In 2008 DST announced that Toys R Us would once again be carrying Minimates for sale. ‘Brilliant! we cried’ more places to buy Minimates is a good thing. Then came the bad news. There were going to be exclusives. Minimates that could only be found in Toys R Us. Yea, and verily, did fandom weep. But… It wasn’t such a bad thing. For sure the scalpers got busy, and most of the exclusives find their way to a certain online auction house long before they’re found in the actual stores, but it balances out in the end. Amusingly this set is exclusive to Toys R Us in the United States. So Union Jack. British Superhero from the Invaders and still around in modern Marvel continuity can only be bought exclusively, in the United States of America. Genius!
The Marvel Minimates carton. But wait… It’s different! There’s a shiny circle thing in the centre of the box that proclaims it to be a Toys R Us exclusive. That shiny circle must be made of extremely valuable material as it can jack the price of a Minimate 2-pack up into the stratosphere.
Surprisingly DST opted to display Union Jack as his civilian self despite the artwork on the front showing him masked up. The rest of the box follows the usual format of star billing for each character on the sides and a gang shot on the back.
A second appearance for this perennially popular B-list Avenger, as a more basic version was available in wave 16. This is Wonder Man in what’s referred to as his Safari Jacket outfit, it’s not really your typical superhero costume.
Facially it’s not a bad likeness of Simon Williams (Wonder Man’s alias), though he bears a more thoughtful expression than the one I remember seeing. It’s good that DST have opted to print his glasses onto his face rather than going for an all in one with the hair a’ la Doctor Octopus, Peter Parker, or Bruce Banner from waves past. The print suits the Minimate face far more than the big clunky glasses we used to get, the detailing of the eyes beyond the glasses is especially nice. I also like that the face is fairly simple, just a few lines here and there to give definition. That tiny detail above the lip line gives the faintest hint of a filtrum and gives just a tad more expression to the figures face.
The rest of the figure is pretty much basic Minimate country. The print for the jacket is excellent, I especially like the hint of a turtleneck sweater on the print which is then continued by an extra piece around the neck post. The print is very crisp and surprisingly detailed. Double lines on the lapels and around the pockets surprised me but I’m happy they’re there. DST have rather cleverly extended the length of the jacket by using a belt piece in a rather unconventional way. It looks great, but would have worked a lot better if they’d placed the black print for the actual belt right at the bottom of the chest piece so that the break between the two parts would have appeared more natural. Still, it was a great way to carry off the look and I’m glad that someone worked this into the design.
Other prints of note are the areas of gold around the wrists and the belt buckle. It’s great that DST are more into using these metallic paints as they really do add those final touches to the figures. The remainder of the ‘mate is quite plain, black legs and red boots finish off the look, but it’s how the character looks so there’s no complaints here from me.
Wonder Man has no accessories.
In conclusion, a worthy update to the wave 16 figure, and very much a definitive Minimate Wonder Man.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Union Jack originally started out as one of the British members of the Multi-national Allied Super-Team The Invaders, a team that helped fight the Nazis in World War II. This Union Jack however, is from the modern era of Marvel tales and is the third person to wear the costume. He’s also not available in UK shops.
Now there’s not really a lot going on with this little guys face. He wears a mask that covers his entire head apart from the eyes. They’re good eyes though. It’s amazing how much expression a pair of eyes can convey. You wouldn’t mess with this guy! Thankfully DST opted to give Union Jack a slipover mask and underneath his civilian identity can be revealed, with the help of the extra hairpiece thoughtfully provided for just that purpose. The face beneath is fairly nondescript. UJ isn’t that recognisable sans mask, but he does still have one heckuva pair of pissed off peepers. The rest of the expression just backs this up.
The rest of the ‘mate is fairly basic, but as with Wonder Man that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Union flag (it’s only the Union Jack when displayed at sea) print is very striking and obviously dominates as it takes up the entire chest. I’m pleased to see the flag continuing around the sides and onto the back, extra touches like this are always appreciated. The print itself is excellent with no bleedover from the red into the white, giving a very crisp look to the figure. It’s great to see the Union Flag on an action figure. Even if the figure itself is not available in UK shops.
Non-basic parts are the belt and the holster. The belt is a great piece that looks suitably heavy duty. I especially like the hand grenade detail that’s molded to it. It also has an integral scabbard for Union Jack’s dagger. On the right thigh is a holster for a pistol. It’s a strap holder and it works very well, indeed it doesn’t spoil the lines of the figure at all. Red and black bands at the wrists and ankles complete the look of the figure. Good prints although there’s a bit of bleedover on the right leg.
Union Jack is accessorised with a pistol and dagger.
In conclusion: An almost perfect translation into Minimatehood. If only it could be bought in shops, in the UK!
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan