Spider-Man: Colouring & Activity Book - Collector's Edition (Scholastic Australia)

 Posted: Apr 2014
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


This is one of three Spidey products produced in April 2014 by the guys at Scholastic Australia. While they are attractive, well-priced books, they all suffer from the same damn problem - no originality. The same source artwork has been thrashed to death, then thrashed some more!

Story Details

This particular example is 48pp. It is emblazoned as a "COLLECTOR'S EDITION". I have no idea why. All I can suggest is that perhaps the expect collectors to be attracted by the shiny silver cover. Actually, that might just work.

It's important to mention here that the art pool that Scholastic have been using since 2011 (and which is reused again for this book) features Electro as the number one guest star.

That's great news, since with the upcoming Spidey movie having Electro as the lead villain, Scholastic now have a perfect excuse to get "Electro" colouring books on the market (a) in advance of the official release embargo, and (b) presumably without paying the hefty film tie-in licencing costs. They make a surprisingly subtle nod in that direction by also writing "48 PAGES OF ELECTRIC ACTION" at the bottom of the cover.

Perhaps their restraint is because, with this book being 48 pages, their standard pool of artwork doesn't have enough material to completely fill the book with Electro. So the second half is filled out with Hydro-Man.

General Comments

And yet again, this book contains nothing that we haven't already seen published ten times over the past three years. Although to be completely fair, I did find several minor tweaks where the text and/or graphics of a puzzle had been tweaked specifically for this book to add an "Electro" reference where none previously existed.

But other than those minor changes, this is yet another 8.3" x 10.8" book with black and white pages. It is just like ten others I have sitting on my shelf, all from Scholastic Australia and all with basically the same content. This one is 48pp and square bound, others vary in page count and the smaller ones have staple-binding. But basically, they're all the same.

I should mention. In this book, a half-decent effort has been made to assemble the story and puzzles into a sequence which almost gives a single consistent plot. Kind of. Other books using this material have in general been less worried about such matters.

Overall Rating

It's another nice book. But please, please, please can we have some new artwork. For my sake! I have essentially reviewed the same damn book a dozen times, with superficial variations. I've had nothing new to say for quite some time, and I'm very keen to stop!

Unfortunately, I suspect Scholastic Australia is still ready and willing.

Anyhow. I give this one... yet another three-web rating.

 Posted: Apr 2014
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)