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 Ryu, possibly the most recognisable of all the Street Fighter combatants. Normally seen in a white gi with red headband, this exclusive has him in his dark grey gi with blue headband.
Street Fighter is, unsurprisingly, all about fighting, and here Ryu has a real snarl to his face, with his eyebrows furrowed, possibly in the middle of pulling off one of his signature moves. It’s not as simple in detailing as most of the 2″ Minimates but is certainly not overdone either. The hairpiece is excellent, with the headband being a sculpted piece that goes all the way around the head and comes out at the back with the two overhanging ends. Most impressive at this scale. The hairpiece stays on well as it is pegged onto the head block.
The costume is simple but has been well implemented. The torso block has some very nice muscular detail whilst also showing the folds of the robe. The botton of the gi is created by having a small skirt piece with the belt attached. It does limit leg articulation very slightly but I guess it’s a worthwhile compromise to get the look of the character just right. Paint apps are very solid, with no bleeding between the ripped grey gi and the skin tone. He has dark blue bracers on his hands. I photographed him with the hands off for one of the shots below, but then realised that the bracers themselves could come off away from his hands, and they weren’t one piece like the Juggernaut hands.
At last, some really impressive Minimate accessories. Ryu comes with a translucent blue energy fireball piece which clips on over his hand. You might have to actually take the hand off but for me when I did this it wasn’t as stable and the accessory kept falling off. It’s a large accessory, equal in size to the Human Torch’s flame blast, but doesn’t seem quite as heavy, which means you may have better luck pulling off cool poses with it. I’ve used the small block stand pieces from the Lord of the Rings sets when setting Ryu up with it, to help with balance. This of course means that Ryu has C3 feet. Interestingly, the body is still the older Minimate body without the inverted leg connections and larger torso peg.
Overall, Ryu is a good, if not spectacular start to the Street Fighter 2 Minimates line. I expect I shall like his “normal” player 1 colour version slightly more, as that’s the one I’m used to.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
The second figure in the set is Akuma, who fights in the same style as Ryu but with a much more aggressive attitude. He uses his skills to try and kill his opponents and is credited with killing M. Bison in the second World Warrior tournament. Normally in a dark blue gi, here he is in a bright red gi for his alternate coloured costume.
Akuma has a very detailed face, with red eyes staring and the mouth set in a contemptuous sneer. It lends a really craggy, evil look to the character which is most appropriate. The bright orange hair might look more striking against a more muted colour of outfit, so again the normal “player 1” version might win out eventually. As with Ryu, the hairpiece is pegged onto the head block.
The costume is very similar to Ryu’s, in fact the arms are identical, bar the colours, with even the gi shoulder tatters being the same. The bottom of the robe is slightly different, although it utilises the same short “skirt” piece like Ryu’s, the belt is different, sculpted into 4 tassles which is a nice touch. The back of the robe has a very nice symbol on it, the black standing out against the red. He also has a removable necklace.
Akuma comes with the same giant energy ball accessory as Ryu, this time in a translucent pink. This allows for some nice “duelling” scenes to be played out. Again, Akuma has C3 feet but not the newest Minimate body design.
Overall, Akuma is similar to Ryu, maybe too similar. I’m not as familar with him as I am Ryu and so he scores slightly less. Still not a bad figure by any stretch of the imagination, just not quite different enough to Ryu in this particular set.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills