Here we have an interesting set. After creating Minimates from the Marvel and DC universes, what better idea than for AA to once again join up with DST to create Minimates based on some of the more popular independent comic characters. And so we have a boxset of 4 heroines. Yes, it’s a set with 4 females in. Let’s hope it can dispel the idea that “female characters don’t sell”. I got this set as part of a trade with Mr Stinkhead, webmaster of the excellent Millionaire Playboy website. He has been a supporter of Minimates Central since its inception, and I’m pleased our trade was so mutually beneficial to both sites.
The packaging is very different from the current Marvel Minimates closed boxes. The large window shows off the figures well and harkens back to the time when the Marvel 4-packs came in window boxes. Each Minimate is clearly visible and has their own logo underneath. Much like the Marvel boxes (and the new C3 Miniflyers) the side panels feature headshots of each Minimate.
The back of the box shows more dynamically posed examples of the 4 IndyMates. however closer examination reveals these are pictures of prototypes as the Magdalena is holding a sword hilt and Kabuki’s forearm coverings are a different colour.
The figures are packed in a tray, and mercifully have no twist-ties holding them in. The weaponry is taped in.
Overall, I think the packaging is very good, allowing people to see the exact figures whilst still retaining some of the nice touches the Marvel packaging has.
The first Minimate in this set is Witchblade, arguably the most famous (and recognisable) of the 4 characters featured here. Sara Pezzini wields the ancient Witchblade gauntlet in the Top Cow comic.
From the front on, this is a fantastic-looking Minimate. Witchblade has a very expressive face, with big brown eyes and full lips that are slightly parted. The style of all of these female Minimates is almost “manga”, with each face being drawn with huge eyes, this is certainly a different style to the earlier females in the Marvel line. Like all the Minimates in this set, Witchblade has a unique harpiece, which has some of the “armoured” pieces on it. The way it curls down her back is particularly good. The hairpiece has the now-standard peg in it.
The costume initially looks just as stylish as the face. However, the key part of that last paragraph is “from the front on”. Sadly several shortcuts have been taken with the rest of the costume that really affect the overall look. The Minimate body is grey, with the skin colour added over the top, which would be OK, if not for the fact that the skin colour has only been added to the front, and partially to the back. From the sides (and from the back, focusing on the legs) Witchblade is an unsightly grey mass, and it totally spoils the look of the figure to the point of me asking “What were they thinking?”. I mean, from the front, Witchblade has bare legs, and from any other angle, she has grey legs. How did anyone not notice? The Witchblade gauntlet itself seems to be well executed, and the armoured pieces certainly look the part, but the whole effect is spoiled by the lack of such crucial paint apps.
Witchblade comes with no accessories, but does have C3 feet. The leg configuration is the same as the 2005 blanks, with the joints set the opposite way to the earlier style of leg. As with the blanks, the torso peg is also much longer than previous styles. This makes the IndyMates set the first to hit retail with the new Minimate bodies.
Overall, being a hot, scantily clad superheroine, this could have been one of my favourite Minimates. Too bad the shortcuts taken have really affected the look to such an extent, it’s a real shame. Would be a clear winner in any “Which Minimate was executed the worst?” poll.
MMC Score – 3 out of 10
The second figure in the set is the Magdalena, chosen warrior of the Catholic church.
The Magdalena has possibly one of the cutest faces ever. I’m not sure how she is portrayed in the comics but here she looks very cheerful, with her big brown eyes and smiling face. Some brown hair spills out of her hood, a very nice effect. The fact that the hood is painted onto the hairpiece means that unlike previous hooded characters (Doctor Doom springs to mind as an example) the hood does not restrict the head’s side-to-side movement, although the cloak still restricts the vertical movement. The hairpiece has a peg which plugs into a hole on the top of the head block.
The costume has been well implemented. The overall design uses a lot of religious iconography which dominate the look, from the cross painted on her chest to the two wristguards which have some very fine detail on them, and even the pelvis piece has two tiny crosses on it. The paint apps on this figure are both intricate and of a good quality, and nothing appears to be skimped on. The Magdalena also has a Punisher-like ankle scabbard (but the knife cannot be removed) and possibly the best cloak ever. It’s thickly voluminous and has a lot of weight to it, and a very nice red colour on the interior. This does make the figure quite hard to keep standing, though.
Although the Magdalena has two sword sheathes molded onto the back of the cloak with protruding sword hilts, neither of the swords can be removed, essentially meaning that she is weaponless. If they could have incorporated the swords in the same style as Blade’s sword this could have been one of the top Minimates available. She has no other accessories, but like the other figures she has the C3 feet and the newest Minimate body construction which has finally made it into the main lines since being used for the 2005 promotional blanks.
Overall, the Magdalena is a distinctive looking and well executed Minimate. The lack of useable weapons is her only flaw.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
The third Minimate in the set is Dawn, Joseph Michael Linsner’s Goddess figure.
As with the other figures, Dawn has a very appealing facial expression. The hair is sculpted really well, it hangs over the right eye but if you remove the pegged hairpiece she does have both eyes painted on.
The bright red jacket helps Dawn to really stand out. The yellowy shoulder pads and wristguard also adds colour. The small “skirt” piece is nicely engineered to allow the maximum leg movement whilst still looking like an item of clothing rather than a belt. The paint apps are very consistent on this figure.
For accessories, Dawn does come with a very large sword. It is made of very flimsy plastic (mine suffers from perma-bend) in a somewhat puzzling light blue colour. The sword has no paint apps at all to distinguish blade from hilt. Like some of the other waeponry available in the Lord of the Rings line, Dawn’s belt piece has a hole into which the sword can be plugged into via a peg on its side. Like the others in this set, Dawn has C3 feet and the newest Minimate body type.
Overall, Dawn is a bright and breezy addition to the Minimate ranks. Some issues with weapons aside, she does a lot of things right.
MMC Score – 7 out of 10
The last figure in the set is Kabuki, David Mack’s ninja-esque future Noh operative.
Kabuki comes with a mask. This is implemented similarly to Iron Man, but is a lot easier to get on and off. Interestingly, the mask is pegged. All of the C3 Minimates that come with pegged hairpieces and masks don’t have pegged masks. The detailing on the mask is good, and the paint app quite tidy, important when there is such a stark contrast in colours. When the mask is removed, we get a very nicely detailed face, including Kabuki’s tattoo. A separate hairpiece is included for when the mask is off.
The costume continues the trend of superb detailing – check out the tattoo on Kabuki’s back, or the patterns on her forearm straps. The belt piece seems to be stuck onto the pelvis piece (or should I say seemed – I broke it off!) although this could be a consequence of sticky paint rather than gluing. There have been several reports of limbs being stuck in position with these sets so be careful when moving the joints for the first time.
Kabuki has one of the best ever weapons to appear in the 2″ line, a sickle. A wickedly curved blade with a gold chain off the handle, this accessory is perfect for her to hold in one or both hands, and look extremely cool doing it! Kabuki has the C3 feet and the latest Minimate body style.
Overall, Kabuki is a very different looking Minimate, with excellent accessories. Possibly the best figure in the set.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
An interesting and visually varied set, but these Minimates are not without some small problems. Definitely worth picking up, though.