#1789: Monster Venom

MONSTER VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Venom’s a character that’s had a number of divergent design styles over the years.  When he first appeared, he was a slightly bigger than average, but not particularly huge character.  Like with Peter Parker, the symbiote didn’t initially do much to alter Eddie Brock’s physique at all.  However, as art styles changed over the course of the ‘90s, Venom became more and more extreme.  His proportions relative to Spider-Man became much more exaggerated, as he became an imposing figure rivaling the likes of the Hulk (who had, admittedly, undergone a bulk-up of his own over the years).  Hasbro’s standard take on Venom does its best to be a moderate take on the character, but ultimately airs more on the smaller side.  We haven’t seen a truly monstrous Venom at his most absurd in quite some time, if ever.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Monster Venom is the Build-A-Figure for the new Venom-themed assortment of Marvel Legends.  He’s patterned not on an Eddie Brock version of Venom, but instead on Mac Gargan’s time in the symbiote from a few years back.  He looks to be based on Mike Deodato’s version from Thunderbolts, as he lacks the actual “eyes” that most artists gave Mac.  Of course, this allows him to keep the more classic Venom eyes, which I’m more of a fan of anyway.  The figure stands 7 3/4 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  Monster Venom’s nature as a Build-A-Figure allows him to not only be a much more massive figure than a single release, but also, by virtue of having his cost spread out across an entire assortment, allows for him to a completely unique mold.  And what a mold it is!  If you felt that the standard Venom was a touch too simplistic, or basic, or just not dynamic enough, hoo boy is this the figure for you.  The head takes the tongue-flicking head from the last Venom release, and dials that up to 11, with a practically unhinged jaw, a wildly moving tongue, and everyone of his teeth out for the whole world to see.  The body is covered in veins, just all over the place, to insane levels.  On any other character, this would look ridiculous, but on Venom it’s nothing short of amazing.  He’s got tendrils coming from his back and shoulders, and thanks to the unique sculpt, they don’t have to be one piece that plugs into a single port like on the smaller figures, allowing them to be worked in much more smoothly.  And then there’s the general build of the figure.  He’s absolutely huge, easily living up to the “Monster” part of his name.  On top of that, though, his articulation’s not nearly as restricted as you’d expect it to be.  In fact, there are a number of deep poses he can get into that his smaller counterpart struggles with.  They definitely stepped up their articulation game here.  Even Monster Venom’s coloring is a step-up from the standard version; rather than the straight black and white of the basic Venom, Monster Venom is done up in this sick metallic purple.  It gives him a seriously alien vibe, and definitely is a good match for more recent depictions of the character.  He also gets the slightly tweaked logo that Gargan’s Venom sported, which gives him a more unique appearance from the main Venom, but is still close enough for the casual observer to recognize.  Monster Venom has no accessories, but given his size and status as a Build-A-Figure, that’s not a surprise, or a let-down.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the figures from this assortment were initially shown off, the name “Monster Venom” started floating around for the Build-A-Figure, but exactly what that name meant was a little unclear, so I had no idea if I’d be getting this one or not.  Of course, as soon as he was shown off, I was incredibly impressed, and knew right away I wanted one.  Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys (from whom you can still order 5 of the 6 figures in this series) I was able to get a full set put together and get myself a Monster Venom assembled.

This assortment is kind of an interesting experience.  Going in, I was only interested in the Build-A-Figure and two of the six figures required to build it.  I wasn’t even sure I’d be completing this figure, but All Time got them in, and I’m an easy mark.  Spider-Ham, the figure I most wanted, is the set’s biggest disappointment for me.  Scream, my other big want, is decent, but nothing to write home about.  Poison and Typhoid Mary, on the other hand, far exceeded my expectations, with Poison in particular being my favorite of the bunch.  And, above all, I just can’t help but enjoy this set as a whole.  They go well together.

