Here we have a pack containing a battle-damaged version of Captain America and the first appearance of the vigilante Punisher, which was an exclusive to the US Summer 2004 San Diego Comic-Con and Wizard World Chicago conventions.
The packaging is a spin on the now-usual Marvel Minimates box as seen in waves 4 to 6. Although it’s the same size, it features artwork of the individual Minimates rather than posed pictures of the actual toys. I really like this style and it adds a lot to the overall look of the packaging. My only complaint is that there are no pictures of the Minimates on the side of the box.
The back of this exclusive pack doesn’t have anything except the Diamond, Marvel and Art Asylum logos featured.
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.
Battle-Damaged Captain America
The first Captain America Minimate was the benchmark from which all the other Minimates should be judged, so how does this one compare?
Well, for a start, like the other Battle-Damaged Minimates, the expression is perfect. Steve Rogers is hurt. His mouth is in a grimace of pain and his right eye is swollen shut which can be seen even through the mask. The mask itself has some damage, but all of it is drawn on and not sculpted. It would have been nice to see the mask itself torn a bit. As usual, the mask is removable to reveal the full extent of the beating Cap has taken.
The damage on the figure itself is superb, with many skin-revealing rents and tears in the costume all over his body, including the gloves, which was a great touch. The paint apps on the figure are flawless, both for the underlying costume and also the damage itself. The original figure was great in regard to paint quality and it’s nice to see that this one maintains that. This version of Cap, like all the new summer convention-exclusive Minimates, has the new C3 feet which are slightly smaller so that the figure can interact better with the new C3 building block kits.
Cap also comes with a new version of his shield. The shield (and the arm-band that it plugs into) is cast from clear translucent plastic. There is also a spare normal-sized red Minimate hand included. Maybe this is for using on the arm that holds the shield mechanism, but I have never had a problem using the shield with the bigger gloves. Anyway, it looks great, although I’m not sure why the whole thing was changed. I can see the advantage of having a clear arm-band instead of a red one, but the clear shield is puzzling, but fun nonetheless. Author’s note:- I have been informed that there is a clear shield because it’s an energy shield given to Cap by the S.H.I.E.L.D. organisation, so it does have a basis in the comics.
Overall, this figure is sheer quality. I love the original Cap, I love the Battle-Damaged figures, and this one has been executed really well.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10
The second figure in the set is the Punisher, a much-requested Minimate that will also see a release in wave 9. Whether it will be different to this one or not is unknown at this time. Frank Castle has a mean and angry expression on his face, with a lot more detailing on it than other Minimates, making it similar stylistically to Gaijin Wolverine. The hairpiece is also well done with a little cowlick.
The Puinsher costume is very simple – white gloves and boots with a plain bodysuit and the Punisher skull logo, but it has all been painted on really well with no smudging or bleeding. Little touches like a black “wash” to give the chest depth really add to the look, and the Punisher skull logo has been recreated perfectly. This set is streets ahead of the Wolverine/Mariko set in terms of the paint apps’ overall quality.
Infuriatingly, the most tooled-up person in the Marvel Universe comes with no accessories. Let’s hope the regular release comes with a gun or ten to offset this! The Punisher also is one of the first Marvel Minimates to come with the C3 feet.
Overall, the simple comic look to the Punisher really works well here in Minimate form. Apart from having no weaponry to dish out punishment with, this figure is excellent.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10