Last week I wrote my very first Marvel Select action figure review of the Marvel Select Venom by Diamond Select Toys. I bought that classic Venom figure because I couldn’t find the figure I really wanted locally–the Marvel Select Flash Thompson Venom. Luckily, after traveling about an hour to my third-closest Disney Store, I found a Venom Flash Thompson figure to call my very own. And while I’m not convinced he’s quiet as good as DST’s classic Venom, the Marvel Select Agent Venom figure is still very, very good…
I well and truly never expected an action figure of the Flash Thompson version of Venom to be released by any company (besides perhaps a Minimate), so I was thrilled when I heard Diamond Select Toys was making this Agent Venom figure. Whereas if Hasbro made him he’d likely have been an inaccurate repaint of Spider-Man or some such thing, Diamond Select did right by ol’ Flash.
Everything about this Marvel Select Venom Flash Thompson figure looks like it jumped right out of the pages of Rick Rememder’s “Venom” comic book series. From the subtle texture on the costume to the spiked knee and shoulder pads to the belt and collar, this is the definitive action figure of Flash Thompson as Venom. Just amazing, amazing work sculpting work here.
And not only is the sculpting stellar, but the paint work also blew me away. My Marvel Select classic Venom figure had some paint application issues with white and black bleeding onto each other noticeably. That’s not the case with the Marvel Select Agent Venom figure. There might be a speck of paint where it shouldn’t be here and there, but overall I’d have to say this is one of the cleanest and best-painted black-and-white figures I’ve ever seen.
Venom comes with two different small handheld guns, which I truly appreciate. All too often toy companies give dual-wielding figures the exact same weapon twice, but Agent Venom has two totally unique guns that both look like ones he’d genuinely use in the comics.
The working holster on Agent Venom’s belt works perfectly and is snug enough that his pistol doesn’t fall out constantly. The holster on his right leg works almost as well, though I’ll do some grumbling about that holster momentarily. The Venom figure also includes a base of debris that looks good, but is fairly unnecessary since Flash can stand stably with no problems without any outside support.
Scale-wise, Flash Thompson Venom is appropriately sized compared to the other Marvel Select figures. Classic Eddie Brock Venom towers over Flash Thompson Venom just as he should, and other enormous Marvel Select figures like Red Hulk will do the same. The Marvel Select Flash Thompson figure is a bit too large to be posed accurately with the Hasbro Marvel Legends figures, but his level of detail makes him look out of place with those anyway.
The Diamond Select Toys Flash Thompson Venom figure does all the big things right, but gets several little things wrong. Marvel Select Agent Venom’s shoulder-pads look awesome, but it’s a moot point when the ball joint they connect with is so loosely and tenuously attached that they fall off every time you move (or breathe on) his arms the slightest bit.
Likewise, I love the working holster on the Venom Flash Thompson figure’s right leg, but the peg on the strap is so weak that it’s next to impossible to make the holster close for more than a few seconds before the strap comes loose and starts flapping around again (at least on mine). Both of these are minor quality-control issues that become major paints in the butt when trying to pose the Marvel Select Venom figure, as it’s no fun to have pieces coming loose and falling off just when you’ve achieved a great pose.
Whereas I thought that the 16 points of articulation the classic Venom Marvel Select figure had were more than sufficient, the same doesn’t hold true for the Flash Thompson Venom Marvel Select action figure. Classic Venom is huge and monstrous and doesn’t necessarily need to be in any finesse-based poses, but Agent Venom has a tough time getting into a lot of poses and stances commonly seen in his comic book without ankle rockers, ball-jointed elbows, and double-jointed knees. The missing articulation isn’t a deal breaker, but it’s definitely more relevant here than it was on the classic Venom figure.
I like that Diamond Select Toys gave Venom two hands with trigger fingers that really go over the triggers of the guns–that’s always a nice touch. Unfortunately, both hands have a fairly look grip, so the guns (especially the pistol) are prone to falling out. In addition, the way that the Marvel Select Flash Venom figure holds the guns doesn’t look the most natural, and with the limited wrist articulation it can be tough to get either gun aimed precisely how you want.
Also, I hate that this Marvel Select Flash Thompson Venom figure is a Disney Store exclusive. I understand them having iconic and movie characters like Thor and the Andrew Garfield Amazing Spider-Man, but I just don’t ‘get’ why a figure like the Venom Flash Thompson figure who would do terrific in comic book stores should be relegated to the Disney Store. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to make a comic book-inspired modern Venom action figure exclusive to a store that most adult men would die before setting foot into (though I hit the Disney Stores myself frequently for their addicting Vinylmation figures).
The Marvel Select Flash Thompson Venom was a Disney Store exclusive in the winter that’s mostly sold-out now. Your best bet at acquiring him now is by looking for a deal on ebay, although Amazon has some at well (with inflated prices, unfortunately).
Overall: I really hemmed and hawed over assigning a grade to this Marvel Select Venom Flash Thompson figure. I love the figure a lot, so I wish I could give it an ‘A’, but this Agent Venom figure just has too many little flaws for that. Make no mistake, this Marvel Select Flash Thompson figure is a great action figure with amazing sculpting and fantastic paint apps. But little things like missing ankle rockers, the shoulder pads being too loose, the holster strap not working properly, and the hands not gripping the guns tightly hold this Marvel Select Venom figure back from being really great. Regardless, unless Hasbro is going to pull a real shocker, this is likely to be the best Flash Thompson Venom figure ever released, and it unquestionably deserves a spot in any fan of the modern Agent Venom.