Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Carnage (Marvel Legends)


Sure, it’s lines like Star Wars, GI Joe, and He-Man that defined the action figure, but it’s Marvel Legends and McFarlane that made the modern toy line. While McFarlane Toys forced sculpting into brand-new levels of detail, Marvel Legends, created by Toy Biz, redefined articulation.  For about fifteen years, Marvel Legends figures have been top-of-the-line in movable, poseable joints.  This line singlehandedly made the 6″ scale an industry standard, and developed all sorts of things taken for granted now.  And it has survived the fall of Toy Biz, since it’s now produced by Hasbro.


One of the newest gimmicks in the line is that of “swap figures” – reusing most of a mold to offer two figures in one slot.  Sure, they come with the same Build-A-Figure pieces, but they are distinctenough to work.  One of the swap sets this year is Carnage and Toxin (you know, Venom, only mangled by comics continuity).  Carnage is one of those characters I’ve always loved in concept, but not execution.  In theory, the character could be everything from a dark reflection of Spider-Man to an unstoppable monster, but in pratice he just ends up being the ’90s personified.  But he looks cool, and he makes a great SNES game boss, so let’s just forgiveand move on, okay?


Destruction and mayhem have a new home. Living in the body of the demented Eddie Brock, will the vicious Toxin out-savage the chaos-causing Carnage?


It’s brief, but generic enough to fit both dudes.  Carnage has had a few figures in his time, but really only one other Legends toy before today.  Although that figure had articulation (you could even move the fingers), its sculpt and paint were a little odd.  I mean, come on, it had black socks!



Marvel Legends figures now come in a collector-friendly window box, much like Star Wars Black, or Funko’s Legends figures.


SCULPT: ***1/2

At its base, Carnage has a pretty basic, reusable sculpt, with the head and hand being the most unique pieces,  But this works, since it matches his smooth, genericish, symbiote body.  The head, which is hugely iportant, manages to get everything right – his pointy chin, jagged teeth, crazy fire-shaped eyes, all things that other figures botched.


As far as drawbacks go, all Marvel Legends figures suffer from highly visible articulation points.  Does that bother you?  If so, then it might be a deal breaker for this figure.


PAINT: ****

Carnage is difficult to draw, and difficult to paint.  Those weird black-on-red patterns may look random, but if you don’t order them just right, you fail at Carnage.  His previous ML figure just tossed on ablack wash and called it a day, but that was honestly insufficient.  And this guy?


Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.  Hasbro has managed to paint Carnage.  He looks like he popped out of a comic book, which completely wrecks the other figure.  It does form an interesting clash with the new Marvel Select toy, which aims to be more realistic in its paint and texture, but you can’t ignore how fantastic the paint on this guy is.



Carnage has a ball-jointed head, hips, wists, ball-and-socket shoulders, anles, double-hinged knees and elbows, a swivel waist, thighs, and biceps, and a hinged torso.


Remember what I said about Marvel Legends articulation?  Sure, Carnage lacks the mobile fingers of his previous version, but all of his libs are generally more flexible, and you can easily put him in pretty uch whatever pose you feel like.  This toy was engineered for range of motion, ad it shows.



Carnage doesn’t really come with accessories in the traditional sense.  He does have a MArvel Select figure that comes with alternate heads and hands, and his really old cartoon toy came with the same, but this one?  You take what you can get.


That said, he does come with two pieces of this wave’s Build-A-Figure, Ultimate Green Goblin.  You get the head and some fire.  The head is just a green devilish head, and only matters if you want to build the figure.  But the fire?  That fire is exactly the kind of thing that can make a diorama great!  ust put a light source beneath it, and BAM!  Realistic fire effects!  Coincidentally, fire is also one of the main weaknesses of a sYmbiote, so you’re killing two birds with one stone.


And on a minor note, Carnage’s back tendrils can be removed, put in his hand, or rotated around.  That’s sort of an accessory!


VALUE: ***1/2

This figure is about $20, which seems to be an industry standard nowadays.  Toys cost $20.



He’s pretty sturdy.  Make sure that the joints aren’t stuck, and this figure will last for a while.



Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, or anywhere on-line – Marvel Legends is actually a common line!



It still isn’t perfect.  This figure needs just a little bit more, like some decent accessories, but otherwise it’s really very, very good.  This is probably the best Carnage we’ll ever get in this line, as they fixed the sculprutrla and paint issues from the previous release and even gave him some nice mini-tendriils.  The fire is just icing on the cake, too, so if you want a figure of the Ultimate 90’s Bad Guy(tm), this isn’t a bad option..


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