Wave 13 focuses on the X-Men, in their current “Astonishing” costumes designed by John Cassaday. The series, written by Joss Whedon of Buffy and Serenity fame, has been well received. Here we have a pack containing Wolverine (obviously) and Colossus, brought back to life by an alien race after dying from the Legacy virus a few years ago.
This set was very kindly sent to me for review by Dave at Yikes Comics, fine purveyors of Minimates and other action figures of all kinds.
With these being the first new Marvel Minimates to hit the specialty market in over a year, the packaging has undergone a slight tweak. Remember the first Marvel boxed 2-pack, the exclusive Professor X and Magneto? Well, the background on the new packaging harkens back to how that set looked, with the lighter blue and slight line detailing. I think it looks fine, nothing earth-shattering, but a nice change. The poses of the Minimates on the front are also good, Wolverine’s in a “come and have a go bub!” mood and Peter just wants to smash something. As usual, we get a generic Marvel Universe logo, and as always, it’s a real shame, especially as the Toys R Us 4-pack featuring the Astonishing crew did actually have the Astonishing logo.
The back of the packaging is new and shows off all the figures in waves 12 and 13.
Colossus (Astonishing X-Men)
The first Minimate in this set is Peter Rasputin, the mutant with organic steel skin. brought back in a surprise move by Joss Whedon. There has already been a Colossus in the Marvel Minimates line, he was one of the six figures in the Giant-Size X-Men boxset from several years ago, as well as appearing in recent Target assortments with Nightcrawler.
Let’s start with the face detailing. It’s amazing – Colossus looks absolutely superb. It’s simple yet works so well. The expression on his face is calm but with an air of menace and it just suits the character. One of the best Minimate faces the Marvel line has seen, for sure. The hairpiece is a re-use of the Giant-Size X-Men Colossus, which is OK, as it still works for this version.
The costume is simpler than the original Colossus. The design and detailing of the costume has been put onto the chest block directly rather than using the bigger chest piece sported by the original. The detailing works because the lines are very crisp and clear but the chest piece added bulk to Colossus that’s now missing. Likewise the original had big boots that added stature to the figure, here they are normal Minimate feet. This would be more of a problem if the design and detailing of the costume overall wasn’t of such good quality; they have captured the essense of Colossus without the need to try and make him look bigger. The only problem with this figure (and one that will be a recurring issue in reviews to come) is that the sides of the Minimate have no detailing on whatsoever. This means the yellow lines of the boots disappear, the belt doesn’t go all the way around etc. It just looks poor when viewed from certain angles. Whoever thought that they would save money by not detailing the sides really made a bad call.
Colossus has no accessories, but then he didn’t get any last time either. Colossus isn’t really an accessories kinda guy, it seems. He gets C3 feet and a hole in the head though.
Overall, the detailing on this Minimate is superb, but is let down by not being continued all round the Minimate. I really liked the original Colossus (and scored him very highly as a result) but I feel this one is better, a great representation of the character in his Astonishing guise.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Wolverine (Astonishing X-Men)
No Marvel release would be complete without a Wolverine, and so here he is, the six-hundredth in the Minimates line. Actually, all griping aside, Wolverine is a member of the Astonishing X-Men team and it wouldn’t be a complete team if we didn’t get him. That’s what annoys me so much. There are times like these when a Wolverine in the wave makes absolute sense, but that’s more than offset by the sheer amount of times when it feel he is shoehorned in for the sake of it, and the problem is, people just go “not another Wolverine!” and switch off regardless of whether it makes sense to include him. Reap what you sow, DST! Sorry, went into rant mode there.
Anyway, despite this being yet another Wolverine, let’s try to judge it on its merits, and it’s not a bad figure. The expression on Wolverine’s face is the usual “brown eyes, mouth curled into a snarl” motif. The hairpiece is a re-use from New X-Men Wolverine so it’s not as big and spikey as later hairpieces. We shouldn’t be discussing hairpieces at all though, really. The decision to go without a mask for Wolverine despite him being masked in the Astonishing storyline was another bad one. Presumably the mask from Tiger-Stripe Wolverine (from the Giant-Size X-Men set) didn’t quite match the source material enough for it to be considered. The figure suffers as an accurate representation of the Astonishing character as a result.
The body detailing has been done quite well, but the chest details do not go all the way around the chest block again. However the boots (painted on, rather than the big boots of the Giant-Size X-Men or Gaijin versions) do go all the way around, and that, along with flashes of blue on the side, do keep the figure from looking too plain from the side.
Wolverine comes with no accessories. He has the clawed hands with no extra unclawed ones, C3 feet, and a hole in the head block.
Overall, this really isn’t a bad Wolverine, and it is nice to get him in his Astonishing costume. However, the lack of a mask is a troublesome aspect.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills