GUARDIAN, PUCK, NORTHSTAR & MARINA
Did somebody say I should review more minimates? No? Oh…well, too bad ‘cause that’s what I’m doing, whether you like it or not!
Today’s review focuses on another set of the greatly expansive Marvel Minimates line. This is also another set of characters from Canada’s premier super-hero team: Alpha Flight!
Guardian is (was?) the leader of the group, husband of fellow member Heather Hudson, and all around generic hero guy! Puck’s a short guy! Northstar’s a guy who’s powers can only be activated by holding hands with his twin sister! Also gay. And Marina does water stuff! There, now you know the characters as well as I do. Let’s get to the review!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These four were released as a boxed set available through online retailer Action Figure Express during San Diego Comic Con 2012.
Guardian is depicted in his basic red and white, Canadian flag costume. He’s built on the basic minimate body, so he stands a bit over 2 inches tall and features the standard 14 points of articulation. He has a sculpted mask, with an alternate hairpiece to swap out to display James Hudson unmasked. The detailing on the figure is well done, with little slop or bleed over. James also doesn’t suffer from the same red paint bleed that Heather did, which is nice. Lastly, Guardian includes an alternate robot head, so that you can depict the artificial replacement Guardian from after James’s death, which is a neat little throw in.
Puck is shown here in pretty much the only uniform he’s ever had: Black unitard with boots and wrist bands. It’s certainly an odd look, but I guess he looks fairly unique, so there. Puck is built on the basic minimate body, with one slight deviation. To simulate Puck’s diminished stature, he’s been given a set of “slipper” feet in place of the regular ones. This brings Puck’s articulation down to 12 points, and only really reduces his height in a very subtle way. It does help to make him appear a bit more stocky, however, so it’s not too bad. Puck’s got a sculpted cowl, as well as a new hand that is sculpted to let him do hand stands with the included stand. Puck’s detailing is well done, and fairly detailed, especially the hair on his arms and legs. And I really like his face for some reason…
Ah, Northstar. This guy. He’s probably the best known of the characters featured here, due to also being a member of the X-Men and, most likely, his status as one of Marvel’s few long lasting gay characters. He’s depicted in what is his best known, and in my opinion best designed, costume. The simple black and white is rather striking, and it looks pretty good in Minimate form. Northstar’s only sculpted piece is his hair, which he includes in both black and white. This is a nice touch, given the variance in the coloring Northstar’s hair has received over the years. I think I prefer the black just because that seems to be the way he’s depicted most often. His details are handled with some pretty good simplicity, which really fits the character’s design. Lastly, Northstar includes a stand to simulate his flying abilities.
Marina was a later addition to the team, and she honestly didn’t stick with them for too long. She married the Sub Mariner and joined the Avengers, where she was turned into a giant monster and killed by her husband. Which is a bit of a bummer. She’s depicted in what I believe is her only costume. She’s built on the basic minimate body, though she has a set of specially sculpted hands to depict her webbed fingers. She also has a sculpted hair piece, which is nicely done. The entire figure is painted, no molded colors, which is a bit of a rarity for a minimate. It looks nice, though, and helps to set her apart from the others. She is certainly a unique looking minimate.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this set, like so many other “Action Figure Xpress exclusives” from my very favorite minimate retailer: Luke’s Toy Store. I do really like this set, which is really saying something, because I only have a passing familiarity with the characters it features.