The success of the Marvel Studios movies has translated to a pretty big success for all of the associated merchandise, including Marvel Minimates. While the line has far outpaced its original intent, and far more ‘mates see production in any given year than ever before, the line has also placed more of a focus on variants of Marvel’s big guns. This means that the percentage of new characters has taken a bit of a dip over time. However, DST still does their darnedest to throw long-time fans a few bones here and there. Most recently, they took advantage of Marvel’s recent Secret Wars event to produce some of the more “out there” characters, such as today’s set, Howard the Duck and Dazzler!
The packaging for this pair is pretty standard for the Marvel line. The graphics have been tweaked a bit to make the Secret Wars tie-in a bit more evident, and they fit in pretty nicely with all the other SW stuff we’ve gotten.
This marks the second time that Dazzler’s gotten a Minimate, which is actually pretty darn impressive, what with her being, you know, Dazzler. Not exactly high profile (as hard as Marvel tried to make her so). Her first mate reflected her later “flashdance” look, but this one takes her back to her classic disco roots.
Dazzler has add-ons for her hair, bracelets, collar, and roller skates. Yes, she has roller skates. All of these pieces are brand-new to Dazzler (though the hair was shared with Wave 65’s Siryn) and they do an excellent job of capturing her look from the comics.
Dazzler’s paint is some of the cleanest I’ve seen on a ‘mate in quite some time. The colors are vibrant, and the line work is incredibly sharp. This figure has a serious “pop” factor to it, which makes her stand out pretty darn well.
For accessories, Dazzler includes a microphone and a standard clear display stand.
Dazzler may be a repeat character, but the two looks are sufficiently different that this figure still feels totally new. Add in that she’s just a solid ‘mate all around, and you’ve got a definite winner.
MMC Score – 10 out of 10
Howard the Duck
Howard the Duck makes his Minimate debut here. One assumes this is at least somewhat linked to the character actually being in the public spotlight for the first time since the line’s inception, thanks to an ongoing comic and a cameo in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s based on his modern, Disney approved appearance, and clearly takes direct influence from Joe Quinones’ work in the current series.
The only standard pieces used by Howard are the pelvis and upper arms. That’s not to say that every piece is all-new, though. He uses the shortened arms introduced by the Thunderkittens, as well as the smaller torso introduced by Shock and Lock from the NBX line, to help keep Howard appropriately small. Howard makes use of arms in place of the usual legs, with a unique set of “lower legs” and feet, which are certainly duck-like. He also gets his own unique head, to adequately represent his bill. The hat is permanently affixed (presumably it’s to do with Marvel’s pre-existing deal with Disney in regards to how he’s allowed to be depicted), which is a bit annoying, but doesn’t look terrible.
Howard’s paint is fairly muted; mostly warm, brownish colors. It’s a good representation of how he looks in his current incarnation. The detail lines on the head and torso are nice and sharp, and the eyes have a lot of character to them.
Howard’s only accessory is a display stand. The peg is smaller than the usual stand’s, to fit Howard’s smaller feet.
Howard is a pretty awesome addition to the line and an all-around fun character to get. The permanently attached hat is a bit annoying, but it could definitely be worse. Not a bad ‘mate.
MMC Score – 8 out of 10
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Review and pictures by Glantern.