Here we have a pack containing two fan favourite and therefore much-requested characters, the Beast and Kitty Pride aka Shadowcat, in their Astonishing X-Men guises.
This set was sent to me for review by Dave at Yikes Comics. Thanks Dave!
With these being the first new Marvel Minimates to hit the specialty market in over a year, the packaging has undergone a slight tweak, with the blue background reminisent of the first Marvel boxed 2-pack, the exclusive Professor X and Magneto.
The back of the packaging is new and shows off all the figures in waves 12 and 13.
Beast (Astonishing X-Men)
The first Minimate in this set is Hank McCoy, the Beast. As an original member of the X-Men, he has been one of the most-requested Marvel Minimates and this Astonishing incarnation is the first time he has appeared in Minimate form.
Beast has gone through several appearance changes since his debut in the 1960s. Originally just a burly figure with dextrous hands and feet, Hank gained a more simian look, popularised by the 1980s X-Men cartoon. Grant Morrison’s New X-Men series saw Hank’s secondary mutation kick take place, in which he became much more of a feline creature, and this is the look that is carried over into the Astonishing run. The facial detailing on Beast is a great representation of this design, with the yellow cat eyes and whiskers. Normally the busier Minimate faces look slightly off, but it works well here. Interestingly Beast is one of the only Minimates to ever have a nose. To simulate Beast’s shaggy hair, Civilian Logan’s hairpiece is used, painted blue. It works well enough for Beast.
Beast’s costume is a faintly ridiculous yellowy orange jumpsuit. Most of the detailing has been put onto the same “Big Chest” piece that was used on the Thing. The muscular detailing is almost overdone. Anyone who’s read a few of my reviews knows I’m a bit of a boob man but I don’t really need to see them on Beast! There isn’t a lot of detail around the back and sides, but at least the black edging on the bottom of the legs goes all the way around.
Like the other figures in this “parts re-use” wave, Beast gets no accessories. I’m not entirely sure what he would come with, though, so can’t criticise too much. He does get C3 feet and a hole in the head.
Overall, Beast came out pretty well. The detailing of the face is really good, and it is nice to finally be able to add Hank to the rest of the X-Men, albeit in his Astonishing costume.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Kitty Pride (Astonishing X-Men)
OK I’ll start by going all fanboy. Yay we got a Kitty Minimate finally! Go Kitty!!! As you can perhaps tell, I’m a big fan of Katherine Pride and was very pleased to see that Joss Whedon included her in the Astonishing X-Men core team, saying that the plucky teenager was an influence on him for when he was creating Buffy. Kitty has gone through many codenames in her time as an X-Man, using Sprite and Ariel before finally settling on Shadowcat, due to her power of being able to phase through solid objects.
Kitty has a very appealing face in Minimate form – big brown eyes that you can get lost in and a nice smile. Like the best Minimate women, the detailing is kept simple so it works better. To accentuate her angelic features, Kitty has a brown repaint of the Dark Phoenix hair. This isn’t all that accurate to her Astonishing representation, where she has her hair mainly in a ponytail, but as there are no ponytail hairpieces for DST to reuse, I guess they went for something that was different but suited her anyway. So, no, it isn’t accurate, but yes, it looks great.
The chest detailing is nice and crisp, with the black on the sides and the yellow front. In order to try and capture her phasing power in Minimate form, Kitty has smokey translucent arms and legs, with the detailing painted on over the top. It’s not a great way of showing the power, as Kitty doesn’t actually turn invisible whilst phasing, but it certainly is a nice effect, and sets Kitty apart from the others as something different.
Kitty comes with no accessories. It would have been great to get Lockheed the dragon, but that’s an unrealistic wish for a wave that’s concerned with reusing all its pieces.
Overall, this is the standout figure in the wave, and one of my favourite Minimates already. I’m in love!
Final Note: The 3 sets in this wave are Colossus/Wolverine, Cyclops/Emma Frost and Beast/Kitty Pride. Together the 6 of them are the Astonishing X-Men. We finally got a complete X-team! However, Toys R Us had an exclusive 4-pack that preceded wave 13, which contained Colossus, Wolverine, Cyclops and Emma Frost. This means that for those people who bought that 4-pack, they will need Kitty and Beast to complete the whole team. So this pack may be harder to get than the others, which is a shame as it’s a really good set.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills