SPIDER-MAN 2099 & AGENT VENOM
So, on top of this whole bit with doing Minimates based on the various Marvel animated shows, DST is taking Minimates to another new place: Walgreens! Yep, Walgreens, our resident “out of left field” action figure distributor has picked up yet another line to carry, Marvel Minimates. That makes me happy, because hey, more Minimates to buy, but also sad because now I have to buy more Minimates. Oh well. I’ll get over it. The first set of Walgreens exclusive Minimates continue the animated Marvel trend, and while they haven’t yet gotten us any new characters (series 2 will change that) we have managed to get one very needed update, which I’ll be taking a look at today. Let’s see how Spider-Man 2099 and Agent Venom turned out, shall we?
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Spider-Man 2099 and Agent Venom were released in the first Walgreens-exclusive series of Marvel Minimates. Both figures are based upon the characters’ designs from Ultimate Spider-Man.
This isn’t the first Spider-Man 2099 Minimate, but it is the first one in 11 years, so that’s pretty noteworthy. He definitely was high on a lot of lists for “most in need of an update.” And, 2099’s design in the cartoon is (mostly) the same as his comics design, so this one can work as either. The figure stands about 2 ¼ inches tall and has the standard 14 points of articulation. Structurally, he’s another “vanilla ‘mate,” so he’s just the base body. While that may work well for his regular time period counterpart, 2099 should really get a few extras. The last 2099 ‘mate was just the basic body too, and that was at least part of why so many people wanted an update. The animated 2099 ditches the cape of his comics counterpart, so its absence is excusable, and the arm spikes would have needed to be new pieces, so it’s possible they didn’t cost out, but he should have at least gotten a pair of clawed hands. Just to make him a little…different. On the plus side, the paintwork on this figure does its very best to make up for the lack of sculpted parts. The base blue is nice and dark, and the highlights add a nice bit of visual flare that was lacking from the previous 2099. Plus, the red details are also nice and sharp, and stand out nicely from the rest of the figure. Everything is really clean and very well handled, and he does a great job of balancing between animated and comic styles, so he’ll be right at home with either line. 2099 includes a web line (in blue) and a clear display stand.
It hasn’t been nearly as long since Agent Venom’s last ‘mate (from the Venom Through the Ages set, for those curious), but he’s a popular enough character that it’s not much of a surprise to see him turn up again. Plus, given last year’s Marvel Legends exclusive, it would seem Walgreens is pretty fond of the guy. Agent Venom is built on the usual body, with add-ons for his chest piece, belt, boots, and gloves. The chest piece, boots and gloves are all the same pieces used on the previous Agent Venom. The belt was presumably deemed too textured for the animated design, so it was replaced with the belt from the Series 55 Classic Captain America. The pieces match up pretty well with the animated version of Flash Venom, so no issues there. This figure loses the extra mask piece and the leg holster of the last one; the mask was likely cut to streamline the design a bit, and the animated Agent Venom does not have the guns of his comics counterpart, and therefore doesn’t need the holster. The paintwork on Agent Venom is a bit different this time around. The animated design is just a bit different from the mainstream look, specifically on the mask. The eyes ditch the inverted Spider-Man design for something a bit more basic. It’s not as distinctive, but it’s accurate to the show. The figure has some pretty stylized shading, which is cleanly handled, and makes it more clear that this is an animated figure. Agent Venom’s one accessory is a clear display stand, which is a pretty big step down from the extra hairpiece and two weapons included with the boxed set version. I know the cartoon Agent Venom isn’t armed, but an extra unmasked head would have been nice.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Take a guess where I got this set. If you guessed Walgreens, you were correct. Good for you. 2099 was definitely the main draw for me. I have a bit of nostalgia for the original, but he was very, very dated, so an update is much appreciated. Yes, it would have been nice to get a few extra sculpted parts, but the paintwork does a lot to save this guy. Agent Venom isn’t really exciting to me, but I have the boxed set version. While that’s the superior of the two, this one isn’t bad at all, and I’m sure he’s awesome to someone who wasn’t able to get the last one.