I was pleasantly surprised earlier this week, when I reviewed an action figure that turned out to be near-perfect for a character I wasn’t especially familiar with: Venom Legends Poison. Wanting to see if lightning might strike twice, I decided to focus my next review on another character I wasn’t exactly giddy over being in this wave. The Marvel Legends Scream figure that’s now available for order is the first female Symbiote figure that Hasbro has ever done, so she’s automatically the best—but is she good?
While the Life Foundation Symbiote Lasher (who I reviewed a six inch figure of earlier this year) has always been a favorite of mine, I’ve never liked his “sister”, Scream. I swear I’m no sexist, but the design for Scream just never really resonated with me.
So when I saw the prototype of the Marvel Legends Venom Scream action figure premiere at New York Toy Fair 2018 in February, I snapped a few photos and promptly mostly forgot about her, focusing on more exciting things (like Spider-Ham!) instead.
But once I got this figure in-hand last week, I felt pretty foolish—because Marvel Legends Scream is a figure that feels both fresh and fun amongst all the other symbiotes that have been released the past few years.
In the past, I’ve complained about Symbiote figures where a generic body mold is used with no Symbiote “texture” sculpted on. Marvel Legends Scream uses a standard female body without added sculpting detail, but I’m not going to complain. In this instance, I think that painting on the Symbiote gives a really cool visual effect—in fact, I think the smooth texture looks aesthetically better than a highly detailed one would.
This is largely because of the pearlescent paint Hasbro picked for Scream. Just like the white sheen on Poison, the pearly yellow here has an extraterrestrial feel to it that pairs exquisitely with the brown paint deco. It’s hard to describe, but I definitely dig the visual appeal of the colors/paints of this action figure.
Also like Poison, Venom Legends Scream comes with no accessories beyond a Monster Venom Build-A-Figure piece. Once again, though, I’m giving Hasbro a “pass”—I can’t think of a single character-specific accessory that I would ask for or that would add to my enjoyment of this toy. This character doesn’t need anything beyond what Hasbro has given us with her.
But while she’s light on accessories and sculpting detail, Scream has three other key features that really make her stand out: her hair, face and hands.
Scream’s hands are exactly what you’d expect—razor-sharp, elongated fingers flexed into deadly claws. These look intimidating and straight-up scary—without them, she wouldn’t look very lethal at all.
Her face is equally fearsome, with inhumanly sharp teeth and a painted-on “open” mouth that really drives home what an alien entity Scream is. This is definitely one of the most expressively evil female head sculpts we’ve ever seen, and I love it.
Finally, her hair. This is a feature I never paid attention to until I unboxed my own Scream action figure, but her hair is really cool. Each strand of her hair ends in a sharpened spear–making her like a deadly version of Medusa of the Inhumans. The red streak that looks like blood in her hair drives home the fear factor.
Whereas Hasbro could seemingly do no wrong with their Peter Parker Poison Spider-Man, their ML Scream figure has some foibles and isn’t quite as inspired.
The primary thing that bugs the crap out of me about this figure is that Hasbro put tons of love into making the paint deco really pop… on one side of Scream! While the brown paint deco looks awesome contrasting the yellow on the front of the figure… the back of Scream’s body has no paint apps at all!
I’d like to give Hasbro the benefit of a doubt here, but unfortunately, I’ve actually read comics with Scream, so I know her rear side shouldn’t be plain yellow without any symbiotic “patterns” on it at all. I could half accept it if it was only the areas ordinarily covered by her hair that were unpainted, but it’s all of her back. Bummer.
In addition, while her immensely detailed hair is really fun to gaze at, it also weighs a ton. With no swivel waist and hinged ankles with a limited range of forward motion, it can be hugely difficult to pose the Marvel Legends Scream figure in ways where her hair won’t sabotage the stability and knock her over.
I feel like there are a multitude of interesting poses you could otherwise do with this figure, but the instability caused be the hair ultimately cripples her fun factor.
Overall: While my interest level in the Scream Marvel Legends figure was near the bottom of the barrel when I first saw her revealed at the 2018 Toy Fair, I ended up liking her loads more than I expected. The sculpting on her hair is killer, I was pleased to see biceps swivels on her, the pearlescent yellow and brown paint looks incredible and damn it’s good to have a female Symbiote figure.
All that said, Scream is a very tough figure to pose stably because of the weight of her hair, and Hasbro cutting corners by leaving her back side unpainted is a real disappointment. I still like this figure and think it’s solid, but not people able to pose her easily—or with her rear side exposed—takes away some of her luster.
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