I got back on the wagon this week, but had no time to prep up a Spoils for the purchases (taking the photos is surprisingly laborious) so let's dip back into the wealth of stuff from yesteryear! With this haul I started a new, accidental tradition - right before Comic-Con I do some searches for which Minimates I've missed out on and end up finding some good deals (looking at you, Luke's Toy Store) so I start throwing everything on mark-down into my cart/s and ultimately end up dropping a couple hundred bucks right before the most expensive week of my year! At least I can take some solace in the fact that it's still cheaper than if I waited and paid full prices at the Con (assuming I could even find them there). And, plus, now I get to do a Spoils focused solely on one of the things I'm most passionate about - Minimates!!!
DST - Captain America The Winter Soldier: Batroc & Agent Sitwell
This set is exactly why I love Minimates: they can dig deeper into the character pool than traditional action figures! Granted, this isn't as deep as, say, Willrow Hood but neither of these guys has been made by Hasbro, nor would they even touch them. Sitwell is pretty basic, just a dude in a suit, but it's nice to have the character since he was... well not pivotal but certainly central to the movie. Plus the likeness is pretty good too (put the head on a cop body and ignore the glasses for your very own Silvio figure from Sicario). Batroc looks really, really GREAT here! His costumes is PERFECT for Minimates - the dull browns versus bright colors contrast beautifully. Now that I have him in hand I kinda wish I had a second set to have display his sans vest too! Thank you, DST - keep on bringing the second- and third-tier characters!
DST - Captain America The Winter Soldier: Captain America & the Winter Soldier
This is a pretty good set but I can't say it's all that exciting. I do like this version of WW2 Cap better than the ones from the first movie, it's just brighter and all paint rather than sculpt. The titular but irrelevant Winter Soldier turned out as good as he could, though I'm not a very big fan of the costume. I quite appreciate that he comes with alternate hairpieces and in retrospect wish I gotten two of this set since it's tough to decide how to display him - he looks better masked but spends most of the film without it. Plus, Cap gets an alternate hair piece too... maybe if I see this set again at a Con or something I'll pick another up.
DST - Captain America The Winter Soldier: Stealth Suit Cap & Brock Rumlo
I really do have a lot of dumb affection for this Stealth Suit/Commander of SHIELD outfit so I wanted two compulsively for that, and it's nice that Rumlo has a removable vest so I can sort of justify having two of him, too. He turned out well, though an earbud thing would have been a nice touch. It is pretty cool that he comes with that stun baton thing though I quite wish he had two. Cap turned out beautifully, and I am, ridiculously, kind of wanting a third to display him un-masked and without the shoulder straps piece. I know, I know - it's a sickness I have (though I'm sure DST ain't complaining about my voluminous doubling and tripling). He predictably comes with the "stealth shield" which very weirdly and very conspicuously only appears in the opening boat sequence. It would have been ideal if they'd included a red one as well, but I suppose that's one more reason to get a second Cap/Bucky set...
DST - Marvel Minimates, Best of II: Daredevil & Venom
Stupidly I missed out on the Venom "Through the Ages" box set but thankfully this figure pretty much nails the character. I'm not crazy about the mega-tongue head so I quite appreciate the more McFarlane-y face on the head. Likewise, it's excellent that he's got the symbol painted on both the chest and the bulky chest cover for even more alternate options! Daredevil, though, is just another Daredevil. If I lined them all up I'm sure he'd be fairly unique but on his own he just seems like more of the same thing. If it weren't for him I'd totally get a second set for another Venom.
DST - Marvel Minimates, Best of II: Deadpool & Punisher
These are two cool characters with awesome costumes and while Deadpool looks neat Punisher is less so. I think this is more of a "first appearance" look for Frank but it's not really doing much for me, unfortunately. It would have been cool if he'd come with a black trenchcoat and alternate, matching arms to sort of justify doubling up, since Deadpool's "Y" strap is removable (two figures with two alternate looks = I'll buy two sets), but I can mod up that look myself, I'm sure. For what it's worth, this second "Best Of" series also included the previously reviewed Dr. Doom and Mr. Fantastic set.
DST - Marvel Minimates, Best of II: Loki & Hulk
I am a sucker for alternate looks. I'm a bigger sucker for when that alternate look is a very different appearance or a different character. I'm a huge sucker for alternate identities in white lab coats! So this set was an immediate "buy two" and I had talk myself out of a third set (because Banner can be displayed with the bare Hulk arms for a coatless look) because of Loki. From the neck down Loki is great! The body printing is perfect and the big flowing capes is a nice touch. But the hair is just copied over from the movies as his the helmet... which really bothers me. I understand the cost issues of re-use versus new tooling but everything about the movie helmet's aesthetic is contrary to the classic/Silver Age look of the rest of the figure, so the clash is just a bit too distracting for me.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Alicia Masters & Moloid
Now this - THIS is why Minimates are amazing and DST is awesome. Alicia freakin' Masters, guys! What are the odds she'd ever get a toy? And she turned out really well. She's a beautifully simple figure. Her pupils are a very light blue to convey her blindness a la the comics. And as if getting an Alicia Masters isn't cool enough, she comes with her sculpted bust of The Thing! I mean, COME ON!!! It's a great piece and a fully new sculpt except for his brow/crown which is the same piece as on Thing Minimates - a nice but of continuity! She comes with a Moloid, the same as Sue Storm, which is a nice way to battle-build up these little minions. I really just can't extol the virtues of this set enough. Sure it's not as "sexy" or exciting as some others but this sort of character depth and attention to detail in accessories is precisely why this whole format has endeared itself so closely to my heart.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Blastaar & Human Torch
God, man, this is such a great series! Blastaar turned out perfectly. His hair/beard piece is nice (perhaps a bit too detailed, though) leaving a great opening for his face. He uses the "big guy" chest, bicep, hand, thigh, and feet pieces to good effect. The paint design on the torso is excellent, instilling a strong sense of sculptural detail when there is, in fact, none. Johnny is a fun, mid-transformation version. He gets Electro's energy base in trans-orange and a similar "vest of fire" for his torso. His arms and feet have fire sculpted on them, which of course begs for a fully en-flamed Torch. In lieu of alternate fully Torched parts he gets a regular Johnny head and hair piece, which is pretty nice. Pop it on Reed's body and it's a prefect Flame-Off Johnny Storm, which is actually my only real complaint here - I'm sure the budget couldn't allow it but if only this set included a fully painted regular suit torso this series would be utter perfection BECAUSE then you could put the alternate pieces on Reed and give his arms and legs to Johnny! As is though, the series only has the one male F4 chest which is also the crucial hub for Reed (plus the fiery, half-painted chest Johnny had doesn't look quite right with human arms and legs). Still, though, an absolutely delight of a set.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Mr. Fantastic & The Puppet Master
This is the greatest Minimate set of all-time. That's a bank-able fact and I honestly can't imagine how anyone could really have less than two of it - indeed I need at least one more myself! You see, both character comes with significantly alternate looks, and both of those looks are even further adjustable for even more alternatives. Reed gets his stretchy neck, arms and leg pieces while The Puppet Master comes with parts for business suit or work-desk looks! And, you can swap his hands and loose the apron from a business-casual look, or mix any of these piece up with Reed for about-town or a variety of Lab looks. It's just... guys, it's just the best thing ever! It's the pinnacle of everything Minimates gets right! Nice, simple, stylized figures of characters both A and D list with the mix'n'match parts leading to countless options in how to display or play them! Oh, and the Puppet Master comes with two little gray puppets, which are just tiny little "micromates" - toys of toys!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!
DST - Marvel Minimates: Falcon & Winter Soldier
This was a pretty boring series that tied blandly into the second Cap movie, and half the figures carried over into the TRU series. This could have been a fun set because this is the "evil" version of Winter Soldier while TRU got the "good" version, and certainly big kudos for DST for doing both across the two different assortments to keep thing fresh for those of us chasing both. However... Falcon is the same one as at TRU, which is pretty annoying; especially since he has a goatee! Maybe I'm wrong but I don't ever recall seeing Falcon with facial hair before seeing this Minimate. I'm guessing he's some kind of specific version but it would have been really nice if one version didn't have the goatee and was thus more "classic" - that way we'd be rewarded for buying both sets, much like with Winter Soldier. Seeing as I'm not very knowledgeable of, or therefore invested in, either of the characters I'll just shrug off these unappealing costumes and just be happy to tick some characters of the list, I suppose.
DST - Marvel Minimates: Robot Red Skull & "Fighting Chance" Captain America
Cap is the same one that came with Falcon at TRU. It's a weird but fun design. The real draw here is the Red Skull Robot, which basically just a fun reuse of the Zola 'bot and parts. In a VERY surprising twist, DST went the extra several miles by including some really novel accessories with him! He's got a basic mask/helmet piece but with the Red Skull's face printed on it - I'm given to understand this is a reference to an era wherein the Red Skull's titular feature was a mask he wore rather than actually having a skull head that was red. Nice attention to detail! And the second, very cool and very much appreciated is a black hand holding a translucent blue Cosmic Cube! Clearly this is the teseract from the movies so this will be going right the eff over to the Red Skull 'mate from the first movie and both he and I offer DST our mighty thanks for it!
DST - Marvel Minimates, Series 50: Baron Zemo/Zemo II & Nova Corps
Alternate looks and battle builders... my two main vices. And this set lays super hard in to them! This was Series 50's variant set so the two-per-case set came with classic Zemo in the ski mask and the one-per-case set came with the more modern Zemo in the tighter fitting mask. Very coolly, Zemo I has a fully scarred up face painted on under the mask, so that helped me talk myself into justifying tripling up because, goddamn, the Nova Corpsman is insane! He gets a removable helmet, black hair, brown hair, a red mohawk, a human head and a Kree head! The combinations are limitless! I really, really do appreciate Zemo I's painted head because it does allow weirdos like me to justify multiple purchases, and really I'm just struggling to think of what I could do with a fourth so I could get another Corpsman!
DST - Marvel Minimates, Series 50: Ghost Rider & Onslaught
This very well may be the prettiest Marvel Minimate set yet released. The translucent blue flames and metallic colors really pop, and with so much new tooling on both figures they really feel like no expense was spared. I know precious little of the seemingly short-lived Blue-Flame Monster Ghost Rider other than he makes for awesome toys, and Onslaught, well I just love that design and, though I never read that story, I do, very much, have a nostalgic '90s softspot for him. Both figures turned out great here, and if you get just one set from Series 50 - make it this!
DST - Marvel Minimates, Series 50: Songbird & Cyborg Spider-Man
I have no idea who Songbird is (....X-Men universe?) but everyone sure seems to love the heck out her - she's always winning polls and stuff. I must concede she has a pretty nice design, though I always figured she part of some team (like the Nova Corps, etc) because her costume is VERY uniform-y, but I'm given to understand she's a stand-alone character. This 'mate is really nice and her translucent pink base is equally eye-catching. She comes with Cyborg Spider-man which is just so goofy and extreme, it's great! I have no idea if he ever showed up in the comics but I VERY MUCH recall the old ToyBiz figure, so for me this another amazing nod to classic '90s toy collection! His eye-patch and bandages are removable and he comes with an alternate arm should you prefer your Spidey more "battle-damage" and less "'90s awesome."
