The Minimates are anything but timely. Sure, DC's come out when they're supposed to, but that'd because they come through DC Direct, who are notoriously reliable about that sort of thing. The Marvel ones? They always seem to be a few months behind the curve. Take, for instance, the Spider-Man 3 Minimates, which were supposed to be out in the summer
(you know, around the same time as the movie?), but here it is fall, and we're still Spider-Less. Well, almost.
There was an exclusive set of Minimates that debuted at Wizard World LA this past March, giving fans a sneak peek of the figures even before the movie came out. Here it is, nearly October, and those are still the only ones we have. The set, dubbed the "Debut 2 pack," features an unsurprising but welcome pair of figures: Spider-Man, and Black-Suited Spider-Man.
What's really impressive
is that this is more than a half-hearted repaint of any of the existing Minimate Spider-Men. To begin with, the colors: Spidey's red has a touch more magenta in its mix, the blue is more of a navy, and the webs are silver rather than black. The design of the suit is true to the movie, rather than the comics, which means a lot of small differences. The cut of the boots, the pattern of the webs, the shape of the eyes, that sort of thing. Small stuff that says "this really is the movie Spidey, not a cut-rate repaint."
That claim could be made
about the Black-Suited Spider-Man in this set, however, since he is mostly a palette swap of his red and blue buddy. It's the same paint map seen on the other figure, just done in three shades of grey and silver. One really neat thing that pegs these as definite movie figures? Take a look at the blue sections of the costume (or their equivalent areas on this version), and you'll see an impossibly tiny "brick" pattern painted onto the figures. It's there on on the suits Tobey Maguire wears, and so it's here, as well.
Other than the color, one of the things that changed between the classic and black movie costumes were the Spider logos on the chest and back. When the alien goo took over the Spider-Suit, the logos got larger and wilder.
Both insignia on the black suit are the same light gray as the figure's eyes, rather than black and red, as they are on the classic costume.
Word has it that the inclusion of Venom in Spider-Man 3 was mandated by the studio, rather than an organic component of the story, but if that's true, Sam Raimi did a pretty good job of introducing and integrating a complex character that lacked any serious set-up in the previous films. Yeah, it was rushed and cramped, but it wasn't the complete disaster you'd expect a Venom story to be (just look at any of his own comics to see how bad things can get).
You may not want to pick up this Spider-Man 3 Debut 2 pack. When the real assortment of Minimates finally show up, both of these figures will be included, but they won't be included with one another. In Series 17, you'll be able to get Spider-Man with the new Goblin, and Black-Suited Spider-Man with Flint Marko. The press photos make it look like BSSM will have one of the "Powerhouse" jackets, but that's obviously a hand-painted prototype, and may not reflect the final plan. In any case, if you don't want either of those villains, then jump on this set. If you do want them, just be patient - maybe Series 17 will be out in time for the DVD release.