BLACK KNIGHT & ENCHANTRESS
It’s Day 18 of the post-Christmas reviews, and we are officially in the home stretch. Just one more week of these things left. You know, until I…get back to reviewing action figures after three and a half weeks of…reviewing action figures.
For today’s review, I’m getting back to one of my all-time favorite toy lines, Marvel Minimates. Now, I must admit, I’ve been a little down on the line the last few years. Not that the figures have been bad by any stretch (because they haven’t) but more because almost all of the focus was either totally current, event-driven stuff (like AvX, Axis, Infinity, and of course all of the movies) or heavy on the ‘90s X-Men side of things. Series 68 was definitely a breath of fresh air, offering up a really great assortment of classic X-Men, but I was really longing for some good comic Avengers. The last comic-based Avengers series was way back in early 2012, and even that only offered two new characters (and one of them possessing a marginal connection to the Avengers at best). 68 was great, but I wanted an Avengers series that rivaled that. Well, as it just so happens, DST was way ahead of me. Let’s begin with the Series 69 reviews!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Black Knight and Enchantress are, as noted, part of Series 69 of Marvel Minimates, officially dubbed the “Most Wanted” series, which I certainly think is appropriate.
First up, it’s Black Knight, specifically Dane Whitman, the heroic incarnation of the character. For me, this guy is hands down the star attraction of this series. Something about Black Knight’s always appealed to me, and up until recently, he hasn’t really been done justice in action figure form (Hasbro’s Marvel Universe version being the one exception). He’s based on his classic costume, which makes me very happy. No offense to his other designs, but they always felt like rather pale imitations of his original look. The figure stands a little under 2 1/2 inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard ‘mate body, with add-ons for his helmet, cape, glove cuffs, and boots. The gloves and boots are re-used pieces; they’re just basic flared gloves and boots, which work well for the character. His helmet and cape are both new. The helmet is spot-on to his comics helmet, and sits very nicely on the head. The cape is okay, but could be better; it seems to lack some of the dramatic flare usually seen on Dane’s cape, and it looks like something was lost during the transition from control art to final product. Rarely do I point out something that’s missing on a Minimate, but I was slightly disappointed that Dane just had a painted on belt, with no scabbard for his ebony blade. It’s a fairly consistent feature of his design, so it’s a slightly odd omission. That being said, it’s likely a cost thing, and if something was going to be cut, that was the easiest thing. Black Knight’s paintwork is pretty standard fare for a ‘mate; the colors are all nice and bold, and most of the application good and clean. I really like the subtle work on the scale mail. I also quite like the face; it’s intense expression is a good match for Dane’s look on the cover of his first appearance, and it’s always great to get some variety in expressions. Black Knight is packed with his Ebony Blade (which is the same sword included with the animated Taskmaster ‘mate from a little while back. It’s a good enough fit for the character), a spare hairpiece for his un-helmeted look, and a clear display stand.
It hasn’t been all that long since my last Enchantress review. It seems 2016 was a good year for her. Maybe Marvel’s trying to stick it to DC for pushing to get their version of Enchantress to the big screen first? Regardless of rationale, Amora’s a pretty prominent member of the Thor’s supporting cast, as well as a founding member of the Masters of Evil, and an all-around pretty cool character. It’s about time she was given her due! Like Black Knight, she uses the standard ‘mate body, this time with add-ons for the hair and skirt. The skirt looks to be a standard piece, but the hair is new. It’s a decent enough sculpt, though it does feel a tad lifeless when compared to some of the other hairpieces in this set. Still, it looks like Enchantress and that’s really the point. Enchantress’s paintwork is actually quite impressive. All the details are very sharp, and there’s a lot of really cool small detail work, especially on the arms and legs. The face does a really nice job of capturing that alluring, yet still devious look that she’s prone to sport in the comics, and really sells just who this ‘mate’s supposed to be. Enchantress includes two green effects pieces and a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Black Knight and Enchantress were a Christmas gift from my always supportive parents. As I noted above, this is a series I was really looking forward to, and this set in particular was my most anticipated. Black Knight’s been pretty high on my Minimates wishlist for a good long while, and I’m beyond psyched to finally have him. He certainly didn’t disappoint. Enchantress is no slouch either. While she may not have quite the same coolness factor as Dane, she’s an essential character, and DST did a great job translating her into ‘mate form!