Released quite a while after Spider-Man 3 had departed the box office, Marvel Minimates waves 17 and 18 were both based on this property. Here we have a pack which really highlights the alien symbiote – Transformation Spider-Man and the fearsome Venom.
Since wave 14 Marvel Minimates have been packaged in closed cartons with a cardboard J-Hook. While this has the disadvantage of not being able to see the figures you’re buying it does give a nice broad canvas for the DST packaging designers to go mad with. Both waves 17 and 18 have the same background of a New York cityscape as if seen through a fish eye lens. It’s quite a departure in style for the Marvel packaging and is very effective. Superimposed against the background are the (by now) standard 3/4 length view of the figures within. The only jarring element is that big black expanse of card where the Minimates logo sits. I imagine it didn’t stand out too well against the cityscape but there are plenty of other ways to emphasise the logo.
The back of the card features a full size photo of all the figures in the wave. Someone’s had a lot of fun with the design as Spidey and Venom are both hanging upside down from the top of the card.
Transformation Spider-Man (Spider-Man 3)
Peter Parker discovers the true nature of the symbiote costume and tries to remove it. The costume’s not having any of it.
The features on this ‘mate have been well done, but don’t really do it any favours. The expression is great, the gritted teeth and screwed up eyes really sell the effort that Peter is going through to get rid of the symbiote (though some, less charitable souls may mention the phrase ‘laying a cable’ while others may mention the words ‘vinegar’ and strokes’ in the same sentence). Unfortunately that same expression means that this is one of the least versatile ‘mates out there. It certainly couldn’t be used in a diorama of other heroes, and the chestpiece could only really be used on one of the Eddie Brock ‘mates.
The chest piece itself is also a great design, there’s lots of detail moulded into it and it really does look like it’s battling with Peter. The torso under the chest piece is also well detailed though unfortunately the back of the torso is undecorated.
The rest of the mate is standard black costume Spider-Man, which is OK in itself but suffering from being less detailed than last years Wizard World LA preview figure.
Transformation Spider-Man comes with no accessories.
In conclusion, it’s not a bad Minimate, just very limited by its own design. It’s a dramatic look, but one that comes at the expense of any playability, and that’s not really what Minimates should be about.
MMC Score – 5 out of 10
Venom (Spider-Man 3)
Just like the comics, the movie version of Eddie Brock hates Peter Parker and Spider-Man. By coincidence he becomes merged with the symbiote costume that Peter Parker’s just managed to get rid of. What are the chances?
This Venom ‘mate has a great face. The eyes have a gleefully evil set to them and the mouth is big enough to display a scarily pointy toothed grin. I’d have liked the mouth to have been a bit larger, after all Venom is all about exaggeration, but I’m fairly happy with what I see.
Unlike the comic versions of symbiote (black-suited) Spidey and Venom, the webbing lines from Spidey’s regular costume are carried over. On Venom these are slightly corrupted, the patterns don’t quite meet up and there are loose threads here and there. It’s a cleverly subtle update on the part of the movie costume designers and it looks good here. It has to be said that it would have looked so much better if the print had been done in the same fashion as the Wizard World LA Black Suited Spider-Man, as neither the webbing nor Venom’s chest symbol really leap out at you.
Venom’s been given new clawed hands, and a powerhouse style chest block. A good move as he’s a much larger character than Spidey. What did occur to me while reviewing this wave of figures is that Venom could really have done with his face being printed on a head sleeve similar to that of J Jonah Jameson or Unmasked Black-Suited Spider-Man. The head sleeve makes the head that little bit larger which would have given the ‘mate more mass and more of a canvas for that evil expression.
Venom has no accessories.
In conclusion, a very good translation of the Movie Venom. I’m a fan.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan