(Written by William)
Last week, we discussed the #76199 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Carnage bust (see: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Carnage Review), and today we will talk about the #76187 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Venom bust. I built the two sets one after another, so I will also compare them in the review below.
My first experience with the LEGO helmets line has been the #76165 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man Helmet. I personally had a good time building that set, but I also know that other people didn’t feel as positive about it. It’s rather sparse on details and some of the gaps in the model are fairly noticable. Now that I built the much more refined Carnage and Venom, I know I would have a much rougher time going back to Iron Man. It’s like Iron Man is the basic version and Carnage and Venom are the deluxe version. If you’re a collector, and you would like to get all three sets, I would suggest starting with Iron man, then build the other two.
CHECKING OUT THE LEGO VENOM BUST
The #76187 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Venom bust is broken into three numbered bags, like the other two sets in the collection. Fans will be pleased to note there are no stickers in this model, unlike the other head/helmet sets I’ve assembled.
The most prominent feature of the model is the mouth full of teeth. I must admit I didn’t think having Venom’s teeth in tan would look right. However, now that I built the set, I agree with the choice. The tan doesn’t look as stark and pristine as white would, and instead make the fangs appear stained and a bit more menacing. It would have been neat if the mouth could open and close, but, unfortunately, the jaw is not built to move.
At the base of the head, you might spy something odd. Below the chin are some transparent elements that simulate drool running from Venom’s mouth. It’s an interesting touch that utilizes the entire height of the model. The bits you see dripping from the bottom of the chin is not the only place you’ll see these transparent elements. But inside the mouth you will also use a decent number of parts to fill it with drool. Unfortunately, given the crazy number of teeth and long sinuous tongue, it is extremely hard to see that interior saliva.
This is probably the one feature that might disappoint fans. As a builder, you know where all the detailing is. Sadly, from a display point of view, it is lost with everything else going on with Venom’s mouth. Plus, how does the drool go straight through his chin? I’m surprised LEGO designers didn’t spend time building the liquids dripping from the sides of his chin. My guess is that since they couldn’t figure out how to make it look like the drool was dripping from his teeth – as is usually depicted in the comics – this was the closest compromise that could be done.
As for the rest of the model, LEGO designers did a great job covering the gaps where there are transitional elements. This is partly made easier by the model being all black, as the dark color goes a long way in hiding the creases. Overall, this model is well done, though you might be curious how it compares to Carnage.
COMPARING THE SYMBIOTES
The #76199 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Carnage and the #76187 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Venom are more or less color swaps. Much of the building from the interior structure to even the eyes are built the same. That’s not to say they are completely identical. Below are the main differences.
Venom comes with tongue and drool where Carnage does not. Carnage features detailed stickers and color variations, bringing more depth and dimension to the model. I noticed on the back section of the head of Carnage, that LEGO designers used stacked wedge plates instead of a wedge brick like on Venom. That is probably due to the parts chosen having only been produced in certain colors. And of course, the signage is unique to each model.
If you are looking for having a unique building experience with each model, you are not going to get that with these two sets. However, chances are, if you are a fan of either, it will be hard to resist not having the other. And you might even find the minor differences interesting. At the very least, they can help you figure out how to make small alterations.
Having the two models side by side, it’s clear that Venom having the tongue and drool really make him stand out, while the more intricate detailing on Carnage serves him well. I do think the ridging on the forehead works better on Carnage, though the all black of Venom does smooth that section out through optical illusion. In the video below, I will show you the set in more detail.
I do have a feeling that Carnage is going to be harder to find. Whether this is because of how much edgier he is as a character or if LEGO did produce these sets in different amounts, I think the availability will skew people in thinking that Carnage is the more valuable model. Time will tell if my feelings on the matter become true, but to be blunt, these are practically the same model in two colors.
Overall, I do think both are worth the price. And as I mentioned before, I can understand a bit better why people weren’t fond of the Iron Man helmet. These two sets do push the Super Hero line into a bit more sophisticated building. In fact, it makes me wonder, will Star Wars follow with more complex helmets/busts as well? After all, there are many alien heads in Star Wars. Of course, there are still a large number of popular helmets that could be done. But it is interesting to see that Super Heroes successfully went beyond the standard helmet constraint.
From a pure building experience, the #76199 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Carnage and the #76187 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Venom are fantastic examples of blending different angles together into very detailed shapes. They are far beyond the shaping of interesting roofs and slick cars. These sets feature nearly half a dozen different techniques to achieve something remarkable. So, if for no other reason than you want to build something different, you can’t go wrong with sets like these. Of course, you might want to try a character little less creepy, as Venom often wants to eat brains. And he’s not even a zombie! If you can believe it, Venom is often portrayed as an anti-hero, a sort-of good guy, weird…
What do you think? How do you like the new LEGO Carnage and Venom busts? And what do you think of LEGO making more adult-oriented sets like these? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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