2011
01.02

 

For years Minimate fandom had been crying out for DC Minimates. Play-Along’s C3 construction kits went some way to meeting that need. But having to buy a crappy (come on, they were crappy) faux Lego building set in order to score a DC hero or villain ‘mate rankled with a lot of people [ooooh, controversial! – Ed]. Finally DC saw the light, pulled the plug on it’s ill-conceived Pocket Heroes line and placed its feet firmly under the Minimate table. Welcome to the party, better late than never. Here in wave 1 we have the despicable Joker and his protege Harley Quinn.

Packaging

Thankfully DCD (DC Direct) have opted for the traditional blister fronted card rather than Marvel’s closed box. The design is simple but effective, a yellow/orange explosion against a white background on the card itself. The figures are framed by a black insert which has the DC and Minimates logos at the top, and the Art Asylum and DC Direct logos on the ‘feet’ of the blister. One corner of the blister insert features art depicting a Minimate-styled Superman bursting out of the box. This artwork is very reminiscent of the old Marvel blister cards which used to feature the main character from a particular wave on its card insert (at least the first couple of waves did). There’s a sticker on the outside of the box telling us the names of the figures. The figures themselves are very easy to see inside the packaging as are their accessories. The figures are held into the back tray of the blister by twist ties.
 
 
The back of the card features lots of corporate legal gubbins and small pictures of the figures available in the wave. It’s really not very exciting, really. But hey, no variant! 
 
 


 

The Figures

Joker

 
 
It’s no real surprise that Batman’s greatest nemesis also appears in wave 1. This is the third Joker Minimate to be produced and they really pulled the stops out on this one.
 
 
The face is great, it positively screams Joker at you. It’s not quite as malevolent looking as the Chemical Warehouse Joker (see comparison shots) but it’s not as hokey as the very retro looking version that came with the C3 Batcave. To my mind the only thing wrong with the face is the hat, I may be the only person that thinks this but I feel it sits too low and casts too much shadow on to the face, obscuring the eyes quite badly. I’d have preferred to have had another Joker with ordinary hair or at least had the hat tilted back slightly to show off the face a bit better.
 
 
Decoration to the body is very simple. Joker generally wears a suit jacket so there’s never much in the way of body detailing anyway. What there is, is clean and direct, although the bowtie could perhaps have been picked out in a slightly lighter colour so as to stand out a bit more. Joker’s been given pinstripe trousers. They work well on the torso and t-piece but the transfer hasn’t been applied so well on the legs. The right leg is fine and even lines up nicely with the pinstripes on the t-piece. The left leg is spoiled by the transfer starting lower down. Another case of asymmetrical decoration on the legs of DC ‘mates. It must be the same person doing it, shoot them!Joker comes with the same cane as the previous two versions and a joke gun. The cane despite being a re-used piece is fine, as the figure looks good holding it. The gun I’m not so fond of. It’s great he has it but it seems out of scale to the figure and the handle stretches the Minimate’s hand somewhat. I’ve elected to display mine without the gun as I feel it spoils the overall look of the figure. Joker has the usual peg-hole in the head and C3 feet.
 
 
In conclusion, a good Joker that improves on what’s been before but doesn’t quite get to be the definitive version because of the issue with the hat.  
 

MMC Score – 7 out of 10


 

Harley Quinn

 

What’s not to like about Harley Quinn? She’s cute, she’s sassy, and if anyone falls out of line she’ll moiderize ’em! Harley’s a great character, introduced in the 90’s cartoon show Batman the Animated Series, she soon crossed over into regular DC continuity and even had her own book for a while.

A lot of thought’s gone into Harley, though I do feel they’ve got her face wrong. Maybe it’s the white ‘window’ in the hood? Maybe it’s the domino mask? The features look kind of squashed in on the face and give Harley a bit of a hamster cheek vibe. A shame as it’s clear a lot of time been spent on trying to get her right. There’s the huge blue eyes, the big goofy grin. Those ridiculous jester ears, but something’s a bit off.

Harleys head is a sleeve piece like Batmans. Slip the sleeve away and underneath there’s the face of Harleen Quinn, Harley’s alter-ego. The expression is exactly the same and yet on the actual head piece works a lot better. DCD have also included a hair piece for Harley (re-cast from the C3 Batgirl piece) so she can get her civilian downtime without accusations of being a Lex Luthor groupy.

The body is a basic Minimate body with white ruffs at the cuffs and new pixie style boots. Decoration on the front is first rate. Harley’s costume is based on that of a harlequin though much simpler. The separation of black and red sections is very neat and tidy as are the diamond motifs on her legs. The rear of the figure is spoiled somewhat by the DC and AA indicia obscuring some of the decoration.

Harley comes with a great accessory – A massive comedy style hammer. You can just imagine her straining to lift it then bringing it smacking down on Mr J’s toes. It’s possible to pose Harley holding the hammer raised in the air but it’s very tricky to carry off. She does look just as good with it at rest though. Harley Quinn comes with the requisite peg hole in the head and C3 feet.

In conclusion, I so want to give this figure a high score. Harley’s been one of my favourite characters since the days of the Batman cartoon series and I was so pleased to see her being one of the first DCD mates to be solicited. However, for me the issues with the mask let the overall look of the ‘mate down. I’m still glad to have her though. I’d rather have a slightly flawed Harley than no Harley at all.  

MMC Score – 7 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Stewart Kay

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 8.4/10 (7 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 8.0/10 (7 votes cast)
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  1. I gotta say I think these reviews of Joker and Harley are a bit harsh! I think the Joker’s hat shadow adds menace. Harley’s mask I have no issues with and I think she looks great with and without it, it’s cool to have both looks. Maybe I’m too easy to please but I would give both of these ‘mates 10 out of 10 and say they are amongst my favourites in my collection!