Art Asylum used a bit of clever marketing this summer, teaming up 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. A DVD and a toy – what more could a kid want!
A feature-length cartoon movie based on the Ultimate universes’ Avengers, if you bought the set in Toys R Us, you could get either an Iron Man or a Captain America, and if you bought it in K-Mart, you got a 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.
The packaging shows off the Minimate really well. The top of the box is emblazoned with the Marvel Minimates logo and the Minimate sits in a small shelf with a window piece showing the top half of the figure. As packaging which is designed primarily for the DVD, it does an excellent job of selling the Minimate too. People who don’t open their Minimates will find this to be a very nice display piece.
The picture below shows how the Minimate is held in place in the packaging.
Iron Man was first seen in wave 6, and also formed part of the TRU-exclusive 10 pack of a couple of years ago, so I will not go on too much about the actual detailing etc of the Iron Man Minimate, but focus more on what makes this one different.
So what changes does this Iron Man have to the previously released ones? First up, the paint apps have changed. Iron Man now has some black line detailing on his ankles, a spot that was previously blank. This matches up nicely with the line detailing on his forearms, and although it’s a small change that most casual observers won’t notice, it does help visually with the appearance. In addition, once the helmet is removed (and this one was a doozy to get off, similar to the first release of Iron Man), you can see that the grey of Tony’s beard and eyebrows are slightly darker. I don’t think you can see it too well in the photos, but in person it is more noticible.
A couple of other differences are less apparent. The copyright notice has changed from 2003 to 2006, and instead of the hexagonal torso plug, the new Iron Man has the “V” style. The torso peg has also changed from yellow to red.
Unlike the other versions of Iron Man, this one does not come with a hairpiece. Another disappointment is that Iron Man continues to be denied C3 feet, but as it’s not a “new” Minimate I guess we can’t grumble too much.
Overall, this is technically the best Iron Man we have had as a Minimate, with additional paint apps making it stand out from other releases. However, in reality, it’s such a small change, and this one is so much more expensive (due to the DVD) versus the Marvel 2-packs, that I can’t regard it as a must-have Minimate. It’s a difficult one to score, as if you don’t have Iron Man, and you want the DVD, then it’s a no-brainer, but if you have an Iron Man and no interest in the DVD, it’s not essential to get this one. For all you variant collectors though, it’s a nice piece. I should be reviewing the other two sets soon.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10