WOLVERINE –STRIKE FORCE & THE BLOB
Man, I haven’t reviewed many Minimates recently. There’s no denying that the X-Men, particularly the 90s incarnation of the team, have gotten quite a bit of love from DST. The latest comics-based series of Marvel Minimates has done its best to fill some important holes in the team (and give them a few more foes to fight) while also trying out a new way of distributing some of the characters. Today, I’ll be looking at the guy who’s easily the most well-known X-Man, Wolverine, as he faces of against Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member the Blob!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These two were released as part of Marvel Minimates Series 60.
WOLVERINE (& FORGE!)
Wolverine is no stranger to Minimates, with this being his 57th foray into the line. Hey, a heavy hitter’s a heavy hitter. There has to be at least one in every series, right? The figure depicts him in the standard Strike Force uniform that several of the X-Men wore during the 90s. Wolverine didn’t really stick with it, but he did wear it a few times. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. He has sculpted add-ons for his hair, gloves, and the two sets of straps on his legs, as well as a standard pair of clawed hands. The hair is a piece that’s been used several times before. It first showed up on the TRU Series 9 Brown Wolverine, and has been used fairly regularly since then. It’s definitely a good piece, and it’s accurate to that wacky hair of his from the comics. The leg straps are the same as those used on Series 34’s 90s Cyclops, which is fitting, seeing as they’re meant to be the same design in the comics. The gloves are the same as Banshee, released in this same series. They’re a good sculpt, and they sit nicely on the figure. The paintwork on Wolverine is passable, but not the best. The detailing on the face is top notch; all the lines are nice and sharp and the facial expression feels perfect for the character. The torso detail is also pretty good, though it’s hampered a little bit by the sloppy edges on the change from blue to yellow. The real issues with the paint are on the shoulders, where the yellow hasn’t been consistently applied, resulting in the underlying blue bleeding through, and on the pelvis, where the red of the belt does not continue down through the whole buckle. The accessories are what sets this figure (and the rest of the series) apart. In addition to the standard clear display stand, the figure also includes an extra head, hair, hands, and right leg, as well as a shoulder harness and a large gun, allowing the figure to be re-configured as Forge, a previously un-released X-Man. The pieces are all nicely handled and match up well with the regular parts, resulting in a figure that is just as much Forge as it is Wolverine. Also, I really like that the skin tone on the head is different from Wolverine, thus properly denoting Forge’s Cheyenne ancestry, which is far too often overlooked.
Fred Dukes, aka the Blob, is actually one of the X-Men’s oldest foes, first appearing in X-Men #3. This isn’t the first time he’s appeared as a Minimate, however, his last figure was based upon his film appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which wasn’t the comics-inspired look most were hoping for. Blob is no slouch when it comes to sculpted add-ons. He features pieces for his hair, torso, upper arms, lower arms/hands, thighs, and feet, as well as a torso extender hidden under that torso piece. The last Blob figure was somewhat on the small side, but this one moves to correct that, making use of a combination of pieces from the Marvel line’s various Hulks and the Street Fighter vs Tekken line’s Rufus. The pieces all mesh together quite well, resulting in a Blob that accurately represents him as the wall of mutant we know from the comics. One small issue with my figure: one of the shoulders on my figure has a chip missing out of it. It isn’t terribly noticeable, but it’s still annoying. Blob’s paintwork is generally pretty well handled, though it isn’t without issues. The colors are all of the proper shades for the character, which is always good, and the detail lines on his torso and face do a tremendous job of bringing the character to life. However, some of the more base level paint is a little off. The straps on the shoulders don’t quite line up with each other, and the gold bands on the wrists are rather uneven and sloppy, with gold paint ending up a few places it shouldn’t. For accessories, Blob isn’t quite as loaded as Wolverine, but he’s certainly no slouch. He includes a spare set of hands and feet, without wristbands or boots, allowing for the figure to be displayed as the Blob from some of his earlier appearances. This offers a nice bit of extra value, and gives the buyer two possible looks, should they end up with a second Blob while completing their Strike Force X-Men. He also includes the standard clear display stand, which is always appreciated.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, this is actually my second set of these two. When my full series set arrived from Big Bad Toy Store, I opened these two up first, and they seemed fine. Then I took a closer look at Wolverine’s torso and noticed he had…boobs. Seems my figure got a Storm torso by mistake. Hey, secondary mutation, right? Or maybe they were just easing us into X-23 taking over the title. Anyway, I ended up buying a second set from Cosmic Comix, so, there’s that!