Spider-Man, Conclusion


2 thoughts on ““Amazing Spider-Man” 12-inch Action Figures (Toy Biz 2005-2006)”

  1. This is an amazing post! Are any of the heads of the figures able to be removed to place like unmasked versions of the character on them??

    I was wondering if I could email you on additional questions I may have on figures?? I own that venom toy and a few old toybiz 10 inch figures from the 1990s

    1. Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed this. 🙂

      The heads are definitely not designed to be removed. While it looks like they can be “popped out” without being broken, reattaching them may require a small effort; and in any case, I am not aware of any unmasked head variants made for this particular figure line (although I am sure a talented modder can come up with something).

      Feel free to ask any questions on this page, but let me be clear up front that I am by no means an expert, nor a big figure collector. This just happened to be a set I came across at one time, and greatly enjoyed. I do not think I even own any additional Marvel action figures, although I do own some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman figures. Maybe at some point I will do another write-up on them, if I’m in the mood. 😉

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