Here we have a pack containing 6 of the “second wave” of the X-Men from 1975. Fan favourite Wolverine joins Colossus, Storm, Cyclops, NightCrawler and Thunderbird in this unique set.
The packaging is markedly different from previous Minimates releases. The most jarring change is the move away from the window boxes which showed the figures inside. The newer Marvel Minimates packaging now simply has an enclosed box with pictures of the Minimates on. However, the front of this particular box is very clever as it emulates the actual comic cover that these figures are from and “Minimate-ises” the characters.
The back of the box shows the usual waves 1 to 3 of the Minimates plus the Silver Surfer exclusive. The sides of the box each have 3 of the Minimates heads on, with their names. This is the only place on the packaging that names the figures.
The size of the box is smaller than I thought it would be, bearing in mind it contained 6 figures. It is not all that much bigger than the DST 2-pack, and the TRU 5-pack is longer whilst being nearly as wide. Here is a comparison shot of the 6-pack, along with a 2-pack and a 5-pack:
The 6 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:
Overall, the packaging is functional, bright, clear and works really well.
Scott Summers, also known as the X-Men field commander Cyclops, is the first figure in this set. He has his customary visor over his eyes, which, unlike the Ultimate version, is attached to a full mask. The mask is removable to reveal his red eyes, which symbolise his laser shooting capabilities. The face is a lot less “cartoony” than the Ultimate Cyclops and more in line with the other Minimates with its stern expression.
Cyclops’s X-Men uniform is even less detailed than his Ultimate version. However, this version just seems to look far better. Maybe because of the brighter colours – The blue is a lighter colour and the brighter yellow looks better than the more orangey-looking yellow of the Ultimate costume. Also the costume has long sleeves, so this Cyclops is not plagued with the “blue elbow-skin” syndrome of the earlier figure. The look is a lot cleaner and much more visually appealing.
The figure isn’t without a flaw, though, and that’s down to the paint. There is some paint bleed on the visor itself, right in the middle of the visor where it is most noticable.
Overall, this figure is much better than the previous one. Some might think that the plain blue look is a tad on the boring side, but I think it suits the character better.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
The second figure in the set is Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm. This figure looks quite different to the Ultimate version of Storm, which is a good thing, although her face is very similar to her previous version. Still, it is a very nicely detailed face, with her customary white eyes. Interestingly, Storm’s skin tone is slightly darker than on the Ultimate Storm.
Storm is dressed in a very fetching black outfit, with a very stiff cape as a separate piece. The cape limits movement slightly but as a costume it looks great, and the paint detailing is very crisp and clean with no blotches anywhere.
The first Storm Minimate was noticable for it’s huge white hairpiece – easily the biggest one we had seen… Until now. This version of Storm has a hairdo that is so large it’s almost a separate accessory! One worry I had was that it might not sit well on her head, but the hairpiece is molded to envelop her head and fits very firmly, which is a must for a piece that could potentially be knocked off all the time during play. It also limits head movement but looks so good that I don’t mind.
Overall, Storm is a superb figure, very different to her Ultimate version but with an incredibly unique look.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The third figure in the set is the Russian mutant Colossus, who has not had a previous Minimate figure. The first thing that strikes you about Colossus is his silver metallic finish, which is similar to the Silver Surfer Minimate. Colossus’s face is excellently detailed with an angry, grimacing expression. He also has a black hair piece with silver ears.
Colossus’s uniform is brightly coloured, the red and yellow goes well with the silver of his skin. He has several outfit pieces to help bulk him up, with the big red boots and chest piece he does look wider than the average Minimate.
Colossus is incredibly detailed. The texture of his skin is hinted at with very thin black lines, and white marks give a sense of being a shiny surface. This paint application is really clean and looks great. When you remove the chest piece you can also see that the detailing extends to the front and back of the chest block, with muscular definition lines painted on similar to the Hulk Minimate. However the paint on the removable chest piece itself is a bit sloppy, with the red bleeding into the yellow.
Overall, Colossus is a one of the best Minimates available, the level of detail is amazing and really brings out the character.
MMC Score – 10 out of 10
The fourth figure in the set is the ever-popular Wolverine, appearing in his tiger-stripe costume for the first time. There have already been 2 Wolverine figures in the Marvel Minimates line, with a 4th on its way in wave. However, this version is a real fan-favourite and is the only one with a mask. The detail on the mask is very cool, and it is removable to reveal his brown eyes, which, similar to the other Wolverine Minimates, are very well painted and detailed. The face is more “cartoony” than the Ultimate versions of Wolverine with a snarling expression.
Whereas the Ultimate Wolverine’s costume was predominantly dark blue, this one is a lot brighter. Primarily yellow with black detailing and light blue trim, it’s well painted with very clean paint apps. Unlike some of the earlier figures who have different coloured elbows when they are posed, here Wolverine has proper flesh-coloured elbows. The other addition to the figure is the use of the boots, and they are nicely done, making Wolverine look more imposing.
Wolverine also has his claws, which are a lot straighter than the ones Logan sported previously.
Overall, this figure is the best version of Wolverine that the line has produced. The other 2 Minimates were great figures, but this one has the classic look that appeals to me most.
MMC Score – 10 out of 10
The fifth figure in the set is Kurt Wagner AKA Nightcrawler, whose character is currently undergoing a renaissance after appearing in the X2 movie. This is the first time we have had a Nightcrawler figure in the Minimates line. Nightcrawler has a very striking blue face, with his bright yellow eyes and fanged yet smiling mouth. A black hairpiece with blue elf-like ears adds to the overall coolness.
Nightcrawler has perhaps the largest number of unique pieces to give the impression of his costume. He has a V-shaped chest piece similar to Colossus, with muscular detailing painted on and shoulder pads to make him look more imp-like. He also has a blue tail, which is attached to a very thin waist piece and looks fantastic but sadly isn’t flexible. Finally his hands and feet are both unique to give him his 3-fingered look. The paint on Nightcrawler is very crisp and clean with no blotches anywhere, although the white paint on the black base isn’t as sharp as it could be.
Overall, Nightcrawler is a great figure, his unique look translating really well to Minimate form.
MMC Score – 10 out of 10
The last figure in the set is the Native American mutant Thunderbird, who, being a really peripheral figure in X-Men history, has not had a previous Minimate figure. Thunderbird’s face is nicely detailed with somewhat evil-looking red eyes and a gritted teeth expression. His hair piece is black and has his red bandanna on it as well as his ears.
Thunderbird’s uniform is a brightly coloured blue and red ensemble with some yellow trim. There is a distinctive bird motif on both the front and back of the chest block for pleasing symmetry. A nice touch sees the same symbol painted on as his belt buckle. Thunderbird also comes with a unique “shoulder-pad” which is blue with red tassles. This adds a lot to the look of the figure but does hinder full movement in the arms.
The main problem with this figure is the paint application. Because the X-Men boxset Minimates have been done in a cartoon/comic style, most of them have black outlines to emphasis colour separation. On Thunderbird, this serves to show how bad the paint job is, as areas of red paint are overrun by the blue. The upper body section isn’t bad, but the legs look messy and this hurts the figure.
Overall, Thunderbird is a low-tier X-Man who can’t compete with the other 5 Minimates in this set. Although he has a good look and some nicely painted areas, the general low quality of the paint job and the obscureness of the character lose it points.
Overall Thoughts: With 6 unique Minimates in this set, and 3 of them gaining top MMC scores, the Giant-Sized X-Men boxset comes highly recommended. Add it to your Minimate army today!
MMC Score – 5 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills