Minimate Mini-Review #50 - Spymaster & War Machine

#50 - Spymaster/War Machine

A freelance spy with advanced weaponry, Spymaster penetrated Tony Stark's formidable security and stole the Iron Man designs - a theft which sparked the destructive Armor Wars.

This figure shows why it's so important to put bios on the back of the packaging: I'm a huge comic nerd, and even I wouldn't know who this guy was if the box hadn't told me. He's certainly not dressed like a spy. He's wearing a bright a costume that's bright yellow and dark blue, meaning he can't blend in anywhere. He has a yellow utility belt with a large S on the buckle, and two holsters with silver pistols. There's paint detailing on his chest and back, but it's very hard to see, due to the dark colors. Strangely, he has ears painted on the sides of his head, and if you're wondering what that total freaking mess on his forehead is, he apparently had some kind of gun mounted there. Yeah, dumb.

Designed by Tony Stark to deal with more serious threats, the War Machine armor features ultrasound and infrared scanners, missile launchers, electric mini-guns, chain guns and even a flame thrower!

"Mark I War Machine" was the standard figure paired with Spymaster; and I didn't buy him, because he's Tony Stark. Yeah, the guy built the armor, but he only wore it for about half a minute before handing it off, so he didn't seem worth the money - especially since he came with a freaking nobody like Spymaster. I didn't look close enough to notice all the differences in the armor (the unique chest cap, the boots and one glove); all I saw was Tony Stark's head on the War Machine armor and left it on the shelf. It was later re-released in the third series of TRU Minimates, giving everyone a second chance.

An improved version of Tony Stark's original design, James Rhodes' Mark II War Machine armor boasts a streamlined weapons pod and the addition of Stark's enhanced Tri-Beam technology.

When Series 23 was solicited, none of us were expecting Rhodey to be the chase variant - that's stupid! It was only when they hit stores that we learned the awful truth: if you want the more familiar character, you have to buy the rare set. The armor is very blocky, as it should be. The helmet, chest cap, belt, gloves and boots are new pieces, designed to bulk up the body, but some of the costume details are still simply painted on, because Minimates hadn't started going crazy with the molded pieces yet. He's dark grey and silver, with a little bit of black detailing for muscles and outlines.

War Machine gets his heavy armaments: a missile launcher on the right shoulder and a Gatling gun on the left. Since the Minimate can't have them slide up into position, they're made mobile by use of pegs and holes on the top and back of the shoulder. The helmet is removable, but since you can't have him running around bald, he gets hair to replace it. This figure is based on Rhodey's appearance in the early '90s, so like Burton Guster, he has a hi-top fade.

All Minimates share the same body with different paint decos, and they all move at the same 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. That's a heckuva lot of motion for something so tiny. The simple style also means that Art Asylum can crank out characters faster than any other company - it's not like ToyBiz or Hasbro have made Spy Smasher Spymaster, you know? Art Asylum really messed this one up by making the wrong figure the variant, but Rhodey is good if you can get him. Don't buy both sets, because nobody needs more than one Spymaster.

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5 Responses to Minimate Mini-Review #50 - Spymaster & War Machine

  1. Fries Against says:

    Time to remove this blog from my bookmarked sites. Your Minimate reviews are the same every time. Oh but you have pictures! So does Google Images. Your focus on Minimates is nowhere near as clever as you think.

    • Frowny says:

      Did you read that before posting to see how pretentious you sounded talking about two inch block toys? What the hell else is he supposed to say about the articulation and sculpting of the base bodies? And he's right about the fact that Stark should have been the variant.

    • yo go re says:

      What, exactly, is "the same every time?" You keep saying that, but it hadn't occurred to me before that I don't know what you're talking about. So explain what the similarities are.

      (The other choice, of course, being "if you don't like Minimates, don't read the one post a week in which we review them." On Mondays we review Marvel toy. Tuesdays is Transformers. The middle of the week gets DC. Every Friday, a GI Joe review. And sometime over the weekend, a set of Minimates. We don't put any code anywhere on the site that automatically loads the reviews without you having to click on them.)

      P.S.: Also, I'm not sure you know what the word "clever" means. In that it doesn't have any connection to the rest of the sentence...

    • Braystreet says:

      Fuck you! This review has a Psych reference!

  2. Soundwinder says:

    I appreciate the Minimate reviews because they go over accessories... the damn packs hide the accessories so without the reviews, you never know for sure what's in them. Someone needs to post a review to let me know what's in them, and may as well be a site I hit up anyway.

    Anyhoo, I have this set. I actually almost bought Rhodey, but went with Tony since I like his armor better (I like the lack of the Unibeam and the feed belt on the arm), and let's face it, he's never going to be helmet-less.

    I did eventually give the Stark head to my Hulkbuster Iron Man, so that when you flip up his helmet it's a Tony Stark head instead of a second helmet, which struck me as kinda hilarious.

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