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Search & Rescue

M.A.X. Elite Heroes
by yo go re

Last year, Art Asylum introduced the Mobile Action Xtreme team, a line of Minimates built around police, firemen, etc. The line was a definite success (in that demand was outstripping supply), and now Minimates MAX are back for series 2. More police, more firemen, and now scuba divers and a search and rescue team.

Extreme sports can take place in extreme locations, and when something goes wrong you need Team Xtreme! This pair of search-and-rescue specialists are the the MAX team's resident experts on hazardous terrain, so when a hiker or mountain climber goes missing, they're the ones to call. From treacherous peaks to pitch-black caverns, they'll find the lost or injured party with their gear, fix them up with their med-kits and radio for an evac!

Search & Rescue #1 (not that they're named in the set, he's just the one one the left, and that makes him more important) is packaged wearing his full gear: a grey helmet with silver and black goggles pushed up on the forehead, a safety orange jacket with black stripes on the sleeves, a green backpack with black straps (molded as part of the chest cap), tan pants, and grey elbowpads, shin guards and boots. The shin guards are the same molds used for the MAX Firefighters, but they look entirely different thanks to the paint apps. It's surprising that his hands are bare: wouldn't he want to wear some gloves?

One of our complaints with the first series of MAX figures has not been done away with, here. There are two figures in this set, and they both have the same face. Unless we're to believe that a set of twins are working together, then it's weird. You can switch heads between the sets, of course, but why is it set up this way to begin with? Some kind of cost-saving measure?

Search & Rescue #2 has a more casual style of dress. He's skipped the helmet in favor of a tan hat, though he still has the goggles. He doesn't have a jacket, but rather an orange vest with black shoulders and "Search and Rescue" printed on the back in white - that means you can see his black cable knit sweater. He's got the same tan pants and grey shoes, but accessorizes them with a gray utility belt. #1 looks like he's ready to scale a mountain; #2 looks like he's out walking through a forest in search of a missing person. So still a legit load-out, just different from the other choice.

If you want to take him all the way back to full civilian, you can take off the vest and belt, and give him hair instead of his hat - the set includes two of the same mold, one in brown and one in black. Or hey, go the other way, and use the extra helmet, coat, arms, shin guards and feet and make him look exactly like his twin. And really, why the feet? They're not any different, but the set includes four extra feet. That plastic could have gone to something more worthwhile.

Those aren't the only accessories, though - the set also includes a white first aid kit, two black phones, a silver PDA, two olive green flashlights, a brown rope and two black walking sticks. It's all stuff we've seen before, but does that matter? Of course not. It looks right at home with these S&R guys. It's all stuff they'd use while looking for someone, after all.

Series 1 of Minimates MAX had one set of policemen, one set of soldiers, and four sets of firefighters. Series 2 is decidedly more even, with only one set of each type of MAX agents. But since we've already had cops and firemen, and the divers get a lot of their gear from Dr. David Reed, the Search & Rescue set jumped to the top of the heap. They're more good figures, and even with their reused gear, fun new additions to the world of Minimates.

-- 11/05/11

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