Tonight we have a new guest review by Paul
Kelly. He's picked up the newest bad dude in the regular Spidey line,
Venom. Take it away Paul!
Venom (with Alien Ooze Base!) is part of the
fourth Spiderman assortment, along with Spider-Strength, Spider-Sense and
Wall Crawling Spiderman figures. A pre-curser to Marvel Legends, the
Spiderman line included a Venom figure in its debut series. While visually
appealing, the figure left a lot be desired with it's half-Venom/half-Eddie
Brock sculpt. This is ToyBiz's attempt at a more normal version of the
classic Spiderman foe.
About the Reviewer:
My name is Paul M Kelly and I
collect from most of the action figure universe. Some of my favorite lines
include Marvel Legends, WWE, He-Man and the Simpsons. You can view my
writing on a daily basis at WrestlingGuide.com.
Packaging - **1/2
The Spiderman line is not Marvel Legends. This line is geared more towards
kids, thus the packaging suffers from a collector's stand point. Instead of
sturdy clam shell packages, the classic blister card is used. The cards are
not flimsy, but the chances of getting a corner card are more likely than
with Marvel Legends. The graphics are big and colorful and the figure is not
obstructed much by the sticker at the bottom of the bubble.
Sculpting - ***
Unless I'm horribly mistaken, Venom's body was once used for another figure,
most likely another Venom figure. The head, however, is a brand new sculpt
and it is tongue-tastic. I have to wonder if the same sculptor who did Venom
worked on the recent Hobgoblin's face sculpt. Big, waving tongues are in
this year, or more accurately, they are out.
The sculpt is very clean and is a far cry from the detailed, complex sculpt
of the first Venom. All of Venom's muscles are well defined, especially in
his legs. The figure's pointer finger on his right hand is extended and
arched, while the other fingers are clenched. If I had a choice, I would
have liked either all the fingers extended or none at all. The way it is, it
makes Venom look like his is pointing to himself.
Paint - ***1/2
I like the light blue wash, but some may not. The blue is most
noticeable on Venom's forehead and shoulders. I think without the wash the
figure may look too plain. The blue helps bring out the intricate details of
the sculpt. The veins in his tongue are painted a darker red than the rest
of the tongue and his teeth are a pastel green. I like the color choices and
have no qualms whatsoever about the paint applications. I could have given
Venom a four in this category, but there's always room for improvement.
Articulation - **1/2
Once again, these figures are not Marvel Legends. While Spiderman was the
originator of the super posable figure and continues to be in this series,
Venom is not treated as well. As I mentioned earlier, this is not a new
sculpt, so the articulation is not as up to date as I would have liked it.
No triple jointed elbows or knees and no thigh joints. The fingers have a
joint, but there's no wrist articulation. Venom does have ball-jointed
shoulders, but they're not the Marvel Legend kind that allows the arms to
bend over the body. Despite all the missing articulation, Venom still has
toe joints. That struck me as odd. Also of note, when you rotate the figure
at the waist, there is a noticeable clicking noise, almost as if the figure
had a whiplash action feature that was removed. I don't remember what figure
this body was originally used for, so that is entirely possible.
Accessories - ***
Venom comes with an Alien Ooze Base! The package art uses the
exclamation point, so they must be pretty excited about this accessory. I
probably shouldn't give this base such a high score for several reasons.
First, the "bendy" arms do not bend. In fact, mine started to
break when I applied pressure. The hand sections are glue to the arm section
right about where the wrist would be. The plastic has some give, but I would
never call it bendy like the packaged does. Also, I hate ooze. I hated it
with the Ghostbusters, I hated it with the Ninja Turtles and I especially
hate it with the recent WWE Grapple Gear sets. So, that green glop will be
staying inside his cylindrical container. The reason I gave the base a three
is that it just looks so funny. Look how happy that symbiot looks, his smile
is so big. How can't you love him? The brick wall is also well done and
sculpted and painted on both sides. It probably would have got a four if it
didn't come with that stupid ooze. I hate that stuff!
Value - ****
I found this bugger at Wal-Mart, so he was about $6.77, which is less than
most action figures cost these days. I remember when all figures cost $4.99,
but they were no where as detailed or articulated. I suppose the value has
remained pretty consistent with inflation and all. Venom is short packaged
at one per case, which makes him the Dr. Doom of the Spiderman assortment.
That also means, at least to me, that he is worth more than the rest of the
line. All in all, he's a great deal.
Overall - ***
If only he had better articulation, he would have easily scored a
perfect four. Depending on whether or not you keep your figures MOC, you
could add another half-star to his score. While not perfect, I will prefer
this version of Venom over the original sculpt from the first Spiderman
Where to Buy -
Wal-Mart would be the first place to check, but both Toys R Us and
KayBee should have the figure as well.
Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.