This year is the 10 year anniversary of Marvel Minimates! In our previous “Looking Back” specials we went over the other minimate lines we’ve seen the past decade as well as recognizing our extremely talented minimate community. In this episode I’m going to do my best to break down the Marvel line and pick the best of the best.
Also to celebrate this Marvel milestone there’s a Marvel Minimates 10th Anniversary Masterpiece Contest going on right now on the MMMV forum. It could be your chance to win some one-of-a-kind minimate artwork!
So how exactly do you pick one best out of 10 years’ worth of figures? Well I’m not, I’m going to pick a bunch! Let’s start with some of the more popular characters. For fun here’s a little trivia for you: Out of the combined 79 LCS, TRU, Walmart/Target waves released so far, how many of those had a Spider-Man, Iron Man and/or Wolverine in that wave????
55 waves (33 LCS, 18 TRU, 4 Walmart/Target) and that’s not even counting exclusives and box sets! We must love us some Spidey, Logan and Stark!
Let’s start with Spider-Man. My favorite comic costume is his black costume version so that would make the LCS w43 version my top pick for that costume. For classic blue and red it’s hard to beat the all-around detail that the w2 version has but the Classic Heroic Age comes mighty close. One of the absolute best 2-packs you’ll ever own, regardless if you liked the movie, is the Spider-Man 3 Debut set. It’s hands down two of the most highly detailed minimates ever created. As long as DST keeps making good Spider-Man minimates, I’ll keep buying them.
By now most of you can guess my favorite Wolverine is Brood Wolverine. We’ve had quite a few costume and movie variations with the 40+ figures of Logan released so far but another one that really stands out above the rest is AoA Wolverine, if not for just that wild hairpiece alone. If you’re looking for a definitive version of his classic blue and yellow costume then best to go with the w28 version.
Iron Man’s a tough choice; there have been many impressive armors so far and the movie versions keep getting better and better. I haven’t gotten a hold of the IM3 sets yet so I’ll go with the Avengers Mark VII as my top movie version (but that’ll probably change soon). From the comic versions I’ve always been a fan of the original Classic Iron Man suit (honestly you can’t go wrong with that box set; Silver Centurion still stands up extremely well to today’s figures). Even the Golden Armor suit is well done; I just wish they had kept the same classic helmet. But the two Iron Man suits that should be added to every collection are Hulk Buster and Phoenix Killer armors. Those two are without doubt the best of the best.
Rounding out some of the other heavy hitters: Armored & Heroes Reborn are the top Thors, Avengers & Best of Hulk are way above the rest, Captain America’s figures are so similar it’s hard to tell them apart but I really like the WWII version. For the Fantastic 4 I’d go with the recent w48 versions for Sue, Johnny & Reed along with TRU w15 Transforming Thing.
We’ve gotten literally a ton of mutants that there are so many X-Men rosters/teams/versions that you can build that I can’t pick one specific group that is above others in all aspects. So here’s my highlights: X-Factor Cyclops/Jean/Angel, AvX Hope Summers & Emma Frost, Death Archangel, Retro X-Force Cable, w28 & Uncanny X-Force Deadpool, Blue Tinted Iceman, Excalibur Nightcrawler, Rachel Summers, 90’s Rogue, Scarlet Witch, X-Force Cannonball, MvC Storm, and w37 Prof X.
Even the second and third tier super heroes have been well represented in minimate form. Antman has become a favorite of mine for photo ops, both the Avengers box set and Scott Lang versions. Some more of the top notch figures are: Best of Daredevil, Assault Armor Punisher, Beta Ray Bill, IM2 Black Widow, Cosmic Silver Surfer, both versions of Dr. Strange, and Stormbreaker Lady Sif.
Whew …. and that’s just the good guys!
The villains don’t get the sheer amount of minimate representation that the good guys do, but we have been given some real gems. Let’s break them down by their main superhero antithesis. For Spidey we have: Carnage (yeah he needs a remake but he’s still top notch), w41 & Best of Green Goblin, Electro, TRU w13 Kingpin, Thunderbolts Norman Osborne, TRU w14 Rhino, w18 movie Sandman, Scorpion (another one in need of a do-over but good figure for the time), and the entire TTA Venom set & Best of Venom. The mutant menace shows off its power with: AoA Nemesis, AoA Apocalypse, MvC Magneto, Excalibur Juggernaut, Mr. Sinister, and Omega Red. For the Fantastic Four there is: Blastaar, Annihilus, MvC Super Skrull, and Galactus along with all his heralds. And the Avengers get to face against: MvC MODOK, MvC Sentinel, Arnim Zola, Crossbones, Iron Monger, Kang (kudos just for being made), Best of Loki, Mephisto, Hydra Red Skull, Stilt Man (seriously how awesome is he!), Infinity Gauntlet Thanos, and Ultron.
There’s one more group of figures that are my unsung heroes of the entire Marvel wave; army builders. They are what have made the past 10 years of Marvel Minimates spectacular! We’ve seen robots, ninjas, soldiers, aliens, scientists, henchmen and more. I haven’t met an army builder that I don’t like. So to them I award the honor of The Best of the Marvel Minimates!
We’ll have one more Looking Back special where we’ll take a look at some of the new minimate lines and also see what’s on the horizon.