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The Blaster In Question #0066: Venom Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1VENOM BLASTER

DART TAG (SPIDER-MAN)

venom1I was wondering what would break first: your spirit, OR YOUR BO- what? Oh sorry, wrong Tom Hardy role.  Why Tom Hardy, you ask.  That’s because he will be playing Eddie Brock in the upcoming Venom movie.  So in the spirit of that film, I thought I’d showcase something that only exists for its context to Spider-Man, but without any mention of Spider-Man on my part.  I give you the Dart Tag Venom Blaster.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

venom2The Venom blaster was actually part of the Spider-Man vs. Venom set in the Dart Tag line, released as a tie-in with the film Spider-Man 3 back in 2007.  It uses a pretty unique mechanism as far as I’m aware, featuring an air pump and 3-tier staged trigger.  This allows you to fire each of the 3 barrels one after the other in semi-auto fashion, or just mash the trigger down to launch all 3 simultaneously.  The shells of both the Venom blaster and the matching Spider-Man blaster in the set are the same aside from the colors, but beyond that, they are unique.  Being Spider-Man themed, the ergonomics are a little strange, but perfectly functional. You secure the blaster to your inner forearm using the Velcro strap, with the trigger in reach of your middle and ring fingers.  While on your arm, the most awkward part of the operation is by far pumping up the air tank as it takes a decent amount of force to actuate the pump handle, particularly when you get close to maximum pressure.  That being said, they do stay pretty secure on your arm, and the cloth Velcro strap doesn’t cut into your arm the way the plastic venom3watch strap things on more recent arm blasters do.  The performance isn’t the best, but keep in mind these came out well before N-Strike Elite was even a thing, and they’re licensed blasters, so it’s pretty easy to forgive.  While it won’t hit very hard, you do effectively have a 3-round burst strapped to your arm which can be somewhat concealed fairly easily, especially if you’re already holding a blaster in your hand.  That way, when your younger siblings think its safe because you’re out of ammo, you can blast them with an extra 3 shots they didn’t know existed.  That’s how you know you’re the cool older sibling: subterfuge and treachery.  The Spider-Man vs. Venom set originally came with the 2 blasters, 1 in each color scheme, a Dart Tag vest for each, a set of Vision Gear goggles that also matched, and a total of 12 Dart Tag darts, 6 for Spider-Man, and 6 for Venom.  I, however, picked mine up second hand, and as a result, only have the Venom blaster.  No Spider-Man anywhere.  But if Marvel wants to use any of my review in their current Tom Holland Spider-Man movies, I’d be more than willing to license it out to them. 

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION 

Movie politics aside, I was actually one of those kids growing up who didn’t really care about Spider-Man, the character, but I thought Venom was awesome.  Pair that with Nerf and it was fairly inevitable that I would pick one of these up sooner or later.  And to be fair, the movies I’ve seen that had Tom Hardy in them, for the most part, I thought he did a good job.  Overall, my opinion on the blaster is it’s a bit dated but still fairly fun and I’m glad to have it.  Do I think the movie will be any good?  I think Mad Max said it best when he said “Hgrmngr rgn rgmrn mrgrnm…”

#1783: Venom

VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Eddie Brock takes vengeance on his skeptics as the all-consuming, spine-chilling symbiotic, Venom.”

Though roughly 20 years newer than the rest of Spider-Man’s most popular foes, Venom has undoubtedly made a home for himself in the mythos, and in fact made something of his own mythos.  How else can you explain the guy getting a whole series of Marvel Legends devoted to him.  Oh, right, movie.  Well, he’s also got the movie, I guess.  Look, the point is, there’s a new series of Venom-themed Marvel Legends, and I’m totally reviewing them, starting with the main man himself.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venom is figure 1 in the Monster Venom Series of Marvel Legends.  This assortment is the Spider-Man equivalent to how the loosely-Deadpool-themed Sasquatch Series was kind of an excuse to get more X-Men characters.  Anyway, this particular figure doesn’t do a whole lot of new stuff.  He’s really just a slight re-working of the Absorbing Man Series Venom.  That was a pretty solid take on the character, and he didn’t need a hard re-do, but given slightly higher aftermarket values, a re-release isn’t unwarranted, especially if the movie further elevates his profile.  The primary difference between these two figures is the head, or rather heads.  There are two of them: an unmasked Eddie Brock, and proper masked head.  The Eddie head is the most outwardly different, and does an alright job of capturing the spirit of McFarlane’s take on the character without getting too overly stylized.  My big complaint is that it’s a little bit on the large side, especially when compared to other figures.  I’m not sure I really buy that Eddie’s head should be almost twice the size of Peter Parker’s.  The masked head is kind of a halfway point between the two included with the last figure, so he’s got an open mouth, but doesn’t have the crazy tongue.  Of the three masked Venom heads we’ve gotten, this is definitely my favorite.  He also gets a new add-on piece; a set of tendrils that slips over his neck.  It works best with the unmasked head, but doesn’t look too bad with the masked head either.  His paint is also ever so slightly different from the prior release; the finish on the black sections is shinier and a little bluer than the first release, though it’s not really different enough to prevent reasonable swapping of pieces between the two figures.  Outside of the extra head, Venom is also packed with the right leg of the Monster Venom Build-A-Figure.  He lacks the extra set of hands like the prior figure, which is slightly disappointing, though I guess the larger BaF piece somewhat makes up for it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Since I got the original release of this guy, I really wasn’t sure I’d be grabbing this one, especially since he was originally rumored not to even be including a BaF piece.  That of course didn’t prove to be the case, and since I wanted Monster Venom, this guy had to come along.  I’m actually not too unhappy about the extra of him.  The new pieces offer a lot of value to the original, and the Pork Grind head included with Spider-Ham means having a spare body isn’t the worst thing.  Plus, now he’s much easier for fans joining in a bit later to get ahold of, which is the most important thing.

Venom was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys, and is still available here.  If you’re interested in buying other Legends figures, or are looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#1366: Venom Space Knight

VENOM SPACE KNIGHT

MARVEL MINIMATES

Oh blind bags.  How I loathe thee.  There are certainly things that I hate more than blind bags, but they honestly aren’t coming to mind right now.  So, blind bags are number one right now.  I can sort of see the novelty of the concept to a certain degree, but beyond the first couple of figures, it just sort of wears out its welcome.  Which is really an issue when it comes to introducing blind bags to a pre-existing line.  DST started working the idea into their various Minimates properties to varying success.  It’s finally made its way into the main Marvel comic line, and I’m not super sure how I feel about that.  I’m giving it a try, though, and looking at one of them today.  Yes, it’s another Flash Thompson Venom, but this time, he’s a Space Knight.  And why not?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venom Space Knight is part of the inaugural Blind Bag series of comic-based Marvel Minimates.  He’s one of the less common figures in the case; he’s not a one-per-case-r like Silk, but he’s not one of the heavier packed ones.  Which is sensible enough, since Venom’s moderately popular, but not quite as hugely popular as Iron Man and Spider-Man.  The figure’s a little over 2 1/2 inches tall and has 12 points of articulation, taking the boots into account.  He’s got 12 add-on pieces for his helmet, chest piece, upper arms, hands, pelvis cover, upper legs, boots, and torso extender.  Most of the parts are re-used from other bulked up characters (including a few other Venom ‘mates).  The helmet’s all-new, and does a really nice job of translating the comics design into the ‘mate form.  In general, this design translated quite nicely into the ‘mate aesthetic.  Definitely a well-chosen design for the line.  The paintwork on this guy is all pretty solid; the line work is nice and crisp, and the colors are well chosen for the character.  The dark blue chosen for the bulk of the character is pretty nifty, and the white stands out nicely against it.  Under the armor, there’s a fully detailed face and torso, showing Flash in his non-armored look.  There’s also a spare set of arms and legs, as well as a hairpiece, allowing for you to complete the dressed down look, which is essentially a whole second figure.  The paintwork is still solid on these extra pieces (especially the arms), and I really dig the artificial legs.  In addition to the alt pieces, he also includes the standard clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I held off on this set for a good long while.  I didn’t really want to buy a whole case, and nobody was really selling them individually.  Fortunately, Cosmic Comix got in a case of them, thus allowing me to just grab one of them.  As luck would have it, it was Venom, who was the ‘mate I wanted the most from the set.  He’s actually a really solid ‘mate, and I love all the extras he includes.  All-in-all, I think this is my first experience with blind bagged Minimates that didn’t leave me feeling dirty and used.  I guess that’s a good thing?

