2011
01.06

Classic Battlestar Minimates were mentioned at the same time as the re-imagined sets were being discussed. However after a few sneak peeks at the ‘mates and some lovely Minimate-styled Colonial Vipers and Cylon Raiders it all went quiet and Minimate fandom decided to console itself with the ‘mates based on the new series. Then, from out of the blue, DST announced two five-pack boxsets based on the classic series; one for the heroes, one for the villains. This review concentrates on the villains, the Cylon Empire.

Packaging

 

The slim, elegant blister pack shows off all 5 characters nicely. An added bonus is the beautiful artwork on the card itself which features a fleet of Cylon Raider spacecraft emerging from the dark area of a Cylon Centurion’s profile.

The rear of the card features quotes from the opening titles of the classic series and a large picture of the ‘mates. Unfortunately it doesn’t feature the mini biographies we’ve started seeing on the Marvel cardbacks. A huge oversight on DST’s part as a lot of people won’t know who the characters are. The names are listed but people new to classic BSG won’t know who is who.


The Figures

Cylon Centurion/Cylon Commander

Surprisingly this is the first time a classic Cylon has been reviewed at MMC. They were first released as limited edition single boxed Minimates at the same time as the re-imagined Cylons from the new Battlestar Galactica. At the time they didn’t seem as popular as the modern version but sales must have been healthy enough for these two sets to be released. Despite classic BSG being remembered as a fairly cheesy Star Wars rip off, the Cylon Centurions – with their relentlessly scanning red eye – were menacing enough to become a true icon of the late ’70s.

Much like the modern Cylon the classic Centurion is all about finding inventive ways to enhance a standard Minimate body. The headpiece slips over a standard Minimate head, and unlike its modern counterpart the head has full movement. The head itself is nicely designed though the ‘mouth’ piece could have projected more and the ‘eye’ could do with being more striking as it’s difficult to see within the visor.

 

The chestpiece is all one unit, with shoulder guards that slightly impede movement of the arms. The detailing to the chest is fairly accurate to Cylon armour though obviously in a Minimate style. The rear of the chest piece features the backpack that I had always assumed was meant to be a powerpack. The belt section has that funny skirt thing at the back. I’ve no idea what it’s supposed to be called. Is it a kilt? Is it a bum-flap? Is it there merely to disguise the fact that despite being extremely cool looking the Cylon Centurion is still just a bloke in a suit? Regardless it’s another stab at accuracy to the source and as a bonus it features a little peg to mount the Cylon’s short sword on.

Decoration is minimal. Take all the add-ons away and you have a basic black Minimate body with silver highlights on the arms, legs and feet. No complaints from me though, as there are a lot of figure specific pieces with this ‘mate. Actually I do have one complaint. It should have been chromed. All those silver pieces should have been vac-metallised. One of the coolest aspects of the original Cylons was the way their shiny armour would throw a million reflections back at the viewer. To have that in Minimate form would have been extremely cool, though probably extremely expensive.

The Cylon Centurion is accessorised with a laser rifle and the aforementioned short sword. The rifle is a great accessory, I’d forgotten how good those guns looked with their short bayonets on the end. Certainly different to any other laser gun we’d seen before BSG.

 

There’s not really much that can be said review-wise about the Cylon Commander. Essentially it’s exactly the same figure as the regular Centurion but in golden armour. The only non-gold parts are the mouth piece, two sections at the back of the head, and the skirty thing. It’s still a great figure.

In conclusion. Two great versions of a much-loved baddy. Chrome would have been the icing on the cake.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10 (both Cylons)


Baltar

Unlike his re-imagined counterpart, the Baltar from the classic series was well aware of the Cylon machinations. He hoped to profit from the Cylon attack on the 12 colonies and expected to be ensconced as Dictator over what remained of humanity. The Cylons told him big fibs and he ended up being an advisor on humanity to the Cylon Imperious Leader.

The likeness on this ‘mate isn’t too bad at all. It has an excellent facial expression. You can almost smell the duplicity in this little guy.

The costume is fairly dull and muted, Baltar has a standard ‘mate body with just a couple of figure specific additions. Namely his cloak, which does sport nice silver highlights, and the bottom half of his tunic which is a belt insert between the two halves of the body. There is a small amount of detailing on the tunic sleeves but it’s very subdued.

Baltar has no accessories. Not sure exactly what he could have come with.

In conclusion: A good interpretation of the character, but nothing to get too excited about.

MMC Score – 6 out of 10


Lucifer

Lucifer was an advanced (IL) model Cylon who was assigned as Baltar’s chaperone while in Cylon custody.

You learn something new every day. While doing what I mockingly refer to as research (wiki’s) I came across the fact that Lucifer was played by Felix Silla. The same person who played Twiki in the Buck Rogers TV show. Until then it had never even occurred to me that the only way to portray that transparent robot head was to have it balanced on top of a little guy. Still BSG had form back in the day. Everyone knows about Muffit right? Right?

Although the costume pieces limit the movement of the Lucifer ‘mate it’s still a great looking toy. The essence of Lucifer has been captured by casting the unique head in transparent plastic and then adding a very simple transfer for his face, and silver highlights on his ‘brain’. What really brings the figure to life is the bright blue tampo that suggests Lucifer is speaking. In the classic show Lucifer’s mouth lit up and flashed in synch with his speech.

Lucifer’s costume is well portrayed but as noted earlier severely limits movement. His cloak goes all the way from his shoulders to his feet and while his arms are moveable the cuff pieces make it look silly in anything but a neutral position. Underneath the cloak is a plain red Minimate body.

Lucifer has no accessories.

In conclusion: Superb adaptation, but sadly limited.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10


Imperious Leader

As with Lucifer, the Cylon Imperious Leader has no real analog in the re-imagined show. But in the Classic BSG he was the Cylon Grand Poobah and nobody messed with the Imperious Leader. Bizarrely the Imperious Leader appears to be organic rather than machine. This has something to do with studio politics that they didn’t want the original idea of a reptilian race of Cylons as enemies, but it’d be OK for the heroes to kill machines as they weren’t living creatures. This guy never made it to the front lines so he got to remain reptilian.

As far as the ‘mate itself goes it’s another faithful rendition but somewhat underwhelming. The facial detailing is excellent, the tampo is crisp and very intricate but doesn’t overdo things. The ‘fro looks a bit silly but this is what the character looked like, a kind of hippy reptile. Look, he’s even wearing lovebeads.

As with Lucifer, the Imperious Leader suffers from a costume design that interferes with free movement, having said that his cloak is well detailed with some nice scale-like texture going on. The costume is a lighter red than Lucifer’s and the body underneath the costume is the same shade as the outer cloak, just a plain Minimate body.

Imperious Leader has no accessories. I suppose a scale model of a 12-foot tall plinth is just too much to ask for.

In conclusion: Another good translation of a classic baddy, but not one to get excited about.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10


Overall Thoughts

Final Thoughts: It’s great to see this set, and I’m a huge fan of it. Some people may grumble about the inclusion of the two Cylon Centurions but I see them as a second chance for collectors that missed out on the 2006 limited edition set.


Agree? Disagree? Why not vote for yourself below, or comment further over at the Minimate Multiverse MMC Review Forum.

Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan

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