76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom was unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con during the summer and received an overwhelmingly positive response from Marvel Super Heroes fans. The imposing Venom Mech looks absolutely marvellous and the set includes a superb minifigure selection.
Furthermore, this set contains 604 pieces and costs £44.99 or $49.99 so it seems to offer excellent value. My expectations for 76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom were therefore extremely high prior to construction and I am delighted to report that this set does not disappoint, particularly where the Venom Mech is concerned!
The same Spider-Man minifigure appeared in thirteen Marvel Super Heroes sets between 2012 and 2018 so a new design feels long overdue. This rendition features dual-moulded legs which look great and the torso design has been updated significantly, including a brand new spider emblem. Moreover, the eyes are decorated with metallic silver highlights so look much better than the previous minifigure.
Ghost Spider, also known as Spider-Gwen or Spider-Woman, is an exceptionally popular character and is only available in this set. Her famed black and white clothing is instantly recognisable but lacks several vital details from the comics, the most notable being the pink webbed designs on the inside of her hood and each arm. Printing on the interior surface of the hood component would have been very difficult but the arms should certainly have been decorated to reflect the source material.
Instead, the only magenta highlights are found on the torso and the head. These details look splendid but the minifigure does feel incomplete without arm printing. Both characters wield a collection of web-themed accessories, including small web nets and a pair of handcuffs. Many of the other web pieces are found on Spider-Man's mech but they can be removed for the minifigures if you prefer.
76057 Spider-Man: Web Warriors Ultimate Bridge Battle contained a new comic book version of Aunt May and a similar minifigure appears here, wearing a bright light blue jumper rather than a jacket. This excellent torso has only appeared with yellow hands in past sets but it looks equally impressive when combined with a flesh skin tone in my opinion.
The double-sided head features smiling and frightened expressions, befitting Aunt May's situation as she comes under attack by Venom. This element was used on the minifigure from 2016 and the light bluish grey hair piece has remained consistent too but that does not bother me as both pieces seem appropriate for the character. Aunt May comes with an ice cream cone.
Venom is among Spider-Man's deadliest opponents and has appeared in two previous Marvel Super Heroes sets. However, this new design is far more impressive than the minifigure from 2013, featuring an open mouth that reveals the Symbiote's tongue inside! These red highlights add a wonderful splash of colour to the minifigure and Venom's wild eyes look fantastic when compared with the comics.
In addition, the spider symbol and muscle definition on Venom's black torso have been updated. These changes are subtle but the resultant design looks perfect, despite its relative simplicity. The villain does not come with any tendrils, although the Venom Mech includes many such components so they are not entirely necessary with the minifigure.
The Completed Model
Three separate vehicles are included, the smallest of which belongs to Ghost Spider. This hover board is constructed around a bulky engine with a flaming exhaust and features decorative armour panels on both sides. The surfboard on top includes a similar design and looks superb, although the most notable asset of this model are probably the dark bluish grey 1x1 round plates with hollow studs which have not appeared in this colour before.
Furthermore, the craft incorporates two magenta 1x1 quarter circle tiles that correspond with highlights around Ghost Spider's eyes. Such attention to detail is extremely impressive in a tertiary model and the hover board offers reasonable play value too, including a pair of stud shooters which can rotate to point in any direction.
Spider-Man's colourful Spider Mech is slightly smaller than I anticipated, measuring just 14cm in height. Nevertheless, I am quite impressed with this vehicle. Its spindly frame feels suitable for Spider-Man, whose greatest asset is probably his exceptional agility, while the blue and red colour scheme matches both the minifigure and other spider-themed vehicles perfectly.
Moreover, the mech includes several points of articulation, allowing you to create a fantastic range of dynamic poses. Ball joints are located at the shoulders, elbows hips and ankles and the left hand can rotate all the way around. There are no knee joints, unfortunately, but that feels relatively insignificant on this model as the legs are fairly short anyway and knee articulation would offer little further motion.
