Hanna Barbera I-Men

This has been the year of the mini-figure.  With a ton of varieties, from Mez-itz to mini-Mates, to SMITI's and even these - I-men.  The I-men style is produced by Toynami, and this series is the second to take advantage of this format.

The first was a series of Robotech figures that I reviewed over at Movie Poop Shoot.  This series is based a several superhero Hanna Barbara cartoons, and includes Birdman and the Avenger, Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon, Gravity Girl and Meteor Man, Ookla and Vapor Man, and Thundarr and Ariel.  Each two pack retails for around nine bucks.

You should be able to find these at most comic shops, and specialty stores like Media Play or Electronics Boutique should have them as well.

Packaging - **1/2
While the blister card style is fairly standard, the artwork is eye catching and attractive.  There's nothing particularly exciting about the packaging, but it does it's job and does it adequately.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpting on these is fairly basic, given the style of the figures.  The bodies and legs are cubic, with flat sides and square edges, while the arms and heads are pretty basic cylinders.  Still, Toynami manages to get some decent detail out of thes basic forms.

The faces are painted on, similar to Pocket Heroes.  If you don't like that style, you'll have a problem here as well.  But if you can appreciate the detail in the paint work you'll find these to your liking.

Some do have special sculpting features, like the larger hands and pointy ears on Meteor Man, but for the most part they follow the same standard.

Paint - ***
The paint ops are crucial here, since what detail is provided comes through with the paint.  All the faces and eyes are extremely well done, which makes the sloppiness on other areas surprising.  With such great work on the faces, you wouldn't expect the belt lines, boot lines and arm bands.

There's good use of color to add additional detail, even though the overall appearance is fairly simple.

Articulation - ***1/2
Not quite as well articulated as Mini-Mates, but better than the average mini-figure, these have neck, shoulders, waist, hips, ankles and wrists.  You can pose them in a ton of positions, particularly with the use of the included magnetic stand.

Birdman and the Avenger also have a joint where the wings attach to each other and the back, so they can flap independently.  This joint has a metal pin assembly, so it should hold up fairly well.

Accessories - ***
Most of these figures only come with one accessory - the coin/stand.  This disc of metal is both a collectible coin, engraved uniquely for each figure, and a stand.  There are small magnets in the feet of every character, and the stand on the coin extremely well.  This let's you pose them in tons of cool ways, and the coins are sharp looking in their own right.

Thundarr also has a great looking sword, which he can easily hold in his hand.  Additional accessories for some of the other figures would have been nice though.

Value - **1/2
At eight bucks, or four bucks a figure, these are at least a dollar high.  Six bucks a pair would be much more appropriate, but even $7 is a decent value considering the metal coins.

Overall - ***
The I-Men are near the top of the mini-figures out there, certainly better than the Mez-itz, but slightly behind the Mini-Mates.  This is a cool license to pick up, particularly the couple from Thundarr, and the Birdman set.  I'm really looking forward to some of the full size items that Toynami has coming out next year, like the Herculoids and Thundarr series.

Where to Buy - 
These should show up at many comic shops, and stores like Media Play. On-line:

- Entertainment Earth has the set of five two packs for $40 plus shipping.


Keep scrolling for more photos!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour