In a year so far bereft of new Marvel Minimates, Art Asylum has had to get more creative to get Marvel Minimates on the shelf. After this summer’s Darktide movie with its 4 Marvel Minimates, Art Asylum went into partnership with Marvel Animation, Toys R Us and K-Mart to package 3 different Marvel Minimates in with the release of the Ultimate Avengers 2 DVD.
Ultimate Avengers 2 is a feature-length cartoon movie based on the Ultimate universes’ Avengers. Iron Man or Captain America are the exclusives if you bought the set in Toys R Us. K-Mart got the Hulk. The three Minimates are supposed to be the same molds as their DST-wave counterparts, but it seems as though there are some minor changes. Captain America has the most obvious differences.
Many thanks to Aaron from the Minimate Multiverse forum who picked up this set for me.
The packaging is identical to the previous two DVD sets. It works well in that it lets you know very easily which Minimate you get as the top of the box has the Marvel Minimates logo and the Minimate sits in a small shelf with a window piece showing the top half of the figure. The bottom right also has a sticker with the name of the exclusive figure on it. The backgrounds of the stickers have matched the figures – yellow for Iron Man, green for Hulk and now blue for Captain America. The size of a normal DVD case but a bit thicker, this would make a good display piece, however because there is a lot of unused space at the front of the DVD itself which isn’t being taken up by the holding area for the Minimate, the front of the box is prone to damage.
The picture below shows how the Minimate is held in place in the packaging.
The Iron Man DVD Minimate did not come in a baggie, the Hulk was wrapped in a baggie, which was unsealed. To complete trio of differently packed Minimates, Captain America comes in a sealed baggie.
Captain America first appeared in wave 5 in 2004. At the time he was a standout Minimate, a perfect combination of design, paint apps and accessories, and he still remains my overall favourite. So how is this DVD exclusive version different?
This DVD exclusive Captain America has arguably the biggest change to it compared to the original. The DVD Iron Man Minimate had new detailing on the legs, but it wasn’t hugely noticible. The DVD Hulk Minimate had no really different paint apps. This new Cap has a different face to the original, which is a positive and a negative. A new face is a big change, comparable to the Darktide Minimates, with a different expression on Cap’s face. This really cranks up the worthiness of this figure as a variant. Sadly there has been a crucial miscalculation when changing the paint app. The original head detailing sat quite low on the head block to enable the mask to go fully over the face and keep the eyes showing. On this new one, the detailing is more centred in the middle of the head block, which would be fine if this was an “Unmasked Captain America”, but means that when the mask is fully pushed onto the head block, it covers his eyes. To correct this, you have to have the mask not fully pushed down, so there’s a gap of a couple of millimetres or so. It’s not a huge issue, just one that could have been prevented with a little more care in the factory.
One of the other most noticible changes is how sloppy the paint is compared to the immaculate job done on the original. On the mask, the white on the crests and the skin tone on the ears has just been slapped on. In more concrete changes, the copyright notice has been changed from 2003 to 2006, and like the other new DVD Minimates, Cap has the newer double “V” style torso plug instead of the hexagonal torso plug.
Unlike Iron Man, who didn’t come with the hairpiece that the original Minimate had, this version of Captain America retains all of his accessories. His signature piece is of course the shield. The way this was incorporated as a Minimate accessory was amazing back in 2004 and it’s still an awesome accessory today. He also has a separate hand, presumably to replace the more bulky glove when the shield is on. The SDCC exclusive Battle Damaged Captain America had this additional hand but the original one did not. Although the main figure has some paint issues, the paint apps on the shield are better than on the original, with the white circle being much cleaner. The central star is slightly different too.
Overall, this is the best of the three DVD exclusives, being a true variant of a top-notch figure. Cap’s different face beats Iron Man’s added leg detailing, almost to the extent of making this a worthwhile purchase even if the DVD isn’t quite your cup of tea, but that might just be my oft-professed love for the Cap Minimate showing! If you intend to get just one DVD set with Minimate as a packaging variant, I’d certainly recommend this set over the others.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10