#0978: Venom

VENOM

MARVEL SUPER HEROES (TOY BIZ)

VenomMSH1

Venom, Venom, Venom. For as many Venom figures as I’ve reviewed on this site, there’s not actually a whole lot to this guy. He’s a pretty simple concept, taking the main hero and creating a “dark reflection” of said hero to serve as a villain. Of course, it was the late ‘80s, so he was also super huge (and he got huger as time went on). In the early ‘90s, when Toy Biz started up with the Marvel license, Venom was, amazingly enough, not in their first assortment of figures. Clearly they felt bad about that, because they then turned around and released three of him in the space of a year. Today, I’ll be looking at the last of those.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

VenomMSH2Venom was released in Series 3 of Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line. He was the second version of the character released in the main line (after the one released in Series 2) and the third in the overall scheme of things (following the Talking Heroes version). The figure stands just shy of 5 ½ inches tall and he has 8 points of articulation. He has no neck movement due to his action feature, which is quite limiting, but he is otherwise decently posable. The prior Venom figures had focused on bulk over all else. This figure, on the other hand, focused on making Venom tall (he’s a good ¾ of an inch taller than the Spider-Man from the same line), but not quite as bulky. The end result is a figure that looks not unlike Venom in his earliest appearances, before he had become quite as monstrous. The sculpt us actually pretty decent. It’s somewhat stylized, but not incredibly so, and he has a nice, subdued look about him, which is refreshing to see in a Venom figure. Venom’s paint is rather simple: it’s exclusively white paint on black plastic. The detailing doesn’t look too bad, though, as you can see from my figure, the paint wasn’t the most durable. Still, the pure black and white has a nice stark contrast about it, something that a lot of later Venom figures would miss out on by adding unnecessary blue highlights. Venom originally included a clip on torso piece, simulating the symbiote wrapping around him. He also had the previously mentioned action feature, which allowed for Venom to stick his tongue out when the lever on his back was pulled. It’s rather a goofy feature, but it’s also really in keeping with the character, so I guess it made sense.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Venom is the 11th of the 15 figures I got at Balticon this year. Amazingly enough, prior to this figure I did not own a single 5-inch Venom figure. This one’s not bad, and the quality of his sculpt, especially when compared to last week’s Silver Surfer figure, shows how incredibly fast Toy Biz was taking steps forward in that department.

Also, not related to me, but worth noting: this figure has become one of Super Awesome Girlfriend’s favorites. She constantly picks it up so that she can make it stick its tongue out at me. I’ve ensnared another action figure geek!

VenomMSH3

#0958: Venom

VENOM

SPIDER-MAN: ORIGINS (HASBRO)

VenomSig1

When Hasbro took over the Marvel license, it was actually a little bit of time before they started producing their own molds. The first two series of Marvel Legends had already been designed and sculpted by Toy Biz, which eased the transition there. Since the beginning of Marvel Legends, there was a complementary Spider-Man line. Hasbro kept this tradition up, and launched Spider-Man: Origins, which was a line made up exclusively of repainted figures, offering collectors a second chance at some harder to find molds, and earning them a little bit of good will with the fans. Today, I’ll be looking at one of those repaints, which happens to be a figure of Venom. And awaaaaaay we go!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

VenomSig2Venom was released as part of a two-pack in the “Battle-Packs” assortment of Spider-Man: Origins. He was packed with a fairly basic classic Spider-Man. This Venom is just a repaint of the version from Series 4 of Toy Biz’s 6-inch Spider-Man line, a figure which itself made use of re-tooled pieces from the Planet of the Symbiotes Lasher figure. The figure stands 7 ½ inches tall and has 20 points of articulation. Though his articulation count’s fairly high, his actually movement is rather limited, so he’s not good for much besides a basic standing pose. I reviewed this sculpt rather favorably back when it was Lasher, but I’m not sure how well it made the transition into Venom. Some of the details specific to Lasher have been removed, which makes sense, but also robs the sculpt of some of its richness. The new pieces include the head, lower arms, and lower legs. The head’s not a bad piece, though to position of the neck coupled with the limited articulation means he’s stuck looking up forever. The arms and legs aren’t terrible, but they’re rather long and thin (presumably to make him a bit taller than Lasher), which means they don’t match up very well with the stockier pieces from Lasher. They also don’t have the same sort of musculature, which makes them stand out a bit. And that’s not even touching on the clown shoe feet this guy’s sporting. Yeesh. The original release’s paint was one of its weaker points. Toy Biz tried to do blue highlights, and ended up highlighting a bit too much. Hasbro opted to forego the highlights, instead just doing the black parts in a dark blue/grey. It’s not perfect, and it lacks the striking nature of the original design, but it looks better than the original, overall.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This Venom is another figure from the small lot of figures I got from Goodwill a few weeks ago (the same lot that included SM3 Venom and the 12-Inch Symbiote Spider-Man). Neither variation of this figure was ever at the top of my list, but he was in with other figures I was interested in, and the whole thing was only $10. He’s not a super exciting figure, but he’s not horrible either.

