So, I had originally planned on looking at DC Collectibles Starfire today, but my figure turned out to be all kinds of broken, so I’m working on getting a replacement. I also just made up a new rule. If a DC figure fumbles too badly to be reviewed then Marvel gets to take the ball. I suppose the reverse would be the case. Fair is fair. Anyway, today’s figure, Agent Venom, comes from that curious new breed of Walgreens Exclusives. Nope, that’s not a typo. I didn’t mean to say Walmart. As odd as it seems, Walgreens is indeed asserting their presence in the action figure game by signing exclusive deals with companies like Hasbro, Funko, and even Character Options to make them the only source for certain characters from Marvel, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. I actually had some luck getting one of the Doctor Who exclusives, but my hunt for Agent Venom proved fruitless. Luckily, thanks to this awesome dude, I was able to get me an agent Venom without having to carve out a piece of my kidney for him on Ebay. Although, his price on the secondary market does seem to be calming down.
I’ve got no packaging to show you, as I just asked that he be mailed to me loose or in a tray or whatever way possible. Suffice it to say, Agent Venom comes in a package very similar to what we’ve been seeing in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Infinite line. Since there is no packaging to speak of, I’ll take the opportunity here to say that this was a character I desperately wanted in the Legends line. Flash Thompson is a fantastic and compelling character to me on every level. I loved that he didn’t get left out of the Superior Spider-Man run. Some of the interchanges between him and Doc Ock were priceless. And Agent Venom’s involvement in the affairs of Spider-Island was easily my favorite thing about that whole story arc. Well, him and J. Jonah, of course. It was cruel blow to find out that Flash was going to be a hard to find exclusive, and I’m really thrilled to have him in hand.
Cast entirely in black plastic, Agent Venom is an imposing looking figure. The sculpt here is fantastic and I’m particularly fond of the armor pieces that look like a cross between sports equipment, riot gear, and crustacean parts. You get a mix of what looks like fabricated straps with that cool bumpy texture that looks and feels a bit like natural shell. Most of the torso bulk comes from a soft rubbery vest that’s laid on over the figure’s buck, which thankfully has the shoulder pads attached. This means that they can flop up and down to avoid hindering the shoulder articulation. It works so much better than putting them on a hinge as I don’t have to worry about them popping off like the ones on the Space Armor Iron Man figure included in the recent Guardians wave. The paintwork on the figure consists almost entirely of his white markings. I know some have complained about rough paint on this figure, but I’m actually pleased with mine. I think the paint itself could have been laid on a little thicker, as the black tends to bleed through in some areas, but apart from that the lines are pretty crisp and there’s no slop to speak of.
In addition to all that great armor, Agent Venom sports a well stocked equipment belt, which is all sculpted in one piece. The belt features enough pouches to make both Rob Liefeld and Deadpool jealous. He’s also got a canteen, smoke grenades, regular grenades, and a combat knife. Oh yeah, he’s also got a sculpted hip holster with a permanently attached automatic. And the silver paint on that gun is the only other paint on the figure apart from those white markings. Wait, what? The gun doesn’t come out of the holster? Boo. Agent Venom needs weapons!
Well, ask and you shall receive. Flash actually comes with four guns. You get a pair of gray automatic pistols, a gray sub-machine gun, and a black pistol with a laser scope (oh, look! One more paint hit!) mounted under the barrel. Nice! And like a lot of other people who get this figure, I’ll be giving those matching pistols to my Winter Soldier Black Widow who also suffered from Guns-sculped-into-the-holster Syndrome.
In addition to an embarrasment of guns, Agent Venom also comes with a single piece of four tendrils that plugs into his back. The ends of the tendrils are sculpted into little “hands” to hold his guns, although this feature works with somewhat mixed results. It’s still a very cool option.
The articulation on this figure is great. There are no mushy joints and all the right points are there. His arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the gloves. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, although they are those somewhat frustrating ones that require you to reposition the joint to make it work in different positions. The legs have double hinged knees, swivels at the top of the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. Agent Venom can swivel at the waist, and despite wearing the vest he can still hinge forward and backward a bit in the torso. He also has a hinge and a generous ball joint in the neck. He’s well balanced and loads of fun to play with!
Man, do I love this figure and I am absolutely thrilled to add him to my Legends shelf. Whether or not Walgreens having exclusive figures pans out to be a benefit or headache to collectors remains to be seen. On the plus side, I’ve got at least three Walgreens within a 20 minute radius of my home, whereas the nearest Toys R Us is about an hour away. On the downside, distribution seems to have been a little spotty so far, but I suppose we need to give it time. In the case of Agent Venom, however, we have a figure that was cancelled from a previous wave and then still left out when that wave found it’s way to TRU’s shelves. As a result, I would have been happy to get this figure in my hands no matter who wound up offering it. Hey, Walgreens, how about that red Legends Deadpool? Maybe you can work your mojo with Hasbro and get your hooks into that one too!