The 17th Wave of Toys R Us-exclusive Minimates was an interesting little grab-bag of offerings.  With no direct specialty assortment counterpart, it acts somewhat as a follow-up to the Marvel Now!-themed Wave 51 and TRU Wave 16, while also trying to tie-in a little bit with the recently launched Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon (since this was before DST had the license for dedicated animated ‘mates).  That’s where this set begins its life, with a version of the new-at-the-time Nova, and yet another Venom variant.

The Packaging

TRU Wave 17 matched 51 and TRU 16 in terms of packaging.  They use the expanded window packaging, which was the standard by this point, with a purple background color.  It’s pretty slick looking, and shows off the figures well.  For pictures of it, head on over to this pair’s Minimate Database entry.

The Figures

Marvel’s Nova

Does this figure look familiar to you?  It should, because it’s pretty much already been reviewed.  For the most part, this figure is the same as the Wave 51 All-New Nova, based on the Sam Alexander version of the character.

He uses the same helmet and gauntlets as his Wave 51 counterpart, but in place of that figure’s unique shoulder pads, this one instead gets Wolverine’s.  Honestly, I prefer the shoulder parts used here, because they don’t pop out of place like the unique ones did.

Paint wise, this Nova is essentially identical to the other version, fuzzy lines and all.  It is what it is, I supposed.

Nova’s accessories are the most prominent difference between the two releases.  Nova still includes the alternate hair for his unmasked appearance, but also includes an extra golden helmet to replace his regular one (helping him more closely match his animated counterpart), an extra head and hair to make the figure into Sam’s dad Jesse Alexander, a clear blue blast off base (repurposed from Cannonball), and the usual clear display stand.  Not only is it a great selection of extras, but the alternate Jesse Alexander head means that the Wave 51 Nova is not entirely without purpose, since it allows both characters to be displayed.

Though this Nova initially seemed redundant, the inclusion of so many extra parts, as well as the change to a less frustrating pair of shoulder pads make this figure the superior of the two releases.

MMC Score — 9 out of 10

Alien Symbiote Venom

Always a fairly consistent fixture in the line, this Venom was our second go at a truly bulked up version of the character, following the rather popular Venom Unleashed from the Venom Through the Ages pack.  This one was a way at allowing fans a chance to get just the bulked up Venom without three other variants, as well as an excuse to get one more use out of the molds.

Venom’s got a sculpted mask, torso cover, pelvis cover, thigh covers, feet, upper arm covers and clawed hands.  The bulked up pieces have been used on several of the larger Marvel characters before, and the Venom specific parts were used for that previously mentioned Unleashed figure.  It’s not a bad bulked up Venom, and matches the other various bulked up characters for movement and quality.

Venom is usually depicted in black and white, but for this figure, Diamond’s replaced the usual black with a dark, semi-metallic blue.  It’s not a huge difference, but it makes the figure different from previous releases I guess.  The paint is pretty good overall, with less of the slop that’s present on Nova.  As a cool bonus, if you remove all the added on parts, and give him the included normal hands and feet, you can assemble a black-costume Spider-Man.

Venom also includes a tendril that can be swapped out for one of his hands, and a clear display stand.

The ability to use Venom as a Symbiote Spider-Man adds a whole lot to the set, as I think it might be my favorite take on that particular version of the character yet.

MMC Score — 9 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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