I'm not sure how I feel about the Marvel Select Venom on general principle. Once upon a time, Diamond Select was filling a very vital need by providing the characters that toymakers like Toy Biz and Hasbro failed to give us; things like Thanos, Uatu the Watcher, Cloak & Dagger, zombie versions of characters, and so on (as well as larger versions of characters who should be big). Diamond Select was filling a very clear need. However, as their line expanded and there was a broader base of characters that everybody else had already put out, their energies seem to be increasingly redirected into filling the holes in their own line-up which seems like a tremendous waste.
Don't get me wrong, I think the Marvel Select Venom looks fantastic. He's got a sick headsculpt, great claws, and so forth, but at the same time there are so many untouched characters that they could have been doing instead of one who's had dozens figures on roughly the same scale already.
At any rate, the figure seems to come with several parts not pictured here like an alternate head (with Eddie Brock's face partially uncovered) and an over-sized accessory on the back (multiple heads with several arms). Apparently there's also the option to display him tongue in or out, although I'm not sure if that's a separate head or a removable tongue with mouth articulation (which would be very cool). Either way, BBTS already has him up for pre-order.
We also got a closer look at the Rhino, whom really looks solid. I still wonder if his neck will be able to crane all the way up for charging poses, though. Pay attention to the costume texturing and solid use of color.
Just going by this photo, I'd be strongly tempted to say he even looks better than the Toy Biz boxset Rhino and the size is just going to work a bit better with a 6-inch Spidey (so Rhino can really tower the way he should). BBTS still has him available for pre-order and I would say he definitely looks worth picking up.
I'm not sure if Diamond Select's "Retro" line sells well but I'm happy that it's continued for the Universal Monsters brand. I also can't recall if I previously saw the Phantom of the Opera and the Metaluna mutant (from This Island Earth) in this format but the Phantom looks phantastic (kinda forced that pun there). Both are scheduled for September 2013.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Bride of Frankenstein from the same series (which I previously drooled over) will be hitting retail this September. Can't wait to get my Gillman on and I'm tempted to find me a Bride as well.
I don't get what's going on with the Battle Beasts line. Why's there a human there?! Why are you doing this, Diamond Select?
At any rate, the kick-ass walrus is apparently named "Gruntos" which, by the way, is neither cool nor amusing. Why they couldn't have gone with Walrussell or Walterus or even Wallyrus is beyond me but hey, I'm not getting paid big bucks to name cool monsters (although I wonder how you land a job like that). The important things is that the sculpt is really cool despite kinda looking like he has a double layer of boobs. There's a significant achievement in being able to rock a look with that.
I'm also really digging the scorpion and snake. For a while I was worried that the Battle Beasts line would just look like a Mini-Mates spin-off but Diamond Select has managed to give it a certain amount of identity.
While I'm not much of a Star Trek fan, I can see the "Retro Cloth" Kirk and Spock going over well with fans as there's a certain amount to charm to both of their designs. The multiple shades of plastic on Kirk is definitely reminiscent of the level of quality seen in some older lines which helps sell the nostalgia.
Before William Daniels was a teacher/principal on Boy Meets World, he was a car... well, to clarify, he was the voice of Kitt on the show Knight Rider. And going from a ride this sweet to being a teacher is definitely something of a downgrade, even if he got actual face time.
At any rate, you can buy this 1:15 scale vehicle for about 1:1500 the cost of what the full-sized car with all the trimmings might run you or, to put it more plainly, US$60 (vs maybe US$90k for an intelligent, snarky talking car with crazy gadgets). If you're either a fan of the show or 80s references, this may be the ride for you.
The Street Fighter X Tekken Mini-Mates case looked like there had been a brawl of some sort (and Rolento clearly lost). That Kuma is pretty darn cute.
Anyway, for coverage on Star Trek ships, Expendables merch, other Marvel Select figures, far more Mini-Mates (including Walking Dead ones), etc, be sure to check the photo gallery.
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