Here we have an exclusive “blank” Minimate, cast in yellow, which was only available at the 2003 Toy Fair.
The packaging is pretty plain, being a simple baggie as this was never offered at retail.
Still, you get a good view of the Minimate from the front, and on the back is descriptive text and disclaimers.
This won’t be a review done in my usual style – after all, how can I comment on detailing and paint apps on a blank Minimate? However, this Minimate is well worth a look as it was made before the first waves of the Marvel Minimates were out in summer 2003, and has some differences from the production Minimates.
Art Asylum’s first Minimates were based on licenses including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the Bruce Lee films, and rock legends such as KISS and Ozzy Osbourne. These Minimates were 3 inches tall. When Art Asylum successfully acquired the Marvel licence, they were prohibited from using the 3 inch Minimate body due to other licensees.
Art Asylum then had to create a different sized body for the Marvel Minimates, so they shrunk down the 3 inch body to a 2 inch size. Those of you with both 3 inch and 2 inch Minimates know that the range of motion in the arms and legs differs between them, with the 3 inch Minimates having wider arcs of movement. However this blank seems to have arm joints that are based on the 3 inch figure.
You can see from the picture below the difference between the blank and a production Minimate. The blank can hold his arms out straight but the production one cannot.
However, this comes at a price. The arm pieces hold very loosely on to the shoulder ball because the arm pieces are a lot shallower than the production one. In addition, the shoulder ball is noticeably smaller.
Here you can see the difference in the arm pieces between the yellow blank and the Spider-Man Minimate. The yellow one has a wider range of motion because the socket has a lot less plastic around it, but as there is less holding it to the joint it does tend to fall off a lot easier.
Here you can see the difference in the shoulder balls between the yellow blank and the Spider-Man Minimate. It looks like they wanted to toughen up the arms and try to make them hold in better so they made the ball bigger as well as increasing the plastic around the socket area so that it gripped better.
I can’t really rate this figure as it wasn’t for retail and it’s simply a blank, so I can’t give it an MMC score. However it is an interesting piece and a good talking point for any collection. There are other blank colours around as well; green, red and blue. I don’t know if they have the same arms/shoulders or not.
Review and pictures by Danny Mills