2011
14.09

 


Another Marvel Boxset released for the convention season in summer 2008, this boxset is based on one of Marvel’s lesser-known superteams, the Invaders.


Packaging

The standard Marvel boxset packaging features a large group shot of the four Minimates set against a sepia-toned World War II-themed background. The ‘Invaders’ logo is set low down on the front of the box and rather obscures the central character of Captain America. There is a large San Diego Comic Con exclusive logo to the upper right of the box.

The box’s side flaps feature headshots of the Minimates within. The rear of the packaging has a group shot of the Minimates as well as the by now standard biography panels. The figures and accessories are contained in a plastic clamshell tray.

 


The Figures

Captain America

Another Cap, but this one is from the period that the character is rooted in; World War II. This Cap is presented first and foremost as Steve Rogers, the man behind the mask. He has a fairly subdued expression, almost neutral. Maybe it’s supposed to be stoic? Cap’s hair looks to be the same piece that came with Civil War Cap, which makes perfect sense as it’s the same person.

The costume has been tweaked a bit, it seems every time DST put out a new Cap they find some way to improve him. The chainmail armour covers the upper half of the torso completely now, whereas previous versions had a speckling here and there. The red and white bars have been given some movement this time out. By that I mean that they’re not the straight up and down blocks of colour that we’ve seen before. That may well annoy the purists, after all,the first Captain America ‘mate was, I believe, the first Minimate that Danny ever gave a perfect 10 to [He was one of the first 10s and certainly my favourite Minimate for a long time, though both Spider-Man and Carnage in wave 2 and the Rhino beat him to the 10 score – Pedant Ed]. So I can imagine this more ‘realistic’ look may upset a few fans. For me, I think it looks fine, it doesn’t look too fussy or busy and doesn’t detract at all from the overall look of the ‘mate.

There’s the smallest hint of abdominal definition but it’s been kept to the simplest of lines and I think that’s helped keep the ‘mate neat and clean looking. A new addition to this Cap is the harness to stow his shield. This is an excellently engineered piece. It sits over the shoulders and under the arms but hardly interferes at all with the shoulder articulation. The rest of this ‘mate is pretty much the same as Civil War Cap, sharing the same gloves, belts and boots.

Now we get on to the really fun stuff. DST have gone all out on Cap and have given him two alternate ‘faces’ that slip over his head, much like the Batman‘mates from the late and much lamented DC Minimate line. This means we can have Cap in his modern guise with his full mask or with the mask he originally wore when he was first sent into action against the Axis. I think this is a genius move by DST, they’ve essentially given us 3 figures in one. Though for me, the only way to display this particular Cap, is in his early 1940’s guise. Something I really like about both masks is that the wings are still part of the mask and not simply painted on. I’m also a big fan of the expression on early Cap’s face, it’s good to see him showing some emotion, you just know he’s going to be busting some ratzi’s up good!

Cap is also accessorised with not only his trusty shield, but also his original shield with the stars and stripes design. Both shields have been given the original-style shield cuffs seen on the first couple of Cap Minimates rather than the horrible wristband-style thing that we saw on Civil War Cap and in theTaskmaster/USAgent 2-pack. It’s good to see that having tried something new and deciding it didn’t work DST have reverted to something that does. Cap also has an alternate ‘normal’ Minimate hand.

In Conclusion: Yet another excellent Cap Mate. This is my favourite so far.

MMC Score – 10 out of 10



Namor the Sub-Mariner

Only the second time out in ‘mate form for Namor, this time in the fanboy-pleasing green trunks.

Obviously the hair is the same piece as seen on the Defenders Namor, it is, after all, the same character. Thankfully DST have seen fit to give him a new expression and it’s a doozy. Namor sports a suitably fierce visage as befits the ‘Avenging Prince of Atlantis’. I particularly like the little hint of furrowed brow set between his eyes.

As this is Namor in his classic look there’s not really a lot more to review. He is pretty much a naked guy in green trunks. The musculature to the chest block looks to be the same print as seen on Defenders Namor though at least this time there’s a hint of spine and shoulderblades on the back. The shorts are well decorated. The scale pattern is just hinted at, and it’s nice to see a definite black line on the legs to show where the shorts end.

Other than that there’s some gold around the waist to denote Namor’s belt – nice to see the shell pattern is present – gold bands on the wrist, and those funky little wing inserts at the ankle.

Namor has no accessories. Another opportunity to give him his trident has been missed.

In Conclusion: Good to see one of Marvel’s oldest characters in his classic guise.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10



Golden Age Human Torch

Not to be confused with the hot-headed Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four, this “Golden Age” Torch is a synthetic being that would catch alight when exposed to air. Eventually Torch learned to control his powers and joined up with Captain America and Namor.

The original Torch had very indistinct features when he was alight, as if the flames obscured his face and would only allow brief glimpses of the face beneath. This Minimate stays true to that concept, skilfully so. The red print on the face gives a definite impression of flame licking across the surface, this is helped by the piece of flame, similar, but not the same as Ghost Rider‘s that sits over Torch’s head.

Torch is cast in a clear orange plastic, at first I thought one of the 2008 SDCC blanks had been used as a base for the figure, but it is in fact a completely different shade to the orange SDCC blank. There is detailing to the chest and back, again in red and not as indistinct as the facial features. Again this is in keeping with how this Torch appeared back in the day. The chest and back prints are the only other detail on this ‘mate. There are a couple of pieces that are (so far) unique to this ‘mate. The first sits between the head and shoulders and portrays the flame trailing from Torch’s head. The second piece fits over the Minimate’s hands. At first I thought it was a solid piece that plugged into the wrist, but after a bit of experimentation with some needle nose pliers (that thankfully didn’t end in tears) I discovered that the ‘mate has normal Minimate hands and the pieces slip over them and sit very snug. I think these pieces are supposed to be a blast effect, as if Torch was building up to throw fireballs or a jet of fire toward an enemy. They don’t feature on the packaging art but they do look good on the ‘mate.

Torch is accessorised with a pillar of flame that has a peg for a C3 foot to plug onto. It’s a great looking accessory that’s also been used in the Iron-Man: Through the Ages boxset, but it really does suit this Minimate best.

In Conclusion: Completely out of left field but very very welcome.

MMC Score – 9 out of 10



Bucky

Bucky was Cap’s sidekick during World War II, until he (supposedly) bit the bullet while trying to defuse a missile. Bucky recently returned to regular continuity first as the assassin ‘Winter Soldier’, and can now be seen paying tribute to his fallen mentor by being the latest Captain America.

I guess if you have a 1940’s Cap then you have to have a Bucky. This isn’t a bad looking mate but I’d have loved to have seen him wearing a gung-ho,’here we go’ attitude than the rather sombre expression he’s been given. He’s not a bad looking ‘mate, but there’s no spark, no animation to his features. I didn’t realise until reviewing the ‘mate, that Bucky’s domino mask was the same colour as his costume. It’s been well applied here, mainly blue with black detailing, all very crisp.

Bucky’s costume is well captured. Despite looking simple at first glance there’s actually a lot of work on the chest piece. Check out the fine black lines of the bib, and the tiny red dots of those buttons, not to mention the finer detail of the collar. When you consider the size of the toy that’s some mightily impressive detailing. Other than that though, there really isn’t a lot more to say. Bucky has the same boots and gloves as Cap, and also the same harness for his shield. I was surprised to see a very small amount of paint bleed on the trunk sections of the leg, also surprised to see that the trunks are slightly different lengths. Weird when you consider the attention to detail on Namor.

A major gripe I have is the inclusion of the belt piece at the waist. I’d have much rather seen the belt simply painted onto the ‘T’ piece. Belt pieces always add a bit of extra height to Minimates and it seems a bit daft to have a juvenile character who’s taller than characters like Captain America and Namor. As a standalone Minimate it would look fine, but in the context of the group and the boxset it’s a bit of an own goal.

Bucky is accessorised with his own shield. It’s more dome-like than Cap’s shield, has a blue rim and the red and white sections are inverted when compared to Cap’s. Bucky also has an alternate hand, but thanks to DST doing away with the wrist-only shield cuff it’s not really necessary.

In Conclusion: Nicely done, but nothing special.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10



Overall Thoughts

Final Thoughts: Yet another winner from DST and it’s great that AFX have helped bring it to us. But there are some major characters missing. The Minimate Invaders Team will never be complete until we have Union Jack, Spitfire, and Toro. Get to work DST!

Review and pictures by Rad Kerrigan

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 9.8/10 (6 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 8.9/10 (7 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #3:
Rating: 9.2/10 (6 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #4:
Rating: 8.8/10 (6 votes cast)
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