Spider-Man (Toei TV Series) - Availability


Because of the aforementioned licensing deal between Toei and Marvel, Toei cannot use the Spider-Man character, nor reprint any photographs or illustrations of the character from the series without paying licensing fees to Marvel. On the other hand, characters and other elements exclusive to Toei's television series (such as the villains and the giant robot Leopardon), are exempt from these legal issues, as these were creations of Toei.

As a result, only a single VHS collection of episodes (which featured episodes 1, 31, and the movie) was released in Japan during the 1980s, and reprints of the official soundtrack had the original cover on the jacket replaced with an image of Leopardon. The rest of the series was unavailable on home video for a long period. The 1995 superhero guidebook Chōjin Gahō (超人画報, The Super Heroes Chronicle?) (published by Takeshobo) was the last time Toei was allowed to officially publish a photograph of Spider-Man. In every official book and source published afterward, Toei was allowed to cover their Spider-Man television series, but they were not allowed to republish photographs of Spider-Man himself.

In 2004, Toei began renegotiating with Marvel for the rights to release the series on DVD in Japan. The Region 2 DVD Box set was released on December 9, 2005, and included all 41 episodes and the movie on seven discs, as well as a booklet which republished every publicity still Toei shot for the series that included Spider-Man. Later, on July 2006, Bandai released a series of toys related to the Toei's Spider-Man TV series, such as the Soul of Chogokin GX-33 Leopardon toy robot (with a Spider-Man figure included), the "Soul of Soft Vinyl" Spider-Man action figure, and a Popynica Spider-Machine GP-7 toy car. However, Toei has advertised the DVD set as the first and last time they will re-release the series, and as a result Toei's Spider-Man movie was excluded in the Toei Tokusatsu Hero: The Movie Box set.

On March 5, 2009, Marvel began broadcasting the series to an international audience for the first time ever on their official video streaming website. A different episode (including the movie version) was uploaded every week until the entire was available on December 17 of the same year. These episodes are shown in their original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

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