The other day, I opened all of my Venture Bros. action figures online. I had long debated if I should open these retro style action figures or keep ’em mint in box. It was a tough decision because the packaging was signed by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, co-creators of the show. Under these conditions, breaking them out of the box almost seemed sacrilegious but I wanted to inspect each figure closely; I wanted to hold each figure in my hands and learn of their construction. I opened the action figures live on the internet to a handful of fans and this is what I’ve learned about the Venture Brothers toyline from Bif Bang Pow.
The art on the packaging was designed by Doc Hammer and is similar to Kresge bubble cards of the 70s, complete with character head shots. For both good guys and bad guys, the packaging is essentially the same, just a different background. You can collect the card backing to build your own Drinking Straw H.E.L.P.eR. which claims to be fun and unreasonably challenging.
These action figures are collectibles and should be treated as such. We had originally mocked the fourteen and up labeling. Looking back, we feel that this labeling is appropriate. Fans thought the age group was a bit excessive and could be a joke from the Doc & Jackson. But the reality is — there are some elements on these figures you might want to handle with care. Undressing the Brock Samson figure, I ripped off his belt buckle by accident. Luckily, I was able to glue it back on with super glue. Certain elements on these figures might not be suitable for young children and could pose a hazard.
From the first wave of figures, only Brock Samson has a different body type. Brock has a much muscular and tan build, while the rest of the figures follow a standard Mego body type. Holding the Dean Venture figure for the first time was a surprise, I could feel his rock hard abs under his little sweater vest. To make a fat Henchmen 21, the toy company added some stuffing material between the actual figure and the henchmen uniform.
Each action figure has 12 points of articulation in the limbs, allowing for a variety of poses. You can also rotate each figure’s head and hands a full 360 degrees. I experimented with several action poses, it took some balancing but these figures can stand on their own.
Sculpts are accurate and proportionate to the Mego body. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer collaborated with Bif Bang Pow to bring the likeness of the characters to 3D life. Fans may note that the heads are not solid and are made of a semi soft rubber. The Monarch’s crown, Dr. Venture’s glasses and the Henchmen antennae and mask are glued to the head and are not meant to be removed.
Clothes & Accessories
Done in true Mego fashion, each action figure has tailored clothes and accessories. Gloves are reduced to arm cuffs and knee high boots resemble leg warmers. An issue I had with Henchmen 21 & 24’s shorts is they don’t pull up to the Henchmen belt line. There are no real accessories with these figures. Brock, Doc and Dean all come with two way communicator watches that you can’t remove; Brock Samson comes with a knife and sheath that attaches to his belt; The Monarch has wrist shooters and that’s about it. I kinda wish they made henchmen dart guns or a flashlight for Dean. It would’ve been really cool if Henchmen 21 had a lightsaber.
Monarch & Henchmen Wings
Out of the packaging, Monarch and Henchmen figures have their wings neatly tucked away. The wings are comprised of four plastics plates that rotate to form wings. On the live show, a viewer pointed out that I had the wings upside down and in the wrong configuration. I had placed the to smaller wings on top and the larger ones below. Viewing images from Comic-Con, it would appear that the two larger wings are meant to be placed on top. Does it really matter? Maybe not. I prefer the smaller wing plates above the larger ones. I think they look better that way. What do you think?
You don’t know how cool these toys are till you break ’em out of the box! I love these Mego action figures! I think they’re great. Each figure is full of detail, paint job is clean and faithful to the show. Brock Samson has blue eyes, a detail that is sometimes overlooked in the animation. The head sculpts are a big improvement from the original prototypes. These action figures are truly reminiscent of the toys of the 1970s and early 80s. So far, six figures have been released and more figures are on the way! At Comic-Con, Bif Bang Pow and Entertainment Earth debuted four new figures, Dr. Orpheus, Dr. Girlfriend, Phantom Limb and Hank Venture. With the third wave already in development, Bif Bang Pow’s Venture Bros. toyline is becoming an impressive collection of action figures worthy of fanboys and girls.
Review by Marc Ilagan, Astrobase Cadet