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Jay & Silent Bob

Minimates
by yo go re

The duo known as Jay and Silent Bob met as infants in front of the Quick Stop in Leonardo, New Jersey, and have spent most of their lives there. When they aren't dealing illicit substances, the duo have been known to shoplift, dance and entertain foreign exchange students. Of the pair, Jay does all of the talking while Bob lives up to his name and remains silent. However, he will occasionally dispense relationship advice to those whom he believes are in need of it.

Art Asylum had not yet revealed they picked up the View Askew license when this particular two-pack was announced. That's a fun way to break the news! The figures are sold on a blister card with a very striking red and black colorscheme, and the back is mostly white. The glue holding the blister to the cardboard is rather weak, so these things pretty much open themselves!

The packaging suggests the figures are based on Clerks, but as Rustin pieced together, they're actually based on Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back - the easiest way to tell is to look at Jay's clothes. In Clerks, he wore a white shirt over a dark hoodie (yes, "over" - nobody ever said the guy was smart), while this figure is clearly wearing a grayscale version of the bright yellow windbreaker he sported in the latter. Although, to be fair, it's not like there's anyone else you could mistake this figure for: Jay is one of a kind! Well, him and all the other scrawny burnouts who are into heavy metal.

Jay is wearing a black cap and his light hair (yes, we know it's blond, but on this figure that means "gray") falls down around his shoulders. There's something weird about his face, though: when they were designing Jay for the animated series, the secret to capturing his likeness was to make him look childish; here, he's got a mouth like a cat or something. Of course, it doesn't help that Jason Mewes' head doesn't translate well to the standard Minimate cylinder.

Speaking of being shaped like a cylinder, Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith, the director of these films, is also the one who plays Silent Bob, the most inappropriately named character since... some... other... inappropiately named character. Being clever is hard. He's not actually silent, is what we're saying. He might have been, if Mewes hadn't been too nervous to deliver his line

Silent Bob may get a new kind of trenchcoat in every movie, but his appearance remains generally the same: you can't immediately pick out his source the way you can Jay's. Coat, T-shirt, backwards hat... you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. This Minimate does a really nice job of duplicating all that. He also gets a new left hand, molded with a cigarette sticking out of the fingers. Kevin Smith wasn't actually a smoker when he made Clerks - pretending to smoke for the film got him hooked on the habit.

One thing about the figure that doesn't look very good is the hat. Since it's part of the hair and has to fit around the normal Minimate head, it looks way too big on him. This also causes problems with the face: the painted likeness is good, but it ends up seeming too small on the head, which contributes to him looking weird.

This was a nifty way for Art Asylum to introduce their new license, but it has its problems. By virtue of needing to reuse molds, the versions of Jay and Silent Bob chosen aren't the ones most fans would really want. Doing them in black and white helps, but that can only cover so much. Don't think of this as a "must-have" SDCC exclusive, but hopefully it portends greater things in the future.

-- 08/24/13


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