A few weeks ago, the latest in the LEGO® 18+ ‘helmet’ set was previewed: Marvel’s Carnage (76199). Advertised as a Target Exclusive in the USA, with no other international media supporting its existence, the world became a little anxious: will this be a regional exclusive, associated with an event that never happened (Note: we were reassured 2 years ago that the idea of a regional exclusive was gone, although event exclusives – read Star Wars Celebration and Comic-Con, and retailer exclusive, within certain makets remain).
And then a few days later, Carnage appeared on LEGO.com, along with this year’s Star Wars helmets – Darth Vader and Scout Trooper. We have subsequently seen helmet models for Venom (76187) and Batman (76182 )revealed.
I have been fortunate to reveive a pre release copy of the Carnage helmet for prerelease review – so without any further ado…
Carnage 76199 is perhaps not technically a helmet, so much as an alien symbiote engulfing the body of serial killer Kletus Cassidy, but thwere is no doubt that he has an extremely distintive physiognomy.
The Box is similar in form to the boxes seen for the previous Helmet models, and the black box works quite well here. Carnage is labelled as ‘Assembled from the Spider Man Universe.’ The set has 546 pieces and costs $89.99 AUD; £54.99;€59.99; $59.99 USD It will be released in the USA on April 11, and the Rest of the World May 1, 2021.
There are 6 bags in the box, 2 each labelled 1,2 and 3.
We see a number of black sloped and plates: similar to previous Star Wars and Marvel Helmets, as well as a collection of red plates and slopes. There are no new molds in this set, but there are a vew recolours – including a few pieces appearing in light purple for the first time: in this bag we have the 1×4 brick with 4 studs on the side (6351893), the 2×2 plate with corner cut off (6351894) and the 6×3 double wedge plate (6353259).
Construction starts in a similar way to the Star Wars helmets – and the base is essentially identical.
The head starts as a box, without a roof or back wall. The front of the box features a wall of light purple, which will be the back of his mouth. There are also a significant number of forward facing studs, to attach the forward detail to later.
Lots of red plates, and black plates: both square and wedged. We also see a collection of Bright purple 1×2 plates with a clip on top (6132426) – new in this colour. The 5×6 hexagonal flag is also a new colour. The curved wedge brick element in red (6351897;6351898) is not new, but has not been seen in red since 2008.
This model nicely demonstrates the way in which the nx6 curves slopes fit under this curved shell element, as you can see here.
We build up the back and sides of the head with SNOT Bricks and apply the rear of the head.
We build up a stack of wedge plates and tiles, and these attach nicely onto the top of the head.
We add some hinges, as well as a row of clips, which will hold onto Carnage’s upper teeth. the Black flag is attached to some bars at the top of the stand. Handy hint: Apply this sticker as close to the clip end of the flag as possible. This will help avoid unnecessary shadows at the back of the mouth.
After this, we start work on the eyes: it turns out that these are not exactly symmetrical. These attach onto the hinges, and that brings us to the end of this bag.
There are some new recolours in this bag, including the inverse curved slope in light purple (6351891), the red 2×2 triangular tiles, and the 2×2 bright purple plate with only 2 studs on(6293401). We also have our printed 4×6 plate, with studs around the edge – similar to that seen with the Star Wars Helmets, as well as last year’s Iron Man helmet.
This bag starts with constructing the forehead, featuring the versatile 3×2 shield element, which attaches to the bright purple plates with clips. Plainly, this element could have been any colour, but introducing it in this colour here means that is is now potentially available for any bright purple projects people have under way!
The surface of the forehead, as well as the plates around the temporal region are all smooth read elements. Of course, this doesnt really adequately express the way that Carnageshould appear, and so we have 12 stickers to help us along the way. I was impressed at how easy they were to apply in a reasonably smooth fashion, but I was perpetuallly worried that I was about to attach one upside down. Overall, I think they look good, but printed elements could have worked well in this situation.
We also construct the sides of the head here- and the style here is different to the top and back – predominantly shaped with round/ curved plates rather than curved slopes or angles wedge plates.
Finally, we put together Carnage’s mandible. The tooth/blade elements work well here – it is attached ultimately at the proximal end using a small ball joint. The central region is linked using a 1×2 plate with bars at each end.
The connection of the proximal end is ultimately a little fiddly to attach to the main part of the head.
Ultimately, the head captures the essence of Carnage, looking suitably aggressive. I feel that the lower jaw protrudes a bit further forward than is represented in some of the source material. There are some aspects of the source material that could have been handled a little better. Comic books aren’t held back by real world lighting: one of the aspects that makes Carnage’s look is the contrast between his black teeth and the illuminated tissues in the back of his mouth. Unfortunately, the bulk of his teeth do result in lots of shadows in the back of the mouth. At least, using the lightest current shade of purple/pink ensures that the contrast is maximised in the build. However, strong lighting is requied to best demonstrate this contrast.
There are a few aspects of this build that I really appreciate: the top and sides of the head are studded plates- curved on the sides, angled on tope and then utilising curved slopes/regular slopes on the back. I was surprised by the fact that this mixture of techniques did not feel inappropriate: it comes together nicely!
I appreciate the fact that we get some elements that have not been seen previously – especially in the light purple. This is a colour that seems to get ‘injections’ through sets from time to time. D.Va and Rhieinhart from Overwatch springs to mind as a previous example.
I have not, historically, been a fan of Carnage – not disliking him, more just ignorant. If you are a fan, I’d love to know what you think of the way this looks: from the front, and from above, he looks appropriate, but the underbite feels a little extreme to me. I give the set 3/5 Arbitrary Praise Units.
Carnage is due to appear in the second Venom movie, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Unfortunately, the release date has just been pushed back to September, having previously been pushed back to june 2021 from October 2020. Hopefully this set will continue to be available, and feel relevant when the movie finally comes around.
I’d love to know what you think of this model: Are you a fan? Does the design appeal to you? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time….
This set was provided by the AFOL Engagement Team for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
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