MODERN/CLASSIC MANDARIN & DREADNOUGHT
Today, it’s another look at the behemoth that is Marvel Minimates! This time, we’ll be looking at Iron Man’s number one foe Mandarin in both his Modern and Classic looks, as well as his villainous robo-minions, the Dreadnoughts.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The two Mandarins and the Dreadnoughts were released as part of the 36th series of Marvel Minimates, in order to tie in with 2010’s release of Iron Man 2. Modern Mandarin was the regular set, with the Classic version as the one-per-case variant.
First up, it’s the look that most would consider the definitive Mandarin, the “Modern” version. This figure is based on his appearances from roughly the early 90s onward. As usual for the line, Mandarin is built on the basic Minimate body. He stands roughly 2 ½ ‘’ tall and has 14 points of articulation. Instead of regular hands, Mandarin features sculpted claw like hands featuring his ten rings. Mandarin also has a sculpted hair piece, robe, and sash. I believe the sash is a reuse from an earlier figure, but the robe and hair are new pieces. They are well done enough, though with the robe on, Mandarin is pretty much limited to standing with his arms raised, due to the robe’s solid construction. This is less an issue with the figure itself, and more an issue with translating the design. The ToyBiz Marvel Legends figure based on this design has the exact same issue. Regardless, the robe can be removed, revealing a completely detailed torso underneath, if you desire to show off Mandarin sans robe and shirtless. Whatever floats your boat…
Next is the alternate look for the Mandarin. This is the original design for the Mandarin from when he first appeared in the 60s. I’m much more of a fan of this design and the resulting figure. I know some people would find this design cheesy, but that’s the Mandarin for me. Over the top cheesiness. The figure’s the same basic body, standing about 2 ½ “ tall and featuring 14 points of articulation. This Mandarin features the same sculpted hands as the previous one, which is fine as they suit the same purpose here. Classic Mandarin features a sculpted mask, cape, wrist bands, sash/tunic combo, and cape. All but the mask is reuse here, with the cape comic from Mephisto, the writ guards from Ocean Master, and the sash from Dr. Strange. This isn’t a bad thing, though, because all the reused parts work very well for their intended purpose. The mask is well done, and accurately depicts Mandarin’s mask from the early comics. Mandarin also includes an alternate hairpiece so that you can show him unmasked. The detailing on the figure is nice, especially the face, which has a nice crazed expression which really works great for the character.
Last up is the robotic Dreadnought! A dreadnought was included with both versions of the Mandarin, which is great for those who want to do the whole army building thing. Like the other two figures, the Dreadnought was built on the basic Minimate body. He stands about 2 ½ “ tall and features 14 points of articulation. In place of the basic parts, the Dreadnought features a sculpted head and hands. The head is an all new piece, but the hands are a reuse from Viggo the Carpatian. The Dreadnought also features a set of sculpted boot tops which I believe are a reuse from the Dark Avengers Ares. The paint is relatively basic, but it is well done. Plus the metallic blue is just so awesome!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
These guys were picked up at their time of release from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. I think the Mandarin is meant to be the main draw of these sets, but I actually really like the Dreadnoughts a lot.