If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my twenty-plus years of living, it’s that life never goes as planned. For instance, I intended to post this review last week but couldn’t because my mother was in the hospital. What we thought was a perpetual stomach bug turned out to be a case of undiagnosed Crohn’s disease. She ended up having emergency surgery and staying in the hospital for a solid week. I tried to write but couldn’t. My mother and I are very close, and I have a hard time focusing when she’s sick or in pain. So, I decided to wait until she was stable. Thankfully, she is back home and resting comfortably (or as comfortably as one can with a tummy full of staples).
So now I am ready to get back to our doll universe!
I’ve been eyeing Hasbro’s Marvel Rising dolls since they hit shelves late last year (I think it was around November or December?). However, I didn’t want to spend $25 to $30 on a doll that isn’t fully articulated and forced myself to wait until Target to put them on clearance.
Well, I guess the Targets around here don’t believe in sales. I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Still no after Christmas sales.
I was about to admit defeat and pay full price when Sister waltzed in after an out-of-town trip and handed me a bag. Inside were Quake and Ghost-Spider. I was shocked?. She snagged two Marvel Rising doll for me! And on clearance (she knows how I love a good sale)!
So, thanks to her, two more Marvel characters are making their debut on this blog! I say we start with Ghost-Spider and save Quake for next week.
There are two versions of Ghost-Spider.
Mine is the Secret Identity Gwen Stacy/Ghost Spider.
The front of the box is mostly plastic so we can see Gwen and her accessories inside. There is a bit of thin cardboard at the bottom with Gwen’s name, alias (Ghost-Spider), and the Marvel Rising logo.
Both the doll and accessories are fastened to a colorful backdrop. The backdrop has a magenta skyline, teal stripes, and a picture of Ghost-Spider in one corner.
On the back of the box is a description of Gwen, a photo strip showing off her different styles, and a collage of the rest of the Secret Warriors team. The description says:
Whether she’s keeping the beat or laying down the law, from the school stage to the world stage, Gwen Stacy rocks as Ghost-Spider!
I wanted to save the backdrop and pictures for a craft project but, quite frankly, I was too tired to put them in my cardboard stash. I feel so wasteful! Oh well, there’s always next time. For now, let’s have fun with Gwen!
My name is Gwen Stacy. I play in a band, attend Midtown High, and hang out with my friends, Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn, and Peter Parker. I may look like an average teenager but, the truth is, I’m not.
After being bitten by a radioactive spider, I gained amazing spider-like powers.
I was stronger, faster, could stick to walls and ceilings, and had special “spidey-senses.” I used my new skills to fight crime. Soon people started calling me “Ghost-Spider” or “Spider-Woman.”
It was kinda cool at first, but things changed when my best friend, Kevin, was killed by an inhuman named Sheath.
Because someone saw me run from the scene, I was blamed for his death while the real culprit got away. Now people were calling Ghost-Spider a menace and demanding the NYPD capture me. To make matters worse, the man leading the mission was my father, Captain George Stacy (he didn’t realize I was Ghost-Spider).
For a long time, I pursued Kevin’s real killer on my own—all while dodging my father and the NYPD. I was determined to avenge my friend! Eventually, I found Sheath, knocked out her lights, and brought her to justice (well, me and my new Secret Warrior friends).
I also made peace with my father (as Ghost-Spider) after protecting him from Sheath’s blades. He let me escape, and now I operate as New York’s one and only Spider-Woman.
So, there’s a bit of Ghost-Spider history. Personally, I like her character. She’s entertaining, has an interesting backstory, is strong but not overwhelmingly powerful (i.e., she doesn’t overshadow her teammates), and has good morals. I also love her one-liners?.
Now let’s bring out the doll!
This version of Gwen Stacy/Ghost-Spider comes with:
- A shirt, a pair of shorts, and a small necklace (not pictured).
- Gwen’s Ghost-Spider costume.
- Black boots.
As always, we’ll start with a close-up look at her face.
I think Gwen’s expression is adorable. Since she is based on an animated character, her face is rounder and has softer lines than many of the live-action dolls I’ve reviewed. She reminds me of a Disney Descendants doll, which is understandable since Hasbro makes both lines.
Her skin tone is very light. She has blue eyes, pale pink lips, and a teensy bit of blush on her cheeks.
Like her comic book counterpart, Gwen’s hair is light blonde with hot pink highlights. It is shoulder length and thicker than Starforce Captain Marvel’s.
Gwen stands 11 1/2″ tall and is “thicker” than an average Barbie. Her arms, legs, and torso are more muscular.
Can she share clothes with Barbie? Let’s see!
Looks like she can! As expected, some clothes fit better than others. Shorts and skirts with elastic bands are better than ones with Velcro. The unicorn skirt is a little wide, but not too bad. The jeans in the middle are a pair I made eons ago, so they don’t really count.
I borrowed these the shorts from Petra (Barbie Fashionista 88), and they are very tight. The Velcro barely reaches.
All the shirts fit reasonably well. Like the skirt, the unicorn shirt on the left is a little baggy. The Chococat shirt and Wonder Woman hoodie, however, fit perfectly (I know, I just mixed Marvel and DC. It’s a sin!).
Setting articulation aside (we’ll get to that in a minute), I think Hasbro has done a brilliant job with their Marvel dolls. I love their faces and body styles.
The only thing about Gwen I would change is her side-glancing eyes. It’s hard to get her to look at the camera unless you turn her head or take the picture from the side. But that’s a petty gripe and not something that would keep me from enjoying her.
How Well Does She Pose?
Marvel Rising dolls have different levels of articulation. Some have the basic 5-points, a few are fully articulated, and others are somewhere in between. Gwen is one of those in-between dolls. It says online that she is “poseable with multiple points of articulation” but doesn’t tell the number of points. So, it looks like we’ll have to count them ourselves.
I counted 11 points of articulation on Gwen:
- Head (1 point).
- Shoulders (2 points).
- Hips (2 points).
- An upper-thigh swivel on both legs (2 points).
- Double-jointed knees (4 points).
Her lack of upper body articulation is disappointing. I believe the other Ghost-Spider doll (the Adventure Action Figure one) has elbow joints and wrists. Unfortunately, that doll has another of my pet peeves: oddly shaped, painted hands?. Ultimately, I hate painted hands more than unarticulated elbows, which is why I wanted Secret Identity Ghost-Spider.
For those curious about potential body swaps, the Purple Top Made-To-Move Barbie is the closest match to Gwen Stacy.
Their skin tones aren’t exactly the same. The Made-To-Move doll is a little tanner, but it’s close enough.
You could also use the Made-To-Move Curvy doll. I admit, the thought of a fully poseable Marvel Rising doll is very tempting and something I’m considering! I just want to make sure I don’t damage Gwen. I’ve heard doing a body swap on a Hasbro doll is more difficult because of their neck pegs (although My Froggy Stuff makes it look pretty easy). Still, I might try at some point.
Secret Identity Gwen Stacy/Ghost-Spider comes with two outfits: her everyday attire and her Ghost-Spider costume.
When she’s not out webbing up villains, Gwen likes to dress casually in a tank top and shorts.
Her tank top is white. It has a bright red spider printed on the front and fringe at the bottom. The shorts are a dark, denim-colored fabric with a belt printed around the waist and a red checked jacket attached to the top edge. Both the shirt and shorts Velcro closed in the back.
Gwen also comes with a small black necklace. The necklace looks like a choker and has an arrow at the front.
While the necklace is a cute accessory, keeping it around her neck is a challenge.
I like to remove every bit of plastic when I unbox a doll, so, naturally, I snipped off the band holding the necklace in place. Oy! After that, it was a constant game of hide-and-seek. At one point, I even blamed the cats for stealing it!
If you want to keep the necklace around Gwen’s neck, I recommend leaving the plastic band around it. Otherwise, I’d store it somewhere safe so it doesn’t get lost (I opted for the latter).
Along with her everyday duds, Gwen Stacy comes with her Ghost-Spider suit.
The suit is black and white with magenta and teal details. It is a shiny, non-stretch fabric and closes in the back with Velcro.
A hood is sewn to the suit’s neckline, so Gwen can (somewhat) hide her face. There is an opening in the back for her hair. On the inside, the hood is magenta with a teal, spider-web pattern.
The outside of the hood is white– or at least it’s supposed to be white. Since the fabric is thin, the bright colors on the inside show through and give the white outer layer a pink tinge.
In the comics, Ghost-Spider wears a pair of teal flats when she’s on patrol. Our doll, however, prefers boots.
Her boots are a lightly textured, pliable rubber. They are solid black, have a diamond-shaped cutout at the front, and imprinted details around the front, sides, and back.
Just like Captain Marvel’s boots, Ghost-Spider’s boots have a slit in the back to make sure they slip on and off.
And, because they have flat soles, Ghost-Spider can balance on her own while I stand back to snap that perfect picture.
Overall, Ghost-Spider’s costume is super cute. My only complaint is she doesn’t have a mask.
It’s the unspoken rule that spider-people never reveal their identity (it’s a major no-no). Secret Identity Ghost-Spider not having a mask is disappointing. It’s also confusing since the Adventure Action Figure Ghost Spider has one. In my opinion, they really shouldn’t have left out such an important accessory. She looks so…exposed without it?.
In the end, I’m incredibly happy to add Gwen to my collection. Why?
- Because I like the character. I’ve been reading Spider-Gwen’s stories since seeing her in the Madame Alexander Fan Girl line up and am thrilled to see her in doll form again.
- She’s a beautiful doll. Her face is so sweet! Just looking at her makes me smile?.
- Yes, she lacks articulated elbows, but she has double-jointed knees and can sit down. That’s always a plus.
- She comes with two outfits–an everyday one and her Ghost-Spider suit.
Even with her limited articulation and no mask, Ghost-Spider is definitely worth having (especially if you can get her on clearance?).
Now it’s your turn!
Well, friends, I hope you enjoyed this review of Hasbro’s Marvel Rising Secret Identity Ghost Spider.
Feel free to drop a comment down below. I’d love to know if anyone has successfully swapped one of these Marvel Rising dolls onto a Made-To-Move Barbie body. Also, don’t forget to check back next week and meet Quake!