Review: 76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom

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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!

Minifigures

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.

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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.

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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.

View image at flickr

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.

76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom

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.

76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom

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.

76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom

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.

76115 Spider Mech vs. Venom

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.

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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.

View image at flickr

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.View image at flickr

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

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.

View image at flickr

Overall

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.

View image at flickr

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!

I hope you have found this review informative. Let us know by liking this article and share your thoughts on the set in the comments below.


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23 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

nice build for the venom mech

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By in United States,

And how come the Batman mech and the Spider-Man mech come out at about the same time? (Of course the former comes out next year) seems kinda poor timing in my opinion.

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By in Canada,

Pretty much exactly my plan for this set was to 1) enjoy the new minifigures, 2) pretend that the "mech" is just a giant Venom, and 3) put all the Spider mech parts into the MOC bucket.

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By in United States,

Lego so needs to make mixel ball joints in black.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm not a massive fan of this. It looks a little bit childish to me.

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By in United States,

@1947andallthat The age range starts @ 8 y/o so yes, that observation would be correct.

The venom mech looks great but that in turn leaves the Spider Man looking rather bland. Plenty of imaginative play battles for kids here, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

This ebullient review has won me over! It does indeed look like lots of fun.

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By in Norway,

Yay mech, but seriously LEGO, $70 list price for Norway?
Up 20, or a solid 40% higher starting point. Before any AMZ discounts drives US even lower.

No wonder TopToy (BR and local TRU) is insolvent

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By in United States,

I really like the Venom mech. I have been in love with it since it was first revealed, and that will get me to purchase this set sometime next year.

Ghost-Spider, Spider-Gwen, whatever she's called now; is great to see in official Lego form. But, I do think I have been spoiled by looking at photos of Phoenix Custom's 'Pink Arachnid' figure for the last few years ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/magicfigs/26041402314 ). I think the official Lego figure has some-what better torso printing, but the lack of arm printing arm or hood printing on the official Lego figure makes it look like a lesser to the custom figure. Usually I don't give the Lego customization community much thought, but I do think this is one clear cut case were it did a better job than the official set. While I will be buying the official set to get the official figure, the temptation remains to someday chase down a copy of that custom fig. (I guess I should mention part of what impressed me of the Phoenix's custom to, was that the base parts are all stock Lego. Its just the print that is custom)

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By in United Kingdom,

K O companies have been printing inside spider Gwen's hood for quite a while, and some of them look pretty good too.

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By in United Kingdom,

Now your talkin lego.. I love this and finally we get a spider Gwen, love all the new webbing parts too.

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By in United States,

Yeah, that thing definitely makes more sense as a giant Venom, rather than a mech. That tongue is the stuff of nightmares. Spidey’s mech is interesting, though my nostalgia makes me long for something like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Spider-Man-Battle-Action-Mega-Armor-1998-Marvel-Toybiz-Figure-Variant-MIP/372151314319?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D946bf3680bce4c26b1b7c82b8f0f9b87%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D10%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D173663272660%26itm%3D372151314319&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3Af6be1bfb-fcbe-11e8-9885-74dbd180891d%7Cparentrq%3A99ee0f5e1670aa46c347ea52fff1d3e8%7Ciid%3A1

Ghost-Spider may lack detail, but at least she’s got a figure now. Although, it might have been nice if the set included Gwenom.

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By in United States,

My wallet will hate me.

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By in United States,

@Your future president: I actually wouldn't be half surprised if that was on purpose and LEGO wanted to give kids who already got one mech set the option to get the other to create even bigger mech battles. Even if it'd be extremely difficult for LEGO to get permission put DC and Marvel characters in the same set, kids aren't anywhere near as strict about keeping competing brands separate in their own play as entertainment companies are in their merchandise.

I don't know how well LEGO could really managed to include more of the magenta part of Ghost Spider's current design with printing. To date, printed LEGO arms haven't really wrapped around the arm, instead just being a pattern applied to the surface facing each side rather than the front, back, or inside facing surfaces (most obvious with characters who have bracelets or gauntlets like Wonder Woman and Batgirl).

There are some depictions of Ghost Spider/Spider-Gwen I've seen where the magenta material with spiderweb patterns covers her entire upper arm, but most of the time (including her latest comic/TV/movie depictions), it's just the side of the arm facing inward towards the torso, while the side facing outward is white.

The only way I can think of that you could manage this would be to use the 2K (two-colored) versions of the arm mold in Bright Reddish Violet (top) and White (bottom) and then give her two coats of white ink on the entire upper part of the printable arm surface which would hopefully be enough to match the plastic color of the lower part.

But even then, that wouldn't allow for the spiderweb motif, and the magenta part would wrap around the top of her shoulder, which I don't think any version of her costume has done. And as you mention, that still wouldn't fix the issue with her hood. It's certainly a puzzle, because I agree the current figure loses a lot from having so little of the magenta and/or the spiderweb motif.

The Venom Mech definitely seems like it was designed more as a giant brick-built character, and the Venom minifigure was added as a compromise for kids who either want to act out scenes where Venom has not grown to such huge size (much like the Hulk minifigures released in 2012 and 2015 polybag sets) or who simply aren't used to versions of Venom this much bigger than his usual human hosts.

We've also seen other instances lately where LEGO either used a minifigure and mech-like build for what was more of a mechanical or organic exoskeleton or armor in the source material: for instance, the Hulkbuster in the Marvel theme or Reinhardt's "tank model" in the Overwatch theme.

There's even been other instances when they've used the word "mech" in the names and/or descriptions of stuff that's obviously not intended to be mechanical: the Poison Ivy "mech" in #76117-1 , which is just her using her plant control powers to extend her height and reach, and the Buffmillion "mech" in #70627-1 , which is just huge, cobbled-together armor being worn by a mass of writhing snakes.

It seems they've decided that kids are OK with them using "mech" extremely loosely to refer to the structure of the build, even when it's not actually being a machine/robot in accordance with the term's original definition. And, I mean, I can't quite blame them, considering how many AFOLs I've seen use "mech" to refer to any highly articulated, brick-built figure, even creature builds like the dragons from the Vikings or Ninjago themes.

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By in United States,

@1947andallthat: It's always so baffling to me to read comments like this. "Childish" is the norm for LEGO sets, and pretty much always has been, because they're primarily aimed at children. And sets like this are, in the very least, designed for the tastes and building ability of older children than most sets from traditional themes that AFOLs seem to accept much more readily like City, Castle, and Pirates.

Yet I don't hear claims of "childishness" thrown around nearly as much about 5+ sets like #60182-1 or #60202-1 as about 8+ and 9+ sets like #41196-1 or #70641-1. Is liking simple, relatable stuff from real life really more "grown up" than liking elaborate, imaginative stuff that requires you to set aside preconceptions about what is or isn't possible?

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By in Canada,

Call me crazy, but I don't think every superhero needs a giant mech suit. And it especially seems strange in this case. A mech suit for Spider-man seems to make only slightly more sense to me than a submarine for Aquaman, or a plane for Superman, or a motorcycle for Flash.

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By in Australia,

Giant Venom's tongue is really creepy and disturbing, but I absolutely love the design.

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By in United States,

@CarolinaOnMyMind: I dunno, I think for Spider-Man a mech suit makes a fair bit of sense. He's a scientifically-adept superhero who developed his own suit and tech and in multiple continuities has been a protege of or even competitor to Tony Stark, whose powers include super strength but not to nearly the same nigh-unlimited level as heroes like Superman or Hulk, and who lacks the exceptional durability or healing factor that'd protect him from harm in a fight a foe so far above his weight class (the best he has is a "Spider-Sense" that lets him predict, but not necessarily always prevent, an oncoming attack).

I wouldn't necessarily expect the fanciest sort of mech suit from him (since he has traditionally been a more down-on-his-luck hero, except when he had his own company in the comics), but this one looks pretty rudimentary—a fancy paint job, sure (Spider-Man's aesthetic has never exactly been subtle), but otherwise it looks like something a gifted engineer could conceivably put together in an abandoned garage.

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By in United States,

"something a gifted engineer could reasonably put together in an abandoned garage." Well jeez, if that's what I can do after I graduate school I'll need to rent out a garage myself and start building! Do you know any other engineers working on mech suits I can get in contact with? Maybe they can guide me during the build. ;)

Oh wait... we're talking about comic books... dang it. :P

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By in Canada,

I always thought Spider-Man's best attributes were his agility, elusiveness & movement—you know, climbing on walls and swinging on webs. Being in a big ol' clunky mech suit might make him stronger and more durable, but it almost completely nullifies his main powers.

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By in Portugal,

After seeing some of the custom Spider Gwen prints, the official one is a little disappointing and underwhelming.

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By in South Korea,

Lego should've at least printed Ghost Spider's blue shoes

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By in United States,

So LEGO did not make Deadpool sets because they were too violent for children (which is fine, Deadpool is stupid to begin with), but they make a head-eating symbiote? Explain, please.

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