ACTION FIGURE EXPRESS KEYCHAIN
While Minimates’ bread and butter tends to be making tiny versions of popular licenses, that isn’t exclusively what they do. One of the big things in making Minimates a success is just getting the brand known to as many people as possible. Enter the Promo ‘mates. These guys are free Minimates, who come bagged and are handed out to attendees of the conventions attended by Diamond Select Toys. Usually, these are just blank figures in various colors, with maybe a logo. However, DST will occasionally go the extra mile and do full detailing. Such is the case with today’s feature, the keychain Minimate. (Okay, that’s not his official name. He actually doesn’t have one!)
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Keychain Minimate was a cross-promotion between DST and frequent Minimate supporters Action Figure Xpress. The figure was given out at the AFX booth during San Diego Comic Con 2009, and then all remaining stock was sent out with orders over a certain amount on AFX’s online store. The figure is a little under 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Technically speaking, the ‘mate is based on the Hunt Minimate character, created for 2007’s scavenger hunt contest. The main contrast is that this figure is clean shaven and sports a pair of sunglasses. The figure is built on the standard Minimate body, along with a new piece for the keychain. This is a different piece than the one that recently showed up with the TMNT Minimates; the loop that connects the piece to the figure is metal, like the rest of the chain, as opposed to the fabric loop we saw on the TMNT version. The newer version works a little better, but this makes for an interesting prototype for that idea. The rest of the figure’s detail is done with paint, which is decent overall, though not perfect. There were four possible colors to the t-shirt; mine’s the blue one, if that’s not immediately obvious. Generally, the paint is pretty cleanly applied. The front and back of the shirt have some nice work on the logos, and the pants feature a fair bit of detail work. The face has a minor issue with the mouth’s placement being slightly off. It’s just enough to be noticeable that it’s off, though it isn’t the worst thing ever. Odd mouth thing aside, he’s actually got an uncanny resemblance to actor Billy Zane. The shoes are probably the biggest point of contention. When the original Hunt ‘Mate was made, Diamond had somehow wound up with the rights to Chuck Taylors, so that figure had very specific, very well detailed shoes. This one had to settle for more genericized versions of the shoes, which are not as well done. The bottoms of the shoes don’t wrap all the way around and the white paint on black plastic results in some iffy looking paint. They aren’t terrible, but they pale in comparison to what came before.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like the Shoulder Zombie and Future Wolverine before him, the Keychain Minimate is another product of Luke’s Toy Store’s “Mystery Mate” offer. So far, I’m 3 for 3 on this thing. I was actually pretty excited to find this guy in my latest shipment from Luke’s. I never had to opportunity to get one back in 2009, so getting one now is really cool. Sure, he’s not the greatest Minimate of all time, but he’s kinda fun, and he’s a somewhat important piece of ‘mate history!