The Spider-Man Classics Venom in today's review is weird, but it wasn't made up by ToyBiz or Phil Ramirez - at least, not entirely.
Back in 1994, Fleer did their first set of Spider-Man trading cards. The first few dozen cards in the set were designed so that when they were put in a typical 9x9 card sleeve, they would create a larger picture. The first nine cards were all about Spidey's powers, but the second nine were all about Venom. Because it was 1994.
Does the card on the middle left look familiar at all?
Yes, 1994 Fleer Spider-Man card #13, "Living Costume," was the inspiration for the 2001 Classics figure. Why that one? We still couldn't say.