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by yo go re

The Minimate box sets used to contain five figures, but due to rising costs, that number has been dropped back to only four. But Art Asylum's plan currently seems to be to offer a four-pack through whatever channels, then offer a companion set as an exclusive at Toys Я Us. For instance, this summer at SDCC, you could buy a Thunderbolts quartet, but if you wanted to complete the team? It was off to TRU with you!

Capable of unparalleled acts of marksmanship, Bullseye could have become a hero if not for his sociopathic behavior and disregard for human life. His involvement with the Thunderbolts program has been kept top secret to avoid controversy.

Quite honestly, I probably would have bought this set regardless of who the second figure was, just to get Bullseye. There's been a Bullseye Minimate before - released on March 10, 2004, paired with Battle Damaged Daredevil - but it had its fair share of problems, primarily that it was painted the wrong damn color! Bullseye's costume has never been blue, and will in all likelihood never be blue, but that's what the toy was. Minimate technology has come a long way in five and a half years, so this update is not unwelcome.

Bullseye is, thankfully, black. Now that that's right, it's easy to overlook some of the other problems, like the fact that the black lines on the white portions of his costume are too thin, or that the white around his neck isn't solid enough, and so ends up more of a gray. Yeah, they're problems, but at least he's not emeffing blue, right? Grey paint has been used to give him some musculature, and if you remove his mask, the face beneath is more maniacal and has the bullseye symbol that Daredevil carved into his forehead.

In addition to the removable mask and other 3D costume elements (including a belt, holsters on his thighs and pouches on his boots), Bullseye has four weapons: two white billy clubs, and two silver and black sai. Unfortunately, none of the weapons fit into those slots on his legs - the holsters/sheaths are too narrow, so trying to put the gear in there will only stretch them out of shape and cause paint to rub off.

Dr. Karla Sofen used her training as a psychologist and psychiatrist to convince the supervillain Moonstone into giving up his power source. Claiming the power and name as her own, Moonstone has proved unstable since then and should not be trusted.

Moonstone's worn several costumes over the years, even when you discount her current identity as "Ms. Marvel" on Norman Osborn's Avengers team. This particular one, which actually looks quite a bit like Dagger's costume (but is different from the one worn in the art on the back of the box), was worn briefly after Civil War. It's pearlescent white with gold gloves and a... huh. You know Power Girl's boob-window? This is kind of a boob-exclamation-point. Which, in printer's jargon, is known as a "bang," so I guess that makes the design (wait for it) a golden boob-bang. [Good night, everybody! --ed.]

The hair is the same piece that was introduced with Jewel. It's very detailed, though it does come down a bit too far in the front: the mask dips down just a bit on her forehead, so there's a flesh-colored paint app there, but it's entirely covered by the hair, which means it's going to waste. It's actually a bit disappointing that the set had to give us this costume - the design is weak, and that makes for an unimpressive Minimate.

Neither Moonstone nor Bullseye are perfect, but they're both Minimates worth getting. Unfortunately, this TRU exclusive is a shortpack, so it's harder even to get than the normal TRU exclusives. If you want to complete your Thunderbolts team (outside of the upcoming Swordsman release), the hunt is really worth the time.

-- 09/28/09

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