2011
02.02

Wave 1 contained some DC heavy hitters (Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Joker) and wave 2 seems to be consolidating the ranks with some second tier characters. This review features one of Batman’s closest allies and one of his deadliest foes; Robin and the Penguin.

After Playalong/Art Asylum’s “Minimates with building blocks” attempts in the ill-fated C3 range, DC Direct decided to snap up the licence, bringing us 2-packs of Minimates a la Marvel, but with no chase figures.

 

Packaging

The packaging style for this wave is the same as the first, which is no bad thing as it was good, simple packaging which showed off the figures and accessories effectively. The Minimate’d picture is of Batman, which is slightly strange as he doesn’t actually feature in this wave! I guess DCD had shot themselves in the foot giving Superman the pic in the first wave. The figures are held into the back tray of the blister by twist ties.

The back of the card shows off the rest of the wave. I’d’ve liked to see some small bios incorporated like the newer Marvel sets.

  

 


 

The Figures

Robin 

 We got a Robin Minimate in the older C3 line. That one had a more modern look, suggesting it may have been the Tim Drake version of Robin. This one is the original Robin, Dick Grayson! From the pixie-boots to the big cheesy grin, this guy is rooted in the 50s.
 

Robin has his usual domino mask to cover his eyes (never really understood how that conceals an identity enough, but still) and as mentioned, a big grin. This is the happy-go-lucky teenager Robin. He has a different hairpiece from the original C3 Robin, thankfully. This is much harder plastic and actually stays on his head due to being pegged on.

The body detailing is very good. The chest block is all red, and has the “R” logo and some slight (not overdone) muscular detail. Robin’s just a kid, after all. He has a “skirt” piece that is painted round the sides and back (even though the back is hidden by the cape). The cape itself is shorter than usual Minimate hero capes but looks great on Robin. His feet are perhaps the only flaw. They have been designed to mimic his pixie boots but the boot pegs don’t hold the ankle posts tight enough, leaving a bit of a gap between the boot and the legs and also unbalancing the figure when you try to stand him up.

Robin has a “Batarang” accessory to hold. It’s a nice enough piece but is a bit small and plain compared to some of the other accessories Batman gets, and isn’t a patch on the suction-cup idea that the original had.

Overall, this improves on the C3 Robin in almost every way, so good work by DCD.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10


 

The Penguin 

The Penguin, Oswald Cobblepot, is one of Batman’s more high profile villains, but it’s taken until now to get a figure of him made. The main problem was that a short, squat man is hard to pull off as a Minimate block figure, but DCD have thrown some very interesting ideas into the mix with this figure.

The Penguin has one of the most detailed faces yet seen in the DC Minimates line. There is a lot going on with the face, from the snarling mouth to his monocle detail. It’s busy, but works for this character. The other thing that Oswald has that most Minimates don’t (apart from the Riddler, interestingly) is a hat. Penguin has a very nicely-realised top hat on, with the hair attached to the back of it.

To convey the bulk of the Penguin, DCD went way back to Marvel wave 1 and borrowed the big jacket from the Kingpin. It worked on that figure and it works here too. Most representations of the Penguin don’t have him in a white suit, but he’s usually wearing something quite dapper so it’s not much of a stretch even if it isn’t a classic look for him.

To further emphasise the shortness of the Penguin, he also has a unique set of feet, which are much smaller in height than normal Minimate feet. Imagine the usual feet as shoes and these as flip-flops. They work really well to reduce the height without making it too noticable. However because of their reduced footprint (sorry, couldn’t resist), they aren’t able to be clipped onto C3 building blocks because they don’t have the space necessary to fit the hole into them.

The Penguin comes with something of a signature accessory for him – no, not an actual penguin, sadly, but his umbrella. This piece is very nicely detailed and he looks great wielding it as a weapon.

Overall the Penguin Minimate is both unique and fun and is a great addition to Batman’s villains roster.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Danny Mills

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 7.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 7.2/10 (5 votes cast)
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  1. Some other reviewers have moaned about Penguin’s white suit but I’m agreeing with what’s said here – it isn’t a big change. The expression on penguin is ace- considering his nose is one of his most famous features to have a noseless minimate might’ve been hard to pull off but it looks spot on.

    Robin is great except for, like the review says, his feet. But it’s only a small detail so it doesn’t ruin it, it is a shame though