Marvel Minimates waves 17 and 18 feature characters from 2007’s summer blockbuster Spider-Man 3, sadly these Minimates were released too late to cash in on the hoopla from either the movie or DVD release. Here we have a pack containing the black-suited Spider-Man and the (somewhat) villainous Sandman.
All the Spider-Man 3 Minimates in both waves 17 and 18 share a common design theme. A warped, blue tinted New York Skyline with the figures superimposed in front. The side flaps feature larger pictures of the Minimates while the back has a nice big ‘family’ portrait along with a whole slew of trademark logos and legal indicia.
Black-Suited Spider-Man (Spider-Man 3)
Okay, time for a rant. Back in the first half of 2007 at the Wizard World LA comic convention, a teaser pack featuring movie versions of Spidey in both his red/blue costume and new black costume were released. At the time Danny gave both figures an extremely positive review.
Fans were delighted with the quality of the Minimates and the detailing of the costumes. A lot of people, while happy to see the convention exclusive, decided to wait for the regular versions to be released. Convention exclusives always command a higher price and it was felt by a lot of fans that while the figures were nice it was sensible (for the openers) to wait for the figures to be released as waves 17 and 18.
This Black-Suit Spider-Man is not the same as the convention version. In fact it’s markedly different and that has annoyed a lot of die-hard fans. To start with the webbing print on this version is nowhere near as bright as on the WWLA ‘mate, the chainmail effect might as well not have been bothered with as it’s only apparent upon close inspection. The webbing lines continued on the feet on the teaser Minimate whilst this regular version only has normal black feet.
But the worst, the very worst part of this figure is the inclusion of the powerhouse chest piece. DST defended that inclusion stating that it was to make the figure look stronger and more powerful as the black suit does enhance Peter’s already prodigious powers. Unfortunately it makes this Spidey look bloated, corpulent even. One of Spidey’s main aspects is that he’s always been a skinny kind of guy, his frame doesn’t give a clue as to his strength. Bulking him up like this was a bad idea and a very unpopular move. The ‘mate itself is well built, I’d forgive the duller costume details if it wasn’t for the chest piece.
There, rant over.
Black-Suited Spider-Man has no accessories. Not even a webline. Booooooo!
In conclusion, this Minimate is a complete own-goal.
MMC Score – 4 out of 10
Sandman (Spider-Man 3)
Where the comic book Sandman is an out and out villain the movie version takes a different stance. Presenting us with a man who’s realised his mistakes and wants to atone for them, but cannot face the wrench of being separated from his daughter. Shame then that he also falls into a big metal bowl, getting all sorts of nastiness beamed at him and ends up being a tad dry and much coarser than before. Having said that, he’s the man to call when you need to smooth your floorboards or decking.
This version of Sandman has one of the best likenesses I’ve seen so far on a ‘mate based on a real person. His craggy features are very reminiscent of Thomas Haden Church and the expression he’s been given displays a lot of intensity. Other than that he’s a very basic mate. His wardrobe is classic Sandman: Green and black striped shirt and green strides. He’s been bulked out a bit with the inclusion of a powerhouse chest piece. A brand new piece that has a bit of collar moulded at the neck and a belt at the waist. It’s good to see that DST are prepared to use the Powerhouse chest a bit more liberally these days. I know that ‘mates are supposed to be simple but some of the earlier characters look a bit silly when displayed next to each other. Hulk shouldn’t be skinny. Neither should characters like Sandman.
Sandman has alternative arms that give the impression of him using his powers. One is an extending arm with a giant fist on the end. The other has a hand that’s transformed into a large hammer. They’re good pieces (and are also used on wave 18’s Sandman to better effect) but they don’t really work all that well with Sandman’s intense brooding expression.
In conclusion, a great likeness. I’m impressed.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan