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Brock Samson

The Venture Bros.
by yo go re

Here's to the power of perseverance!

Student of the great Hunter Gathers, former member of the OSI, and current member of SPHINX - Brock Samson is one bad dude. Trained to fight sharks, kill bears, and bed superspy ladies from all over the planet, there's no better babysitter in the world. Seriously, that's a big part of his job!

You may remember, last year, we had a blog post about how Bif Bang Pow! was trying to get Venture Bros. toys made - that's definitely where I first heard about them. After dragging their feet with Mego dolls, they were finally ready to get around to making some real action figures, but they needed to gauge interest first. So, much like the Mattel subscriptions or anyone who's made toys through Kickstarter, they tried to get enough preorders ahead of time. It didn't work - at least, not the way they intended. Instead of going into production on the whole series, they'd do them one at a time, starting with the Swedish Murder Machine, Brock Samson.

These figures are ostensibly done in a 3¾" scale, but Brock breaks the 5" mark - which would make him, like, 7'10" at full size. Is that right? I don't know, he lives in a cartoon world, why shouldn't it be? Sure, it would make more sense to assume he's in the 4½" scale of JLU, but for now we're taking BBP at their word. The sculpt of the figure does an excellent job of conveying the show's understated animated style. Brock's obviously muscular, but not cut or ripped. He's barrel chested and thick waisted, with long, sturdy legs to propel him into action!

The head isn't dead-on accurate to the animation model, but it's close enough to be recognizable. He has the curved jawline that sets him apart from the Bruce Timm superhero style, the big hooked nose, and of course, the golden mullet. The only thing keeping the head from looking like the drawings is the height - it needs to be squished down some.

When he's not jumping around like a madman, Brock moves a bit like a stiff gorilla. It even says so in the animators' guide! The figure has swivels at the neck, shoulders, waist and hips, and hinges for the elbows and knees. It's not a lot, but it makes him playable. Don't expect to have him tearing through the Monarch's henchmen in the most dynamic way imaginable, but he's playable. For some reason his feet are sculpted pointing down slightly, so the only way to get him to stand securely is to bend his knees back slightly. Was that intentional, or a molding error? Remember, JLU used to have the same kind of problem.

Brock has his two-way communicator watch, and it's sculpted and painted excellently, but it's also a molded part of his arm, so it doesn't count as an accessory. No, on that front, all he gets is his knife. His big, scary knife. It has sculpted lines on the hilt and a perfectly smooth blade. It can be held in either hand (both of which are sculpted in natural poses, not the usual "C-grip" many action figures have) or fit into the sheath that hangs from his belt.

The figure is seen here in his traditional black T-shirt and blue jeans, but at this year's SDCC there was a "bloody" variant wearing a white shirt and given some nice red apps. It wasn't different enough for me to worry about getting it, but you might feel differently.

The packaging is a simple blister card, one that's probably slightly larger than it needs to be. Considering that this line is more for the collectors than anyone else, we would have liked to see one of those "resealable" packages where the blister is just taped to the card and can slide off, rather than being glued. The background shows the Venture Industries Compound, suggesting that Brock is standing out there ready to fight off the next group of villains stupid enough to attack Dr. Venture or the boys.

When these figures were first solicited at $9.99, the price seemed high. But as other 4" figures have crept up in price, it's become more and more reasonable. Now, Brock's not up to GI Joe or Marvel Universe standards, but he's easily on par with Mattel's Infinite Heroes; and for an animated toy, that ain't bad! It's great that these figures are finally starting to see the light of day, because Brock Samson is awesome and deserved an action figure. A real action figure, not a doll. If you're a fan of the Venture Bros., this is a good offering. Now go buy him, so they can go into production on Hank Venture and Dr. Mrs. the Monarch.

-- 07/28/12

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