Here we have a very long-awaited set of Cyclops and the dark incarnation of the Phoenix. Prototypes of this set hit eBay in 2004 without being announced what they would be exclusives for. This summer the set finally found a home, being the Diamond Select Toys summer conventions exclusive, released at the San Diego Comic Convention and Wizard World Chicago summer conventions. Thanks once again to ThatBlokeTimbo who got this set.
The packaging features the Marvel Universe logo. Unlike the Battle Damaged Cap/Punisher set last year, there is no mention of the fact that this set is an exclusive. The packaging remains the same as those sets which were leaked early on eBay. The back is the one from wave 7, showing how long these have been ready to go.
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 the X-Men leader Scott Summers, known as Cyclops. We have had many representations of the Cyclops character in the Minimates line, including Scott in his New X-Men costume, and two versions of him from the Ultimate universe, with and without his visor. This figure is based on Cyclops’s classic X-Men costume from the Giant-Sized X-Men boxset. I say based on, but this figure is the same as the boxset one with a couple of tweaks.
You wouldn’t think that the first change would be to a character’s face, when most of it is covered up, but here Cyclops does sport a very different look to the original, based on the comic artwork at the time. The lines are simple, meaning the face looks busy without being overcrowded. No hole in the head, or peg hole in the helmet, but as this figure is both a re-use and one that predates these additions, it’s not a surprise.
One of the few complaints I had with the original Cyclops was that the costume, whilst accurate, was slightly bland and boring. The biggest change to the costume here is to add large amounts of inky black detailing to the chest piece, to help further mimic the artist style at the time of the Dark Phoenix storyline. It works quite well, despite some people thinking it looks a bit messy. However the paint apps suffer slightly in the same areas as the original, the yellow paint on his boots is haphazard, and the visor still looks smudged.
Cyclops, like all of his other Minimate bretheren, has no accessories, but at least this version now has C3 feet. None of the later Minimate body changes are in evidence here, not surprising given the length of time from production to release.
Overall, despite being a re-use, the additional changes to this figure nullify some of the flaws of the original, making it a good figure to pick up.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The second figure in the set is Dark Phoenix, a cosmically powerful yet totally insane Jean Grey, who destroyed an entire world before the rest of the X-Men could try to stop their former friend.
The head has been very well done. The expression is great, with the yellow-eyed Dark Phoenix scowling ferociously, and the hairpiece is new (although used again in wave 11, it’s technically new here for the first time), and looks suitably windswept, given that she was usually pictured in flight channelling enormous amounts of energy around her.
The costume has been done perfectly. The phoenix symbol stands out well, and the use of the very “comic book” black line detailing gives her a much better appearance than if she was just plain red and yellow. Compare how different the Iron Man Minimate looks to the Spider-Woman Minimate, for example. The paint apps themselves are spot on, although the black lines on the forearms are being rubbed off by the flame attachments. She has a unique belt piece too.
The aforementioned flame attachments are the only accessories for the Dark Phoenix. They are translucent pieces that go from clear to orange, and fit over the wrists. I would think there’s a lot of accessory mixing and matching you could do between this figure and the Human Torch, for instance Dark Phoenix looks great using the flame base.
Overall, this is a superbly-done Minimate with lots of detail, definitely a high recommendation on this one.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10