Here we have a very interesting review, even if I do say so myself. As with any toyline, prototypes and one-shots do sometimes, usually via the magic of eBay, end up in the hands of diehard collectors. This piece was recently won by BHM of the Minimate Multiverse, who had it sent to MMC reviewer karamazov80 as it was a US-only auction. BHM very graciously allowed karamazov to take pics and do a review for this website and I would just like to thank him for this unique opportunity. Now take it away karamazov! – Danny
Initially, Art Asylum had planned on producing Minimate Max versions of both Wolverine and Spider-Man in addition to the released Galactus and Sentinel resin statues. Though these two figures are not giants relative to the other Minimates in size, they certainly are in terms of popularity, which likely contributed to the these specific characters being chosen. Unfortunately, however, low sales of the Galactus and Sentinel combined with the high cost of producing them led to these two figures being canceled.
However, prototypes of each of these figures recently appeared for sale, and one of these – Spider-Man – briefly passed through this reviewer’s hands. While in my care, I took some pictures, and will share those and some impressions here for others who might be interested in this part of Minimate history.
As a prototype, this figure did not come packaged in the same way the released statues did.
Minimate Max Spiderman stands at around 8 inches tall and, not surprisingly, looks pretty much the same as the 2 inch version from the second wave of Marvel Minimates. However, his face does seem slightly closer to the Santa Spidey give-away than the wave 2 version, because his eyes don’t actually touch the “nose” in the middle of his face, but are slightly further apart. The black spider on his chest and red spider on his back are very similar to his 2 inch incarnation, as well, as is the web design across his body. The webs are all sculpted onto his body and black is painted into the crevices. Just like the smaller versions, there are no lines on the top of Spidey’s head, on his hands, or on his feet.
Color-wise, this figure is fairly bright. In this sense, again, the red is more similar to Santa Spidey than the wave 2 version, which was a darker shade of red. The blue is actually a bit brighter than that of either of those figures, however, looking more similar to the Spidey that came in the Heroes box set. This figure was painted by hand, as you can see the brush strokes and minor imperfections on the pain if you look close enough. However, it still looks very professional. The figure looks and feels very similar to the Galactus or Sentinel statues, in terms of weight and the quality of the material and paint. As with the produced Max statues, the mock joints were sculpted onto this figure, so that on first look, you might think that you actually could move this guy’s parts around and take him apart, just like a regular Minimate. Of course, you can’t actually do any of this because this is a sculpted statue, not an articulated action figure.
The pose on this figure is a bit interesting. Each Max figure (produced and unproduced) was given an “action pose” that made some sense for the figure. Galactus looks a bit stiff and elegant, befitting his nature as a force of the cosmos, and he is holding an arm out so that he can hold the Silver Surfer’s board. Sentinel is in more of an action pose, looking as if he is grabbing the foot of an X-nemesis. Spiderman’s outstretched arm leads to an upside-down hand, reflecting Spidey’s famous web-shooting pose (with the inverted Ronnie James Dio-like hand gesture). His other arm is held to the side, and his head and body are slightly cocked in the direction of his target.
His legs are a bit less conventional. If both were slightly bent, then this would reflect the iconic sight of Spidey squatted down while shooting his web, perhaps as an attempt to make him look more spider-like. But instead, one leg (the one pointing toward the web-slinging hand) is slightly bent while the other is straight with the foot slightly turned. It makes Spidey look a bit casual about his web-shooting, but may have been a trade-off in order to give him a dynamic leg pose while establishing a firm base (via the stiff leg), and simultaneously allowing him to remain approximately the same height as the other Max statues.
Overall, this is a very cool statue, and I really wish that he would have been released for all of us to enjoy. My irrational hope is that DST will eventually start producing static Minimate “banks” similar to their Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Slimer. After all, Marvel Minimates are pretty popular right now (damned if I can find any exclusives at my local Toys R Us), these vinyl banks don’t seem to cost much to make, and DST may not violate their existing license with Marvel by producing these since they are banks instead of articulated figures. A remote possibility to be sure, but it seems like such an obvious idea to a hopeless Minimate fan like myself. And if this ever does happen, I further hope that DST might pull out the molds for this guy and Wolverine, maybe alongside an appropriately scaled Giant Man and Watcher, to grace my Minimate display.
Review and pictures by karamazov80