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Published on April 25th, 2011 | by Sharp-O


Mint in Box #16: Minimates Review

Minimates are a line of block figures originally released by Art Asylum and currently by Diamond Select Toys. Like LEGO, they are multi-part block figures but unlike their Danish cousins they are larger at 2” tall and more complex with 14 points of articulation. Since the lines inception in 2002, there have been literally hundreds of characters from a multitude of different licenses made for it. Marvel, Ghostbusters, Battlestar Galactica, KISS,  Star Trek and many other big name properties have had the Minimate treatment but today I’m looking at some figures I picked up on clearance (because the best way to get into any new line is to get them cheap) which are from Series 33 and 35, respectively.

Series 33 – Thor Reborn and Lady Loki

I couldn’t find any minimates based on the Thor movie so I settled for the next best thing. Based on their reappearance after the Norse Ragnarok in recent comics, Thor was reborn (I see what they did there) into a more battle-hardened appearance than we were used to and Loki came back as a woman. Odd choice that one but I don’t judge. Both are pretty fun to mess around with but both suffer from their additional kibble. Thor’s bulky chest piece/caped armour make him very top-heavy. Add this to the pelvis piece that makes him taller but lessens the connection between torso and legs. Despite a little bit of trouble staying upright sometimes, Thor is a lovely looking piece and fun to pose with his mighty hammer accessory. Lady Loki, on the other hand, can only pull off a few poses simply because her articulation was taken out back and crippled by her hair and coat pieces. They throttle the articulation out of the figure, leaving her to just stand straight and hope she doesn’t fall over and she will. She also reminds me of an ex-girlfriend and that is confusing, arousing and terrifying all at once.

Series 35 – Mark V Iron Man and War Machine

It’s a tiny War Machine! With a tiny Suitcase Armour! Squee! I’m not even joking when I say that tiny War Machine is far too adorable to have so much ordinance. The sight of wee Don Cheadle’s eyes peeping out from the open visor helmet is bloody cute and it makes me smile. War Machine comes with two helmets, closed visor and open. The open one is a simple repaint from the Mark IV suit while the closed helmet has a larger, more square appearance to it. The Suitcase Armour definitely looks the part, being the least armoured minimate Iron Man of this line. While the others have large chest pieces, this one has a simple but effective shoulder piece that gives just enough bulk to an otherwise standard minimate figure which comes with a helmet and a hair piece. Under the helmets, the likeness to Don Cheadle on War Machine can be best described as passing, it‘s not great but it‘ll do. The Mark V has a more angry, cut up Tony Stark face which is a pretty good likeness to Robert Downey Jr and accurate to how messed up Tony got on the racetrack against Whiplash.

Series 35 – Mark IV Iron Man and Whiplash

Here’s the main event for this series. Stark vs. Vanko. Iron Man vs. Whiplash. The Iron Man in this set has the most accessories. Not only does he have the two helmets (open and closed) but also a hair piece. It makes displaying him a right pain in the arse. Vanko, on the other hand, is great. All his crap fits on him at the same time. Under his tech vest, Vanko sports an impressive number of tampographed tattoos on his torso and arms. His hand components are moulded with the whips in-hand. The yellow energy are separate pieces that need to be plugged in and he’s really, really dull. I don’t know what it is about him that I don’t like. I can see that he’s a good figure but I don’t like him. Tony is a solid figure with good accessories, decent articulation despite the massive chest piece and looks great.

So that’s my first toe dip into the pool of Minimates. I’m really impressed and will definitely be picking more of these up when I have the chance. I hope you will too.

– Richard Sharpe

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