#0943: Venom

VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

VenomSM3a

Spider-Man 3 is a movie that a lot of people don’t care for. I actually don’t mind it. In fact, I kinda liked it a lot. Is it a perfect movie? No. Honestly, it’s probably aged the worst of the three Raimi films, and even Sam Raimi’s said he feels it could have been better. It still entertains me, and that’s really all I can ask.

I actually don’t own a ton of toys from Spider-Man 3, though (apart from the Minimates), because of some general weirdness surrounding the tie-in figures. Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007, which was the year that Marvel toys switched from Toy Biz to Hasbro. Despite the prior two Spider-Man films (and pretty much everything else Marvel-related from the early 2000s on) having been pretty much exclusively 6-inch scale, Hasbro opted to release the Spider-Man 3 figures in 5-inch scale. It was a really odd move, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that the overall quality of the toys fell pretty steeply too. The end result was a large number of fans boycotting the smaller line (I didn’t boycott it; I just happened to not get many of the figures). Fortunately, Hasbro recognized the frustration, and put together a series of Marvel Legends based on the Spider-Man trilogy. Most of the heavy hitters from the films were covered, including the third film’s (somewhat maligned) version of Venom, whose figure I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

VenomSM3bVenom was released in the “Sandman Series” of Hasbro’s first go at Marvel Legends. The series was released at roughly the same time as the Fantastic Four-themed “Ronan Series,” which was between Series 2 and 3 of the main line (The SM3 and FF series served to discontinue attempts at referring to Hasbro Legends by numbered series from there on). Venom stands just over 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation. Of the eight figures in the series, Venom was one of the four to get a new sculpt. It’s a rather sizeable sculpt to be sure, though it’s more than a little off from the movie Venom. Topher Grace’s Venom wasn’t anywhere near as big as the comics version, but all the SM3 Venoms seemed to go with a more comics-inspired sizing. So, while this figure’s sculpt certainly has an impressive amount of detail, it’s far from movie accurate. The proportions seem a bit crazy even for a comic Venom. The arms, hands, and upper torso are huge, while the waist and legs are small to almost comedic levels; his fingers come down past his knees for Pete’s sake! The head is also quite exaggerated, far more so than it ever looked in the movie. The crazy open mouth isn’t terrible, but it’s the sort of thing that really should be accompanied by an alternate, less crazy head (similar to the most recent Legends Venom). On its own, it seems rather limiting. Venom’s paint is at least decent. He’s molded in a slightly metallic black, which looks pretty cool, and he sports a nice, subtle silver on all the webbing. The paint around the mouth is a little sloppy, but not horribly so. He could probably stand for a bit more color variety in the gums, but that’s minor. Venom’s only accessory was a piece of the Sandman Build-A-Figure, but mine was acquired loose, so he doesn’t have that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Venom came from the same random lot of Goodwill toys as the 12-inch Spider-Man I looked at last week. Because of the rarity of pretty much the entire Sandman Series, I never saw this figure at retail. Of course, I can’t really say I would have gotten him if I had seen him. As part of a bag of figures for $10, he’s kinda cool. For full price? Ehhhh. He’s an alright figure, but is definitely from a period when Hasbro were still finding their footing.

