Comics : Spider-Man 2: Jigsaw Book (Funtastic)

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Funtastic brought out a swag of coloring and activity books back in 2002 for the first movie - the usual mix of jumbo coloring pads, sticker books and such like, but also including a tattoo book and a paint-with-water book. Sadly, the rather disappointing art they decided to use last time really overshadowed any high points that the format may have provided.

For "Spider-Man 2", Funtastic is back with new art and even more nifty formats. As your devoted reviewer, I headed down to my local Warehouse (the NZ equivalent of Wal-Mart) and picked up one of each of the different books I can find. And here they are. Note that Funtastic appears to be an Australian company. I'm not sure if these books will make it to the US If they don't, then please accept my condolences. If you get something else instead, please drop me a line and let me know...

In Detail...

Spider-Man 2: Jigsaw Book (Funtastic)
Jun 2004 : SM Title
Publisher:  Funtastic Publishing
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Now for something completely different. Codes 87707, 87708 and 87710 (did I miss 06 and 09? I haven't seen them) are in a class of their own. Let's leave behind all that sordid soft-cover stuff, and move into a realm far beyond those dull coloring books. Haul out your wallet, and be prepared to pay some real bucks for these next goodies.

First up, the Jigsaw book. The first Spider-Man movie didn't manage to score a jigsaw book as far as I saw, but in the intervening two years these have become pretty standard tie-in fare. The hefty card used means that the four-puzzle book stacks in at about 3/4" thick. Whew! This thing is a slab. Let's flip the cover and look inside.

Hey, there's a sheet of "re-usable electrostatic stickers" in a little sleeve stuck behind the front cover. Those are the thin plastic stickers that stick again and again, although they seem to be all of bits of pictures, rather than actually characters for making scenes. Weird. Plus, there's four 24-piece jigsaw puzzles. Plus there are four other puzzles... a jigsaw using the stickers (aha!), a fill-the-gaps using some other stickers, a word-maker, and another fill-the-gaps. Hmm... the back claims you will have "hours and hours of fun and excitement". Now, at a bare minimum, hours + hours equals at LEAST four hours. You heard about the blonde who finished a jigsaw puzzle in only four months... and the box said 3-5 years!

Anyhow, excessive claims aside, these are top-quality card puzzles, with glossy full-color art throughout. Of course, at NZ$16.99 (US$10.20) you would expect that, but even so, this is a tidy little book, and would make a great gift. I'm gonna give this one 3.5 webs - decidedly sound. The only thing I would note is that all the jigsaws are of Spidey... none of Ock. There are no movie stills or anything even vaguely related to the plot of the film. Shame. Might have been four webs otherwise!

Overall Rating...

Pretty good stuff. Three and a half webs.