Art Asylum (without the help of longtime partners DST) have resurrected Speed Racer, the 80s kids show, and are producing toys based on both the classic incarnation and the new Speed Racer cartoon. Of course, Minimates feature in the lineup, with 2 sets which hit Toys R Us stores in the US in September 2006, and cost $7.99 for a Minimate and a car. Many thanks to Amazing.JL who picked up this set for me.



The packaging is a large bubble on a card, displaying the contents clearly whilst being quite unique, should stand out on the pegs. The back of the card shows off the rest of Art Asylum’s Speed Racer items.



The Figures

Racer X


As I mentioned in the Speed Racer review, I am completely unfamiliar with the Speed Racer license. However, I do know Minimates, so lets see how Racer X gets on.

Racer X is wearing a helmet which covers most of his face. The detailing is painted straight onto the head block – unlike most other Minimates with helmets, this is not a separate piece. It appears the Minimates in this line are going for reused parts rather than new molding, leaving that for the vehicles themselves. Regardless, Racer X does look pretty cool with the visor across his eyes and a determined set to his mouth. The mouth is the only exposed area on the Minimate and the skin tone colour blends in too much with the white of the rest of the body. It seems a bit too beige, I think it needs to be a tad pinker.

The outfit Racer X is wearing is predominantly white. He has some muscular chest detailing along with a big red M on the front. The brown paint application on his gloves and boots is a bit fuzzy and blurry, the lines aren’t clean or sharp, which is annoying. The paint app for the belt has also been skimped on, with it only being painted on the front and not the sides or back. This means 3 out of the 4 sides of the chest block are white and blank, which gives Racer X quite a plain appearance.


Another area that Racer X fails in is that the paint used on the hands chips off really easily. It’s very noticible to see the white flecks instead of the brown paint. This isn’t a Minimate that will stand up to any rough play, it was chipping off even as I was taking the photos!

Racer X doesn’t have any accessories but the package itself does feature his Shooting Star racer. However more accessories would have benefited a Minimate that has no additional pieces used for the costume. At least Speed Racer had his hairpiece. Racer X does have C3 feet, which is something at least.


Overall, this is a Minimate that had potential but the execution has been pretty shoddy. With more detail all the way around and better paint apps Racer X would have been a menacing bad guy, but unfortunately he falls some way short.

MMC Score – 5 out of 10



The Vehicle

Shooting Star


The Shooting Star is Racer X’s vehicle. There is no assembly required on the Speed Racer vehicles, which makes them different in both style and execution to the C3 vehicles such as the Mini Flyers. Sadly much like the Mach 5, the Shooting Star isn’t designed to have the same playability as the C3 vehicles. Racer X cannot hold the small steering wheel and sits in the car slightly awkwardly. The look of the Shooting Star is going for “cute” but this doesn’t work as well as it does with the Mach 5 for some reason. The single black pointed nose doesn’t have the same effect as the Mach 5’s triple pronged front and the car has fewer curved lines, making it look plainer in comparison to Speed’s car.


Like the Mach 5, the Shooting Star’s overall build quality isn’t quite up to scratch. The car feels quite light and plasticky. The problem with the rattley wheels is still present.


Overall, both the Minimate and car in this set have a few problems in quality. The Speed Racer set has some of the same issues as this one but manages to pull off the overall concept with more flair and style. This one lacks the same sense of cuteness and therefore scores lower. 

MMC Score – 5 out of 10




Review and pictures by Danny Mills

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
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