#0934: Black Costume Spider-Man

SPIDER-MAN – BLACK COSTUME

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (TOY BIZ)

BlackCostumeSpidey1

EDIT: Sorry for the late post everyone!  For some reason, this post had its date set to February 13 instead of May 13. But it’s here now!

As much as it may seem that Hasbro is releasing Marvel’s most prominent characters in every possible format they can think of, the ‘Bro has nothing on their predecessor’s at Toy Biz. Over the course of their 15-year run with the license, Toy Biz offered the Marvel heroes in 12 distinct scales (to say nothing of having a wide variety of styles within those scales). Towards the end of their run making Marvel toys, they spun a few of their more successful 6-inch lines into 12-inch lines. This included their Amazing Spider-Man line. While the larger line was somewhat limited in scope (there were only 6 figures, and 3 of them were Spider-Man), it did manage to produce a few pretty cool figures, such as today’s focus, the Black Costume Spider-Man.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

BlackCostumeSpidey2Black Costume Spider-Man was released as part of the 12-inch Amazing Spider-Man line in 2006. The line didn’t really have any proper series structure; figures were just sort of added as they went. This particular figure was one of the very last figures added to the line, alongside the House of M version of Spider-Man. The figure stands just over 12 inches tall and has 33 points of articulation (a fact his package proudly boasted. Toy Biz was big on that at the time). Marvel Legends Icons, the 12-inch counterpart to Marvel Legends, was constructed exactly like the smaller figures, just at a larger scale, which gave the figures a certain degree of heft. Amazing Spider-Man, on the other hand, made use of rotocast parts (i.e. hollow) to keep the cost of the figures lower. This results in the figure being surprisingly lightweight, and a bit less sturdy than other figures. However, this figure is hardly fragile, and it’s worth noting that only about half of this figure is actually rotocast. The sculpt of this figure was shared with the House of M figure as well. It was a noticeable improvement over the prior Spider-Man from the line in terms of movement and detailing. The whole thing has this kinda cool orange peel-style texturing to it, which is a nice change from all the totally smooth Spideys out there. The proportions are a bit out there, but it’s Spider-Man, so there’s some room for exaggeration, and he’s certainly no more out of whack than any other Toy Biz Spider-Man. His paint work is fairly basic. They’ve foregone any sort of accenting for the black, which is always a good choice in my book. The white’s a bit on the fuzzy side, presumably due to the texturing of the sculpt. It’s not terrible, but it definitely could be better.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I remember seeing just about every figure in this line when they were originally released. However, I never did get around to picking any of them up. This figure ended up being a rather random find: two weeks ago, I was out and about with my family and we stopped at a Goodwill. There was a bag of assorted action figures for $10, and I could make out this guy, so I bought it. Turns out he’s worth quite a bit more. Lucky me! The figure’s actually pretty cool, and it’s a shame he was one of the last in the line.

#0886: Venom

VENOM

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

Venom1

They say a hero’s greatest foe is in some way a dark reflection of themselves. Generally, this is meant to be more of a metaphorical sort of reflection, but sometimes, it’s taken a bit more literally, resulting in a pretty straight evil counterpart of the main hero. This is the case with the original Venom; his powers were all variations of Spider-Man’s, and Eddie Brock, host of the Venom symbiote, was even a freelance photographer like Peter Parker. However, where Peter gave up the symbiote when it started to lead him down a darker path, Eddie embraced the darkness (at least initially). Venom’s gone on to become one of Spidey’s most popular foes, with all the toys that such a role entails, and amusingly enough has gotten a few “dark reflections” of his own.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Venom2Venom is the third figure in the fourth series of Spider-Man Marvel Legends. After three series of sort of teasing at this guy, Hasbro’s finally gotten around to giving us a proper Eddie Brock Venom. The figure stands about 7 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Like Toxin and Anti-Venom before him, Venom is based on the Hyperion body. It’s not a bad base, though it still has a few minor issues (the neck being so far set back is the most major of them). The body’s pretty well-sized for Venom, and that’s really the important thing here. Venom gets not one, but two new head sculpts for this body: with and without the tongue. This way, you can choose between early (no tongue) and late (tongue) appearance Venom. He comes packaged wearing the tongue-less head sculpt, which is a pretty spot-on recreation of his early McFarlane-drawn appearances. It’s a lot smoother and geometric. It sits a bit high on the neck, but in the right pose, that negligible. The second head isn’t just the first one with an added tongue, it’s actually a totally different sculpt. It’s based on Venom’s mid-90s appearances, after his appearance Venom3started to get a bit exaggerated, but before it went too off the rails. This head is much more organic in design, and has a lot more fine detail work. It also sits a bit lower on the neck, and just feels like the stronger of the two sculpts. As far as paint goes, the vast majority of Venom is just molded in black. However, there’s more than a little white detailing. The application’s okay, but not super great. The chest logo in particular has really rough edges. The two heads are both very nicely done, though, to the point of almost seeming like they belong to another figure. In addition to the extra head, Venom is also packed with two sets of hands: fists and clawed. The claws are far more subdued than those of Anti-Venom and Toxin, which suits this figure very well. Venom also includes two different heads for the Build-A-Figure Absorbing Man. There are a lot of heads in the box.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Man, if you’d told me I would be anxiously awaiting an Eddie Brock Venom, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, after getting all the Venom spin-offs over the last year, this guy was a key missing player. In a series of more modern characters and short-lived variants, Venom kinda feels like the natural star of this set, and is a clear, definitive take in the character. His figure isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good, and certainly a long time coming.

