SPIDER-MAN – SPIDER SENSE & CAPTAIN AMERICA – MARVEL NOW
The point of the Best Of Marvel Minimates line is to keep basic versions of Marvel’s heavy hitters in circulation. However, Marvel’s characters, more so than DC’s, have a tendency to change up their designs, leaving a few different options as to what is their “basic” look. So, Diamond Select Toys has decided to take advantage of this to have a few more A-List figures in the line. Today’s set, Spider-Man and Captain America, are a prime example of this.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two were released as a two-pack in the third series of the Best Of sub-set of Marvel Minimates. Both figures in this set are the second version of their respective characters in the Best Of line.
SPIDER-MAN – SPIDER SENSE
Spider-Man is arguably Marvel’s best known hero, so it’s not surprising to see him pop up again. One of the things about Spider-Man is that, while he’s pretty much had the same costume for most of his career, there’s been a fair number of minor tweaks and stylistic choices by different artists. The Spider-Man released in Best Of Series 1 was based on Spider-Man’s “classic” look, in the vein of artists such as John Buscema and John Romita Sr. This figure is decidedly more modern, taking its influence from Todd McFarlane’s version of the character. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The figure uses the basic Minimate body, with one addition: his spider sense piece. The piece was previously seen on the Spider-Sense Spider-Man in the 13th TRU exclusive series. It’s a decent approximation of the effect used in the comic (though my girlfriend says it makes it look like his head’s on fire), and it’s fairly well sculpted. Unfortunately, once it’s removed, Spidey is left with a hole in the top of his head. Not too much of an issue for long term collectors with dozens of Spider-Man heads to choose from, but certainly an issue for someone who gets this as their first Spidey. Like so many Spider-Man Minimates, this figure is basically a “vanilla ‘mate,” so paint is key. Spidey’s paint is okay, but not quite as good as the rest of the series. The red is a little uneven in places, and the web patterns are out of place and bunched up in a few areas. Also, the web pattern abruptly stops on the sides and backs of the wrists, legs and belt, which, while obviously intentional, is a shame. Spider-Man includes an extra head and hair (first used on Series 51’s Nova), a webline, a jumping stand, and a clear display stand.
CAPTAIN AMERICA – MARVEL NOW
Captain America’s pretty consistently had the same look over the years, but in light of the success of the movies, he’s gotten a little bit of a redesign to bring him a bit more in line with that look. The result is the Marvel Now look, which has gotten a few toys recently. This is the second time this look has been seen in Minimate form, with the first being in the 16th TRU exclusive series. The figure is about 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation. Cap uses the standard body, with additional pieces for his helmet, gloves, and belt. All of these pieces are re-used from the first Marvel Now Cap. They were pretty great pieces there, and they’re pretty great pieces here. If there’s one thing to be said about the new costume, it’s that it translates really well to the Minimate style. The figure’s paint is fantastic. Everything is clean and evenly applied. They’ve used a lighter blue than what was used on the TRU 16 figure, and it really helps the figure pop. The detail lines are all really nicely handled, and the design has been translated expertly. The face is interesting; I like it, and I think it’s a great Cap face, but the expression seems like something that would be at home on a more classic version of the character. Still, it’s nice to get a happy expression from time to time. Cap includes his mighty shield (From the Series 40 Cap), an extra non-shield holding hand, a spare hair piece (shared by TRU 16’s Cap and Hulk), and a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Spidey and Cap were picked up from Cosmic Comix, my local comicbook store. I hadn’t really planned on getting this set initially. I have plenty of Spider-Men, and I was perfectly content with the TRU 16 version of this Cap costume. However, seeing them in person, they called to me. A more modern Spider-Man’s not a bad thing to have, and the brighter palate on Cap further improves a figure I was already a pretty big fan of. Sure, these aren’t going to be for everyone, and I hope that the Best Of line doesn’t skew to modern, but this is a fun set.