Comics : Amazing Spider-Man: Make-a-Hero (Parragon/Scholastic)

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This review was first published on: Jan 2014.

Background...

What you see is exactly what you get with these "Make-a-Hero" books from Parragon (in the UK) and Scholastic (in Australia/New Zealand). The books contain cardboard pieces which assemble into 3D super-hero and super-villain characters.

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man: Make-a-Hero (Parragon/Scholastic)
Dec 2012 : SM Title
Find ISBN 9781445475950
Summary: Paper Construction Set (Spider-Man, Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus)
Publisher:  Parragon Book Service, Ltd., Scholastic Australia, Inc. (Australia - ISBN 9781742836867)
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Marvel Super Heroes: Make-a-Hero (Parragon/Scholastic)
Dec 2012 : SM Guest
Find ISBN 9781445475943
Summary: Paper Construction Set (Spider-Man Appears)
Publisher:  Parragon Book Service, Ltd. (UK), Scholastic Australia, Inc. (Australia - ISBN 9781742836874)
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Each 8.4" x 10.7" book contains 8 sheets of die-cut glossy cardboard. The front cover (including a gate-fold sheet) and back cover gives the instructions for the various figures.

The Spider-Man book contains pieces, accessories and instructions for Spider-Man, Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. The Marvel Heroes version contains Wolverine, Iron Man, and a completely different pose for a second Spider-Man figure.

The simpler figures are made up of 4 or 5 pieces. The Green Goblin is pretty complicated by comparison, featuring 8 pieces in the figure, plus 5 more accessory pieces for his glider and pumpkin bomb bag. Check out the scans for an idea of the sort of detail and artwork.

In General...

Short version: I think these figures (and the books) are fantastic.

Naturally, a figure assembled from five pieces of rolled cardboard is not going to look like a CGI-rendered mini-bust. But that's not the point. What really matters to me is that these books are utterly original. They're not just recycled clip art annotated with a few random factoids. Instead they are individually sculpted, hand-designed character models, created by somebody who clearly put some serious time and effort into these products.

Overall Rating...

Wonderful stuff. Innovative and original. If Disney is going to peddle spin-off books from Marvel Intellectual Properties, then at least let's have fresh and creative content like this.

I give both books a damn-near perfect four-and-a-half webs.