#0356: Plants vs Zombies Minimates



Plants vs Zombies is not a topic I ever really saw myself writing about here. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a video gamer, and iOS games aren’t really my thing either. I knew of PvZ (as the cool kids call it…I think. Back me up cool kids!) but I myself have never played the game. So, why, oh, why would I have PvZ toys? Minimates. Yes, it seems DST has picked up the license for the latest PvZ game Garden Warfare. And I have a serious week spot for Minimates. This will be a slightly different review, as I know next to nothing about the figures in the set.


There are two boxed sets in the first series of Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare Minimates, and this set is the Toys R Us exclusive set, which just started hitting TRU shelves.


The Chomper seems to continue the long standing tradition of large, man-eating plants. It’s a tried and true formula, so I can’t fault the creators there. The figure is about 2 inches tall, making it the largest of the plants, and it features 1, count it, 1 point of articulation, at the base of the head. The figure has a completely new sculpt. It’s not a shock, as the base Minimate body doesn’t exactly lend itself to the plant designs. The sculpt is pretty good, though some of the details are a little bit gummy. It’s pretty much on par with most Minimate accessories in terms of quality. The paint on the Chomper is okay. It’s a bit sloppy, especially on the changes from green to purple, but it’s not horrible. The Chomper includes no accessories, though I guess you could argue the plants themselves are accessories.


The Sunflower is probably the figure in the set I know the least about. I seem to recall that their sort of a mid-level plant, but I don’t know for sure. The Sunflower is about 1 ¾ inches in height and, like the Chomper, it features 1 point of articulation at the base of its head. Once again, it’s an all-new sculpt, tailor made for this particular plant. The sculpted work is actually a little sharper on the Sunflower than it is on the Chomper, which is actually quite nice. The head in particular features some really sharp work on the petals, which definitely makes this plant stand out. The paint on the Sunflower is cleaner, but admittedly simpler, than the Chomper. The Sunflower does feature some detail lines for its face, which are nice and sharp, and it seems to capture the Sunflower’s look pretty well. The Sunflower includes no accessories.


Okay, the Peashooters I’m actually pretty familiar with. They’re the base infantry for the plants, and they have one of the more clever names the game makers have thought up. There are two Peashooters included in the set, but both are exactly the same, so I’ll just look at them once. The figure is the smallest in the set, at about 1 ½ inches tall, and it features the a point of articulation at the base of the head just like the other plants. The Peashooter is the only of the plants to sport the Minimate aesthetic, as the heads have been built using the basic head as a starting point. It’s still a totally new sculpt, but it’s not far off from what we’ve seen before. It’s a pretty good sculpt, though the head has some obvious mold lines. The overall quality of the sculpt falls somewhere between the Chomper and the Sunflower, which isn’t bad. The paintwork is pretty straight forward. It’s one base coat of green, with some black paint for the eyes and the interior of the … shooter? I guess that’s what you’d call it. Anyway, it’s all pretty clean, so that’s good. The Peashooters include no accessories.


The Foot Soldier Zombie appears to be a fairly straight forward zombie from the game. I don’t know a whole lot about him, but I’d wager he’s a zombie who’s a soldier. Far out concept, right? The Soldier Zombie is 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. Unlike the plants, the Soldier Zombie is built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for his helmet and his collar/backpack/belt/skirt. The sculpted work is pretty great, especially the classically-styled infantry helmet. The paintwork has it’s plusses and its minuses. Overall, it’s not bad. The basic work on the body is good, and the detail lines are nice and clean. Unfortunately, the paint on the belt is…well, bad seems like an understatement. The colors aren’t even close to where they’re supposed to be, and the lines are incredibly sloppy to boot. I’ve honestly never seen paint this bad on a DST product before, and it’s limited exclusively to this one part of this one figure. How does that happen? It’s a shame, because it distracts from what is otherwise a well put together figure. The Foot Soldier Zombie includes a gun with a foot on it (something from the game, I’m assuming), a large rocket-launcher-thing that plugs into his back, and a clear display stand.


Last, but far from least, is the Scientist Zombie, who I must admit was the figure that drew me to the set. Something about the mad scientist look is just really cool. Anyway, the Scientist Zombie is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for his hair/goggles, lab coat/backpack, and gloves. The gloves are the basic glove pices that have been in use since the “Captain America: Through the Ages” set was released, but the hair and lab coat are all-new to this figure. Both pieces are superbly sculpted. The level of detail is a bit surprising, given the source material, but that’s not a bad thing! The paint on the Scientist Zombie is pretty great over all. There are a few small instances of bleed over, but no major issues like the Foot Soldier. I love that he even has little stains on his lab coat! The Scientist Zombie includes some sort of gun thing and a clear display stand.


Like I mentioned in the intro, I’m not much of a PvZ guy. Even when the Minimates were first announced, I just assumed I’d pass on them. But, the other day I was walking through TRU with my Dad, and I saw this set hanging there. It just kind of called to me. It’s a shame to see such shoddy paint on the Soldier Zombie, but assuming that’s mostly a confined issue (which it very likely is), this set is a lot of fun. All of the other figures have great work in both paint and sculpting, and it’s a fun bunch of designs. If you’re a fan of the game, I’m sure you’d really enjoy this set!

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