DRACULA BOXED SET
UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES
Happy Halloween everybody! The Fantastic Four reviews will continue tomorrow, but I thought I’d do something a bit more festive today. So, I’ll be looking at the Dracula boxed set from Daimond Select Toys’s expansive Minimates line. This is the first of many, many, many, many, many Minimates reviews, because I have quite a few of these little guys.
For those of you that don’t know Minimates: What is wrong with you? Get on that! In all seriousness, Minimates are a line of two and a half inch block figures produced by Diamond Select Toys. This set comes from their Universal Monsters line. Marvel is their flagship license (Waves 50 & 51 were just released last month!), but they’ve also done Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Both Modern and Classic Battlestar Galactica, DC Comics, Playstation, Street Fighter, Tekken, Marvel vs Capcom, Tomb Rader, Terminator 2, Lost in Space, the Walking Dead, the Expendables, The Dollars Trillogy, Back to the Future, Knight Rider, Rocky, Platoon, Silence of the Lambs, Clerks, and even Ace of Cakes and Desperately Seeking Susan. It’s a pretty big line!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The set is based on the 1931 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. The set was released in the second wave of Universal Monsters Minimates, along with an accompanying Frankenstein set.
First up is the movie’s title character, Count Dracula himself. Drac is based on his look from the film. He’s built on the standard minimate body, which means he stands about 2-2.5 inches tall and has the standard minimate articulation of 14 points. Most of the detailing on a minimate is conveyed via painted detail, but Drac has a few sculpted pieces as well. Drac features a sculpted hair-piece and a cape/vest/jacket slip over piece for the torso. They’re done well, with some nice small details. As I said above, minimates rely mostly on paint, and Drac is no exception. His primary paint is the details depicting his face. They’re nice and sharp, though I’m not sure how much Lugosi I see in the face. Still, it’s a very nice Dracula face, which is what counts. Unfortunately, the paint is not as sharp everywhere, especially on Drac’s vest, which has some pretty bad bleed over. Drac is obviously the draw of the set, and slight paint issues aside, he lives up to that.
DR VAN HELSING
Next is Dracula’s old foe, Dr. Van Helsing! Van Helsing is also built on the basic minimate body, so he stands the same height and has the same articulation. Van Helsing features two sculpted pieces: his hair, and a jacket/vest torso cover. They do the job suitably, and look pretty good. His only real paint work is his face detailing. The face is nice and sharp, and there’s some well-done silver detailing for his glasses. He’s well-constructed, if a bit boring.
Next is the heroine of the piece, Mina Harker. Like the other two, Mina is built on the basic body. Mina technically has the same 14 points of articulation, but her leg articulation is rendered virtually non-existent by her sculpted dress piece. In addition to the dress, Mina also features sculpted hair and a sculpted collar. The detail work is done well, though she is noticeably more simplistic than the other figures in the set. Like Van Helsing, Mina is a solid figure, but a bit on the boring side.
Last up is Dracula’s faithful servant, Renfield! Like the rest of the set, Ren is built on the same minimate body and has the typical articulation. Ren only features one sculpted piece, his hair. It looks appropriate, and represents the character’s look fairly well. The paint detailing on the figure is really where it shines. He’s got a great set of suspenders, and his shirt has lots of folds and wrinkles, which give him a lot of dimension. His face detailing is nice and sharp, and depicts actor Dwight Frye very well, giving him a crazed grin as though he’s about to let out that distinctive cackle. Renfield is a great example of a figure that could have been quite drab, but was saved by the small details.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really like this set. I’m a big fan of the universal monsters movies, and this one covers one of the most memorable. Mina and Van Helsing are kind of boring, but the set is made worth it by the inclusion of a really solid Dracula and an awesomely handled Renfield!