Here we have our first look at the new license from Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum; Street Fighter 2. As with the debut of Lord of the Rings with the Tower-exclusive Sauron, the Street Fighter 2 line opens with an exclusive, or rather, a pair of exclusives, Ryu vs. Akuma and Chun-Li vs. M.Bison, each wearing their Player 2 (alternate colour) costumes. These are offered by online retailer AFX, who have long had an association with Minimates. Many thanks go to Jose Lagos for getting me both sets. Jose is a real credit to the Minimate collecting community.
The packaging is very similar to the old Marvel-style carded packaging before they switched to boxes. The Minimates are very visible inside the card and there is a nice Minimate’d drawing of Ryu on the bottom left. Like the more recent AFX exclusive Minimate sets, the “AFX exclusive” banner is a sticker rather than being printed on the card.
The back of the card shows the upcoming first wave of Street Fighter 2 Minimates, without showing any of the exclusives. Overall it’s very nice packaging, quite stylish.
The figures are packed in a bubble tray, and have several twist-ties holding them in, along with rubber bands. Like the Lord of the Rings Minimates, the twist ties are wrapped around the arms, making them difficult to remove.
The first figure in this set is Chun-Li, the original kick-ass female fighting character and the inspiration for a whole generation of female game characters. Normally seen in a blue costume, this exclusive has her in a very girlie pink.
The exclusives all have different head detailing from what’s to come in wave 1, and in general the emphasis is on “combat” faces, expressions of anger or exertion. Chun Li is shown here to be really screaming, probably kicking some poor sap repeatedly in the head. It’s a great expression and works well for action poses. The facial detailing overall is spot on, quite simple but that’s never a bad thing. Her hairpiece is also very well done, with the hair in bunches and ribbons sculpted on. Like the other Minimates in these two exclusives, the hairpiece is pegged on.
The costume is quite detailed, with yellow trim on a mainly pink base. The yellow is outlined by black to help show it off. She has spiked bracelets which look great, and a skirt which impedes a lot of leg poses, and when she’s all about the kicks, that is a slight problem. However I really don’t see a away round it without not being true to the design of the costume. Hopefully later on we’ll get a Street Fighter Alpha version of her in the tracksuit, and then she can kick to her hearts content.
Like the other Street Fighter 2 Minimates, Chun-Li comes with a superb accessory, easily the best one of the 4 thus far. It’s a translucent yellow energy flash which attaches to her foot to mimick her lightning-fast kicks. When it’s being used, this makes her look incredibly dynamic, almost like a little cutesy Star Wars Unleashed mini-statue. Stick her on a Lord of the Rings clear C3 stand and try to make her leg angle between the splits in her skirt for maximum effect.
Overall, Chun-Li has turned out exceptionally well in in the translation to a Minimate incarnation. Makes me really look forward to getting her Player 1 colours in wave 1.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The second figure in the set is M.Bison, the big end of game boss in the Street Fighter 2 videogame, who is normally in a bright red suit but appears here in his more muted grey and blue alternate colours.
Instead of his wave 1 manically grinning counterpart, here M.Bison is in more reflective mood, with a sombre expression. Like Akuma, he has a detailed face but it manages to not be overdetailed which is a plus. Because M.Bison is one of the few Minimates to come with a hat, when you remove the pegged piece, the facial details seem quite low down on the face block. The expanse of no detailing on the forehead along with the white otherworldly eyes might strangely mean it’s good as a quick-custom face for The Watcher. Anyway, the hat is very well sculpted and looks great. Again, customisers will like this piece.
The military uniform is adequately detailed, but the paint on the cuffs is quite messy. Strange as the same colour is used on the boots and it’s immaculately done there. The real standout piece here is the cape. It’s huge and billowing, and isn’t sculpted to be hanging off M.Bison in a limp fashion. No, in keeping with the really energetic look of these new Street Fighter 2 Minimates, the cape is swooshing around in the air.
M.Bison has a purple translucent energy fireball. This is much smaller in length than Ryu’s or Akuma’s but is still very impressive when being used in an action pose. Like the others, M.Bison has C3 feet and uses the normal Minimate body without the new knees or longer torso peg. This is actually a problem because, at least on my figure, the legs seem to come off very easily whislt moving them, and maybe a longer peg would have held them into the torso block better.
Overall, M.Bison is a very good figure with much to recommend him, although as with all of these exclusives, I’ll prefer him in colours I’m used to. As they stand though, the two exclusive sets are a great taster for the line.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills