Spider-Man and X-men Minimates

The first sets of Minimates based on the Marvel Universe hit only about a month ago. The next two sets are hitting stores now, based on the X-Men and Spider-Man.

These two sets contain six figures each, packed in three two packs.  The X-men set contains Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Logan, Wolverine, and Sabretooth.  The Spider-Man set includes Spider-Man, a battle damaged version, a version that's half Peter Parker/half Spider-Man, Venom, Carnage, and Green Goblin.  There's also a short packed figure in each series - a Cyclops without his visor in the X-men line, and a black costume Spider-Man in the Spidey line.

There are also some five pack sets that are hitting Toys R Us.  These five packs include several of the figures in these two packs, plus a 'secret' figure.  For the Spider-Man series, that's a Rhino figure, sure to be high on everyone's list.  For the X-Men series, the figure is Sabretooth from the two pack sets.  For the Daredevil/Hulk sets, it's a gray Hulk that was available as a convention exclusive two pack.

The two packs cost around $7-$8 each, depending on where you pick them up.  The five packs (available at Toys R Us) cost $10 - a much better value, but you won't have all six figures.

"I'm special!"

Packaging - **1/2
There's nothing particularly exciting about this packaging, but it fits the functional bill.  It's small, and easy to store, and shelf wear should be at a minimum.  The graphics and text are adequate, but you might have to keep your eyes sharp to catch them on the pegs.

Sculpting - **1/2
The beauty of the design of the Minimates is the simple sculpting and minimal detail.  The idea is to use the most basic form and yet create recognizable characters.

They pull it off very well here, and all 12 figures look good.  Some figures have more detail than others - for example, the street clothes version of Wolvie has a great hair sculpt, and the jacket for Sabretooth has lots of details.  Still, they are basic for the most part.  Sculpting is used sparingly, with much more emphasis on paint.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint application is terrific, which is so crucial for these figures.  They depend on it, since the majority of details including the eyes, mouth and clothing are done with only paint.

There's no slop, colors are clean and consistent, and the face details are particularly well done.  The expressions are great, very appropriate, and they are perfect even in this small scale. 

Articulation - ****
Another big key for these small figures is the extreme articulation.  They are designed to be toys, not statues, and they succeed in that area extremely well.

They all have neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, waist, hips, knees and ankles.  The joints work great, and have nice range of motion for such small scale.

These are great toys, and the more you play around with them, the more you like them!

Accessories - Bupkis - **
The Marvel Minimates don't include a lot of accessories, but there's always a little here or there where applicable.

Carnage has a swappable hand, Spidey has a long strand of plastic webbing with a hook, and some of the figures have additional pieces of removable clothing (Sabretooth's jacket, Storm's necklace, Green Goblin's bag, etc.)  While that's decent, the majority of the figures come with nothing.

It is important to note though that every piece comes apart, so that every figure can be dissembled, and everything from hair to feet to hands can be easily swapped around between characters.

Value - ***
The price depends a bit on where you pick them up.  At our local Media Play they are $7 a pair, which isn't great, but not terrible either.  At $3-$4 each, they are about a buck high, but these are so far above the style and quality of something like a basic PVC, that they are worth a little more.

Overall - ***1/2
I love these things!  Now, if you're looking highly detailed sculpts, with lots of accessories, these are not the figures for you.  If you love nifty little toys, that are fun to play around with and pose in lots of ways, then you should take a minute to check these out!

Where to Buy - 
You can find these at most comic shops and some specialty stores like Media Play.  Toys R Us is getting the five pack sets in right now, and are a better value overall depending on which figures you're looking for.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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