Venom4

#0766: Hybrid

HYBRID

SPIDER-MAN

Hybrid1

Remember all that stuff I said yesterday about Marvel and symbiotes? Well, it pretty much all still applies today. Yep, I’ll be taking a look at another of those wacky symbiotes. But this one’s special. See, Lasher was just one single symbiote. Today’s figure? Well, if the name hadn’t clued you in already, he’s a combination of multiple symbiotes. Specifically, all of the symbiotes from the whole Planet of the Symbiotes thing. So, let’s have a looksee at Hybrid, shall we?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hybrid2Hybrid is another figure from the “Venom: Planet of the Symbiotes” series of the 90s Spider-Man line. Like all the other figures in the series, Hybrid was available in two different color schemes. The main color scheme was mostly variations of red, and pretty closely mimicked the look of the character from the comic. The second version, which I’ll be looking at today, was made up purely for the figure, and is grey and indigo, which is pretty wildly different from the original. The base figure is about 6 ¼ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation, but the wing/pincer thing mounted on his back brings him up to 8 inches and 16 points of articulation (though 6 of those points are tied into the spring-loaded feature). Hybrid was another all-new sculpt. He’s still got a lot of the items on the 90s checklist, but what’s interesting is that his sculpt is almost an entirely different style of 90s than Lasher. Lasher kind of stuck with more or less the Toy Biz style, but Hybrid’s more pre-posed, less articulation look makes him feel like he’d be more at home with Kenner’s Total Justice/JLA line from the 90s. It’s not a bad sculpt, mind you. There’s still plenty of texturing and muscular detail, which looks pretty great. In particular, the areas where the different styles of symbiote merge together are pretty cool looking, especially the gooeier bits running fluidly up the legs and arms, and down the top of the torso. It gives him a distinctively alien look. The proportions are definitely still exaggerated, but Hybrid is definitely a lot leaner than Lasher, and his proportions generally look a bit more conventionally heroic. Hybrid’s action feature is all worked into his back thingy. Each of the “fingers” on the end is spring-loaded, and they all move as one. There’s no activation for the feature, though, which is a little odd, but whatever. Hybrid’s paintwork isn’t quite as impressive as Lasher’s, but it’s solid work nonetheless. There’s a little bit of bleed over on the changes from indigo to grey, but the application is generally pretty good. I do wish the main body had more going on than the plain grey. The indigo of the upper torso has a light speckling of red, which keeps things somewhat interesting. Hybrid is packed with a “symbiotic wall-crawler”…thing, and a clear yellow Venom head with a small red symbiote inside it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I picked up Hybrid from the same vendor at Baltimore Comic-Con from whom I got US Agent and Lasher. They didn’t have him in his standard colors, so I had to settle for the variant. I can’t really complain about that, though, because the variant colors do look pretty sharp. Hybrid is a pretty fun figure, though maybe not quite as cool as Lasher.

Hybrid3