MiniMates Powerslave

It's a MiniMates kind of day!  I have another guest review up today of the Star Trek MiniMates, and I did a review of my own of those at Movie Poop Shoot.  Now Kevin jumps in with a review of the Powerslave figure from the Iron Maiden Mini-mates - take it away, Kevin!

Hey howdy fellow Toyland denizens. My name is Kevin and I’ve been collecting toys for, as my wife would say, ‘longer than the natural laws of maturity should allow.’ I don’t really have a particular genre of toy I favor over another anymore aside from a deep rooted love of Legos. I just look around and, if something catches my fancy and does not result in my wallet jumping out of my pocket and hightailing it out of the store screaming, I buy it. However, due to the jacking up of toy prices lately, it’s rare that I actually buy something. To put it simply, you’ve really gotta catch my attention and hold on to it fiercely for me to want to buy it (note to toy companies every where). So, I’ll start with something that I happened across at my local Graham Crackers Comics in St. Charles, Illinois

This is Art Asylum’s contribution to the Kubrickian mini-figure phase of toy development known as MiniMates. So far, Art Asylum has developed MiniMates lines for Kiss, Dark Angel, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Star Trek, Bruce Lee, and the so-called Rock Line. This review is for Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” from Rock Line 1. The other characters from this line are Ozzy Osbourne from Bark at the Moon, Rob Zombie’s “Superbeast,” and Alice Cooper’s “Constrictor.” The only other figure available at Graham Crackers at the time I went in was Ozzy who looked pretty cool in his own right, but this is Maiden and I just couldn’t say no.

Packaging - **1/2
Fairly sturdy rounded plastic bubble on a purple card with white, floating silhouette Powerslave heads all over the front of the card. The insert card in the bubble features the Powerslave heads floating around a round die-cut window framed with bones and the Iron Maiden band logo above the window and “Powerslave” at the bottom of the window. This bubble is sealed to the card and is anything but collector friendly aside from standing up pretty well to shelf wear. Just hope that not too many grubby-fingered kids get their hands on this first or the corners and shelf pin hook will be bent to hell.

The back of the card shows all four of the characters from Rock Line 1 and all of them look pretty good. An inset picture on the back of the card has a screened back image of several of the figures from the other lines. From what I can make out, it looks like the pic includes all four from the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon line as well as Ozzy, Alice Cooper, and Gene Simmons. 

I’m taking off one-and-a-half stars here because the box doesn’t give any sort of history of the character or talk about the band in any way, shape, or form. I like to learn a little bit when I look at boxes. I also don’t think purple is necessarily the best choice of colors for a character called Powerslave. Finally, as I already stated, this is a very collector-unfriendly carded container.

Sculpting - ***
I have been looking around at many of these minifigs and I’ve never really been impressed enough by them to do anything other than laugh. The Reservoir Dogs Kubricks are pretty sad. The Simpsons Blockos are God-awful. I kinda got a charge out of the DC Pocket Heroes. But, this was the first one that I’ve seen that had me do a double take and think, “damn, this is actually really cool.” That’s saying a lot considering I’m a fan of high quality sculpting in toys. 

Powerslave does not have the boring flat sculpt that minifigs tend to have. If you look around, almost all minifigs have a flat, squared body and all the detail comes in the painted-on features. Powerslave’s mummy-like bandage wraps are 3D plastic sculpts that fit on top of the torso. The bandages on his legs are actually part of the mold. The bandages and slave bracelets and chains are a separate piece that slip on over the arm and are held on by a pegged hand that slides in place (rather loosely, I might add). The head is much bigger than most other minifigs and he has a lock-on bandage wrap mask (there is a small peg and hole in the top back of the head and mask to lock it in place).

Paint - ***
All the bandage paint is an off-white, sort of cream color with a sand-yellow wash to simulate desert wear and tear. In some areas, the yellow gets to be a little too much especially in the forearm covers. On areas that are the normal MiniMates body, there is a pretty sad criss-crossing of yellow lines meant to give the appearance of bandages. Doesn’t quite do it for me. However, this is a heckuva lot more effort than I’ve seen in other minifig lines, so I won’t really hold it against them. The bronze in the chains and wrist cuffs is a straight paint job with no washout or discoloration whatsoever. The face is very nicely done with large, squinting black eyes with well-colored white pupils. The mouth has a great lopsided snarl that goes so far as to show teeth and gums. I give Art Asylum props for the face detail here even though there is no washout.

Accessories - Bupkis
As far as I’m concerned, there really is nothing in this category. Some might argue that the bandage wrap mask and the forearm covers could be considered accessories since they come off. However, since the figure looks rather incomplete without them, I’m not counting them as accessories. To me, accessories are something that is additional to the figure as a whole and can be removed or lost by small children without the figure losing anything from it’s overall “look.” He does come with a purple plastic puzzle piece featuring the same white Powerslave silhouetted head that appears all over the front of the card. However, I’m not sure what to make of this thing. It’s obviously not a stand because there is no peg on it and there are no holes in Powerslave’s feet. Are you just supposed to connect it with the puzzle pieces that come with the other figures? Who knows.

Articulation - ****
I was very highly impressed with this category. Many of these figures have very little articulation from what I can tell having looked at several of them in stores and having read several other reviews on this site. Powerslave has 12 points of articulation. Yep, you read right… 12! A ball-jointed head is reduced to simple turning due to the bandage sculpt surrounding the neck. But, we also have ball-jointed shoulders and hips, jointed elbows and knees, and cut wrists and waist. The positioning possibilities are limitless. Powerslave is currently sitting on my desk doing his best Fred Astaire tap and hat bow. 

Value - ***
I can’t say that Powerslave was necessarily the best priced toy sitting on the shelf at $6.99, but I don’t feel like I was gypped at all. Graham Crackers doesn’t usually have the best price on action figures, so I was shocked that this was as low as it was. I guess it would be up to each individual collector to determine if this sort of figure is right for them. Then you’ll need to decide if this is something you wanna shill out $7 for when you could use that money as a down payment on the McFarlane MM5 Jason Voorhies from Jason X (which was what I went in to Graham Crackers looking for).

Overall - ***
I really can’t complain too much about this figure. The 3D bandage sculpting really makes it stand out from the other minifigs out there. I was only disillusioned by the lack of accessories. Alice Cooper comes with a machete-looking sword and Rob Zombie has a set of Wolverine-style wrist claws. But, all in all, I really do like it and I know I’m gonna have some fun with this figure sitting out on my desk at work. Yes, I am impressed enough that I may just try to complete the collection and I will seriously consider any subsequent figures from future Rock Lines. I’m also interested enough to go search for the Bruce Lee minifig. 

Where to Buy - 
Aw hell if I know. But you can get more information about the toys from Art Asylum.

Figure from the collection of Kevin Apgar.

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