BEATRIX KIDDI, VERNITA GREEN, BUDD, & ELLE DRIVER
KILL BILL MINIMATES
“That woman deserves her revenge and we deserve to die. But then again, so does she. So, I guess we’ll just see. Won’t we?”
One can hardly argue that DST isn’t diverse when it comes to what licenses are picked for Minimates. Who would have though you could have Spider-Man, Batman, Captain Kirk, Madonna, Clint Eastwood, and the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad all in the same scale and style? Today’s review pertains specifically to that last thing, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, who hail from Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. We got the Bride and O-Ren in the first Kill Bill boxed set, but it took us another three sets to get the remaining three members of the Squad, along with another version of the film’s main character, Beatrix Kiddo.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These figures make up the fourth, and seemingly final, set in the Kill Bill Minimates line, titled the Deadly Assassins Set.
Beatrix Kiddo, aka the Black Mamba, aka The Bride (spoilers, I guess), makes her third appearance as a Minimate. That’s not a huge shock, given that she’s the central character of the two films. This figure presents her in her look from the first half of Vol. 2, after she digs her way out of the coffin in which Budd buries her. She stands about 2 ½ inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation. Beatrix’s only add-on piece is her hair, which is re-used from the “House of the Blue Leaves” version of the Bride. It works well for both looks, and it does a nice job of translating Uma Thurman’s hair from the movie. The paint on Beatrix is very nicely handled, and is perhaps some of the best paintwork I’ve seen on a ‘mate in a while. The likeness on the face appears to be the same as the one on The Bride. It was a good likeness there and it’s a good likeness here. She’s has some very nice work on the detail lines of her torso and waist, outlining her shirt and belt very well. What takes the paint on this figure to the next level is the dirt and blood stains, which caver just about every surface of the figure. That’s attention to detail! Beatrix is armed with her Hattori Hanzo sword and matching scabbard, which are the same as those included with the last two Beatrixes, right down to the scabbard being upside down. She also includes the pine box that Budd buries her in, which a fun piece, that’s kind of key to this look, as well as a flashlight, which goes with the box, and the requisite clear display stand.
Vernita Green, aka Copperhead, is the first of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad we meet (after Beatrix, of course). She ends up being the most minor of the group, but she’s still important, serving as a counterpoint for Beatrix. She’s presented here in her “housewife” clothes from her fight scene with Beatrix in Vol. 1. Like Beatrix, Vernita only has one sculpted add-on piece: her hair. The piece is re-used from Marvel Minimates Series 46’s Aunt May. It’s not a perfect match for Vernita’s hair, but it works alright. Vernita’s paint is quite nicely handled. The face looks a fair bit like Vivica Fox, so you can tell who it’s supposed to be. The hoodie is the best part. It’s nice and bright, and there’s a full array of detail on both sides of the torso block. She’s also got some blood splatters on her chest and face, which line up correctly with her injuries from the film and add a little bit of extra “pop” to the figure. Vernita is packed with a kitchen knife and a clear display stand. The knife is certainly appropriate, considering she’s the “Deadliest woman on the planet with a knife” and all, but it’s a shame that she didn’t get the planned gun in the cereal box accessory. That would have been unique.
Budd, aka Sidewinder, is the lone male member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. He’s also the younger brother of Bill, the guy Beatrix wants to…uhh…kill. He doesn’t really show up until Vol. 2, but he makes a pretty big impact. Budd’s figure represents him in his look from the scenes at his day job, working as a bouncer. Technically he doesn’t run into Beatrix while dressed like this, but it’s a decent enough summation of his various looks from Vol. 2 that it’s not really a big deal. He features add-on parts for his hat/hair and the bottom portion of his shirt, as well as non-standard feet. The bottom of the shirt is a piece we’ve seen many times before, and it works for what it is. The boots originally showed up on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’s Tuco. They’re just basic cowboy boots, and they match up with what Budd wears in the film. Budd’s hat is a new piece, and it does a nice job of translating his hat from the film into the ‘mate style. The hair seems a bit too flared at the bottom, but other than that it’s a nice piece. The paint is pretty decent, if perhaps not as clean as the last two figures. The colors are nice and bold, and the lines are all pretty crisp. The face is a good likeness of Michael Madsen, which I’m sure will come in handy for people hoping to QC some of his other film roles. The real issue with the paint is slop. There’s a bit of it around the edges of the hat, and the figure’s neck is mostly blue, when it should be flesh-toned. Budd is armed with a shotgun and a shovel, and also comes packed with a clear display stand. The shotgun isn’t a perfect match for the one in the movie, but it’s close enough, and it’s always great to get that shovel again.
Elle, aka California Mountain Snake, is one of the few characters to actually have a decent sized role in both films, which does make her somewhat memorable. However, most of her important scenes happen in Vol. 2, so it’s not a huge surprise that this figure is based on her look from that movie. She has four sculpted add-on pieces: hair, cuffs, and the bottom of her jacket. The hair first showed up on Marvel Minimates Series 50’s Songbird and the cuffs are from the first Marty McFly. Both are well chosen and fit the character well. The bottom of the jacket looks familiar, but I can’t for the life of me figure out who else it may have been used on. Her paint is back in line with the excellent work we saw on Beatrix and Vernita. Obviously, she’s not as colorful as the others, but the contrast of the black and white is good and all of the various detail lines are nice and clean. The face is well handled and it captures Daryl Hannah’s likeness pretty well. Elle includes the usual display stand and a Hattori Hanzo sword, which is presumably meant to be Budd’s. It might have been nice to get her little notepad of information, or maybe even an extra head missing her other eye, similar to the bleeding head included with Go-Go. As is, she seems a bit light.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked this set up from my favorite Minimate retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Beatrix gets another key look, and it’s handled with an obvious dedication to the source material, resulting in a rather fun figure, and perhaps the best version of the Bride so far; Vernita’s a solid addition; Budd is an important character in the movie, and he’s pretty decent overall, as long as you can overlook a few minor paint issues; Elle is another really pivotal character, but there’s not a whole lot of “new” to her, which does make her just a bit less exciting than the others. All-in-all, this is a great send-off to the Kill Bill Minimates line, though I certainly wouldn’t mind getting a few more figures, especially the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad in their all black numbers from the chapel scene. That’d be cool!