In 1996, Capcom released X-Men vs. Street Fighter, firmly linking the two properties in fans' minds. We even got an official line of figures from ToyBiz, but it's the unofficial crossovers that are so much better. Was it a conscious decision for SOTA to make their Street Fighters in the same general scale and style as Marvel Legends? It certainly didn't hurt sales. We're getting another chance to mash it up now that Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys have released Street Fighter Minimates.
Proving that the folks at Art Asylum are no dummies, each of the Street Fighter Minimate sets is a ready-made battle in a box: one bad guy, one good (or at least "less bad") guy, all in one purchase. Can't beat that. This set sees everybody's favorite kung-fu cutie, Chun-Li, facing off against the man who killed her father, M. Bison. Fight!
This is classic Chun-Li, wearing the costume from her debut in Street Fighter II. She's in her modified blue qipao - the traditional, body-hugging dress that we all think of as a normal Chinese outfit. Her white boots go up to her knees, and her legs are brown. Her spiked bracelets are separate pieces held in place by her hands, and her hair plugs firmly into her head.
The paint apps are handled well.
The yellow detailing on her dress has a thin black outline, and her features are decidedly Asian. You know, for a completely smooth block with no features at all. The silver on the spikes is a bit uneven, and her ox horns (those buns in her hair) should be painted white, not brown - it was only in Street Fighter Alpha that she wore them uncovered. And if you think "ox horns" is a strange name for a hairdo, it's no weirder than pig tails.
We've already detailed the multi-part tapdance that gave M. Bison his name, so let's give you some new trivia. SOTA's figure was a behemoth of a man, all huge and muscular; but that's not how he looked in Street Fighter II, so what's the deal?
The 'roid-rager actually comes from the Alpha prequels - his real body was destroyed by the end of that sub-series, and his consciousness was transferred into a clone. Since the clone body was new, it was smaller and weaker than the original. Ta-da!
We can assume Minimate Bison is the thin version, because if they intended his to be huge, AA could have given him a slip-on chest like Powerhouse Thing's. His red uniform looks good, with a bit of muscle detailed in black. He's got the wristbands and shin guards painted on in a light gray, and truly wicked grin on his face. His hat is removable, and his cape and shoulder pads are one molded piece that fits on the neck peg. The cape, in a very cool move, is flared out to one side, suggesting the way Bison would toss it aside at the beginning of his match.
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 sadly now-defunct C3 Minimate sets. The joints are all constructed well - a few of the recent waves of Marvel Minimates seemed to have problems holding together, but this pair is sturdy.
Chun-Li and M. Bison each get an accessory, as well. Since so much of the game is about flashy special moves, they each have a translucent energy effect.
Chun-Li gets a yellow swoosh that fits on her foot to simulate her hyakuretsukyaku, while Bison gets a big purple fireball. The SFII Minimates come in packaging reminiscent of the original Marvel Minimates blisters. There's art of the Minimate Ryu in the lower left corner, and a sticker with the figures' names on the front.
AA and DST did a great job on these figures. The character selection is good, and the pairings make sense. They're constructed well, and the paint is quite good. Add to that the fact that they're the perfect size to stage your own Marvel vs. Capcom battles and you've got a winner.
What other properties would you like to see Minimated? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.