After the end of the most recent season of the show, nobody can hear Rusty Venture quite the same way again. Having gone from a classic TV kid star to a depraved act between two or more adults, young Rusty also finally got his shot at immortality outside the bedroom with this nifty action figure. Based on an old Mego design, the figure has a new outfit and, of course, a new head based on the animation designs but without the enthusiasm.
With a pretty ornate outfit with a belt, shorts, shirt, removable shoes, and some other decoration, there's only so much you can do to bring a character to life while keeping him in the vocabulary of his time. In this case, he was made slightly more primitive with painted-on socks and a matching wrist communicator. There are a few details I really liked, such has the depressed look on his face, his backpack, and a "Venture Industries"-style V on his striped shirt. Few heroes in our pop culture are, in many respects, failures and young Rusty has a look and feel that captures an entire life of not quite living up to expectations. Sure, he may be riding a dinosaur on the lunchbox packaging, but he's never going to finish college and he's trapped in a world of super science he may never escape.
The plastic backpack is his main removable accessory, so he doesn't have like a ray gun or crash helmet or a piece of HELPeR. The backpack seemed like a good accessory for a boy adventurer, and that's why we gave him one. (Did I mention I consulted on this piece? I think the FTC demands I tell you that.) Without much in the way of gear, you might want to rifle through the toybox to get him some extra goodies-- I'm trying to find a good dinosaur toy for him to ride, for example. He just looks so gosh darned happy on that lunch box!
I almost wish this set came with a tiny replica of the lunchbox to give to Billy Quizboy or to Rusty himself, but alas, there are deadlines, budget restrictions, and 20/20 hindsight. The head sculpt does a good job of translating the animation model to life, and this figure feels like it should be appearing in some poorly-made YouTube video which acts as a send-up of old Planet of the Apes TV spots. Get on that, toy fans.
I would consider this particular character both the most and least essential in the range. Unlike Jonas (who appears in modern times as an alien), Rusty doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the figure line. It's not like we have the Action Man or Colonel Gentleman (yet, please make some noise if you want to see them) so he may be a little out of place on your toy shelf. Unless of course you're a collector of 1970s knickknacks, in which case this is the one thing you absolutely must buy to put next to your Johnny Quest and Six Million Dollar Man stuff, just to see if anyone notices. The sculpt and articulation is pure Mego, but slightly better, and he actually stands up quite well on his own-- which surprised me as Hasbro's modern figures can't usually do that. Get it if you can, and Go Team Venture!
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