Wave 31 of Marvel Minimates doesn’t have much of a unified theme, being mainly but not exclusively X-Men, but does bring us some much-requested new characters. It makes sense to package these characters together as they served together in the British superhero team Excalibur.
Standard Marvel Minimate carton featuring large cut out windows and artwork on the front. There are images of the figures in the wave in their comic incarnation but most of these images are obscured by the windows and art. The back of the pack features the usual gang shot. Interestingly the photo of Captain Britain on the side flap has him looking away from the camera whereas most Marvel Minimates are photographed ‘head on’.
Mystical Hero? Mutant? King of the Omniverse? Brian Braddock’s been all these things, and Brittanic. But we won’t talk about that! Originally a very cheesy 70’s superhero it took the genius of Alan Moore to really put some flesh on the bones of this character. I’ve got to say straight out, that I’ve been waiting for this Minimate since 2004. I’ve seen a lot of Spider-Man’s and Wolverines while patiently waiting for the Minimate I thought would never be, to arrive. Even Union frigging Jack got made before him!
Now then, having said how long I’ve waited for this ‘mate – and don’t get me wrong, I’m over the moon that it was made – I’m still going to have a moan. See, Captain Britain is a big guy. Much taller than a regular human and has quite an impressive physique to go with it. So why is there no powerhouse chest piece? I can live with him being the same height as a regular ‘mate but he’s packed with Kitty Pryde and she’s wider than he is!
Rant out of the way, he’s still a great looking Minimate. Though for some reason his helmet has been realised by giving him a slip over mask a’ la the DC Direct Batman. It doesn’t look too bad, but it should have been a cut out mask with a chin strap. That’s how this version of Captain Britain looked in the comic-books of the time, and it’s not like DST couldn’t produce it, as they did it back at the dawn of Minimates with the Rhino’s mask. The mask itself is nonetheless very good. The flag print is nice and clear as are the eyes and there’s no discernible colour bleed. As the mask is a slip-over there is an alternative hairpiece included. It looks quite good on the mate, but I wish that DST hadn’t given Brian Braddock such a languid expression. He looks as if he doesn’t have a care in the world, which isn’t how the protector of the 616 Earth should ever appear.
The costume is excellent, I have no complaints here whatsoever (other than the lack of powerhouse chest). The prints are all well applied and it’s good to see the red of the St George Cross section of the Union flag continuing over the shoulders. Caps boots are realised by a peg-through piece that sits between leg and foot and in terms of Minimate styling are pretty much spot on.
Captain Britain has no accessories.
In conclusion: Brit-tastic. Despite my moans I’m a big fan of this Minimate. But, DST, can we have him in his original costume too? Purrrrrrrleaaaase?
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The first new X-Man for a number of years following the debut of the international team. Kitty Pryde was originally codenamed Sprite but eventually chose Shadowcat for herself. These days she’s generally known by her real name (as the earlier Kitty Pryde Minimate proved) but this Shadowcat is based on how she appeared back in the 1980’s.
At first glance this Minimate appears to have a powerhouse chest piece. But it doesn’t. Kitty’s 80’s costume sported a high collar and puffed up sleeves. So DST have opted to give Shadowcat an extra piece that sits between the head and the shoulders to represent the collar, and upper arms as first seen on 90’s Storm. The net result – especially when combined with that huge hunk of brown hair – is ‘super-deformed Shadowcat’! It looks dreadful, and that’s a crying shame as there’s a great looking Minimate trying to break out of this mess.
Shadowcat’s face is great, it’s really nice to see a female Minimate with an expression other than a scowl or a pout. Kitty’s big smile is just right for the character, especially at this stage in her career, it reminds me of when Alan Davis was handling art duties on the X-Men and spin-off title Excalibur. The head though, is immovable due largely to the hairpiece. I’ve tried to remove the head in order to get that collar piece off, in the vain hope of finding a nicer-looking Minimate beneath the crap, but it was impossible.
Disappointingly the flaws with this figure aren’t just confined to the extra pieces that have been thrown at it. The pale blue print at the mid-riff which represents part of Kitty’s sash, has been badly applied and exposes a thin line of darker blue that sits between chest block and belt. This isn’t helping matters.
Shadowcat is accessorised with a little Lockheed, who is Kitty’s pet dragon. This is probably the best thing about the Minimate, though the way it attaches to the arm means it can easily become loose and overbalance the figure. So that I’ve had to resort to a Lego base to make sure the ‘mate doesn’t take a flyer.
In conclusion: Pryde comes before a fail.
MMC Score – 5 out of 10
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan