LEGO have been going hard into the helmet and bust market in 2021, with new offerings from Star Wars, and now Marvel Super Heroes.
Following on from my review of 76199 Carnage, here’s a quick review of his symbiote companion – Venom!
LEGO were kind enough to send an early review copy of 76199 Carnage, so I hope you enjoy this first look at the upcoming set!
Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review
76187 Venom Set Details
Venom has been going through a resurgence of late, thanks to the Tom Hardy films, and with the upcoming sequel Let There Be Carnage when it comes out in theatres in late September.
Comparisons with the Carnage helmet are inevitable, as the build is largely identical, except that you’re mostly working with black instead of red.
Like Carnage, I enjoyed the build, and welcomed the organic shapes, as opposed to the harsher more repetitive builds of the Star Wars helmets. There were slight variations to the build, and the lack of stickers also made it slightly more enjoyable, but the build remained more or less the same – building the core, and stacking plates, and curved slopes for the sides.
The end result though, is really satisfying – much more so than Venom. The build successfully highlights and shows off Venom’s key features.
The one thing that works particularly well for Venom’s head is the contrast – while the majority of the model is black, the whites of his eyes, mouthful of tan teeth, and bright red tongue sticking out are accentuated thanks to the dark background.
Here’s a look at the back of the Venom’s head.
There are some “sharp” angles that look a little awkward, especially around lower jaw but they aren’t that noticeable unless you specifically go looking for them.
Here’s how Venom looks from the front, and it’s apparent just how expressive the LEGO Designer Adam Grabowski made Venom look. For a static object, it oozes Venom’s mischievous and nefarious personality.
Venom’s teeth work far better than Carnage’s – the tan-coloured teeth are so much more contrasty, and employs great use of shadows in Venom’s inner mouth to give the teeth a more defined shape and look.
I also really like Venom’s bright pink gums which I think works way better than Carnage’s light pink gums.
Peering into Venom’s mouth, you’ll find some trans-green elements that represent toxic ooze/saliva pooling in between his teeth and dribbling off his chin, all the way to the bottom of the display base.
It’s a minor but very nice touch that gives the model another point of differentiation.
The tongue can also be swivelled in a variety of angles, and is the pièce de résistance of the entire model – the length, colour and posability of the tongue is crucial in tying the entire model together.
Just like Carnage, Venom also has that odd stud in his right eye, which looks like a stye – I still think it looks really awkward and looks really out of place – I understand the need to give Venom’s eyes some level of asymmetry, but it still bothers me.
And lastly, here’s how both Venom and Carnage look side by side. I think they look even better when put side by side, as you can better appreciate the differences between both Symbiotes’ striking colours.
Unfortunately, the side by side comparison also makes it abundantly clear that Venom is the far more attractive model, and if you had to pick one – I’d go with Venom.
What I liked:
- The build was quite interesting, and kept me engaged throughout
- Makes for a great display model, and looks great from all angles
- It’s one of the best Marvel “heads” yet
- No stickers
What I didn’t like:
- Build will seem repetitive and familiar especially if you own Carnage
- The awkward eye stud
- A little pricey for what you get
It goes without saying that 76187 Venom is the clear leader of all the Marvel helmets/heads/busts/whatever you want to call them so far.
The designers really used all the tools at their disposal to craft a highly detailed, and proportionally accurate to really bring Venom’s head to life, with all the facial features you’d expect from everyone’s favourite Symbiote.
Comparisons will inevitably be made to Carnage, but Venom really outshines Carnage in every single department – from the lack of reliance to stickers, to a more contrasty and attractive model, to tiny little details included such as the trans-green toxic spit.
Venom’s teeth and mouth are superb, and I’m amazed at how well Adam Grabowski managed to infuse the design with so much of Venom’s personality, especially with the simple but inspired use of the tongue piece and being able to swivel it around.
If you’re a fan of Venom as a character, or want to add a new Helmet/Bust to your collection, you can’t go wrong with Venom, especially if you already own Carnage. The only clear downside is the price, as at full price, I feel like you’re paying a bit of a premium for a display model, so fingers crossed you’ll be able to find one on sale, or with a decent GWP.
It’s really clear that this series of Marvel helmets/heads are working really well, and it goes without saying that I cannot wait for them to drop a Spider-man head to complete the trio.
Rating and score: 4/5 ★★★★✰
Build  – The build was quite brisk, had some interesting techniques and kept me engaged throughout
Real Value  – The price is a little high for what you get, especially with no printed elements apart from the display plaque
Innovation  – Techniques for the mouth and teeth are great, especially with the great use of colour, shadows and contrast
Coolness  – Venom is a massive name in the Marvel/Spider-verse and has plenty of fans, so this will absolutely make a statement
Keepability  – LEGO seem to be driving hard on helmets, so if you are collecting them, there’s added incentive to have the entire collection.
Thanks so much for reading my review of 76187 Venom! Hope you enjoyed this, and be sure to also check out my review of its companion – 76199 Carnage
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Special thanks to the LEGO Group for providing this set for review.