2011
01.02

For years Minimate fans had been crying out for DC Minimates. Although this need was partially met by Play-Along’s C3 construction sets there was always some resentment at having to buy a sometimes superfluous construction kit (think mini-flyers) just to get your hands on a Minimate. Thankfully DC Direct finally bit the bullet and commissioned DC Minimates to be sold in two packs. The DCD (DC Direct) Minimate waves consist of four two-packs to a wave. There are no chase variants, something fandom is exceptionally grateful for. Here in wave 1 we have Superman and his nemesis, the scheming Lex Luthor.

 

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

Superman

The first Minimate in this set is only the second ever Superman Minimate (not counting the Justice Lords version which is a different character) This is closer in tone to the comic book version of Supes, whereas the original C3 release was based on the character as depicted in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon.

The face is good, there’s almost a hint of Christopher Reeve to it. A serious expression but not stern. The hairpiece is new, it has more detail than the C3 version and fits the head better too.

Onto the body, the first thing you notice is Supermans ‘S’ shield on his chest. It’s larger than the C3 version and also seems to have more definition. Talking of definition, check out those abs. There’s no doubt that this is a seriously buff Superman, which is another contrast between this newer Supes and the more cartoony C3 version. The cape is a new piece and it’s very nice to see the ‘S’ shield printed on the back. The belt is also new, and it’s good to see that the trunks are finished with a black line which was something that was missed on the Batman ‘mate. The detail on the boots is also crisp and clear.

It’s interesting to note that Superman has been cast in white plastic and then painted with his base colour of blue. This seems to be a bit of a departure for Art Asylum as traditionally they’ve been cast in the base colour of the figure and then decorated. Using the white base may simply be a cost issue, but doesn’t seem to have lead to any quality issues with the Minimates themselves.

Superman comes with no accessories. Quelle Surprise… It’s not like he really needs any. He has a peg-hole in his head and C3 feet.

In conclusion, a very nice ‘mate that perfectly captures the essence of Superman. Another triumph for DCD.  

MMC Score – 8 out of 10


 

Lex Luthor

 

Here’s quintessential bad guy and Superman’s arch-enemy Lex Luthor. A perennial thorn in the Man of Steel’s side. Lex has been through a lot of looks in his time. He’s been a mad scientist, a business-man, a politician, even President of the United States of America (not too much of a surprise, those guys’ll vote for anyone!) ;) This though, is Lex Luthor at perhaps his most recognisable: Strapped inside a battle suit designed to give Luthor at least a fighting chance against a superhuman foe.

I imagine Lex was a bit of a struggle for the designer. He’s a bald white man, who doesn’t really have any distinguishing facial features. Try translating that onto a quarter inch of plastic cylinder. For all that they’ve given it a decent shot. Lex looks haughty enough to think he could outmatch Superman. Trouble is, swap that head onto the body of Professor X, or the Kingpin, and you’ve got Professor X, or the Kingpin. But that’s one of the limitations of the format and shouldn’t really be dwelled upon.

The body is where Lex comes into his own. Check out that battlesuit, it’s a labour of love. The chestpiece is well detailed and really beefs Luthor up. Gloves, belt, and boots are all new and help to add denseness to the overall look of the figure. The chestpiece is removable and in a very nice touch the torso underneath is decorated in the same way as the arms and legs. Unfortunately I couldn’t get enough leverage on the head to remove it and get to the chest piece so there are no photographs of the torso. Trust me, the detailing does exist.

Luthor comes with one accessory, a chunk of green Kryptonite. It doesn’t fit in his hand too well and is the kind of accessory that’s easily lost. More on that in another review.

In conclusion, where Superman is simplicity, Lex is complexity. The battle suit is nicely realised and makes Lex a good counterpart to the Superman Minimate he’s packaged with.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10

 

Review and pictures by Stewart Kay

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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