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Brock Samson - Venture Brothers
Bif Bang Pow

Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow


One of the funniest cartoons of the last decade is the Venture Brothers, a weird, bizarre, funky take off of the original Johnny Quest, with a heavy dose of just about every other 80's era kid's show. Scooby Doo, G.I. Joe, any and all superheroes - all have been caricaturized in some hilarious way.

Everyone I've pointed toward this show has fallen in love with it, and the humor speaks to every child of the 70's and 80's, as long as they're a little twisted.

Fans have clamored for figures, but the actual demand i.e. suckers willing to spend actual money has been too scarce to make it economically feasible. Bif Bang Pow tried using their 'retro' styling, and they've cranked out a fair number of figures. They tried out a 5" scale using the old ''pre-order enough and well make them'' method, but orders have been slow.

They haven't been non-existent however, and they've finally started the series with a regular and exclusive Brock Samson. I'm checking out the regular version tonight, which was first available for $10 at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
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Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
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Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
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Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
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Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
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Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow
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Packaging - ***1/2
I really like the color and graphics on these fairly basic cardback/bubble packages. They aren't collector friendly of course, but they are very attractive.

There's also very little waste, a good thing in this environment conscious society. But I wish the back had more info, especially on other potential figures.

Sculpting - ***
I'll be honest - I'm being a bit forgiving in this category. There's some flashing left over around the chin that hurts the overall look, maybe a bit more than I'm docking him here.

But outside of that issue, the sculpt is solid work. It's clearly Brock, with his traditional hair style and beefy body. The head to body proportion seems accurate as well, although getting that sort of thing exact can be tricky. Proportions on an animated figure can vary from frame to frame, so a best guess is about the closest you can get.

The hands are sculpted to hold the knife, and the expression is tough but not overly dynamic.

I like this sculpt better overall than their earlier release, and this is the style that the series always should have been done in.

Brock stands a full 5" tall, making him a lot bigger than the usual 4" scale line. Until we get some of the other characters, it's tough to tell the overall plan.

Paint - **1/2
While I can let the minor flashing around the head slide, the sloppy paint I cannot. Mine has problems around one of the eyes - it looks more like a bad mascara job - as well as thick, heavy paint on the wrist device. The big colors are decent - consistent and clean - and most of the other cut lines are good, but there's enough slop to drop this score lower than I'd like to see.

Articulation - **
In the package and in writing, the number of joints don't seem bad. In hand though, the figure is quite a bit more limited.

There's a cut neck, as well as cut shoulders and cut waist. The knees and elbows are pin joints, but there's no wrist or ankle joints. The hips are standard T, which in combination with the knees allows him to sit better than stand.

He does stand on his own, but it's a bit awkward, and there's really only one pose from the waist down.

Accessories - **1/2
He comes with one extra - his deadly knife. It fits neatly in the scabbard on his belt, but I did see some of the paint rub off.

The knife can fit in either hand, and the scale is good. I think one accessory is a little light for a character like this, but I can live.

Fun Factor - ***
While the articulation is a little limiting, this is still a true toy. If you have a kid that is both old enough to watch the show and still young enough to enjoy toys, this one is just about right. I'd assume that's a pretty small demographic, but even for the adult fan, these would make a great display. The trick is getting enough of the main characters to fill things out.

Value - ***
Ten bucks for a figure this size is pretty standard right now. Considering the small production run, that makes it a little better than average.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
This was a tough call for me. I really, really want these figures to do well, and I really, really want a full shelf of all the main characters. But the reality is that Brock falls a little short in a couple spots.

Still, there's really two specific issues that you may be lucky enough to avoid. One is the sloppy paint I got, especially around his eyes. The second is the left over flashing on his chin, another issue that might vary from figure to figure.

The only really issue that will effect every figure is the articulation, but it's pretty much on par with most animated characters done in this scale. I wish it was better, and hopefully we'll see a bit more posability with some of the other character designs.

Brock isn't great - but he's a good start. I have my fingers crossed that he's good enough to convince folks to start down the path of picking these up, fueling the creation of more characters.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - **
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has this regular version for $10, and the exclusive version for $15.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Bif Bang Pow has done a larger scale series of figures as well, which I reviewed awhile back.

Discussion:
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Brock Samson Venture Brothers action figure by Bif Bang Pow


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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