Marvel MiniMates
Art Asylum
Included in series:
Daredevil, Elektra, Kingpin, Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, etc. (see review)

Included in Set: Series 1: Daredevil (Yellow), Daredevil (Red), Elektra (Red), Elektra (Black), Kingpin, Hulk (Green), Bruce Banner, Spider-Man (Ultimate), Silver Surfer, Gold Spider-Man; Series 2: Spider-Man, Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Battle-Damage Spider-Man, Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Spider-Man (Black), Hulk (Gray), Venom, Carnage, The Green Goblin, Rhino; Series 3: Wolverine (Ultimate), Logan, Cyclops (Ultimate, With Visor), Cyclops (Ultimate, No Visor), Storm (Ultimate), Jean Grey (Ultimate), Sabretooth; Series 4: Spider-Man (No Mask), Grabline Spider-Man, Gwen Stacy, Battle-Damage Daredevil, Bullseye, Doctor Octopus; Series 5: Civilian Wolverine, Captain America, The Thing, Doctor Doom, The Absorbing Man, Juggernaut; Giant Size X-Men Series: Wolverine (Classic), Cyclops (Classic), Storm (Classic), Nightcrawler (Classic), Colossus (Classic), Thunderbird, Professor X (Classic), Magneto (Classic)

Review: I wasn't interested in these when they first came out. I'd seen the kubrik action figures and it wasn't anything that impressed me too much. Also, I'm not a huge figure fan, it's gotta be something pretty cool to make me want it. But I am a big Silver Surfer fan, and a friend of mine got one of the Tower Records exclusive Silver Surfer figures and threw it my way. Then I was impressed.

At first glance, these figures appear to be cutesy Lego-style renditions of well-known characters, which is basically what kubrik figures are; but the MiniMates series of figures has done pretty well and is exploding into different genres. The Marvel figures are based heavily around the movies, focusing on Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Hulk characters… many of the characters are simply wearing different costumes from the comics, which I've noted in parentheses, but the newer sets are branching out. The MiniMates are usually three inches tall, but the Marvel MiniMates are two inches. They have an impressive fourteen (!) points of articulation: neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. Pretty good for being so small; on that note, the detail in the painting is pretty good as well. And many of the figures come with weapons or things you can take off like glasses and lab coats! Really pretty good quality.

On the general market, these are available in packs of four, with a fifth hidden figure (which is how you get the rare figures like Rhino). These retail for about $9.99. There are also two packs from Diamond Select Toys, some of which have variants in them, which retail at $6.49 (higher price, but you can see all the figures you're getting). Then there's the new Giant-Size X-Men set, culled from the comic era where they revamped the X-Men and brought in a new team in Giant-Size X-Men #1. This set comes with all six figures and currently retails for $24.99. As I mentioned, these sets have rare figures which encourages collectors to buy many packs and/or search far and wide. Also, there have been a fair amount of promotional figures or sets such as the Silver Surfer figure (w/surfboard). I've tried to include all these figures with their corresponding sets, although I may've missed a few.

Overall, this is an excellent line of figures that just keeps growing. If you love Marvel characters, and you can get past the initial cuteness, these are some sturdy, highly-poseable figures that definitely have collector's potential.

- - Jeff Light

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