Cliffbee.com: Venom Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Venom
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Psychological Warfare
Alternate Mode: Cicada



CICADA MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   An orange and green cicada, Venom has an orange head with red eyes on either side, an orange abdomen and transparent orange wings. His thorax is grass green die cast metal and his legs are independently poseable grass green plastic legs. The two green shades aren't exactly the same, but close enough that you don't really notice the difference. He has some light grey patterns on top of the abdomen, rounding off a simple and well laid out colour scheme.

   Venom's a pretty good robotic cicada, and like all the Deluxe Insecticons, the mould is designed to really look like a cicada. The wings all swing back and forth, the wings can swing out to the sides, revealing that he doesn't have the smaller set of wings that cicadas' have under the main pair. This doesn't really bother me, since it'd make for more insect kibble in robot mode.

   The upside is that there's not really any robot kibble in this mode. Venom doesn't suffer from the blockiness that the regular Insecticons (Shrapnel and co) do, so the entire toy is devoted to being a bug in this mode. The rubsign is on the left side of the thorax, on it's side. Not the best spot for a rubsign, but thus mould wasn't designed to carry one so I guess Hasbro had to make do. Mine has no rubsign anwyay.

   It's a pretty good cicada mode, about as anatomically correct as I'd expect a robotic cicada to be, and I can't really think of any major flaws, except maybe a couple of possible weak points in the plastic (leg joints, wing bases), but then the plastic used is pretty good quality anyway.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fiddly and difficult to describe, basically the sides of the thorax pop out and extend to become the arms, the head swivels around (the cicada eyes are the joints!), the abdomen unfolds into the robot legs. The insect bits sit on his back - the legs sweep backwards and end up pointing down, out of the way, while the sit a little awkwardly behind the robot arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 10cm

   Still essentially orange and green, but now with added grey, Venom's torso and kneecaps are green, his thighs, shoulders, feet and hands are grey while his forearms and shins are orange. The head, which is a swivelled insect head, is orange with a red eyestrip and red spheres on the sides (the bug eyes), as well as a tall, skinny, green crest on top, which looks like a stinger, although cicadas don't have stingers, so it's purely a robot mode decoration - which is a nice touch. This colour scheme works, in fact it's probably better than that of the cicada mode, since the grey makes it a little more interesting.

   Venom's one of the first Transformers with ball and socket joints, but they're pretty much wasted. His shoulders are ball joints, but the insect wings attach to his waist and get in the way of the arms - he can't rest his arms by his sides - so they rest at about 40. The hips swing, as do the knees and the feet hinge (since they fold out from inside the shins), giving Venom above average poseability for a G1 toy. In fact, he's probably the most articulated of the Deluxe Insecticons, even if his arms are somewhat limited.

   The wings bother me, they're effectively insect kibble the designer's been unable to stow effectively, but they do give this mode wings that an either stick out to the sides or sweep back behind his shoulders, so he has a wingspan in this mode. The other problem Venom has in this mode is some minor proportion issues. The arms are a little shorter than they should be and the waist is wider than the hips - even ignoring the wing joints at the waist.

   Despite it's problems, this is still a fairly good robot mode, and Venom retains a very insect like aesthetic. The colours work, and he has good articulation despite the wings being in the way.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Venom is actually my least favourite Deluxe Insecticon, but that only means he's the worst of a good bunch. The colours are great, he's very cicada like - even in robot mode. The cicada mode is great, I just wish the wings were dealt with better in robot mode. Despite his flaws, Venom's still a toy I recommend - especially if you like cicadas - 7/10

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