Art Aylsum again offered an exclusive set of Marvel Minimates this year, and just like 2003's Ultimate Spider-Man and Gray Hulk, the set features two heroes. Or maybe that should be "one hero and one anti-hero."
First character in this set is Battle Damaged Captain America. Cap's had a figure before, paired up with the Absorbing Man, but then he was looking positively pristine. In the tradition of Spider-Man and Daredevil, Cap's gotten his butt kicked.
This is the classic Captain America costume: blue body, red boots and gloves, a white star on his chest and a white A on his forehead. He's even got the silly litte wings on the sides of his head. Of course, the costume is detailed with all sorts of scrapes, cuts and bruises - beneath the removable mask, you'll see that one of Cap's eyes is swollen shut. Ouch!
The figure comes with a pair of accessories. The first is a replacement hand: You can take off one of Cap's gloves and put this hand in its place. The hand is still painted red, to keep up appearances, but it does serve a purpose when combined with the second accessory, Captain America's shield.
Of course, ths isn't his usual shield - this is the energy-based version he used in the comics for a brief time after his "real" shield was lost. You can tell because the disc is molded from translucent plastic. The original Cap Minimate came with a shield, but usually ended up wearing it somewhere up around his elbow - thanks to the replacement hand, this one can carry it closer to his wrist. The shield attaches via a plastic ring to the figure's arm.
The other figure in this set, we can assume, is the one who's given Cap such a beating. It's our very first Punisher Minimate, leaving only Blade in the group of Marvel movie characters who haven't received Minimate representation.
The Punisher figure is pretty nice. This is technically called the "Classic Punisher," though it's not like Frank Castle has worn a whole lot of costumes throughout his career. He's got white gloves and boots, a white ammo belt and the famous skull logo on his chest.
Punisher always wears a black costume, but then, so does Bullseye, and we know how AA screwed that one up. Knowing that, it's a relief to see that they got the color right. While he's not flat black (it's more of a mix of navy blue and dark grey), this color looks perfect on him. This is what Bullseye needed to look like, instead of that stupid sky blue.
Frank's face looks really good, for a line of toys with no nose. He's got that grizzled look that he needs, and he's obviously seen a lot of battles. His hair comes off perhaps a bit too easily, but it's certainly not the worst we've ever seen in this line. The little curl hanging down in the front not only helps it stay on, but it'll be perfect for a custom Minimate Superman.
Punisher doesn't come with any weapons, but then, none of the Minimates have guns so far. Maybe they're still trying to work out a way to make them look good at the small size?
All the 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. The feet of these two figures have holes in the bottom that make them compatible with the new C3 Minimate sets, and they have new-style shoulders that give them a slightly wider range of motion.
Battle Damaged Captain America and Classic Punisher come in a black box that has a drawing of BD Cap chasing a fleeing Punisher. MOC collectors might not like this, since the piece won't really integrate with the rest of the line, but when it's used on an exclusive to keep prices down, it's good enough.
Does the packaging matter, or would you just throw it out? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.