BATGIRL & BANE
One of the great tragedies for many Minimates collectors was the cancellation of DC Direct’s DC Minimates after only eight series. Not only did the line present us with definitive versions of many of DC’s top characters, it also gave us some wacky side characters like Ambush Bug and Ma Hunkel, and it was the first Minimate line to push the envelope in terms of sculpting. However, the line was met with its fair share of difficulties, most notably hitting shelves when Minimates were at a low point and being gone just before they hit it big. Still, we got a decent 64 figure run, and that’s certainly better than nothing. Today I’ll be looking at two figures from the Batman side of things, Batgirl and Bane.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Batgirl and Bane were released as part of the fourth series of DC Minimates. They’re an odd pair, seing as the two have never actually met. Heck, they didn’t even exist at the same time! Anyway, they’re both Batman characters, I guess.
Batgirl is built on the basic Minimate body, so she stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. She’s based on the Barbra Gordon version of the character, in her second costume. She features a sculpted mask, cape, belt and gloves. The cape and gloves were previously used on both the series one and series three Batmen, as well as being used before that in the DC C3 line. The mask and belt are new, so as to properly depict her exposed hair and more elaborate belt design. The paint work is pretty clean on Batgirl, with no real slop, and some very sharp line work on all the transitions. This set was released during the period of time when Minimates were using full slip over masks for everyone, even characters that only had half masks, so Batgirl got a full face mask. Some figures took advantage of this and gave the figure a different facial expression on the unmasked head. Sadly, Batgirl didn’t do this, which is a shame, as it would have the unmasked face be Barbra in full librarian mode. Batgirl includes a pair of bat-cuffs and a spare hair piece to display her unmasked.
Bane demonstrates one of the unique traits of the DC Minimates line: use of the larger Minimate body. The body features the same articulation and relative proportions, but is about a half an inch taller than the basic body. So, DC used it for larger characters such as Bane here. Bane features three sculpted parts: mask, belt, and wrist gauntlet with tube that plugs into the mask. All of these pieces are new to Bane, mostly due to his use of the larger body. All of the pieces accurately capture Bane’s look from the comics, so kudos to them on that. The paint work is pretty good overall, though there a few issues. The shirt features black detailing with gray highlights, but on the edges of the torso, the gray highlights have been missed, leaving their spots flesh-toned. Also, the sides of the shirt don’t quite line up with the front. Finally, the mask, while well detailed, seems to sit a bit too low, which gives him an abnormally large head. Under the mask, there’s a fully detailed face with hair, which Is a nice touch I suppose, though I hardly see anyone displaying him this way.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As with the rest of the DC Minimates line, I purchased these two as soon as they were released. While I think they’re both well done figures, I remember being disappointed in general by the lineup for Series Four, as well as baffled by the choice to pack these two together. It’s a cool set, but it’s hard to tell what audience they were aiming for, as the two figures present appeal to two different sensibilities.
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I disagree with your final comment. This will ALWAYS be Batgirl to me. This is the version I have displayed with my Jason Todd Red Hood and Tim Drake Robin on my six inch shelf, and it is the version I wanted (and have) displayed with my custom Vic Sage Question and animated Batman Minimates. Maybe the two characters are unrelated, but both are essential to me and my collection.
As for Bane, I feel like the positioning of the face tampo makes him look as though he’s looking down
Thanks for your comment, Mnemosis!
Obviously, my final comment doesn’t speak for everyone, but I personally have always questioned this pairing. The characters certainly have shared fans and I have no problems with them being displayed together. I guess I just like two-packs to be characters that have some sort of established relationship, which this version of Batgirl and Bane don’t. However, I don’t feel that the pairing has hurt either of the figures, and it probably isn’t as strange in retrospect. And I can’t argue on the necessity of both characters. They are important.
I hadn’t viewed Bane’s face tampo that way, but that’s actually a pretty good way of looking at it!