DAREDEVIL & KINGPIN
Despite the general “lower tier” nature of the first series of Marvel Minimates‘ character selection, at least in terms of the corners of the universe they chose to focus on, there’s no denying that within the theme itself, they did go for a pretty heavy-hitter assortment. We got both halves of the Hulk persona, plus Daredevil with perhaps his two best know supporting cast members. Elektra was packed with DD’s first costume, but his standard reds were packed with long-time foe Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Daredevil and Kingpin were the final two-pack in Series 1 of Marvel Minimates. Kingpin would remain exclusive to the specialty pack-outs (at least for the first year of the line), while Daredevil was available in TRU’s Boxed Sets assortment, as well as by himself in the Shop-Ko-exclusive singles assortment.
Daredevil’s all-red attire fairly quickly replaced his somewhat gawdy yellow number, and quickly became his go-to look for quite a few years. By 2003, there had been an attempt to replace it, but it was back to being his main look once again. The figure uses the original Marvel base-body (long feet and all), so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. From a construction standpoint, he and the Yellow Daredevil are identical, both using the same mask and belt add-on pieces. They were definitely solid pieces, especially for the more simplified aesthetic of early ‘mates. Red DD’s paint work is comparatively far less complex, since he’s mostly just molded in the appropriate red. They do mix things up a little bit by giving him at least some cursory detailing on the boots and gloves, and he’s got the same full face under the mask. He includes the same billy clubs as Yellow, but in red this time around.
Beginning as a Spider-Man foe before being adopted as Daredevil’s arch-nemesis, Kingpin was a pretty natural inclusion here, and ended up as the only version of the character in the line for almost a decade. Of all the ‘mates at launch, he’s probably the one that strays the furthest from the standard Minimate form, getting a rather large add-on piece for his torso, in order to properly capture his size. This means that he ends up far more properly scaled than Hulk from the same assortment, and is probably one of the main things that kept him acceptable for mixing with later ‘mates for quite so long. In addition to the torso, he also got a unique pair of hands. The right holds a cigar, while the second is sporting an impressive gold ring. The paintwork on Fisk is surprisingly involved, with by far the most detailed face of the first series, plus actual pin-stripes on his legs. Kingpin was packed with a curved cane, which seems a little simpler than Fisk’s usual fare, but is a cool extra nonetheless.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Though I got the other two sets when they were brand new, it was another five or six years before I finally added this pair to my collection, courtesy of a friend who found them while she was doing some cleanout of her house. I don’t really know why it took me as long as it did to get them, but I was happy to finally have them at the time. Ultimately, there are improved versions of both figures in this set, so neither is truly essential. That said, they do round out the collection nicely, and cap off the first series of the line very well.