Finally we come upon the build-a-figure for the first Spider-Man wave of 2016: Absorbing Man. Both Toybiz and Hasbro have given us action figures of this character at different points in time. The Toybiz version was part of the Hulk Classics second series, and from the get-go was nearly impossible to find at one per case. Many years later Hasbro included a new Absorbing Man with the Fin Fang Foom build-a-figure series. This one suffered from similar problems that early Hasbro figures had like simplistic paints, undersized scale, and very basic articulation. At some point Toybiz sketched out plans for a building sized Absorbing man BAF, but it never really made it past that initial design document.
Absorbing Man Marvel Legends figures have all been relegated to Hulk related waves in the past. With no Hulk movies on the horizon it does not appear that the big guy is going to have a themed wave for quite some time. However, Carl “Crusher” Creel has fought Spider-Man before so he works out just as well in this wave! Really at this point everyone in the Marvel Universe has fought everybody, so it’s a lot easier these days to fit people into themed waves than it was during the Toybiz years. Marvel’s been pretty busy breaking up and putting their universes back together this last decade.
At minimum you will need to buy five figures to complete Absorbing Man: Jack O’ Lantern, Venom, Speed Demon, Beetle, and either Ben Reilly Spider-Man or Morbius (depending on which arms you prefer). Gwen is the one completely optional purchase for the BAF in the wave since she only has his lackluster accessory, but she’s mandatory as a cool figure you should absolutely own.
You won’t be getting an Absorbing Man that can go toe-to-toe with the Sentinel or Fin Fang Foom, but he’s still got a little height over the characters that make up his wave. His body is based off of the Terrax mold. Yes, the one used all the way back in 2012 when Hasbro launched the “Return of Marvel Legends.” The mold is fine for Creel, however, at this point we’ve moved away from those ball hips and I’d have preferred a smoother look. The legs are nice though. Hasbro chose to go with a purple with black stripes pattern down the pants, and it’s one of my favorite color combinations.
Yes, I would wear these same pants. I’ve been actively looking for more purple and black workout clothes as well. Partially because I want to look like a super villain when I lift to distract from the fact I’m pumping light weights.
I noticed an issue with my Absorbing Man where his waist detaches very easily. It’s possible that this is just my figure and it isn’t a widespread thing. However, if it is I have a theory! I think it’s possible Hasbro originally intended to include a second torso in this wave that didn’t end up costing out. Why would I come up with this strange theory? If you will notice he comes with a stone arm as well as a half stone head. The stone texture even goes all the way up into the shoulder ball leading me to believe they originally had a torso that was half stone as well ,and would have been swappable with the clean one. If I get a chance at Toy Fair, I’ll definitely see if the Hasbro design team can confirm or deny my hypothesis.
If you have the entire wave of figures you have the following options with Creel: wooden right arm, steel right arm, clean left arm, stone left arm, clean head, and half stone head. All of the arms pop in and out freely, so no need to make permanent decisions when putting him together.
So far Absorbing Man is my Marvel Legends build-a-figure of the year! Of course he’s also the first so he really doesn’t have any competition and wins by default. He still holds up pretty strong in comparison to some of the stuff we got last year. He’s not on Hulkbuster’s level, but is very comparable to Rhino. And most everyone beats the crap out of The Allfather who I found really disappointing. This set is hitting stores now, and quite a few online shops have them in stock as well. Have at it … Spider-Man waves are some of the best stuff Hasbro is doing with Marvel Legends.