THE VENTURE BROS. (BIF BANG POW!)
I got on board the Venture Bros train pretty late. I’ve caught the occasional episode here and there over the years, but I really only just started watching it this past fall, and got caught up to the latest season just over a month ago. It’s a fun show, and a very amusing send-up to Saturday morning cartoons of old. Of course, a show can hardly be a send-up to Saturday morning cartoons without at least a little bit of merchandise, right? The earliest Venture Bros figures were Mego-styled (at the request of the show’s creators), and there were a rather extensive set of those produced. Eventually, a set of more traditional action figures were also released. Those seem to be the ones that are the easiest/cheapest to acquire on the aftermarket, so they ended up being the ones for me. Today, I’ll be looking at one of the two titular brothers, Dean!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Dean was part of Bif Bang Pow!’s short-lived, seven figure The Venture Bros line of figures. He was released in the first “wave” of figures, alongside his brother and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation. The articulation on Dean is okay, if a bit rudimentary. Obviously, his small scale and slender build prevents any crazy levels of articulation, but bicep swivels at the very least would have been nice. Nevertheless, you can get him into some decent poses, and he’s surprisingly sturdy. He’s also very well balanced, and stands on his own with no needed support,which may seem minor, but is always a very welcome thing with action figures. Dean is presented here in his early seasons 1 and 2 look, when he was still doing the ‘60s Peter Parker thing. As much as I’ve come to appreciate the “grown-up” designs from later in the show, there’s no denying that the original designs for Hank and Dean are the more distinctive ones. As with any figure that is based on a two-dimensional design, there’s a degree of compromise that has to occur to make the figure work from more than one angle. Dean’s sculpt does this pretty well; there are some angles where his resemblance is better than others, but the overall likeness is very good, goofy grin and everything. He’s been sculpted with the slightest bit of a slouch, which is appropriate to the way Dean tends to carry himself in the show (it’s also a nice tie back to his father, who has a very similar posture). The paint on Dean is incredibly well handled; while I’ve got some minor quibbles with some of the color choices (he seems a little washed out), the actual application is incredibly sharp and clean. Even the small details, such as his eyes and freckles, are on point. Dean’s only accessory isn’t actually meant for him: he includes a shotgun, which is supposed to go with the Brock figure. Dean can sort of hold it, but it’s comically large when compared to him.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Okay, so if I had to choose just one Venture Bros character to own, it’d probably be Henchman 21, but he wasn’t in this line. My second choice would be Brock, but literally no one anywhere online is selling the basic black t-shirt Brock figure. So, I went for my third choice, which was actually both of the brothers. I ordered them through Amazon, and Dean was the first to arrive. Which is actually okay, because I’m partial to Dean of the two This figure is actually surprisingly good. Sure, the articulation’s a little outdated, but the sculpt and the paint are really top notch. Really cool!