Comics : Spider-Man Activity Book: Spidey Strikes (Personally Yours)
This review was first published on: May 2014.
I'm still mopping up tie-in activity books from the 2012 "Amazing Spider-Man" movie. Here's another one, although it's not really much of a tie-in. In fact the only link to the movie is the still photo art used for the front and the back cover.
Spider-Man Activity Book: Spidey Strikes (Personally Yours)
Year 2013 : SM Title
Summary: Personalized Art Reveal (paint with water), plus stickers and blank pages
I'm not even entirely sure how legitimate this book is. I thought that Bendon had the licence for 2012 movie tie-in products, a licence which they used to the point of utter fatigue, see Amazing Spider-Man: Activity Book - Arachnid Attack! (Bendon) and the other two-dozen minor variations of the same tired theme.
But this book is by an imprint named "Personally Yours". It's also a little late to the show, with a copyright date of 2013. The book itself is a dog's breakfast of formats.
Physically it is 5.8" x 9.3" with a spiral top-bound notebook construction. The contents are as follows:
- On the front cover are three crayons (red, blue and black) plus a short, cheap paintbrush.
- Inside is a single paint-with-water page.
- Two sheets of stickers.
- Five blank white pages for drawing.
The paint-with-water (or "Personalized Art Reveal") page is the weirdest darn thing I ever done saw. Have a look at the photo. The black parts are not just printed, they are black felt, die-cut and glued onto the page. They're fuzzy. The other (non-black) areas are filled in with blue dots or red dots.
I don't know what happens when you wet the page. Maybe the red and blue dot areas fill out to become completed red and blue? Do they clear again when they dry out, or is that it? What is revealed? Surely nothing that isn't already revealed!
The two sheets of stickers feature the same base sticker art that Bendon has used in their movie products. It features bizarre Spidey non-slogans like "Who Am I?" and "Stick with Me".
Finally there are five blank pieces of paper for crayon drawing. Yes, five.
I have no idea why these products exist. Somebody at Disney must be asleep at the wheel if this kind of dross is being licensed officially. Five blank pages makes a pad? Crappy stickers that don't tie-in to either the movie or the comics?
As for that paint-with-water page... I just don't know what to say. A four year old might be entertained for thirty seconds, but that's the limit.
This kind of parasitic content is like fleas on a dog. And I think it's time for Disney and Marvel to get out the medicated shampoo and clean up these insects.