2011
04.02

 

Wave 4 gives us some more Bat-family and associated villains, plus heroes and villians from many different eras of DC. They certainly are not taking an easy option with regards character selection. This set gives us two characters from the “Reign of the Supermen” storyline, which followed the Death of Superman back in the 90’s.

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. 8 waves were produced in all.

 

Packaging

The packaging style for this wave is consistent with the previous waves. Batgirl takes the spotlight as the character breaking out from the bubble. The figures are held into the back tray of the blister by twist ties. Apologies for not having packaging pictures accompanying the DC wave 4 reviews. As usual the fantastic Minimate Database will have them!  
 


 

The Figures

Steel

Steel took his inspiration from both the Man of Steel and a folk tale concerning a railway construction worker named John Henry. Coincidentally Steel’s civilian alias is John Henry Irons. What are the chances of that? Steel is essentially DC’s Iron-Man but without the dipsomania.

Steel is fully encased in his armour. The features on the mask are just that. A mask. Though it does appear that artistic licence is used quite often in the comics and Steel usually has some kind of expression on his face. The face is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. The head is cast in gunmetal grey plastic and while it’s an unadorned head, it still manages to carry off Steel’s look. The heavy brows over the eyes help, as does the use of black around the eyes themselves. The stoic expression gives the impression of a guy you don’t want to mess with.

Steels arms and torso are the same gunmetal grey as his head. The right arm features a silver coloured band around the wrist , while the left has what I believe is a weapon that fires iron spikes, that weapon and Steel’s hammer accessory reference the legend of John Henry. The musculature on Steel’s chest is rendered in very heavy black lines. I believe this is supposed to be the armour’s chest plate rather than Iron’s body.

Let’s talk about the cape. Great, isn’t it? I love it. I love the big chunky ‘S’ shield and the way it’s surrounded by rivets. I love the way the cape swoops up and over Steels shoulders before gracefully falling down his back. It’s a fantastic piece of costume and even more impressive when it’s acknowledged that it’s very unlikely to ever be used again. Steel’s belt looks like it’s a new part as do his boots. At first I thought the boots were the same as the variant Thor in Marvel wave 16 but after checking it’s obvious they’re a brand new piece. One small complaint regarding this figure is that once again the paint lines on the trunks are not symmetrical. The silver paint on the left leg definitely sits lower. This seems to happen a lot with the DC mates, though it doesn’t detract from the overall appearance as it’s only really noticeable on close inspection.

Steel’s only accessory is his trusty hammer, it is a really nice piece. Steel has C3 feet and a solid head with no peg hole.

In conclusion: A very nice version of a cool DC character. Could really have done with more attention to the face, but overall I am a fan.

MMC Score – 9 out of 10


 

Cyborg Superman

As with Steel, the Cyborg Superman appeared after the death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday. For a while Cyborg Superman was considered the true heir to Superman’s legacy but was eventually revealed as Hank Henshaw, a space explorer who’d had his body ravaged by cosmic radiation.

This is essentially a repainted Superman, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a mediocre repaint. A lot of thought has gone into the design of this little guy, especially around the face, and what a face it is! Only a quarter of ‘Superman’s’ face remains on its robotic skull, the kiss curl is present and the hair covers half of the head. This is a fairly accurate representation of how the Cyborg Superman first appeared, though there’s little doubt that this is his bad-guy persona we’re seeing.

The snarl on the robotic face is excellent, the normal eye on the head piece lines up perfectly with the red robotic eye on the left of the figure’s face. The head piece comes off to reveal the Cyborg’s true face in all it’s malevolent glory, though it’s definitely a more disturbing countenance when the ‘normal’ piece is applied. The head piece is held on by a clever peg and hole arrangement which is offset to the right (unlike the now traditional peg and hole on regular ‘mates). It works really well, the headpiece fits nice and securely when applied, but if removed the hole doesn’t look too out of place on the ‘mate’s head.

Superman’s regular costume shares space with the Cyborg’s metal parts. The chest block is divided down the centre half silver half blue, while the ‘S’ shield is half the familiar red and yellow and half black and yellow. Decoration is simple but fine. The muscle definition from wave one Supes has also been applied. The rest of the chest block is also silver and blue but there is no other decoration. The chest and t-pieces are cast in white plastic and painted, while the limbs appear to be cast in their base colours. Cyborg Superman’s right arm is metallic with some detailing at shoulder and wrist. The left leg starts as the familiar red trunks and blue tights but then also becomes metallic. I like that the designers haven’t tried to over egg the pudding with this ‘mate. The temptation to add circuitry and muscle lines to the limbs was likely difficult to ignore, but it’s the simplicity of this ‘mate that makes it work.

In Conclusion: A worthy addition to the DC stable of Minimates. I think it’s an excellent piece of work.

MMC Score – 9 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 8.8/10 (6 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 9.5/10 (6 votes cast)
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