Here we have a AFX-exclusive pack containing Thanos, who has been wanted by fans ever since his announcement in wave 7, and the Silver Surfer, who was to have been re-released in a wave 7 two-pack alongside Thanos, who was replaced by Spider-Man 2099 due to technical problems at that time. This AFX-exclusive was released at the SDCC and WWC summer conventions. Thanks once again to ThatBlokeTimbo who got this set for me among other things.
The packaging features the Marvel Universe logo – one of the few packs that really suits this logo. The image of the Silver Surfer is the same as the one that appeared on the wave 7 box with Spider-Man 2099. Instead of having the AFX logo printed on the back, there is a small green sticker. The back is the same as the wave 10 backs, showing waves 10 and 11.
The 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.
The first figure in this set is Thanos, the mad Titan, who, with the power of the Infinity Gauntlet, wiped out half of the known universe.
Thanos has a very weird-looking head. Granted, it’s like that because that’s the way he was drawn, but still, my point stands. The mouth bit in particular looks very busy, and the overall dark-purple with black detailing makes it very murky looking. The helmet adds an imperious air with the swept crests on either side. The paint job on the helmet is less than stellar, though, with the gold edging giving way to the more dominant blue colour when it’s not supposed to, making the whole head look a tad messy. No hole in the head, or peg hole in the helmet, but given that this figure’s initial production predates those refinements, it’s not entirely surprising.
The outfit is comprised mainly of a bulky chest piece which clips over a gorgeously-blue torso block (customisers keep an eye out for that block piece), and tries to make Thanos look large and imposing, but as with a few of the Minimates with “over-clothes”, he just looks squat and fat. The blue and gold do look distinctive, and the paint job on the torso and legs is better than on the helmet, the boots in particular coming out very sharp. The gloves are translucent gold, and look very nice. The Infinity Gauntlet even has the tiny soul gems in place, a good touch at this small scale.
Thanos comes with a translucent “energy effect” accessory which fits over the Infinity Gauntlet. It’s similar to Iron Fist’s and Super Skrull’s but I think it’s a unique piece.
Overall, this figure has had a lot of expectation on it and I don’t think it quite lives up to the hype.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
The second figure in the set is another Silver Surfer. First seen in 2003 as a Tower exclusive, this Minimate has also been released more widely in Wave 7, as well as appearing in the Toys R Us exclusive 10-Pack. However, this time, the figure does have some key differences, which is why he is being reviewed again.
The bulk of the figure is identical to the previous releases, meaning that it still has the same excellent detailing over the silvery body. The original intent of AFX was to get this figure vac-metallized so that it would be coated with a thin layer of shiny metal, but this idea was nixed, presumably because at this scale the flaking metal would be a nightmare.
The most noticable, and welcome, change is that the figure now has C3 feet, allowing him to peg on securely to any C3 playset, or other leading construction sets. C3 feet are part of the new standard Minimate body, however he doesn’t have any of the other newer body enhancements, neither the hole in the head or the reversed leg construction. The body is made out of grey plastic, unlike wave 7’s version which had a dark green base colour.
The other change to go along with this is the copyright notice. All of the previous Silver Surfers had a copyright date of 2003, even the ones re-released in 2004. This version gets a 2005 copyright. Again, a small change, but one that distinguishes this release from any of the others.
Like the other Silver Surfers, this version comes with his board, and it is here that he loses the points the original had. Back in 2003, it was an annoyance that we couldn’t peg him to the board, but there wasn’t much that could realistically have been done. Now, on this version, I can’t understand why they gave him C3 feet and then not add a raised block piece to the board so that he can pose on it securely. Even if they had supplied a single silver 1 x 1 C3 block so we could glue it on, it would have been something, a recoginition of a previous missed opportunity. Oh well.
Overall, this is still a cool Minimate with great paint apps and attitude, but let’s not see it released again for a while!
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Review and pictures by Danny Mills