I’ve mentioned that I didn’t get around to seeing the Kill Bill films until rather recently. In part, this had to do with the fact that, when Volume 2 was released in 2004, I was only 12 years old. However, a major player in why I didn’t seek them out in the years after the release is that when I was about 17, I had seen Tarantino’s other big film Pulp Fiction. Or at least the first hour or so of it, before I was so turned off by what was happening that I had to turn it off. A lot of people really like Pulp Fiction, but I just couldn’t get into it. So, when it was announced that Diamond Select Toys had picked up the license to do Minimates from the movie, I figured they would be one of those rare Minimate properties that I would just skip. But, as has clearly been established on this site, I am weak. Also, no matter what my opinion of the film, Samuel L Jackson is a bad-a ss M*****-F*****, so passing completely on the all of the Minimates of his character, Jules, seems unrealistic. So, let’s have a look at one of those.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Jules was released as part of a four-pack of figures titled “Diner Showdown.” The set is based on the Diner scenes that bookend the film, and it’s exclusive to Hastings, a store which doesn’t actually have any locations near me. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall, with 14 points of articulation. He’s based on Jules’s appearance in the diner scenes, where he’s wearing the clothes he received from Jimmy Dimmick, after his got a little messy. It’s certainly not the look every one associates with the character, but it’s a fun little variant, and it’s certainly goofy. Jules is built on the standard Minimate body, with add-ons for his hair and the bottom of his shirt. Both pieces are re-use. The hair was previously used on the last Jules. It’s a very good replication of the hair he has in the movie, and it’s well-sculpted and nicely detailed. The lower portion of the shirt is done with a rather standard belt piece that we’ve seen a number of times before. Essentially, it just lengthens the torso block, which is the effect they were going for. The figure’s real shining point is his paint work, which is excellent, aside from one small nit. The issue is that Jules’s t-shirt should actually have a design on it, but it doesn’t. Presumably, the design on the shirt is a pre-existing design, which would require a separate license, which seems a bit excessive for a one-off figure. Aside from that, the figure features some very clean base paint work, as well as some truly great detail line work. The SLJ likeness is truly spot-on, not just for the actor, but also for the character. The design on his shorts is also really well done, and certainly helps to make the figure a particularly unique one. Jules includes a handgun and a briefcase. He also had a coffee mug, but I got mine loose, so he didn’t have that piece.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I fully intended not to get into the Pulp Fiction line. I really did. But, then I totally had to go and try to do something nice. See, the Kraang, from the recently launched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates line is something of a rarity, especially for people without a K-Mart nearby. So, when I came across a Kraang in a somewhat remote K-Mart nearly a month after most sources dried up, I picked it up, with the intent of helping someone on the Minimate Multiverse out. The guy I ended up trading with was quite eager to get a hold of the Kraang, but after a few back-and-forths via PM, we were having difficulty finding something he could trade to me in return. Finally, I just asked what he had extras of, and he said that he’d bought a bunch of Diner sets for the coffee mug pieces. So, I figured, what the heck and traded the Kraang for a Jules, sans coffee mug. Even though I hadn’t intended to get the figure, he’s actually a pretty well done ‘mate. Sure, he’s not the best ever made, but he’s of solid quality, and I got to help someone else get something they’d been looking for. And that’s what really makes it worth it.