DST - Star Trek: Original Series Enterprise with Captain Kirk
I really love that DST went for it here and got out a Minimate vehicle, and of the Enterprise no less! However, now that I've opened it... I don't know... I don't really love it. The Enterprise itself is a nice piece and it's design is surprisingly well suited for being Chibi-ized into this aesthetic. The bridge opens up can can fit the captain's chair. There are stickers to decorate the bridge interior, but crazily it's just two long ones which are exceptionally hard to apply accurately given their length and that they are applied to a curved, inset surface. The set does have the captain's chair and I'm very happy that it's removable (I'll be displaying it separate from the ship since otherwise the top of the saucer would have to remain open) but oddly it seems that the chair was over-scaled by about a third. As a result Kirk kind of looks like a kid in a big chair. Kirk does come with the set, but I can't say he's all that remarkably different or better than the yellow-shirt Kirk available at TRU. The biggest surprise to me once I assembled the whole thing was the base... it's huge! The base plate seems much wider than necessary and the arm supporting the Enterprise equally much taller. It's hard to really articulate in words or photos, but it just feels too big/tall in hand. I really wanted to love this release, but sadly I can't really find anything about it to really excite me.
DST - Star Trek: Admiral Kirk & Khan
Much like Puppet Master above, Kirk is a perfect Minimate because he has a TON of options! His coat is removable and he gets alternate arms so, thanks to a fully painted torso, you can do the Away Team look or the Genesis Cave look! That's exceptionally cool because one could easily donate the spare coats to a Saavik or McCoy to complete the team! ...but we don't have Minimates of them. Kirk even gets an alternate head screaming the infamous "KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!" which is a surprising and very fun inclusion! Khan is a gorgeous figure and perfectly captures the character. However... he gets NO alternate looks... which means you just get doubles of a figure if you want to have both Kirks... lame. Well... not lame, but certainly annoying and disappointing. I'd easily have gotten three of this set if there was ANYTHING else that could be done with Khan (battle damage head and arms, alternate smiling head, bare arms even - anything!) but alas, no such luck. Still, though, it's a good set (it just could have been great).
DST - Star Trek: Archer & Xindi Reptile
The fourth set in the direct market line is this one, thus giving us all five captains - nice! I strongly dislike Enterprise but this set does it proud. The Starfleet jumpsuit is captured remarkably well here entirely through paint and the likeness is passably Scott Bakula (huh, I wonder if anyone has done Quantum Leap Minimates with this Bakula head and the Dean Stockwell head from Battlestar Galactica?) and he comes with the phase-pistol and communicator. With him is packed, kind of surprisingly, a Xindi - but this reptilian turned out pretty neat with his all-new head and torso cover. This a pretty simple set, but a visually engaging one none the less; plus it's a nice way to finish complete the set of Captains.
DST - The Expendables: Boxset 1 (Direct Market)
This set comes from the first movie and helps complete the team. The figures are all nice enough and it, of course, comes with a myriad of weapons. Terry Crews' Hale Caesar was one of the few thing that was actually enjoyably about the first movie, so it's nice to get him here though that likeness isn't too convincing. Jason Statham's Lee Christmas gets a bland, run-of-the-mill Minimate to match the character the and performance. Mickey Rourke's Tool was an odd inclusion in the movie but a fun one here since he isn't dominated by black clothing (I wonder if this could pass for or be mod-ed into a "casual" Ivan Vanko from Iron Man 2 [they were shot close together hence Tool has much the same appearance]). Bruce Willis' Mr. Church was just... exactly why no one gives a s--t about Willis anymore - but, my god, is that likeness spot on here. It's too bad it's flat head and can't sport any hairpieces because I'd be tempted to make a John McClane!
Icon Heroes - Thundercats: Boxset 5
And, at last, my collection is complete! The Thundercats Minimates through Icon Heroes have been really great! These characters are exactly the strong suit for Minimates - costumes that can mostly be captured through paint and BRIGHT COLORS (seriously, compare this set to the Expendables one above - which would you rather buy?). In this set we get: Berbil Bert, Pumyra, Bengali, Lynx-o, and Ratar-O. All turned out beautifully and are a very nice conclusion to this stellar line. Now, if only they'd release a Lion-O and Mumm-Ra two-pack as the "cherry on top" so that we use and display those alternate pieces...
DST - Thor The Dark World: Heimdal & Loki
I love, Love, LOVE Idris Elba but he is utterly wasted in these movies, Marvel's weakest franchise. At least Heimdall had something to do in the sequel (I think? All I can remember about Thor 2 was that when aliens attacked New York the Avengers assembled but when aliens attacked London they let Thor deal with it solo - ah the logic-holes of a shared universe...) and he now gets his own Minimate, which is certainly fine enough for what it is. I have no affinity for Hiddleston's Loki, nor do I understand the fanbase it has accrued but here is the pandering figure of the pandering character to appease that fanbase. It's pretty remarkable to me that they manage to make Loki's costume even less appealing with each successive appearnce.
DST - Thor The Dark World: Darcy/Selvig & Dark Elf
It's really cool to get a figure of Darcy, that's pretty deep character diving for a Marvel movie, but why, oh god, why must we get ANOTHER Selvig figure? I guess DST just freakin' LOVES underwear since they did Minimates for both Selvig and Rhino in ASM2, whose one scene is "whoops, my underwear is showing - how zany!" Seriously - why is this not Natalie Portman!? Not only is her character significant to the plot in Thor 2 they could have also done alternate heads, much like the Select figure. Instead, we get another Selvig. Oh well, at least the other figure in both sets is a Dark Elf! As previously extolled I absolutely ADORE this design! He comes with alternate hands with short "claws" as well as the "cannon arm" and "long claw" hand he's packed sporting. However, at least with both of mine, the pegs on the short-claw hands are too small, or too big on the others (causing the wrists to expand), cause they keep sliding out, alas.
DST - Thor The Dark World: Thor & Malekith
This is your go-to, signature set for the Movie. It pairs the hero with the villain and captures both nicely. I'm just not crazy about the movie costumes for Thor and find both of his stand-alone movies to be the weakest in Marvel's "Cinematic Universe" so really I'm just getting these out of completionism more than enthusiasm. Thor is just another Thor. He's good, but nothing new or exciting. Malekith is done well, and I like that he has scarred and un-scarred heads too. His fleshtone does seem a bit too caucasian based on his paleness in the movie, but what're ya gonna do.
DST - The Walking Dead: Alice & Shoulder Zombie
This is a pretty nice set. Alice turned out pretty neat. I both like and am a big sucker for alternate jacketed & un-jacketed arms for both looks. The Shoulder Zombie is one of the better Zombies they've done and I really like that the shoulder peg is painted so, thanks to the modular nature of Minimates, he works with the left arm either on or off - a nice touch since he's copied over for the set with Prison Laurie.
DST - The Walking Dead: Governor & Bruce
I have this Governor from the TRU set but it's nice to have a second since he has the alternate head, but my recollection is that he was either "all together" or "eyeless and armless" so it's pretty surprising and annoying that he doesn't come with an alternate amputated arm, especially since that piece exists thanks to Amazing Spider-Man's Curt Connors. Bruce is unique to this set and nice enough, though an odd middle-ground between visually interesting and boring. I don't remember him from the comic but he's implicitly a Goon for the Governor.
DST - The Walking Dead: Hooded Michone & Gabe
I'd picked up the TRU set with Hooded Michonne previously but since she's fully painted under the poncho I am pleased to be able to display both versions now. Gabe is unique to this set and a surprisingly unique looking 'mate thanks to his big fat gut. I don't explicitly recall the character but I'm sure he's a henchman for the Governor, so that's nice to build out that group.
DST - The Walking Dead: Tyrese & Prison Michonne
I had ordered a set of Series 4 in order to get Prison Laurie, but they put this set from Series 5 in instead. That's pretty annoying but that set is pretty hard to come by so ultimately I'm not terribly surprised they didn't have it, and since I didn't have this one I decided it wasn't worth raising a stink over. Michonne looks pretty nice in the prison jumpsuit, but maybe I'm just biased due to a growing enjoyment of figures in that outfit. It's nice to add Tyrese as well. He's a simple figure but I dig that he comes with alternate hair and beanie pieces.