When Diamond Select Toys released their Venom Marvel Select action figure I thought that I had found one of my favorite figures of all time. But then they made Carnage, and I’m not even that big of a Carnage fan! Though I do love both of the Spider-Man villains more than the titular hero, but that’s a discussion for another day. Let’s take a look at Carnage’s background (via Wiki):
Cletus Kasady is a psychopath and a homicidal sadist. He is a deeply disturbed individual with a dark past: as a child, he killed his grandmother by pushing her down a flight of stairs, tried to murder his mother by throwing a television into her bathtub, and tortured and killed his mother’s dog. Kasady became a serial killer. He was then captured and sent to Ryker’s Island prison for 11 murders—though he bragged of a dozen more— where he shared a cell with Eddie Brock, who had lost the alien symbiote that transformed him into the supervillain Venom. Brock’s symbiote soon returned and bonded with him again, and unwittingly left behind the symbiote’s offspring. The new symbiote then entered Kasady’s bloodstream through a cut and bonded with his blood, transforming him into Carnage. He escaped prison, and began a series of murders, and at the scene of each crime, wrote “Carnage” on the walls with his own blood. He was found by Spider-Man, though the hero proved to be no match for Carnage’s powers. In desperation, Spider-Man made a truce with Venom to fight Carnage. Carnage was defeated with sonic weaponry, but the symbiote lived on because it is merged with Kasady’s bloodstream.
Throughout the years, there have been several renditions of this classic villain in plastic form. None of them can hold a candle to the new Marvel Select figure. One of the great things that I really appreciated about DST’s Carnage figure, was all of the amazing accessories that came packed. We’ll get to all that in a little bit. Carnage comes in the standard Marvel Select clamshell. This is one of my favorite packaging schemes out there today, even if once you open it, you know it’s not going back in. But the artwork and design is what really does it for me. Great for display if you are a collector who keeps figures in their respective boxes. The only gripe I have with the way Carnage comes is that there are so many plastic twist-ties. Then again, there are many accessories to keep in place so I get it. But be aware it takes a few to get him out.
Did I mention that Carnage comes with a TON of accessories?! Featuring ‘symbiotic’ tendrils, three alternate heads, and two alternative weapon hands. The variation of heads were a feature that really made the Venom figure special and DST has delivered again! The figure has little holes which you can plug the tendrils on his torso and arms.
Three heads?! First up we have the basic Carnage head that we all know and… love? Next up, similar to the venom figure we get a version that shows Kasady’s face revealing itself through the symbiote mask. Finally we have the modern look for Carnage. I am not too familiar with this rendition of the character. The Carnage I know came straight out of a little maxi-series back in the day called “Maximum Carnage”. The modern head is still pretty awesome and looks very creepy. One small problem, if you want to call it that, is when I was switching heads. Just be careful not to pull too hard or the plug that connects the head to the torso will come out of the torso. This is an easy fix with some pliers, but definitely something to be aware of.
Both of the hand accessories aren’t really anything new as a lot of companies have attempted to give the figure his ‘symbiotic’ weapons. DST just does a better job, especially with the sculpt and paint. I have always been a big fan of the “axe” and I am very happy that it was included in this release. On sculpting duties for Carnage is the very talented Jean St Jean, whose resume also includes Venom, along with a plethora of other Marvel Select figures. St Jean is amazing at what he does and I am happy to say that I am a big fan who will continue to pick up his work.
The paint application is all around perfect. It seems like it would be tough to give Carnage that perfect look with all that black and reds but it’s done amazingly. Articulation-wise there are 16 points, which in my opinion is just enough. Collectors want more and more movement these days, but I think it becomes a problem when joints slowly become looser and looser. A figure like this feels solid when displaying it and speaking from a collector’s point of view is great when putting him on a shelf with many other figures. You don’t want an epic game of superhero dominos going on when you’re not looking!
Now all I need to do is get my hands on the Marvel Select comic book version of Spider-Man so I can recreate some fun scenes with these figures. I can’t say much more for this figure except I hope that DST releases more in the future. They are a hot commodity right now and becoming increasingly difficult to find online as they are selling out everywhere. The same thing happened with the Venom and that’s why I immediately pre-ordered Carnage when he became available. If you can’t find him online you may have luck checking out a comic shop near you! Here’s the link to comicshoplocator.com. I MORE than recommend this figure whether you’re a fan of the character, Spider-Man, Marvel Select, and so on. Marvel Select Carnage is easily in my top 10 list of all time favorite action figures. Happy Hunting!
You can also check out DFAT’s past reviews of some of the other Marvel Select action figures here.