After wave 24’s focus on Spider-Man, Marvel wave 25 brought us new and redone versions of other heavy hitters such as Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk.
Wave 25 packaging remains the same as previous waves, this time the background is made up of Iron Man and Captain America comic panels, and the color is a nice dark blue rather than the green of wave 24.
The back of the box has the whole wave pictured, and the bio boxes are still present.
Classic Iron Man
Much like wave 24 had a “Classic Spider-Man” which updated a previous Minimate, this “Classic” version of Iron Man is an update of the first ever Iron Man Minimate which we got in wave 6. Minimate technology has come on a lot in the intervening years, so let’s see how successful this redone version is.
First, we get a redone helmet, with the look that the background art of the packaging shows off prominently. This time around you can see Tony Stark’s eyes behind the mask, rather than it feature blank slits, which all previous Iron Man Minimates have had. This does look a bit strange as the eyes are set a long way apart and it does seem to throw the appearance off. Another niggle spoiling the look is that the helmet doesn’t sit flush to the bottom of the head block, there is always just a tiny bit of skin color exposed.
Take the helmet off and you get a very worried-looking Tony. He has a hairpiece for when the helmet is removed. I don’t immediately recognize it but I expect it has been re-used from one of the many different Tony Stark’s we have had in the Minimates line to date.
In the old days, when Minimates were much simpler, they rarely featured anything over and above the main Minimate body. Perhaps you’d get a mask here or a cape there. Although this Minimate is going for the same look as the wave 6 original, he has many additional pieces to help bulk him out and convey the idea that this is a guy in a suit of armor. First up is a collar piece, to bulk up the neck peg. Then we get new pieces for the shoulders, with rings held on to the shoulder pegs to give Iron Man that armored look. These are great additions because normally this effect would have been achieved with a powerhouse chest piece to bulk out the shoulders, which would lose articulation. Here, the effect is the same but articulation has not been compromised. It also looks very streamlined. This streamlined effect is continued with the gloves and boots. In other Iron Man Minimates such as the Extremis armor in the Civil War set, bigger gloves and boots are used. Here, we just get separate cuffs for the gloves and boots, keeping the regular-sized hands and feet. He also gets a belt piece, similar to the original figure.
The detailing and paint job on this figure are also top-notch, the gold and red being a very pleasing visual combination. My Iron Man has a scratch on his helmet (oo-er!) but I’m sure that’s just on mine and not a line-wide issue.
In a further tie to the original, this new Iron Man also features the additional repulsor hand which came with that figure. It was a nice accessory then and it remains so now.
In conclusion, this figure is a very solid update of the original, with better engineering; shame about the niggles with the helmet though.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
One of the complaints fans had about each Marvel Minimates wave including a variant figure was that they had to shell out more money to get a 2-pack that they already had one half of. DST listened to fans and, starting with this wave, the 2-packs selected to have a variant figure now feature “army builders” as the second figure, so that you can legitimately use the second figure in the variant sets. Here we have the AIM soldier. AIM is short for Advanced Idea Mechanics, a villainous terrorist organisation of scientists who collectively been a problem for many heroes in the Marvel Universe.
The AIM Soldier’s signature look is that of the “bee-keeper” helmet and yellow jumpsuit. The helmet has been recreated well in Minimate form, but the coverage of yellow can differ between Minimates. The one I have reviewed here has the helmet a noticeably lighter shade of yellow than the rest of the figure. The AIM Soldier I got in the variant set has no such problems. The last few pictures below show the differences between the two. The camera and lighting may mean they are difficult to pick up in the photos but in person it is very much apparent.So, be mindful if you get a chance to look through your AIM Soldier options in a store. The helmet can be removed, revealing the angry-looking soldier underneath, resplendent in green sunbed-goggles. At least, that’s what they look like!
The yellow jumpsuit is simply detailed, but that matches the 1960’s style of the figure. The detailing lines are present on the sides and back of the figure, which is good to see. It would have been easy to leave them just yellow.
The AIM Soldier has a couple of weapons. First, a pistol, which has a plate at the bottom of the handle, making it incredibly difficult to get into his hands as the handle is too short to fit into the grip of the hand properly. At least it sits in the leg-holster OK. He also gets a mini-Gatling gun, which, as the handle is simply a peg that isn’t really a handle for a Minimate hand to grasp, I believe comes from War Machine. Regardless, he looks good holding it and bumps up his threat level considerably.
In conclusion, the army builder experiment kicks off with a lovely generic henchman, visually distinctive with the bold yellow look. If you get a helmet with paint issues, feel free to knock a point or two off the score.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills