2011
01.06

There are several ways to get your hands on the Cylons, the evil army from the succesfully reborn Battlestar Galactica TV series. Comic shops sold cases of 12, the Battlestar Galactica waves feature a Cylon, and also the Suncoast/FYE chain have a set of 5 Cylons as an exclusive set, which is what I am reviewing here. The set contains all 5 variations of the Cylons that the case of 12 has, making it an easier way to get hold of the shorter packed variants in the case.

Packaging

 

The packaging is very similar to the Marvel sets exclusive to Toys R Us, a large rectangular box, sloped at the front. It’s very eye-catching with the graphic of the Cylon in all its red-eyed glory being very prominent. The side of the box shows each of the 5 Cylon variations. This set is only available from Suncoast/FYE stores at a very reasonable $19.99.

 


The Figures

Cylon Centurion

The 5 Cylons share the same body, with the main changes between them either being the hands, or differences in the paint detailing. The Cylon Centurion was the most plentiful in the case of 12, so am considering him the base one. I will review this one in more detail than the others, as they are essentially variants of this one.

The redesigned Cylons in the modern Battlestar Galactica show are light-years removed from their slightly camp 1970s equivalents, being sleeker and lankier, with more curved surfaces. They are more machine-like and less obviously “man in a costume” due to their CGI nature. It is ambititious to try and capture them using a block figure style, but Art Asylum have succeeded, mainly due to the use of extra pieces to make them taller than a normal Minimate.

  

The basic Minimate body is encased with extra parts to increase the size of the figure, starting from the head, which has an elongated mask over a black Minimate head block. The mask is nicely detailed, especially the visor. Oh what I wouldn’t give for a light-up one though. It sweeps down into a pointed mouthpiece, which then locks into the bulky over-the-torso piece. This means the Cylon sacrifices the normally superb ball joint articulation on the neck, but does give the impression of the head being long and thin.

The big chest piece has a lot of fine detail on it, including lots of curves and lines suggesting plating. The huge shoulder pads stop some of the arm articulation, but it’s a really nice piece despite that small niggle. The hands are longer than normal at the forearms, giving the Cylon some inhuman proportions. The claw-like fingers are also very long and freaky. The pelvis piece is extended upwards with circular rings, forcing the chest block to sit higher on the torso peg than usual. I thought that this could mean that the body separates very easily from the legs because it has less peg to grip on to, but none of the Cylons I have played with… errrrrm “researched”, have had any problems.

The legs have a really good paint job on them, which tries to emulate the skeletal look of the show’s Cylons by using black to close off the silver which represents where the legs are supposed to be. Finally, the last trick to make the Cylon look more imposing is to increase the height of the feet. The two-toed feet are massive, especially in length. They do not have C3 feet, however, because the toes are just too big.

The Cylon Centurion does not come with any accessories, but then he has so many unique pieces and the Cylons aren’t particularly known for using anything other than built-in weaponry.

Overall, this is a great representation of a character who posed some unique challenges in order to bring them to Minimate form. Some slight sacrifices in articulation aside, this has been executed incredibly well.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10


Cylon Cannon Centurion

The classic Battlestar Galactica Cylons used laser rifles to attack. However, in the new show, the Cylons can flip their hands back, revealing cannons. The Cylon Cannon Centurion is the Minimate representation of this and therefore is a more attacking option than the regular Centurion.

The construction is the same as the Cylon Centurion, with the only difference being the hands. Instead of the long claws, the Cylon Cannon Centurion has 3 stubby gun barrels. These look OK, but are very susceptible to bending, as can be seen in my photos. The same thing happens with Wolverine’s claws, I guess it’s just more likely to happen at this scale.

 

The Cylon Cannon Centurion does not come with any accessories. It would have been extra nice to have 2 clawed hands with him (and vice versa for the Cylon Centurion) but that’s wishful thinking.

Overall, this is a another great figure which will be a staple of any Battlestar Galactica battle diorama/display.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10


Battle Damaged Cylon

The Battle Damaged Cylon is a variant of the Cylon Cannon Centurion. Although it looks really damaged in the photos on the packaging, like it’s been blown to bits by heavy gunfire, the figure itself is actually very disappointing. This Minimate has several dark smudges on it, most notably on the chest piece. That’s it. That’s what they’re passing off as battle damaged these days. It’s a long, long way from the depiction on the packaging.

The construction is the same as the Cylon Cannon Centurion, with the cannon hands. The Battle Damaged Cylon doesn’t come with any accessories.

Overall, this is a disappointing figure in that it barely does what it sets out to do. More damage would have been a start! As it is, this figure is not so much “Battle Damaged Cylon” as “Slightly Dirty Cylon”.

MMC Score – 5 out of 10


“Valley of Darkness” Cylon

The Cylons in the episode “Valley of Darkness” got on board the Galactica and cut a bloody swathe through the ship, getting up close and personal with the Galactica crew with messy results.

The “Valley of Darkness” Cylon has the same construction as the Cylon Centurion, with the clawed hands. The difference for this figure is in the paint job. Splashes of crimson adorn this Cylon, with red covering one claw, part of the visor, and a very distinctive hand imprinted on the torso. Visually this is a most eye-catching look, as the red contrasts well with the grey. It’s definitely a menacing look too.

 

Like the other Cylons in this set, the “Valley of Darkness” Cylon has no accessories.

Overall, this is more visually interesting than the other mostly-grey Cylons. My favourite of the lot.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10


“Downloaded” Cylon

The “Downloaded” Cylon is shiny, but as it’s been ages since I saw the episode, I don’t know why. Just go with it!

The “Downloaded” Cylon is the same as the Cylon Centurion, utilising the claw hands. That makes 3 clawed hand Cylons and 2 gun hand. The distinguishing feature on thsi Cylon is that instead of being grey, he is a shiny silvery white. Very distinctive, extremely cool. A few years ago in the Marvel line a shiny Silver Surfer was mooted but didn’t see production. If it was anything like this it would have been awesome.

The “Downloaded” Cylon does not come with any accessories. But he’s shiny! That’s enough!

Overall, this is a very cool Minimate indeed. The shiny silver finish makes him really stand out.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10


Overall Thoughts

Five different Cylons in one handy army-builder set? Can’t argue with that. Even if you’re not a fan of the Battlestar Galactica license, the Cylons would make great enemies for any of your 2″ Minimate properties. I’m sure they’d be happy to take out your Marvel or DC superheroes, or gang up on your Streetfighter Minimates. Evil killer robots always equal cool!

Art Asylum took a few risks in the unusual design of these Minimates in a concerted effort to capture the look of the show, and it’s definitely paid off here


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

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