Gentle Giant Ltd’s New Spider-Man and Mary Jane Animated Statue Brings the ‘Awww!’
By Eric Goldman
With Valentine’s Day upon us, learn about the creation of this adorable depiction of Spidey and MJ.
Gentle Giant Ltd has already delivered plenty of adorable offerings with their Marvel Animated Statue line, but they may have outdone themselves with their newest release, the Spider-Man and Mary Jane Animated Statue.
With Valentine’s Day almost here, we sent some questions over to the team at Gentle Giant to find out what went into this recreation of Skottie Young’s variant cover for SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1 and its depiction of Spider-Man and Mary Jane’s love story.
Marvel.com: First off, every person who has seen the statue in the Marvel office has let out a huge “Awww!!” Does this go for you guys as well?
Gentle Giant Ltd: Absolutely! We were already in love with the 2-D art on the Marvel comic cover, but when it comes out of the 3-D Printer, the statue is cleaned up, assembled and painted… and then you see Mary Jane’s eager little face waiting for that ring and the connection between the two of them your heart just melts!
Marvel.com: This is the first time you have done two full characters together in this line. How did it come to be? Was this something you were thinking about doing for awhile?
Gentle Giant Ltd: This is the first time we have done two full-sized characters on the same Marvel Animated Statue. Last year we did an adorable animated statue of Groot holding Rocket that has become a real fan-favorite. We wanted to get another version of Spider-Man into our Animated Statue line and when we saw this artwork, we knew if we were going to release this statue it had to be in February!
Marvel.com: Talk a bit more about using Skottie Young’s RENEW YOUR VOWS variant art. Did seeing that art crystalize how it could work as a statue?
Gentle Giant Ltd: We have been doing our Marvel Animated Statue line for almost 2 years and have based our current line on those variant covers that Skottie did for Marvel. Skottie himself has been a big fan of these statues and we are BIG fans of him! Skottie came and signed these statues for fans in our booth last year at San Diego Comic Con! As soon as we saw his cover for RENEW YOUR VOWS, the wheels in our heads started turning!
Marvel.com: Spider-Man is such an icon and has had so many interpretations. What do you think it is about the character that makes him so malleable?
Gentle Giant Ltd: It’s funny, when a lot of us were growing up as Spider-Man fans it didn’t seem like there were a lot of interpretations on the character. You had Spider-Man from the comics, and he was the same as Spider-man from the short-lived TV show and he was the same as Spider-Man from the “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends” cartoon. Really the only variation was on “The Electric Company,” where he didn’t speak. Sometime around the original SECRET WARS, when Marvel gave him a new costume (which was shocking back in the day), they started opening up the character to some new versions and interpretations and once he started to permeate more media channels like animation, video games and feature films, Marvel really allowed the character to keep opening up and creators to be able to draw and write the character in new and exciting ways. You kids today are living in a golden era of geekdom!
Marvel.com: Meanwhile, Mary Jane has really stood out as a character who has moved beyond any simple “love interest” label and is popular in her own right. Was it fun to get to depict her for this project?
Gentle Giant Ltd: It really was. Despite her first appearance back in 1966, Mary Jane has not appeared in very much physical product. She has been an integral part of Spider-Man’s life and his story. We have always been a fan of their relationship and we are happy when we are able to celebrate it!
Marvel.com: Spider-Man is hanging upside down by his web in the original art, which has to be a huge challenge when turning this into a statue. Do you relish those challenges and finding out how to make it work?
Gentle Giant Ltd: It is always fun to be able to solve those sorts challenges in a sculpt. Our stable of artist really relish figuring out how to execute a piece like this. You can only have so many “guys waiting for a bus” posed statues in your collection, so we are always looking for fun and interesting new ways to get these characters on your shelf. It is always fun when a fan looks at your work and askes “How did they do that?” We did a fun Spider-Man hanging from a streetlamp statue in our Collector’s Gallery line last year. Spider-man might be the worst character ever to have posed standing. You want to see him in action!
The Spider-Man and Mary Jane Animated Statue can be pre-ordered now at GentleGiantLTD.com and will be released this month!