Here we have a pack containing Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat and Ben Reilly as Spider-Man. I’m not going to discuss the clone saga here, all I’ll say is that while some might be going “Another Spidey variant?”, I regard this one as new because it’s not (strictly) Peter Parker. This set was sent to me for review by stuckakid, who are also also providing the prizes for the Design A Vehicle contest.
Very dynamic artwork on the packaging of this set, it really brings out the personality of the characters as Minimates. As a Spider-Man-heavy wave, you’d expect the Spider-Man logo to be on these sets, but instead it’s the generic Marvel Universe logo. A shame. The figures are packed in a bubble tray, and have no twist-ties holding them in. Instead, a second clear tray piece fits over the top and then locks in, meaning that these figures are held in well and can be seen from each side.
The back of the packaging is new and only shows waves 10 and 11.
Each set in wave 10 also has a two-sided poster, featuring all of the Marvel Minimates released so far, excluding wave 10 & 11 but including the SDCC Dark Phoenix/Cyclops exclusive.
The poster is a nice little addition and does show how far the Marvel line has progressed in 2 years.
Over the years the Black Cat has been an enemy and an ally, and even a love interest, to Spider-Man, which is fitting as she is Marvel’s answer to Catwoman. She is one of the more popular Minimate customs to create, so it’s nice to finally see her in an official capacity.
The Black Cat is one of Marvel’s more overtly sexual characters, so it’s fitting that she is given a sly, knowing grin. She also has her mask on – like that’s going to help people not recognise her… Still, they might not be looking at her face, I suppose!
Much like Spider-Woman, the hairpiece is a reuse from the New X-Men Phoenix/Jean Grey, this time in white. On it’s own merits, this hairpiece works, but as it is used for every female in this wave, it might look a little strange to see the Black Cat stood next to Silver Sable with exactly the same hair. Also due to the reuse, the head has no hole and the hair has no peg on it to keep it attached.
The costume is again simple but effective. The most obvious thing that catches the eye is the heaving bosom, possibly even more heaving than the White Queen. Mainly black, there are some darker shades of blue used to make the costume appear sleeker. The paint apps are great, even on the tricky white cuffs. Despite the new Minimate body being used in the recent Indymates set, here we have the older body with the smaller torso peg.
Black Cat comes with no accessories. This is a real downside to this wave of Marvel Minimates. It’s not as if there isn’t a few things they could add for her, like a grapple line so that she can swing alongside Spidey, or some “loot” – paintings/money sack etc from her catburglar days. A missed opportunity, given that a lot of block figures are now coming with a multitude of accessories.
Overall, despite the lack of accessories, the Black Cat is a Minimate I’ve been wanting since the line started, and they did a great job on portraying her character in Minimate form.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The second figure in the set is Ben Reilly as Spider-Man. Ben took over as Spider-Man when Peter Parker retired from the superhero life, and made a few alterations to the costume.
Although the costume has changed a bit, the head piece appears to be the same one that came with the original Spider-Man, albeit cast in lighter red plastic. It’s still a fantastic representation of Spidey’s face, so it’s an understandable reuse.
The costume is similar to the original Spidey costume, but there are some changes, principally that the spider logo is now much bigger (front and back) and is incorporated more strongly into the design of the costume itself. He also has bracelets which he used to hold webbing capsules. He is made from the older Minimate body design, the same as the others in this wave. However, like Santa Spidey, he is cast in different coloured plastic to the blue based original Spider-Man Minimate, this time being made from white plastic. Paint apps are superb, on a par with the original even if there isn’t as much overall detail. The legs look a little bare from the front-on, reminding me of the design for Spider-Man 2099.
Ben Reilly doesn’t have any accessories, which is a really poor show. Couldn’t they even give him a webline? Both figures in this set have no accessories at all, and it makes the set look really weak compared to the Mr Fantastic/Human Torch set in wave 8 or the Blade/Punisher set in wave 9.
Overall, this is a very solid Minimate, with the only real flaw being the lack of accessories.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills