Here we have Art Asylum/Diamond Select Toys’ first foray into the world of high-end collectables and statues under the Minimates banner. The Minimates: Max statues are designed around licencing restrictions of the 2″ Marvel Minimates; this is the only way AA/DST could get larger figures like the Sentinel and Galactus made in the Minimate style. The downside of this is that being statues they have no articulation whatsoever. Due to their resin construction, the Minimates Max statues also come with a large price tag – around $80.
The packaging is a large box (actually far larger than the statue itself) with some lovely pictures of the Sentinel adorning it. The lovely “starburst” behind the figure makes the packaging look bright and vivid and certainly out to make an impression, comparable to the statues and bust packaging from DST.
The Sentinel comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) similar to a lot of higher-end statues.
The statue is securely held between two large pieces of polystyrene, here is a picture of the Sentinel held on one side. You can see how much smaller it is compared to the size of the polystyrene insert.
The Sentinels were created by a scientist named Bolivar Trask as giant hunter-robots programmed to detect and kill mutants, and therefore seen predominantly in the X-Men comics. This version of the Sentinel appears to be based on the Omega-Sentinels featured in the epic “Days of Future Past” story which told of an alternate future where mutants were almost completely wiped out by the Sentinels. The statue is 8 inches high, smaller in scale terms than it should be as the Sentinels towered over normal humans and were several stories high.
The statue has been molded in the Minimate style, that is, it looks exactly as if a 2″ Minimate was blown up and enlarged. The head looks slightly too big, but that is due to the helmet on it, which has been sculpted with all the technological looking pieces such as the capsules around the brow of the head. If this were a real Minimate, I believe the helmet would be a removable, separate piece, so the head looks larger because of it. The facial detailing is also very faithful to the Minimate style, with a few strong black lines conveying the expression. I would perhaps have made the expression slightly less placid and more angry, as if it was bellowing out “Halt, mutant!”
The torso has some sculpted features, such as the triangle on the chest and the circular detailing on the “collar”, which is done on both the front at the back. The torso also has some painted detailing similar to how the muscular detailing is shown on smaller Minimates. Overall, the look of the statue is very clean, with simply done lines and sculpted areas, but it puts across the Minimate style very well. The arms in particular really reflect the attention to detail in following this style, with the arms bent from the elbow and showing the edges of the two arm pieces as they pivot. Some people really don’t get why AA/DST have “articulated” the statue but not allowed it to move. It’s because they are going for the proper Minimate look despite not being allowed to have any movement. The paint job is OK on this statue but one of the fists has some multicoloured scratches on it, which is a shame. Another area that is crucial to a statue is the pose, and this one is fine. It’s a bit static in the legs, but there is enough implied movement of the arms and the tilted angle of the head to suggest it could be caught up in a battle against mutants.
The Minimate fan community have been divided ever since the news came out that we would get larger characters like Galactus and the Sentinel but they would not be articulated. People were also put off by the high price; I know many Minimate stalwarts refuse to spend $80 on an 8″ statue – and these are the type of hardcore fans who have bought a gold Spidey for hundreds of dollars! I think it’s a brave move by AA/DST to try and bring Minimates into the arena of the statues and busts, but also feel that the target audience of Minimates don’t particularly want to be picking up statues. Indeed, this is personally my first ever statue purchase – normally I wouldn’t touch an unarticulated statue, no matter how good it looked, although there are a few statues and busts of Wonder Woman and Power Girl that I wouldn’t mind on the shelf! Anyway, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a person who will spend $6 on a pack of Marvel Minimates in their local store would then want to pick up a statue done in the same style – regardless of cost.
Maybe it helps if you don’t think of them as simply statues, perhaps a better way of looking at the idea is if you call the Minimates: Max statues “playsets”. These are characters who, in their comic appearances, usually have to have a whole array of heroes battling against them, trying to stop them, and that’s what I think these statues are also going for. Certainly the Sentinel looks far better with a horde of X-Men assembled around it than it does when it is simply displayed on its own as a separate piece. Even without articulation, there’s definite play value to be had, but $80 for a playset is still a lot of money.
I also think the fact that the statue is done in the Minimate style is a huge plus point. Some people have said that they would prefer to display their X-Men Minimates with the Marvel Legends Build-A-Figure version of the Sentinel, a fully-articulated behemoth that towers over the Minimate statue. To me, bigger isn’t necessarily better. It matches other Marvel Legends figures, and again, would make a fantastic play piece with that successful line of figures, but the look and execution of the figure is in a more realistic style, totally different to the Minimate style.
Overall, I like the Sentinel. It looks exactly like a Minimate representation of a Sentinel should do, and there is a nice solid heft to it due to the resin construction. It is a very expensive item, and it doesn’t move, but I think that it looks really good as part of an X-Men diorama set-up so it succeeds in what it was trying to do. When the Minimates: Max line was announced, it comprised Galactus, the Sentinel, Spider-Man and Wolverine. It appears the latter two will not see the light of day due to poor sales of the former two, which isn’t a surprise. I knew I wanted to get one Minimates: Max statue for myself because I was curious as to what they are like. Obviously I also wanted one to review on Minimates Central – I know there is a buzz about these figures purely because the community is so divided on them. I went with the Sentinel as I am an X-Men fan more than a Galactus fan. However, the Sentinel has surprised me and I am now looking to pick up a Galactus. For most people, the cost and the lack of articulation will be huge minuses when it comes to examining this as a worthwhile purchase, but there are definite plus points with this figure too – the spot-on Minimate’d look and the coolness of it as a display piece in a collection.