There is room to place Spider-Man in the cockpit, holding two control levers. The hero seems exposed in this position, especially since he is only protected by two strands of web, but that would allow him to leap forth and attack Venom directly. In fact, I like these web strands which give the impression that Spider-Man has created his own canopy and could restore it, should the mech receive damage.
Six stickers are placed on the arms and legs, providing some additional detail on surfaces which might otherwise appear bland. The metallic silver grille slopes look brilliant too and I like the mech's webbing claw. Each finger is mounted on a hinge, thereby allowing the claw to grip smaller items or spread out and hold the Venom Mech back, even if only for a short period while civilians are escaping.
The other arm features a stud shooter which can launch webs or pearl silver tech spiders, two of which are kept beside this weapon. The robotic spiders were originally designed for the NEXO Knights theme but they are employed to great effect throughout the new wave of Marvel Super Heroes sets. A couple more NEXO Knights pieces are found on the legs where blue 2x3 pentagonal tiles cover the hip joints.
However, the most appealing aspect of this entire set is undoubtedly the Venom Mech. This intimidating model looks absolutely spectacular, towering above the Spider Mech at an impressive height of 22cm. Its black and white colour scheme is very attractive and I love the rounded limbs that capture Venom's muscular physique. These narrow quite dramatically around ball joints, especially on the arms, but that permits extensive articulation.
Creating a dynamic display is therefore remarkably easy. The shoulders and elbows both include ball joints while the hips and ankles can rock forwards, backwards and sideways. You can even move the fingers and toes independently which is useful when trying to balance the figure. I think the designer could have included a rotating waist but that is only a minor issue in my opinion.
Venom has little need for vehicles in the Spider-Man comics so the set description suggesting that this model is a mech seems odd to me. Personally, I prefer to imagine it as a giant version of the villainous Symbiote which seems sensible as Venom is usually able to control his size in the comics. The gaping mouth seems much more frightening in that situation and I love the red tongue which can twist around on a Technic pin.
A pair of levers behind the head allow Venom to control his mech. Fortunately, these are hidden so you can easily ignore them when pretending that the mech is actually an organic being. Even so, I am glad that both options are available, thereby increasing the play value by a considerable margin. Two black tendrils are also situated near the cockpit and these are attached using clips so they can move.
Six stickers are placed on the torso, forming a large spider emblem which corresponds with the design on the minifigure. Printed tiles would have been preferable but these stickers are not intrusive and they look magnificent when accurately applied. There are no stickers on the back of the model which is nice as that is probably the easiest place to hold the figure and any stickers in that area might be damaged during play.
Two more tendrils are attached to the upper arms alongside a couple of textured elements which look perfect. The arms are extremely poseable and you can move the individual fingers to hold minifigures. However, the colourful Technic pins on the hands are slightly distracting and the grey ball joints which form the elbows really stand out among so many black pieces.
The entire model stands on two broad feet, ensuring its absolute stability. I love the white claws on the toes and was surprised to learn that the feet can swing sideways as their connection with the legs has little friction. In fact, this design feature is beneficial as the feet will move to a horizontal position when the figure is placed on a flat surface, even when its legs are spread in a wide combat stance.
76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom is certainly among my favourite Marvel Super Heroes sets that LEGO has produced. Ghost Spider could be improved and the Spider Mech seems relatively small but those shortcomings are overshadowed by the impressive Venom Mech. This model looks absolutely magnificent on display and offers considerable play value, due in particular to its sturdy construction and comprehensive articulation.
Furthermore, the rounded limbs have captured Venom's muscular design perfectly and I love the rows of white teeth surrounding the creature's mouth. Spider-Man's mech is less visually striking but presents an interesting contrast with Venom and I am delighted to add Ghost Spider to my minifigure collection, despite the absence of arm printing. I would therefore have no hesitation in recommending this set!
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