A set fans have been asking about for years finally sees production. You have to give kudos to DST and AFX for getting this set off of the ground. The set comprises of four of the original five X-Men presented in the costumes worn in X-Men #1 circa 1963. Angel rounds the team out, but could only be obtained by purchasing the variant pack from Marvel Minimates wave 31. Ooops, there goes those kudos!
A longform box which is about a third again the size of the regular Marvel Minimate carton, and around an inch slimmer. The box features the usual logos, as well as the AFX logo as this is an AFX exclusive set. As with the regular cartons there are windows in the box but these are slightly smaller and there is no control art. Instead the box has grey tone reproductions of artwork from the 1960’s series as well as a satisfyingly large X-Men logo at the base. The side flaps of the carton carries headshots of each figure, while the back has a group shot of the entire team with small biography boxes.
First Appearance Cyclops
This is Scott Summers as the world first saw him; a nerdy introvert.
The thing that really stands out on this ‘mate is the visor. It’s huge! It looks too big for the figure’s face and while the original visor was different to todays, I’m sure it didn’t really ever look like this in the books. The mask itself sits loose on the figures head which was a surprise to me as this style of mask normally fits snugly. Remove the mask and add the alternative hairpiece and the figure suddenly comes to life. That is absolutely 1960’s era Scott Summers. At first I was disappointed that the hairpiece didn’t have integral glasses a’ la Bruce Banner, but I came to the realisation that this is by far the more aesthetically pleasing way of capturing the character. In my opinion that print of the glasses and those few lines that make up the face, have absolutely nailed the essence of Scott Summers.
The uniform is nothing to really write home about. The original X-Men all wore roughly the same costume (barring Iceman) that consisted of a blue spandex all-in-one with yellow vest, trunks, gloves, and boots. What I do like is that DST have chosen to represent the team as it appeared in the comics. Colour reproduction wasn’t even close to todays standards so more often than not a black print was used with blue highlights representing lighter areas. There’s a nod to this use of blue on either side of the yellow section on the chest. Also back then, superheroes were not as defined as they are today. Musculature was kept to a minimum so as not to appear too fussy on the printed page. Again just a couple of black lines on the yellow area of the chest give a hint of definition and nothing more.
First Appearance Cyclops has no accessories. I think a trick was missed here. I’d have liked to have seen an alternate hand that could depict Cyke activating his visor, but these sets do tend to be produced quickly so I doubt anything other than bare minimum was given consideration.
In conclusion: Not perfect, but more than acceptable.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
First Appearance Marvel Girl
Jean Grey: Flame haired telekinetic who was quite handy at fetching cups of coffee for the men. After all, this was the 60’s.
Marvel Girl wears the same mask and costume as the rest of the team, but her hair flows freely out of the back of the mask. I’m not sure exactly how that’d work? A hole in the mask for a ponytail would be fine, but Jean was generally depicted with her hair coming around the sides of her head and sitting on her shoulders. That can be made to work on the printed page. As a Minimate it’s not such a good look. The hair appears to sprout out of the side and back of the mask and the effect is quite unsettling. It looks like a black spaniel with red ears. Really nasty. The mask itself sits a little too low on the head, though it doesn’t obscure the eyes, and is a little loose. I ended up sticking a small amount of poster tack under the mask to ensure it lined up correctly and to stop it from spinning around.
Thankfully DST have seen fit to include an alternate hairpiece and when used the ‘mate becomes a much nicer looking figure. The face when combined with the alternate hair has the definite look of Jean Grey. I particularly like the eyes and the shade of the lips is spot on for the era.
Like all the original X-Men (except Iceman) Jean wears a blue and yellow costume that consisted of a blue all-in-one with a yellow vest and trunks worn over the top. As the figure is based on the way the figures appeared in the pages of the X-Men comic book from the 1960’s there is not a huge amount of detailing present. But what there is, is just right. A few fabric creases and the hint of a bust line. Actually, taken with the blue ‘reflection’ prints to the side of the yellow section that’s quite a lot more than a hint! The rest of the ‘mate is regular fare. Buccaneer style boots, gauntlet style gloves, and a belt piece complete the figure
Marvel Girl has no accessories.
