Diamond Select Toys again offered an exclusive set of Marvel Minimates this year, and just like 2003's Peter Parker and Mary Jane, the set features a popular hero and his girlfriend.
The first character in this set is Wolverine, because, let's face it, we don't have enough of him yet. Sure, there were already five Wolverine Minimates on the market, but who's counting?
This Logan is different from all the rest, which is good - technically known as "Gaijin Wolverine," he's wearing the brown and orange costume that featured so heavily in his first solo miniseries. He's unmasked, so we still get to see that big goofy hair of his. The hair is reused from Civilian Logan, but that angry little face is all-new, all different!
He's got his claws popped, of course, like every single other Wolverine anywhere ever. Couldn't we get some alternate hands or something? It's not like the set comes with any other accessories, and if Captain America can get an extra hand so he can use his shield, then why can't Wolvie get some without claws?
In keeping with the idea that this set is based on the first issues of Wolverine, the second figure is Logan's love, Mariko Yashida. When the set was announced, a lot of fans complained that they were getting Mariko in her plain human form, instead of her when she became Lady Deathstrike. Well, there's a real simple reason why that is:
Mariko isn't Lady Deathstrike. She never was.
Lady Deathstrike is really Yuriko Darkwind, whose father invented the process for bonding adamantium to bone. Led to believe Wolverine had some hand in stealing the secrets of the process, Yuriko had herself converted into a cyborg to seek revenge. Mariko, on the other hand, was the cousin of some-time villain the Silver Samurai, and was at one point engaged to Logan. Pure human, all the way through.
This Mariko could be taken from any point in her history - she was traditionally seen wearing just the sort of kimono she's got on here. It's a separate piece, painted blue and coral, that fits over the Minimate body and limits all the lower-body articulation. Her hair is up in a Nihon-gami style bun, but she still doesn't have a full range of motion in her neck - it hangs down over her shoulders just a little. She's got slippers on her feet, as evidenced by the little toe indentation painted on each foot.
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.
Gaijin Wolverine and Mariko Yashida come in the new "blind box" packaging that now seems to be the standard for Marvel Minimates. Limited to 5,000 pieces, they were available from directly from Diamond Select Toys at the summer conventions of 2004 or from select retailers who bought in bulk to resell. Neither figure is a "must have," but the brown-suited Wolverine is a nice addition to the Minimate ranks.
Okay, so that's six Wolverines, and the next two have been announced. What costume do you want to see #9 in? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.