SPACE SUIT CAPTAIN AMERICA, ARMORED HULK, INFINITY THANOS, & THANE
Marvel Minimates is really just the line that keeps on giving. I have a pretty substantial back log of figures I already had before the site was started, so they were already going to show up a lot. However, they also provide new releases on a very regular basis. Which makes for even more frequent reviews. Yay.
Marvel Minimates is also one of the few Minimates lines to be fairly consistently supported by Toys R Us. TRU has carried 18 of their own exclusive series of the line. In addition, they’ve offered fans the opportunity to influence the line a bit with Fan’s Choice boxed sets based on certain events. Today, I’ll be looking at the most recent of those sets, based on last year’s Infinity cross-over. Full disclosure: I haven’t read any of Infinity, so I can’t really speak to any story specific stuff. I know the general gist of it, and I know who the one storyline specific figure in this set is.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These four were released as part of a Toys R Us exclusive four-pack. The line-up was chosen via a poll on Toys R Us’s website. There were two other figures, Ronan the Accuser and Space Suit Iron Man, who did not make the cut for this set, but will be appearing in the TRU Series 19.
SPACE SUIT CAPTAIN AMERICA
There have been a fair number of Captain America ‘mates, especially recently, but this is the first time he’s been space worthy. It’s also the third ‘mate based on Cap’s Marvel Now! appearance. Cap’s clearly the “safe” figure in this set, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he sports 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Cap’s space-faring look from Infinity, which I understand is the look he had for most of the story. It’s basically just a tweak on his regular Now! design and it looks pretty good. The figure makes use of the standard Minimate body, with non-standard upper arms and hands, as well as add-ons for his helmet and space-y web gear. The hands and helmet hail from the previous two Now! Caps, which is a sensible re-use. They’re well-sculpted pieces that are accurate to the source material, so it’s a win-win. The upper arms originally appeared on the Series 49 Mark 42. They aren’t quite as warranted as the hands and helmet, but they’re reasonable enough as a generic set of tech-y arms. The web gear is the only really new piece present. It’s well enough sculpted, and it seems to be pretty accurate to the source material. It’s not the most exciting piece, but it does its job. Cap’s paint work is pretty decent. For the most part, everything is clean, and the details are sharp. However, the paint on the helmet/head is applied in such a way that is impossible for me to get the helmet off his head, which is rather annoying. Cap includes his mighty shield and a hand wield said shield (both reused from the previous Now! figures), as well as a hair piece (also from the Now! Cap), and a clear display stand. The shield is a bit sloppy paint-wise, and the hair is ultimately not very useful due to the issues with the helmet.
Hulk here is a bit less space-ready than the Cap figure. As the name implies, he’s just an armored version of the character. The figure is over 2 ½ inches tall, closer to the 3 inch mark, and he features 12 points of articulation. He’s based on the character’s Now! look. This is the second Minimate based on the look, but the first one was more armor-lite. This is what the character’s looked like for most of the Now! run. The figure is built on the basic Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for the hands and feet, as well as add-ons for the hair, torso, upper arms, waist, torso extender, and upper legs. The hair and upper arms first cropped up on the Series 41 Mega Rage Hulk, the feet first appeared on TRU’s Hulk as Nul, the hands are from the Hulk TTA Maestro, and the torso extender, waist cover, and upper legs are from the TRU 16 Now! Hulk. The chest piece is the only truly new part, however it’s nicely handled. The reused pieces are used a such a way that it wasn’t immediately obvious that the torso was the only new part, which is a sign of good re-use. The shift from sculpted detail lines on the armor on the torso and upper legs to painted on the feet is a little bit jarring at first, but it’s not too bad. Hulk’s paint alright, but it could be better. There’s some bleed over on the transitions from armor to skin, and there’s some pretty bad slop on the back of the figure’s head and torso. The figure also suffers from the same stuck pieces that plagued Cap, something that is a common theme in this set. Hulk includes a clear display stand.
Thanos here is probably the biggest draw of this set. This is the third version of Thanos in the Marvel Minimates line, but it’s been five years since his last figure. If you’re a faithful follower of my reviews, you’ll recall I didn’t think the last one was very good. Plus, he’s set to be a major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next few years, so it’s really good timing. Thanos is the largest ‘mate in the set, coming in at just shy of 3 inches tall, and he has 12 points of articulation. He’s based on Thanos’s recent redesign from Infinity. It’s not far off from his original design, but there are a few differences in the execution of some of the details. Thanos uses the basic Minimate body as a starting point, with non-standard hands and feet, as well as add-ons for his helmet, torso, upper arms, waist, torso extender, and upper legs. The upper arms and legs are from the Series 41 Hulk, the extender is from the TRU 16 Hulk, and the waist cover is from a whole bunch of Minimates (I’m not sure who used it first). The helmet, torso cover, hands, and feet are new to Thanos, and they’re pretty good overall. The torso is probably the best piece. It has a lot of ornate detail work that looks really good. The hands and feet are decent, though they seem a little too rounded. The helmet is good in theory, but not quite in practice. It’s well sculpted, but it sits too low on the head, which obscures a lot of the details on the face. Thanos’s paintwork is pretty clean overall. There are a few spots with some bleed over, but most of it’s pretty sharp. The face in particular looks really good, and it definitely improves on the last one. Unfortunately, Thanos was not exempt from the stuck paint issues. His helmet was practically glued on when I got him and took quite a bit of effort to remove. Thanos includes a clear display stand. It would have been nice to get an Infinity Gauntlet that matched this figure, but since it wasn’t in the story, I can understand its absence here.
Hooo boy, Thane. This guy. So, Thane is the one new character in the set. He’s also new to the storyline, and he has a sort of important role, so I guess his inclusion makes sense. In case you were unaware, Thane is Thanos’s son and he’s half Inhuman, which sort of makes him a bit of a mess. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Thane is based on the character’s appearance post-Terrigen Mist exposure, which is notably Thanos-inspired. It’s an okay design, though not particularly thrilling. The figure is mostly a “vanilla ‘mate” with his only unique piece being his left hand. This piece is re-used from the DC Minimates Series 6 Cheetah figure. It’s a pretty standard clawed-hand, so that’s good. The rest of Thane’s detail is done with paint. For better or worse, Thane exhibits the best paintwork of the lot. The base colors are clean and even, the colors are pretty bold, and the detail lines are nice and sharp. Thane didn’t have any issues with stuck pieced due to paint, although that’s likely due to his lack of add-ons. The figure includes a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I found this set while killing some time during one of my brother’s rehearsals. Obviously, I got it from Toys R Us, it being an exclusive and all. I did participate in the vote on this one, and three of the four I voted for are in the final set, so I guess that’s cool. Unfortunately, Ronan, the one I wanted the most, lost out to Thane, which is a bummer. Guess I’ll have to wait for TRU 19. All in all it’s a pretty good set. Cap and Hulk are fun variants and Thanos offers some nice improvements to the last one. Thane is good on a technical level, but sadly neither the character nor his design is particularly exciting. But hey, three out of four ain’t bad!