Spider-Man "Read-Play-Imagine-Create" Tin (Red, Parragon)

 Posted: Dec 2019
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


This is the "red tin" UK Version of the 2013 "Read-Play-Imagine-Create" Spider-Man activity tins.

Both tins are the same size at 10.75" x 12" and have nearly identical design and content. The "blue tin" was co-published by Marvel Press and Parragon Book Service, Ltd. in July 2013 and hence was presumably intended for the U.S. market. The "red tin" from September 2013 was credited to Parragon only and would have been for UK, South Africa, Australia/NZ.

I have already reviewed the Spider-Man "Read-Play-Imagine-Create" Tin (Blue, Marvel Press) blue tin. In this review I'll just quickly cover the differences between the two, starting with the outside.

The container is obviously a different color. But note that the blue tin had a hinge at the bottom, a clasp at the top, and a carrying handle. This red version is a cheaper and simpler press-on lid with no fancy hardware.

Story Details

Moving inside, let's go through in the same order as the previous review and compare like-for-like:

Storybook - "Spider-Man: Hero Stories"

The 48-page (8.5" x 10.7") full-color story book entitled "Super Hero Tales" has been cut-down to 32 pages and renamed "Hero Stories" for the UK market, losing its "Super" status in the process.

It reproduces (with minor adaptations) three stories from The Amazing Spider-Man Origin Storybook Collection, instead of the five stories in the larger blue tin version. The layout of the text and images has been gratuitously changed between the two, although the text is essentially identical. Somebody in the design department had way too much spare time!

Activity Book - "Spider-Man: Super Hero Activities"

The smallest of the books in the tin (4.7" x 5.9") has the same name as the blue tin version, and the same 24 black-and-white activity pages of identical content.

Note: At this point, the "Web-Slinging Activities" coloring book from the blue tin is conspicuously absent from its UK red tin counterpart. You can see that on the sticker at the front of the tin, one advertises "2 Coloring Books" where the other has only "1 Colouring Book" (UK spelling).

Activity Book - "Spider-Man: Crime-Fighting Coloring"

Identical to the U.S. version top-hinged pad, 6.5" x 8.3" with 24 pages of black and white line art.

Curiously, the cover of this book shows colored pencils but the tin actually contains felt-tipped pens.

Sticker Book - "Spider-Man: Sticker Scenes"

Also unchanged from the U.S. tin, this book is again 7.5" x 9.5" with 16 full color pages of delightful sticker scene backgrounds, plus a centerfold spread of stickers.

Finally, to wrap-up the non-book "bonus" content.

  1. The 10 felt-tipped pens are present and identical.
  2. The play-set cards are present and identical.
  3. The fold-out game board from the U.S. tin is absent, yet another cheap-ass cop-out for the UK market!

General Comments

This "red tin" UK edition is inferior in every way to the "blue tin" U.S. version.

Before you even open up, you can see where they started cutting corners removing the clasp and handle.

Inside they've trimmed the page count of one book, removed another book completely, and removed the game board. That really does seem like a calculating piece of petty stinginess to me. Such effort just to short-change the UK market.

Overall Rating

The U.S. version felt a bit lightweight, but this trimmed-down UK version just adds insult to injury.

And Parragon still have the nerve to label it with an RRP of £19.99.

Well, I'm going to trim-down my rating to match! Two Webs.

 Posted: Dec 2019
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)