Platoon Box Set



DST’s strategy for film and TV show-related boxsets has been a slightly hit-and-miss affair. I know that Minimates Central haven’t reviewed many of the ones available, and that’s mainly because they haven’t been top of the reviewers buy lists. This set, however, was something I’ve wanted for ages; Minimate army men, courtesy of a set based on Oliver Stone’s multiple award-winning Vietnam War film, Platoon.


This style of card has been used for most of the 4-pack sets. The Platoon one is nicely done with the dogtags and the recreation of the iconic movie poster on the back.


The Figures

Pvt “Gator” Lerner

First up in the set we have Johnny Depp as Private “Gator” Lerner. This is a bit of a surprise inclusion as he was only a peripheral character in the film compared to, say, John C. McGinley’s Sgt Red O’Neill. However it is nice to get a Depp Minimate, for those of us keeping score on which actors have been immortalised as a 2″ block figure.

The face is very vaguely Depp-like, all things considered (and he was a young actor in 1986). You’d struggle to identify who it was, unlike the others in this set who seem more identifiable. Nicely tousled hairpiece though!

Gator is obviously wearing infantry uniform, which has been well represented in Minimate form. He has a very nicely detailed chestpiece with all the military kit you need to survive in the jungle. Front and back has detailing with molded canteens, sleeping bag, pouches, knives etc all visible. Great work on such a small figure, and the paint apps are similarly good in bringing the fine detail out. The legs for all the Minimates in this set share the same tampos of boots and pockets. Clean and servicable with no slop.

But the good work doesn’t end there. Gator has a helmet, with sculpted detail as well as painted, and a Minimate-style M16, which he can hold in his hand. If you take off the bulky chest piece, you can manage to make him hold it two handed. It also has a strap, allowing it to hang off the shoulder.

In conclusion, not the standout of the set but a very nice representation of an army figure nonetheless.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10

Pvt Chris Taylor

Charlie Sheen played Pvt Chris Taylor, the viewer-focus character who you take the dark journey with as he learns what it means to fight in Vietnam.

This little fella looks exactly like a Charlie Sheen Minimate should. It’s absolutely spot on and recognisable. In the film Charlie did have a headband on occasionally but whenever I see it on this figure I always smile because it reminds me of his pastiche of Rambo in the Hot Shots films.

Taylor has the same level of detailing as his fellow Private, “Gator”. The chest piece could easily have been a reuse of Gator’s but it’s different. He has the same uniform detail, including the really nice “rolled up shirt sleeves” effect on the arms.

Taylor comes with a helmet and an M16. The helmet has the “When I die…” writing very small but still readable. On all the pictures of the helmets, I’ve put them on the wrong way round. D’oh! The helmets fit over the hairpiece rather than making you remove the hairpiece first and then putting the helmet on.

In conclusion, this is a more essential Platoon character, executed with a lovely eye for detail.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10

Sgt Bob Barnes

Tom Berenger plays the steely, unfeeling and sadistic Sergeant Bob Barnes, and was Oscar-nominated for the role.

The expression on Barnes’ face is superb; ruthless and determined. The scarring lines are much lighter than the other black lines, but work well in “breaking up” the face. Barnes has a kind of bandanna around his head, making him look different to the others. It’s in the usual olive drab, The back of it should be hair-coloured but it’s still green. Strange when some of his hair is coloured dark brown on the sides and front. [Later note:- Minimate Multiverse regular Homestar17 pointed me to a picture of Berenger as Barnes and the Minimate is spot on as to how the bandanna was shown in the film. The back of it is material not hair and therefore should be green. Apologies!]

Barnes has a different chest piece to either of the two Privates, his pack is much more streamlined but still well detailed. When the chest piece is removed, the chest block has some detailing too – a green undershirt with dog-tags visible, the same as Lerner and Taylor. Barnes also gets a gold band on his wrist.

Like the Privates, Sgt Barnes has a helmet (this time with a pack of smokes sculpted on) and an M16.

In conclusion, this is a fantastic representation of the character.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10

Sgt Elias Grodin

The last figure in the set is Sgt Elias Grodin, played by Willem Defoe. Defoe, like Berenger, picked up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as the more laid back, people-person sergeant, compared to Barnes.

Willem Defoe always had a grizzled face, even when he was younger as in Platoon, and it’s captured well by this Minimate. This one is the most “busy” of all the faces, but it works, helped by an outstanding hairpiece. I love the hair that’s spilling out over the headband, such great attention to detail and pulled off so well. All the hairpieces in this set have been fantastic.

Sgt Grodin doesn’t have a heavy pack to represent as a chest piece, because he knows that he needs to take the minimum of supplies when in combat in the unforgiving jungle. Instead he gets a well-detailed bodywarmer – check out the zips! Unlike the others, he doesn’t wear an undershirt so if you remove the chest piece you see his defined musculature. Nothing on the back of the chest block though, slightly incongruous.

Grodin comes with an M16 but doesn’t get a helmet. I can’t remember if he wore one in the film or not. It’s a bit of an oversight if he did, but I guess this set has so many new sculpted pieces anyway, so can’t grumble too much.

In conclusion, another great representation of a famous movie character.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10


Overall Thoughts

This is a great set for fans of the film – and Platoon is very highly regarded in its genre – but also for people who don’t necessarily know or care who the characters are. In the same way the “…Dollars” cowboys work purely as Minimate cowboys, these work as Minimate soldiers; licensed or otherwise, they still add some American Army might to your collection and are highly recommended.

Review and pictures by Danny Mills

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