2011
02.02

 

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.

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 another version of Superman, and one of his adversaries, Brainiac 13.

 

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

Battle Damaged Superman

 
 
As possibly the most famous and iconic superhero ever, we can’t help but expect a few versions of Superman in the DC line. This is the second in two waves (with more upcoming). There have also been two in the C3 line, with a normal Superman and a Justice Lords version. Battle damaged Minimates are a pretty respectable way of giving us a variant, though.

The costume is taken from how Superman looked at the turn of the millenium (when he was fighting Brainiac 13, so it’s a 2-pack pairing chosen with a bit of care). His eyes are red and he has gritted teeth. This isn’t the serene look of the first DC Superman, and puts across that he’s been involved in a scrap. The hairpiece is a reuse but it’s acceptable.

The costume, as expected, has been ripped, torn and especially scuffed up in many places. There have been a few battle-damaged Minimates released in the Marvel line, and when they are done well, they look great. When they are done half-heartedly and skimping on detail, they are less good. This one has quite a lot of detail, but it is mainly scuff marks – the easiest way of detailing battle damage. You can see this most on the cape. It makes more sense for them to reuse the cape and scuff it up a bit rather than remold a new, damaged cape, no matter how much better it would suit the character. The arms and torso have a few ripped pieces, exposing skin. The “S” symbol is black and red rather than wave one’s more usual yellow and red.

Like wave one’s Superman, this battle-damaged version gets a piece of Kryptonite. This time it is red, but it remains an awkward accessory which no Minimate can really hold.

Overall, this is an OK Superman variant but it’s not all that exciting.

 

MMC Score – 6 out of 10


 

Brainiac 13

From wave 2 onwards each DC wave features a character that uses the two and a half inch Minimate body first seen in the Lord of the Rings line. This gives DCD the chance to make characters that are bigger than usual without resorting to Marvel-style powerhouse chest pieces and so on. In this wave the larger character size spot goes to Brainiac. Most people will be familiar with the purple and green skinned humanoid form from the various animated series, but this one is very different. There have been several Brainiacs in DC continuity. Brainiac 13 is a future, upgraded version of the android supervillain who appears at the turn of the new millenium to battle Superman once more.

Brainiac 13 has an indifferent, emotionless android face. He keeps the purple and green colour scheme, although it’s darker than other incarnations of him. He wears a gold harness in the shape of a skull. The detailing on this piece is very good, with a nice mesh pattern inside the “mouth” of the skull. The back of the harness has 4 “engines” and the top ridge that houses his tentacles. Ah yes, the tentacles. Brainiac has six purple tentacles that curve around him. They plug into the back, which I found quite fiddly to do. They didn’t seem to want to go in and when I put pressure on one to push it in, the one next to it would pop out. Sigh. Anyway, once they are in they don’t really move and aren’t designed to be flexible. However they give Brainiac a very creepy and distinctive look.

Brainiac doesn’t come with any accessories. People may argue that the tentacles are accessories but I see them as being essential to the costume.

Overall a Superman villain is always welcome and this one really looks the part!

MMC Score – 7 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Danny Mills

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 5.0/10 (5 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 8.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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