With Gerry Conway’s Carnage series coming to a close next week, I thought it’d be a good time to review Diamond select’s Carnage figure. This will be the fourth symbiote character Marvel select will have added to their 7 inch line, since they’ve already made figures for Venom, Agent Venom, and Anti-Venom. In this review I’ll be taking a look at the figure to see if it captures the feel of the character, its range of motion, what it comes with, and even how it stacks up against some other Marvel select and Marvel Legends figures.
In terms of pure looks, this figure knocks it out of the park. Many artists these days seem to draw Carnage as a solid red symbiote, but this figure takes its inspiration from his first appearance by Mark Bagley, and it totally nails it. The black and red look great together, and the whole thing is textured to really give it a nice feel, with some veins running throughout his skin, and the interchangeable hands are great, with his weapons looking very sinister. His hands come with blades attached to some of the fingers, and I kind of wish I could take them off, but it’s not a huge deal. I’m a huge fan of the original Bagley face, and this sculpt does not disappoint, making it look like it jumped right out of the comic. I suppose I could nitpick about there not actually being any empty space between his teeth, but it works for what it is.
Carnage comes with multiple interchangeable parts. He has 3 heads, the classic Bagley look, a more modern look, and a head with the symbiote being pulled back to reveal Cletus’ face. The modern head is nice too, but like I said, I prefer his original look, and Cletus isn’t exactly handsome under the suit, but the symbiote coming off of his face does look pretty cool. He also comes with two symbiotic weapons you can put in place of his hands that look really nice, and really suit the figure. There’s also 8 symbiote tendrils that come with the figure, 3 long straight ones, and then 5 more of varying shapes and sizes. There’s 6 holes in total you can slot any of them into, 3 on his back, one on his shoulder, and one on each arm. This is really nice, because it adds some variety to the figure. You can mix and match them, to make them stand as high as possible, or just slide down his back.
I don’t really love the 3 straight tendrils, since it just looks a little odd coming out of his back, especially compared to the normal curled ones. It would have been cool if there had been a wire or something inside them that allowed you to bend them however you want. I did manage to sort of squeeze them between his fingers to give a cool symbiote webbing effect though. My only real complaint here is that a few of the tendrils are a little loose, and can be knocked out pretty easily. Try not to lose them.
This is where the Marvel Select line usually falls a little flat, focusing more on sculpt than the range of motion. However, this is not the case with Carnage. Not only does he come with double jointed knees, but he even comes with ankle pivots, both things the other Marvel select symbiotes do not have, allowing him to be put into much more dynamic positions. His elbows are not double jointed though, and his shoulders are the standard ball joint with a bicep swivels which works well. His neck joint allows him to look around a fair bit and tilt his head side to side a little, but he’s kind of restricted when trying to tilt his head up, it doesn’t go very far. His torso is also an improvement on the other select figures, not only having a waist joint, but a fair bit of movement around the mid section. Not as much as an ab crunch on the marvel legends figures, but it’s still nice, and has the advantage of twisting to the sides. He also has a wrist and thigh swivel along with a wrist joint. This is easily the most posable Marvel select figure I own, though the small feet don’t make him the easiest to balance.
So how exactly does this figure match up to similar figures? The first thing I noticed is that he’s big. Marvel select figures are usually around 7 inches tall, but Carnage stands at almost exactly 8 inches. This makes him even taller than the Select Venom figure. This is a little bit annoying because typically Venom is fairly bigger than Carnage, and if you’re trying to pose the select figures together, it’s a little weird to see Carnage stand taller. It’s not a huge deal since you can put him in a crouching position pretty easily, and a figure being too big isn’t the worst thing in the world. And while some of the select figures can get away with being being posed next to the 6 inch Marvel Legends figures (Bigger characters like Venom or Juggernaut for example), Carnage is probably a tad too big, though Symbiotes are known for shifting shape and size.
When compared to the Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Carnage figure above, the differences are very clear. The Select absolutely wins in the sculpt department, and while the Legends figure is more posable, it’s not as huge as a margin as it would normally be thanks to Select Carnage’s improvements. And the only accessory the Legends figure comes with is a mass of tendrils you can attach to his back. So it’s a close call for which figure is better, especially when the Marvel Select’s retail price is $24.99 and the Marvel Legends’ retail price is $19.99. Personally, I think with the size and accessories, the Select is the winner here (Though I’m glad I have the Legends figure since it’s the same size as the rest of my 6 inch figures).
So in conclusion, the Marvel Select Carnage figure is great. A worthy addition to any collection, especially when you’re as big a fan of symbiotes as I am.
Extremely detailed sculpt
Lots of accessories
A little TOO big
Some tendrils can be loose
Final grade: A-
Thanks for reading! There will be more action figure reviews coming soon!
And remember, CARNAGE RULES!