Following on from the AFX exclusives and wave 1 proper, comes the last variant set of the first wave of the Street Fighter 2 Minimates; Evil Ryu vs. Shin Akuma. This was an exclusive to the Hollywood Video range of stores. Many thanks go out to ThatBlokeTimbo who picked me up a set.
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. The Hollywood Video exclusive sticker is near the bottom right of the bubble.
The back of the card shows the 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 an evil alternate version of Ryu, one who has given in to the rage that also powers Akuma.
Evil Ryu has a much more aggressive expression on his face than the stoic expression of Ryu or even the angrier Player 2 Ryu, a look that is enhanced by his burning red eyes. The hairpiece is the same as the other Ryu’s, this time done in black. It looks very good in black, and overall the face is very well done. One of the reasons I think it looks better is that the facial detailing is higher on the head block. When the hairpiece is removed you can see the top of Ryu’s black eyebrows. On the previous Ryu’s the whole face seems to have been shunted down a little to accomodate them. This version seems a little more “natural”. The hairpiece is pegged, as usual.
The costume detailing is the same as the other Ryu’s with one very cool exception. Evil Ryu has a symbol on his back, denoting his mastery of the killing arts. The colours are a nice mix of the normal and player 2 colours, taking the grey look from the P2 version, with red bracers, which are not quite as bright red as the “good” Ryu. The skin tone is closer to the darker wave 1 Ryu than the lighter Player 2 version.
In another nod to the evilness of this Ryu, this is the first one to get the same purple translucent energy blast as Akuma. Ryu has the now-normal C3 feet.
Overall, I really like the expression and extra detailing of this Evil Ryu, so much so that he is my favourite of the 3 released. He just seems to work better in this incarnation.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The second figure in the set is Shin Akuma, who is simply Akuma when he is at the height of his powers and unstoppable.
This version of Akuma has a far more manic expression than either the stern look of Akuma or the open-mouthed Player 2 Akuma. Here he just looks insanely happy, presumably because he is fully powered up and ready to start hitting people. Sadly, it’s just a bit too much on the mad side. I prefer the expressions on the other Akuma’s. The white hair is very nice though, and looks great. The other thing that really puts me off this figure is the bright orange look to his skin. Normally a pasty grey/brown, here Akuma shines like a beacon. He makes the Thing look like the Invisible Girl in comparision. Sure, it’s different, but that doesn’t mean it works particularly well.
The costume colours have become a darker purple. This looks fine but I still prefer the more bluey purple of the wave 1 Akuma. Like Evil Ryu, the coolest part of the costume is the new symbol on his back. Larger than his usual symbol and picked out in white, it looks superb. Sadly the rest of the paint job, especially on the head block, is nowhere near as good. In fact the head block looks like the colour overlay is completely out on my one, which does affect the look.
Akuma has his usual purple translucent energy blast, that makes it a matching pair in this set.
Overall, this version of Akuma is the weakest yet seen. Garish skin colours and a bad paint job mean this is possibly the worst SF2 Minimate yet.
MMC Score – 5 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills