76187: Venom Head Sculpt: Hands On Review

When we saw the Carnage head sculpt unveiled a few weeks ago, the first thing I heard asked was, ‘Where’s venom?’ The next thing we knew, we had Venom appearing in the catalogue, and we were asking, ‘Where’s Spiderman?’ Now, we still don’t have the answer to that one.

I have had the opportunity to build the Venom head sculpt (Helmet is just wrong, and it is not, technically, a bust) thanks to the AFOL Engagement team of the LEGO Group. The set is now available, has 565 elements and costs $AUD89.99;$USD59.99 €59.99; £54.99

Venom is an alien symbiote, who first appeared in Amazing Spiderman #282 in 1984. It integrates with a host, drawing on aspects of their memories and personality, but also granting them great strength.

My first impression was, ‘Hmmm….just like Carnage, except it’s black, there are no stickers, and we have a tongue’ So why did I enjoy building it so much more?

The set comes in the same black box, with a picture of the model on the front. It has some images from the comic on the back, and there are 3 numbered bags on the inside, just like Carnage. And then, almost as soon as Ann started laying elements out on the tray, I could see that there were a couple of things serving to differentiate the sets. Not many, but enough for me to find that my head was flooding over with new ideas.

Bag 1

As soon as you look at bag one, you might be thinking the same: Black, Red and Transparent Neon Green. Is this set in fact a disguised M-Tron parts pack? You be the judge. But more on that later.

This build looks very similar to the same bag we had with Carnage, although I don’t recall the neon colours in that model. On the whole, the build starts off in the same way: The base follows the same structure as every other Helmet or head sculpt based on a Marvel/Lucasfilm – OK then, Disney – 8 stud square, technic 4×4 frame, some sloped bricks and… a glowing antenna.

We build up the basic box of the head, with lots of bright red SNOT bricks and brackets, compared with light purple in Carnage. However, we build up using predominantly black elements. The transparent neon green also appears as some hidden plates, deep in the construction.

Bag 2

Moving forward, we see plenty of bright purple 1×2 plates with clips, and brackets and SNOT Blocks. In conjunction with the black ‘flag’, a collection of tan teeth, a variety of black curved slopes, plates and wedge plates. We also have a few white tiles, used ultimately to form the eyes.

Let us quickly pause and remind ourselves why this neon yellow-green is hard to see: I broke out my trusty ultraviolet lamp and saw this stunning transformation.

The build continues in a similar way to Carnage: stacking up shells on top of the black curved slopes to create a nice organic curve while the stacked plates on top of the head appear a little more clinical.

As we work on the midface, we install the intimidating tan teeth. As you look past them, you see the red in the back of his pharynx. Bright purple clips hold the teeth in, providing a gum line, both in the maxilla and mandible. As we build the midface up, we also have some neon elements hanging down, like some form of putrid contaminated drool.

Finally, we add the eyes. There is a deliberate assymetry at play in their construction. The technique is used to give the model an organic look. It is effective; however, It is also a little disappointing to see that this is exactly the same asymmetry given to Carnage – perhaps it might work better as a mirror image to that model, or with an entirerly different version of the eyes.

Bag 3

Bag 3 sees us add the forehead, using the 2×3 shield elements, clipped into the modified bright purple plates.

The arched forehead works so well here, and even more so than with Carnage, if only becasue there are no stickers. Of course, the big shiny black slopes love to accumulate skin oils, and dust.

We build up the mandible – the jaw. Like Carnage, there is a grossly exaggerated underbite. I appreciate that most of the mouth is red, with a bright purple gum line. The tan teeth effectively contrast with the back of the mouth. I feel this is more effective than with Carnage, where bright colouring in the back of mouth is used in artwork to provide contast with the black teeth. In that sculpt, however, the light purples did not pop as much as they could, due to the shadows present. With the teeth in the contrasting colour, they really popped.

The Finished Model:

After completing the jaw, installing the tongue and placing the name plaque, the model is complete.

There are a couple of differences with regard to the Carnage build: the stickers, the drool, the tongue, and the 4×4 plate over his temple is all studs, as opposed to Carnage, where there are 4 studs, and a sticker. On the whole, I enjoyed this build. Proably more so than Carnage. Perhaps I have encountered Venom more frequently in movies? Let’s put them side by side. I’ll even do one with the black light…

Could These Be Setting Up ASuper Duper M-Tron Parts Pack?

The Glory of MTRON – 6956 Stellar Recon Voyager from 1990. Image: Brickset

If you have spent any time looking at Vintage Space sets, you might have noticed a recurring colour theme here…

Perhaps it was the M-tron vibes with Red/ Black and trans neon yellowish green? Lets put our images from the elements of both sets side by side. to see what we have:

Perhaps I am feeling that this might be the way to combine the elements from both of these sets? We have a couple of different wings, lots of plates and slopes in red and black, to say nothing of the neon elements.

In each of these models, there are around 150 elements that do not fit in with the 90’s space theme, M-Tron. That is around 800 elements out of 1100 full of glorious 90’s space bound goodness. Incorporate some or your existing white white plates, and you could create some Blacktron craft too.

I was feeling a bit ‘meh’ after building Carnage, and found myself pleasantly surprised at the end of this build. The sculpt is instantly recognisable, and the potential locked within the included elements is starting to cystallise. I am tempted to consider pulling them all apart, and putting a spaceship together. Tempted at this stage, but not sufficiently to do so. Not yet, any way. I give this build a 3.5 out of 5 Arbitrary Praise Units.

Do the sculpts appeal to you? do these packs appeal as a collection of elements? Why not leave you comments below, and until next time,

Play Well.

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

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