GREEN GOBLIN (1978)
I realized the other day when I reviewed the Marvel Legends Ultimate Green Goblin build-a-figure that I hadn’t previously reviewed any Green Goblin figures. I have hundreds of figures in my collection that still need to be reviewed but after 600+ blog posts I was genuinely surprised when I realized I hadn’t yet reviewed a Green Goblin. That Ultimate Green Goblin figure was alright for what it was but it’s a far cry from what I would consider a “real” Green Goblin figure. So today I’ve decided to tackle a less-ultimate, more-classic version of Spidey’s arch nemesis.
After deciding to review a “classic” Green Goblin figure my next decision was choosing which one. I have a multitude of Goblins to pick from, such as the 90s animation influenced figure by Toy Biz, the detail oriented Marvel Select figure by DST, the Marvel Universe 3 ¾” version by Hasbro, or the Lego-style Mini-Mate, just to name a few. As great as some of those figures are I’ve opted to review my very first Green Goblin toy. This figure was released by defunct toy company Remco way back in 1978, the same year I was born.
I’ve been a huge Green Goblin fan for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure when I first encountered him; it may have been this toy, it may have been re-runs of the 70s animated show, it may have been the old-oversized reprint comic that my brother Doug owned, or maybe something else entirely. All I know is, that for as far back as my memories go, the Green Goblin has been one of my favorite fictional characters. I think I might have liked him even more than Spider-Man back then. Even after I became an avid comic reader at 8 years old and became aware of a slew of new characters I still always said that the Goblin was my favorite villain. Unfortunately I never got to read any new Green Goblin adventures because the character died in the comic books way back in 1973. There were imitators over the years, some of which were great, but none quite lived up to the original. I’m sure that some long-time readers found it sacrilegious but I was quite happy when the original Goblin was resurrected in 1996.
Now this, my first ever Green Goblin action figure, isn’t even really an action figure. It stands over a foot tall and has zero points of articulation. It’s posed in a neutral position with one arm at its side and one arm raised. The rigidness didn’t exactly make it the most fun toy to play with but it did however have a few nifty play features.
On the Goblin’s back is a removable panel where you can insert a C battery. There’s a little off/on switch on his side. When turned on both of his accessories kick into action. In his raised hand he holds a goblin lamp, sort of shaped like his glider, which lights up. In his other hand he has a dual-blade web cutting gizmo that sort of looks like the satchel the Goblin traditionally wears over his shoulder. The blades slide back and forth with that classic wind-up toy whirring sound. The features are neat but still didn’t really add much play value to the toy. I didn’t usually keep a battery in it when I was a kid. I haven’t had a battery in it in decades but the blades would probably still work; I’m guessing the little light bulb in the lamp has long since expired though.
I don’t recall how I would’ve played with this toy as a kid. I didn’t have any other toys in the same scale for it to fight (I had a Mego Spider-Man for a time but I destroyed it). I most likely just carried it around with me like a teddy bear, my “buddy of the day” as Doug and I would say. I am impressed that I still have this figure after so many years but he has taken some abuse over the past 3 (nearly 4) decades. The battery latch on the back is loose and doesn’t stay in place very well, the electrical cord that connected the removable lamp to the Goblin’s back is torn, a part of his satchel is missing, and worst of all his head is broken off. His head has been busted for years but luckily I’ve never misplaced it. I used to hold it in place with sticky-tack so there’s still some blue residue on his neck stump.
This toy may not be much to get excited about by today’s standards where figures have multiple points of articulation and super detailed sculpting but there’s a real charm to the toys of the 70s and 80s. This toy presents the Goblin in his most classic look: curly-toed boots, floppy hat, big ears, scaly limbs, and wearing what is essentially a purple one-piece lady’s bathing suit. Best of all is the face sculpt, just look at that sinister smile and big eyes. I only wish this thing was in better shape so I could display it proudly. 7 out of 10.