In 2020, as part of a wider Venom comic-book wave of Marvel Legends, Hasbro brought us a figure of the new Tom Hardy live action Venom from his 2018 movie. The figure was most likely originally planned to take advantage of the sequel which should have been released in Autumn 2020 but was delayed due to Covid 19.
Our Venom release uses the usual Marvel Legends packaging with the 2018 movie logo sitting at the base of the figure window. Down each side are art panels with the face of Venom, although these are sadly cut off quite a bit and would have benefitted from being zoomed out and showing more of the character.
The back of the box uses an image of the figure, which is a bit of a throwback as the more recent movie based figures have used character imagery from the movie. Just to the side of the image is a very brief piece of background text.
"Failed reporter Eddie Brock is hijacked by an alien entity that takes a liking to Earth and decides to protect it"
Venom is accessed via either of the side panels and slides out contained in an inner plastic tray which itself sits in a cardboard inner tray which has been forming the figure backdrop in the packaging. This cardboard piece is a smoky blue design which is very indicative of the movie and some of the scenes.
Out of the box, and Venom is a big figure standing just over 7.5 inches tall. He is cast predominantly in black plastic with a lot of texture built into the cast body rather than a smooth buck. The lightning features are painted into the chest and shoulders and are more or less as we saw on screen, perhaps a little thicker and defined in places. Similar effects are painted on the forearms and onto the hands.
The figure includes two head sculpts. The one fitted to the figure on arrival is the more iconic Venom look with his tongue snaking out of his gaping mouth. The second head is a closed mouth smiling version. Each head is cast again in black with the white eyes painted on as is the teeth detail in a bone yellow with pink gums. There is a bit of a glitch of painting on my open mouth head with the front two teeth seemingly painted slightly thicker than the others which looses a bit of detail and makes them look a bit odd close up.
The head swap out OK, but the closed mouth head is a very tight fit on the neck peg. While the inclusion of two heads is great, there is a feeling that a partially absorbed Tom Hardy head would have taken this figure up a notch.
Along with the alternative heads, Venom includes a second set of hands. This gives us the option for open clawed hands or closed fist hands. Both hands are painted with the lightning effect to line up to the forearms when orientated the correct way. Swapping the hands out is easy enough.
When Venom appears in comic book form in Legends he is often packed with a variety of symbiote weaponry and I cant help but feel at least one or more of that sort of weapon arm accessory would have again taken this figure from good to great.
Venom has a total of 19 points of articulation, including the chest ball joint and T-joint ab crunch combination.
Head : ball joint neck
Body : chest ball joint, T-joint ab crunch
Arms : ball joint shoulder, bicep swivel, double joint elbows, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker
The arms are fully mobile but might have benefitted from the additional shoulder butterfly joints. The head rotates on the peg fine and can lean forward, but not so much backward. This means if you lean the body forward the head cant straighten fully to keep looking forward. Adding a pivot to the neck peg could have achieved this - but instead they've gone with a single ball joint that only moves within the neck shape.
The legs are fully mobile including being able to bend into kneeling and crouching poses. The issue with the legs however is the ankle rocker that does not bend forward far enough. While the rocker allows the feet to be pointed down they cant turn up when the legs are bent in crouches. This inability to bend forward can also impact some of the poses and Venom, despite the bulk, is a pain to stand in a number of poses - you may need to consider a stand, but be warned there are no peg holes in the feet.
It is worth mentioning first off how great it is that Hasbro are bringing us figure from the Sony Universe which has not immediate link to the MCU. Venom and the incoming Spider-Verse figures brings a new dimension for Legends and I look forward to see how that develops both for new movies like Morbius, and perhaps existing movies like the original and amazing Spider-Man movies.
Venom is an imposing figure that is well proportioned, has good texture in the body and a decent enough execution of the lightning effects rippling through his chest and shoulders. The head sculpts are great, just checkout the paint apps if you can before hand as some heavy handed paint on the teeth can ruin the look.
Where Venom isn't quite so impressive is in the articulation. While the articulation count is good, the ankle joints don't offer full movement for a lot of poses and cause stability issues and the neck peg needed to be pivoted.
The box design is OK but has some odd choices like the side art and the reversion to the older picture of a figure on the back - perhaps this figure has been in development for some time?
My final build would have been an Eddie Brock head and at least one Venom symbiote weapon arm - even if that moved it to a Deluxe release. As it stands I score the Marvel Legends Venom from the 2018 movie a total of 3.5
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, marvel, legends, venom, eddie brock, hasbro