Vintage Toy Biz Spider-Man Spider Wars wa s as the first wave of the Spider-Man line of figures to be sold under its own title.
By the middle of 1996 Toy Biz stopped putting out un-named series of Spider-man figures and gave each new series its own title and distinctive header. This made things easier for retailers when restocking and for collectors trying to catalogue their collections and determine what figures they were missing.
As a result, STNAS S8 released in 1996 was officially titled Vintage Toy Biz Spider-Man Spider Wars The New Animated Series. The premise for this series was that Spiderman and Dr Strange teamed up to save Black Cat from the evil clutches of Hydro-Man.
Probably in order to cut costs Toy Biz used the same backing cards as the previous releases but the series title was printed on to a strip of card that was place into the front of the bubble, rather than redesigning the cards with the titled printed directly on to them.
There were on five figures released in the Vintage Toy Biz Spider-Man Spider Wars The New Animated Series:
• Cyborg Spiderman with “High Tech Armor” (two versions)
• Black cat with “Cat Scratching Crossbow”
• Doppelganger with “Living Alien Spider Trap”
• Dr. Strange with “Mystic Morphin Cape”
• Hydroman with “Aquatic Arsenal”
Toy Biz Spider-Man Spider Wars Packaging:
The artwork on the packaging was up to Toy Biz’s usual high standards and featured the Spider-man Animated logo on the top left of the card. On the right -hand side was artwork of the featured character. The bottom half of the card was taken up by the bubble containing the action figure and its accessories.
The top half of the back of the card featured the character’s bio on the left and a diagram with instruction for the character’s accessories and ‘action feature’ on the right. The bottom half of the card contained photos or artwork of the other characters in the series along with previously released figures and playsets.
The Cyborg Spidey was a pretty cool looking figure when fully geared up and on display. This figure resembles a ‘battle damaged’ Spider-man who has been quickly patched back together, with stitches and all. His Spider costume is severely damaged, ripped and torn.
His left arm has been replaced with an articulated cyborg arm. When his bandanna is removed his High-Tech Armor can be slipped over his head to be removed. When attached it rests on his shoulders. The High-Tech Armor has loads of articulation on the attachments.
He also has a removable bandanna and eyepatch and a patchwork of stitches across his body, arms and legs. His Spider suite is torn on the left leg to reveal his knee and his left leg has been bandaged up.
His High-Tech gear has a double spring-loaded rocket launcher, on his left shoulder, that comes with launchable rockets. His right arm is a long mechanical arm with a pincer instead of a hand and a secondary rocket launcher.
Cyborg Spidey has seven points of articulation with hinged joints on the elbows, knees, and ankles, pegged articulation on the shoulders, hips and a swivel jointed head.
Toy Biz release two versions of Cyborg Spider-Man, one with thick stitches and his bandanna tail pointing to the left and the other with thin stitches and his bandanna tail pointing right. Both are thought to have had the same number produced therefore they generally sell for the same price.
MOC $35 Av $25
The paintwork on Dr Strange is good with little bleeding or overlapping. He is wearing black trousers, and a blue shirt with rolled up sleeves, yellow hands, and a yellow sash around his waist. The paintwork overall is very stylish, well applied and fairly accurate to that of the cartoon character, except for his shirt which was purple rather than blue, but the blue shirt here probably suits him better.
He also has a large removable red cape, with a large extravagant collar, that billows out behind him His hair is black and slicked back in a smooth Vampire style and he has a 1920’s style moustache giving him an antiquated look.
For an early 90’s figure, without real body scam technology the sculpting on this figure is also fairly accurate and bears a close resemblance to the cartoon version. The head sculpt especially has been made well with detailed features.
He has ball jointed and pinned articulation on his shoulders but there is no articulation on his elbows, he also has pinned articulation at the hips and hinged articulation on the knees and pinned articulation on the ankles. He also has swivel articulation on the waist and head, but due to his cloak the head joint tends to be very stiff. For an accessories he has a plastic mystical orb with a morphing demo’s head inside.
MOC $8-$20 Av $20
Black cat has pretty basic paintwork being a solid sleek black cat with pure white fur boots and gauntlets and a thick snow-white mane.
Black Cat’s head sculpting achieves a good resemblance to the cartoon character and has some good details. Her body sculpt, although exceptionally good, slightly over emphasises her female curves given her a more seductive look than in the cartoon, with a plunging neckline on her cat suite. But hey, who is complaining!
For accessories Black Cat had a briefcase that opened to reveal it was full of jewels and gold coins. She also has a Cat Grappling Gun which fires out a grappling hook which is attached to some string to enable her to climb walls and buildings etc.
On the downside Black Cat had very little articulation with only hinged joints on the hips and shoulders.
MOC $1-$20 Av $8
The Doppelganger Spider-Man was a hideously mutated Spider-Man with six arms resembling the earlier Man-Spider figure. These “arms” were fully articulated with ball-joints on the body and hinged elbow joints.
The paintwork on his body was the usual red on blue of Spider-Man which was generally well applied except on the head sculpt where it looks a bit sloppy and rushed. However, the head sculpt is well sculpted with a lot of detail.
As well as articulation on each of his six arms he also has pin jointed knees and ball jointed hips and knees as well as a ‘pivot’ joint on his head to allow it some movement up and down.
The only accessory he comes with is a large, over-sized Venus fly trap which would open to swallow any adversaries. There was a lever inside the plant so when a figure was pushed or placed inside it would trigger this lever causing the plants jaws to snap closed.
MOC $15-$28 Av $20
Lastly, we have Hydro-man, who has a fairly basic colour scheme with solid black t-shirt and blue trousers, which are more a turquoise colour in the cartoon.
Hydro-man is a creepy looking guy with an evil grin which is accurately depicted on this head sculpt. The figure is well sculpted and proportion in keeping with the cartoon character, even down to his hairstyle. Overall, the paintwork and sculpting bear a good resemblance to the actual cartoon character.
Instead of arms Hydro-Man has two semi-translucent blue water fists. His right arm has a small pipe through the middle which can be used to shoot water from with the use of his accessory.
Hydro-man has swivel articulation on his arms and head but ball jointed hips and hinged articulation on his knees.
Hydro-man’s accessory is a large water cannon that he can hold in his left hand and shoot water. He also has a ‘water pump’ that fits onto his back and slots into a hole in his back. When the pump is pressed water ejects out of the pipe in his right arm.
He also comes with a water stand base he fits onto which has wheels so that he can glide across the floor as if walking on water.
MOC $1-$25 Av $10
Loose $6-$12 Av $10