After the success of several earlier sets and waves, Marvel Minimates wave 34 was a fully fledged X-Men wave, focusing mainly on the team’s costumes and appearance during the 90s. This period was popularised by the very successful X-Men cartoon of that era, which is why these outfits and looks still resonate well with Minimates buyers today. However this first review features two figures in a story-arc from 1980.
No real need to redesign such a successful package, everyone knows what it looks like now.
Black Queen Jean Grey
At the beginning of the Dark Phoenix saga, Jean Grey is psychically subverted by the villain Mastermind into believing she is the Black Queen, one of the leaders of the sinister and clandestine Hellfire Club. It also means she dresses in an outfit that would make most women blush. It’s not surprising that Emma Frost was the White Queen in the same evil organisation!
Jean Grey has usually been well represented facially in Minimate form and this figure is no exception. She carries herself with a haughty look, helped by the half-smirk on her lips and the expression in her eyes. She’s the beautiful, sultry Black Queen and she definitely knows it. Sometimes female Minimate faces can look a bit busy but the thin detailing lines mean that doesn’t happen here. The look is also helped by the rather severe-looking hairpiece, with most of her hair pushed up into a bun. A few curls have escaped, making this a very nice sculpted piece.
The outfit is… interesting. Regular readers will know I am a fan of generously endowed superheroine proportions, but having them crammed into a 2″ figure dressed in a bustier is pushing it even for me. I guess there’s no doubt that Minimates are an adult collectible and not for kids. As far as it goes, the outfit detailing is very good, and the use of the Moon Knight cape in two colours definitely gives the figure just a tad more class, with the lovely red inside contrasting with the black outside. The cape itself doesn’t seem to fit snugly around the neck, not sure if this has been a problem with previous uses or not. It also unbalances the Minimate, making Jean very wobbly.
To further the, uh, racy image, Black Queen Jean Grey gets a whip! It’s a black recolour of Wonder Woman’s lasso. As with the original, it’s molded in loops and cannot be unfurled, which is a shame but if you could do that, it might be going a bit too far!
In conclusion: Not the kind of figure you’d give to a young child, but regardless of any misgivings about the nature of the outfit, it has been very well recreated in Minimate form.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Hellfire Club Guard
Once the X-Men worked out Mastermind’s nefarious plan, they busted in to the Hellfire Club, encountering lots of the Hellfire Club Guards along the way (something Wolverine particularly relished), so this army builder figure is an ideal companion in this 2-pack.
The overall appearance of this Minimate is one of simple lines and sparse detailing, but it works. The masked features of the guard look a bit like an Iron Man knockoff, but it is accurate to the source material. It’s just a head block, there is no slip-over mask on this figure, which would have been nice as some of the other army builder Minimates (such as the Sentinels and Hydra Agents) have different display options. I guess there wasn’t really much they could so with this guy.
The torso detailing on the chest block is quite prominent, livening up an otherwise unremarkable basic blue and red outfit. I initially thought it was muscular detailing but believe it’s trying to recreate the shape of the guard’s armour. The Hellfire Club guard gets a larger belt/pelvis piece to bulk him up a little, but that’s your lot for sculpted extra parts on the uniform. In comparison with some of the newer Minimates, he is plain. Not always a bad thing, though.
The Hellfire Club Guard is accessorised with a futuristic-looking machine gun. I guess it looks futuristic as it’s all silver rather than black. All weaponry in the future is silver. It’s a nice sculpt and he looks good with it, but beware, as that handle is pretty thick and it does mean the gun pushes out the Minimate hands.
In conclusion: A worthwhile army builder, solid but unspectacular in its execution.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills