Any long running line encounters the risk of making latecomers feel like they have an interminable game of catch-up to play to grab classic versions of major characters.  Sure, someone collecting from day 1 might have all the classic Iron Men they’ll ever need, but little Johnny who just got in at Wave 75 isn’t so lucky.  Fortunately, DST had a great way of handling this:  Best Of Marvel Minimates.  The idea behind this sub set was keeping the definitive versions of the main Marvel Heroes and villains on the market, while trying to produce the best possible Minimates of those looks.  I’ll be taking a look at Iron Man and the Thing, a slightly odd-ball pairing from that set.

The Packaging

The Best Of Marvel Minimates sets used the then-newly-implemented wider window boxes.  They’ve become the standard for Marvel Minimates, and for a good reason.  They’re eye-catching and do a good job of highlighting the included figures.  Wave 1’s purple scheme is unique, and very pleasing to the eye. For pictures of these two in-box, head on over to their Minimate Database entry.

The Figures

Iron Man

Iron Man is no stranger to Minimates.  This release marked his 35th time in the format.  This one depicts him in his classic red and yellow armor he wore for most of the 60s and 70s, earning it the title of “classic” for most people, and making it kind of the definitive take on the character.

Iron Man features a sculpted helmet and belt, as well as sculpted boot and glove cuffs. It’s the same basic build that was first introduced on Series 25’s Classic Iron Man.  It was good there and it’s good here.

There’s one prominent difference between this Iron Man and most of the Iron Men that preceded, and that’s paint.  Where prior figures largely opted for metallic coloring, this one instead uses flat red and yellow, thereby more closely mimicking his look from the pages of the comics.  It provides a stronger contrast than the metallic colors, and makes for a figure that pops out a lot more than predecessors.  Some of the red paint is a little thin in places, and seems a bit fuzzy on the edges of the boots and gloves, but since those are meant to be covered by the cuff pieces, it’s not really an issue.

Iron Man also features an extra left hand in a repulsor pose, a flying stand, and a hairpiece to display him sans helmet.  These are all reused pieces, but they work well here.

Though he’s certainly got a lot of competition, this Iron Man is probably the strongest version of the classic design available, and certainly lives up to the “Best Of” title.

MMC Score — 9 out of 10

The Thing

Next is Benjamin J Grimm, The Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Thing.  Exactly which of Ben’s looks this figure is using is a bit more difficult to nail down than Iron Man’s.  I think it’s meant to be Ben in his look from the mid 2000s, after he switched back to shorts from pants, but I can’t be certain.  The “4” on the belt buckle is throwing me off.

The Thing makes use of nine sculpted add-on pieces, for his headpiece, hands, feet, upper arms, torso, pelvis, and upper legs.  The headpiece and hands go all the way back to the original Thing release, and haven’t really been topped.  The rest of the pieces had just been created for the Wave 37 Thing, our first real bulked up version of the character, before a follow-up use for Wave 42’s Kronan Stone Man.  It’s a good selection of parts, and certainly the best parts available for Ben at the time (or even currently, for that matter).

With that many sculpted pieces, the paint work on Ben is minimal, and limited to mostly basic color work.  He’s got detailing on his face, and on his belt and that’s about it.  They’re both clean and well done.   His actual color scheme is decent, though compared to other Best Of offerings, and even the TRU Wave 15 Thing, he does seem a little bit dull.  On the plus side, he actually fits right in with the TRU Wave 8 FF, which is a good thing, given how lackluster their accompanying Thing was.

The Thing’s lone accessory is a clear display stand, standard issue for the first time!

This version of The Thing was a little bit surprising so soon after Wave 37.  He’s not quite the best version of the character out there, but he fixes some of the prior figure’s flaws, and you could certainly do far worse.

MMC Score — 7 out of 10

Agree? Disagree? Why not vote for yourself below, or comment further over at the Minimate Multiverse MMC Review Forum.

Review and pictures by Glantern.

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