Spider-Man: Busy Pack (Alligator)

 Posted: 2009
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


Alligator Books produced a mixed-bag of Spidey tie-in coloring and activity books in 2005-2007.

Story Details

What's a "Busy Pack", you might ask. Well, it's 8 3/4" x 10 7/8" with a glossy cover and a fold-over flap with a Velcro spot that holds it closed. I'm really not sure why the Velcro was needed... a side-closing would do nothing to hold any contents from simply sliding out of the bottom of the folder.

Inside there are 16 full-color pages, plus a mini 24-piece jigsaw puzzle made of light cardboard. In addition, there's a pull-out centerfold page of glossy card, and a half-sized sheet of stickers.

Let's start from the beginning. A front page, then we have a 1-page coloring-in of Spider-Man in classic pose sticking to a brick wall. There's four villain mugshots for you to identify by name (write the name in for Venom, Sandman, Carnage, and Doc Ock).

A tricky "spot-the-differences" page follows, then a find-a-word grid... can you find the names of Spider-Man's friend and foes? Next page, find the two matching Green Goblins, then a 1-page maze... find the path from Spider-Man to Sandman. Then there's a two-page Spider-Man quiz. Again, all of this is in full color, and features good-quality artwork on nice clean paper stock.

By this stage we're half-way through, and ready for our glossy card centerfold. There's a Spidey "wobbler", a Spider-Man "door hanger" and a reversible Spider-Man mask (Red n' Blue Spidey on one side, Black-Suit Spidey on the other). These are pre-cut push-out on the card, and they're well-executed with clean artwork and good quality.

There's a page for you to create and draw a new hero. Give him a name, and choose his super-powers. Then find the silhouette which correctly matches the colored-in Spider-Man. Unscramble some villain names, then use the grid to copy the Spider-Man picture. Figure out what goes in the gap in the Venom/Spidey/Carnage picture, and finally look at a picture of Spider-Man and his foes, turn the page, and see how many questions you can answer.

The small sheet stickers feature Venom, Sandman, Ock, Green Goblin, plus several Spideys. The jigsaw puzzle seems very fragile, but at least it comes in a small plastic bag stuck to the inside cover of the folder, so that you can put the pieces away when you're done. Spider-Man and Sandman are the stars of the jigsaw puzzle, by the way.

General Comments

Printed price for this "Busy Pack" is £3.99. I can't recall if I paid full price, or if I got this one discounted in a remainder bookstore. In any case, this seems like pretty good value for money to me. The material in here is all high-quality, original, and well-produced. Plus there's plenty of extras with the cardboard push-outs, the stickers, and the mini-jigsaw.

Overall Rating

Good quality, good quantity, and a fair price. Four webs.

 Posted: 2009
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)