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Movie Venom

Venom Legends
by yo go re

Venom was played by Tom Hardy. Tom Hardy played Bane. Bane gets his powers from a drug called Venom. It's all connected! *gestures wildly at Pepe Silvia corkboard*

Failed reporter Eddie Brock is hijacked by an alien entity that takes a liking to Earth and decides to protect it.

Sony had a real battle ahead of them with their Venom movie. Not only was it a Spider-Villain movie made entirely without any Spider-Man connection at all, it was also Sony's one chance to prove they could make successful Marvel movies without needing Disney to hold their hand through the process. Remember, this was during the period when Disney was trying to squeeze them for more money, counting on fans like us to cast Sony as the bad guys in the interaction; if Sony had faltered, they'd have been at Disney's mercy. And you can tell it was far from a sure thing, because we don't get a movie toy until two years after the movie came out.

We get two Venom heads, but no Eddie Brock head. We've asked this before, but do Marvel movies not include likeness rights in the contracts for their villains? Or anti-heroes, as the case may be? Electro, Vulture, Mysterio... none of them get to look like their actors. And sure, Venom doesn't really show us an unmasked Eddie on Venom's body, but there's the scene that's been public knowledge since the trailers where the symbiote peels back to show half a human face, so why not give us that? The ones we do get are good - one with the tongue hanging out, the other just grinning evilly - but they could have done more.

The body is new, and it's huge. He stands more than 7½" tall, and is an entirely new sculpt. They've made him beefy and muscular, as he should be, and there's a texture to the suit rather than just being smooth and featureless. He's barefoot, judging by the splayed toes and their pointy nails, and you get your choice of open hands or fists.

One of the challenges of doing a Spidey-less Venom movie is the lack of a big white spider on his chest. It's iconic, but there's no reason for him to have it if he's not Spidey's suit first. But you also want the character to be more than just a solid black pile of goo with milky white eyes, so what's do be done? Well, why not put some pale veins on his skin, concentrated around the chest (where the spider symbol would be) and the backs of the hands (the patches where his webs shoot from). The effect works better in the movie than on the toy - they're a little too vibrant, and a little too constrained, so it looks more like they were trying to paint lightning on him than veins. Getting them done really accurately would have required a ton more work, I'm sure, so this is better than not attempting it at all.

Taking a cue from the Overwatch Ultimates, Venom has a balljointed chest and hinged stomach, giving him a very nice range of motion. There are also swivel/hinge ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, and a balljointed head. He's massive, but the joints hold their position just as you'd want them to. There are no accessories (he doesn't shoot webs, just drags himself around by tendrils of symbiote), and not even a BAF Venompool part.

He even gets his own packaging: while all the other figures in this line are in white boxes with a black logo, Venom's is black with a white logo.

Venom wasn't a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was good enough. The trailer made it look like an R-rated alien/slasher gorefest, while what we really got was a buddy cop action movie. That just so happened to have an alien space monster as one of the cops. It worked as an origin, and proved you don't need Peter Parker to make Venom work, opening the door for an entire Sonyverse in case Disney gets grabby again.

-- 11/14/20

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