In conclusion: Spoiled by the issue with the hair.
MMC Score – 6 out of 10
First Appearance Beast
Henry (Hank) McCoy in his original guise, long before he unscientifically necked a vial of experimental mutant cure and turned grey, and then blue and furry. Beast was the most obvious mutant in the original team. Cyclops could wear his ruby quartz sunglasses. Angel could hide his wings in a harness, and Iceman when depowered was a normal looking kid. Beast had massive hands, and massive feet to boot (no pun intended) though his real mutant ability was his incredible strength and agility.
Beast wears the same uniform as the rest of the original X-men (barring Iceman) The mask is the same as the First Appearance Angel from Marvel wave 31 but when it’s removed and the alternate hairpiece is applied the Beast become the 1960’s version of Hank McCoy and again DST have absolutely nailed the look of the guy. My theory is, that as these are based on Jack Kirby designs and Kirby tended to draw fairly simple faces, that it’s easier to transpose those features onto the head of a Minimate. Not that I’m slating Kirby for one minute, he was a fantastic artist, but his line work was heavy and had to be extremely clear for reproduction. There were very few nuances in his work and that’s why these 60’s characters have turned out looking so good. Again, just my theory… Back to the review.
While the costume is the same as that of the other members of the team there are a fair few differences to this Minimate. To emphasize his stature the Beast has a chestpiece with a slightly different tampo to Cyclops and Angel. There’s more line work around the neck and a few more creases in the material of the vest. The obvious differences are the over large hands and the new feet. The feet are worth a mention, they’re similar to the infamous ‘duck feet’ but attach more in the manner of a boot though one without a back. I think both hands and feet look great on this Minimate. As Beast’s outer manifestation of his power was his outsized extremities, these additional pieces ably reflect that image and the duck-style feet in particular are absolutely perfect on this figure. Possibly the first time I’ve ever written that in a review.
For the purists out there there are alternate Minimate hands and regular duck feet. But why would you want to ruin such a great looking figure by using them?
In conclusion: A glorious transition from print to 3D. I’m a massive fan of this Minimate.
MMC Score – 9 out of 10
First Appearance Ice Man
Bobby Drake was the youngest member of the original team and struggled to be taken seriously. Probably didn’t help that he used to look like a snowman in gumboots!
This is the only figure in the set that isn’t decked out in the black and yellow costume. Indeed poor Bobby used to go into battle wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and his boots. Must have been before Reed Richards invented his unstable molecule fabric. Still at least Bobby wouldn’t have felt the cold.
This is as good a Minimate translation of the original Iceman as you’re likely to get. His appearance as mentioned used to be that of a walking snowman and there was a lot of shape and texture to his appearance before he gained better control of his powers and took on his sleeker aspect. To that end DST have been forced to present Iceman as an opaque Minimate with a few simple lines here and there. The face is indistinct, much like that of the Human Torch from the Invaders 4-Pack. Eyes and mouth can just about be made out, but they’re hints, rather than features. The chest block follows the theme, just a few black lines here and there to denote muscle definition, but not much and nothing really definite. I do like the sparing use of white on the face and chest, but feel it’s a shame that the line work wasn’t also used on the arms and legs. The boots are the same as the rest of the team’s, but they’re two tone. Probably down to print issues back in the period the figure is based on.
Iceman is the only member of the team to have an accessory, probably because he has no alternate pieces. The accessory is an ice blast. I’d have liked to have seen an alternate hand holding a snowball. The original Green Goblin pumpkin bomb hand would have been brilliant for this. Ah well…
In conclusion: Underdecorated, but good enough.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
Despite the negatives I’m over the moon to see this incarnation of the team produced as Minimates. They look great on display when combined with the Wave 31 variant Angel.
Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan