When they first began, Minimates were all tied into Marvel's movie properties - Spider-Man, Daredevil, X-Men and so forth. They weren't movie figures or anything, they were just using the newfound public recognition of the characters to help sell the toys. With Series 14, however, Art Asylum and DST have finally made the jump, offering three official X-Men: The Last Stand two-packs.
Surprisingly, only one of the packs really offers both a hero and a full-fledged villain - the Brotherhood gets short shrift this time around. Personally, though, the bad guy was a good choice.
Juggernaut was streamlined for X3 - a move which confused and frightened the fanboys.
"Juggernaut isn't a mutant, he's empowered by the crimson gem of Cyttorak!" "Why didn't they explain that he's Professor X's step-brother?" "Why didn't they explain that he's vulnerable to psychic attacks?" Boo hoo hoo. Freaking crybabies. But still, the biggest complaint was probably that they dared to change his costume.
Anyone expecting Juggernaut to show up in his all-red, dome-headed costume was deluding themselves. When the first X-Men movie came out, the fanboys hated the black leather uniforms - until they saw the film and realized how well the designs worked. Juggy's costume is obviously inspired by the comics, but with a real-world slant. It's a leather harness holding the armor plates, and his helmet looks like a concrete version of Magneto's, suggesting it provides similar mental protection.
Though the first photos of the costume looked iffy, the final version in the film worked perfectly.
The Minimates always have detailed faces (well, unless they're not supposed to), but it's truly impressive the way AA can get decent likenesses of actors using nothing more than a few black lines. This really looks like Vinnie Jones, despite only being ½" tall. In a very cool move, all of the armor and gear is removable, so you can make anyone the Juggernaut, bitch.
Juggy's foe in this set is not one he actually faced in the movie;
it's the once and future X-Man, Beast. In the movie continuity, Hank McCoy was one of Xavier's original students, and got involved in politics after graduation rather than join the X-Men. After the events of X2: X-Men United, the president recognized the growing role of mutants and created a new cabinet position: the Secretary of Mutant Affairs.
Beast, in the movie, was blue and furry, which was no surprise: it's a much more visually impressive look for the character. In his X-Men uniform, he looked quite a bit like Frank Quitely's New X-Men rendition of the character, but that's just because Quitely ripped off the style of the movie costumes rather than design something new. He's wearing dark pants and a short-sleeved jacket. No shoes, since he holds things with his feet.
The paint is good,
even if the Kelsey Grammer likeness isn't as stong as Juggernaut's. His fur is dark blue, while his face and hands are lighter - a bit too light, perhaps. He has tiny toenails painted on his feet, and tufts of fur sculpted on the back of his hands. The X logo on his jacket is a raised element, and his big mane of hair is a separate piece.
All Minimates share the same 14 points of movement: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. Art Asylum and DST have once again changed the packaging for the Marvel 'mates, offering X3-branded boxes that feature hangtags and have the same angled look as the Minimates you've been seeing in real stores lately, like the X-Men and Avengers four-packs at TЯU or the Battlestar Galactica Cylon 5-Pack. It's a nice enough design, though the interior tray is an odd shape. With one hero and one true villain, this set is a stand-out offering from Series 14.
Who was your favorite new mutant in X3? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.