Here we have a very interesting Minimate item. Santa Spidey was sent out in December 2004 to retailers who stocked Diamond Select Toys/Marvel products, as a special Christmas thank-you. It is not available at retail outlets, but as is always the case nowadays, a few of them ended up on eBay.
Like the blank Minimates given away at Toy fairs, Santa Spidey is packaged in a small baggie. Unlike the blanks, the printed text is on a sticker attached to the baggie, rather then being printed directly onto the baggie itself. The Minimate comes with a “card” which contains a Christmas message from Diamond Select Toys and Marvel.
The back of the baggie has the logos of Diamond Select Toys, Marvel and Art Asylum, along with the rather misleading declaration of “Merry Christmas 2005”. A Typo? It’s a possibility I guess.
So here we have Spider-Man in a santa hat. You’d think that DST would have just stuck a santa hat onto an existing Spider-Man Minimate to save costs, but this is not the case. This is a very different Spider-Man Minimate to the one that came in the DST 2-packs in July 2003.
The most obvious addition is of course the Santa hat. Personally I think this looks great and doesn’t come across as tacky, but I know there are people out there that hate it. I think it looks really cute. The hat is glued on and is permanently in a drooping position, with no way to raise it upright. because it’s glued at the base of the head block.
So apart from the hat, what else is different about this Spidey. Quite a lot, actually. Firstly, the paint job is different. It looks as though the base color for the molded figure was red rather than blue, giving Santa Spidey a different shade of both colors to the original. The blue is lighter, and the red seems more vibrant. In addition, the paint application is slightly different for the spider-logos on the front and the back, the back logo being more noticeable because the legs are clearly thinner.
All the joints on this figure are very tight, far tighter than any other Minimate I’ve seen. The arms have a better range of motion than the original, but this is a change incorporated in the last few waves. Another slight change is that the torso peg is longer than before, meaning it grips the hole in the torso better. The other major change, although one that’ll probably slip by your notice at first glance, is that this is the first Minimate to have its knee joints constructed differently. On every figure so far, the thigh is a long piece that goes in a straight line from the crotch ball-joint to the knee joint, with the actual connection piece to the lower leg connecting on the inside of the leg. On Santa Spidey they have reversed the position of the lower leg connector piece, check out the comparison pictures below. This change, as far as I can tell, is merely a cosmetic one, as the round connection hole which was normally visible on the outside of the knee now can’t be easily seen because it’s on the inside of the leg. It will be interesting to see if this new way of constructing the knees will feature on any of the upcoming Minimates or if this was a one-off.
Santa Spidey doesn’t have any accessories but is the first Spider-Man Minimate to get C3 feet, another difference to the original.
I’m not going to give Santa Spidey an MMC score, because he’s not an available retail exclusive, but for me, he is a very worthwhile Minimate because he shows how much the line has evolved over time.
Review and pictures by Danny Mills