CLOBBERIN’ TIME THING & SUPER SKRULL
After being introduced into the line in early 2004 with a single team member, the Fantastic Four got another Marvel Minimates release in fairly short order. It was great, another team member to–what’s that? Oh, it wasn’t another team member at all? It was just the same team member a second time? Yeah, that sounds more appropriate. Well, at least we got another FF foe out of the deal. Also, full disclosure: this set’s not as bad as it seems on the outside.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Clobberin’ Time Thing and Super Skrull were a Tower Records-exclusive pack, added to the Marvel Minimates line in October of 2004. They were Tower’s second exclusive for the line, following 2003’s single-release of Silver Surfer. Rather surprisingly for figures from this early in the line, these two remained wholly exclusive to this pack, though the pack itself was never incredibly hard to get a hold of or anything like that.
Yes, for the second FF set, we got yet another version of The Thing. This time around, he’s wearing one of his more extensive FF uniforms, with the tank top and boots that Byrne outfitted him with during his run on the book. Honestly, I’ve always loved this look myself, so I can’t really complain that much. The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Ben’s built on the standard ‘mate body, but wait, what’s that I spy? Would those be C3-style feet? Indeed they would. Though they wouldn’t make it into the main line until the beginning of the next year, 2004’s summer/fall exclusive packs were all given the C3 treatment, a first for the Marvel line. He’s got add-ons for his head piece and fists, which, like the prior release, help to bulk him up just a touch, while still keeping him more true to the core body than later versions. While the head piece remains the same as the prior release, the hands are actually new, and actually do the reverse posing of the prior release: right is gripping, left is closed. It’s a small touch, but still a cool one. The paint work is a fair bit changed up for this release, adding the necessary details for his uniform, as well as some actual musculature for his torso, which works very well. Additionally, his facial expression is changed to a close mouthed one, which really appeals to me and my desire to have more close mouthed Thing figures. The face is seated slightly better on the face this time as well, so it works even better with the head piece this time. Thing included a small cigar accessory originally, but mine hasn’t had one as long as it’s been in my possession.
Facing off against this new version of the Thing was an old FF foe whose whole gimmick is mimicking all four team members’ powers. Maybe not the best choice when you still haven’t put out the whole team, but hey, new is new. Like Ben, Kl’rt uses the new and improved C3-footed body. He also gets new add-ons for his cowl, shoulder pads, flame effect, and extended rocky fist. All of these pieces were re-used as the line progressed, and they’re all pretty solid additions. They go more for the basic detailing of the earlier offerings, of course, but there’s plenty of sculpted detailing on that rocky fist, matching closely to what we saw on Thing’s hands. It’s definitely cool. Super Skrull’s paint work does a solid job of merging the typical Skrull with the effects of the FF’s powers. He’s got the appropriate flamed-on effect for the right hand and forearm, and transparent lower legs. It’s a good look, and it’s a lot of fun. Super Skrull didn’t get any accessories, but given the number of new parts included, that’s hardly the end of the world. I suppose some standard Skrull parts might have been cool, but that extensive level of alt parts wasn’t really a thing yet at this point.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Though these two are a two pack, I got the respective ‘mates about 8 years apart from each other, and neither one of them was new. I fished Thing out of a small loose figure bin at a teeny tiny comic con I was attending back in 2011, and only had him for the longest time. When All Time got in their huge Minimates collection last fall, Super Skrull was in there with no accompanying Thing, and so it just kind of felt meant to be. Though the set’s doubling down on Ben seems like a bad move on the outside, he’s actually a really fun ‘mate, and remains my personal favorite version of the character in the line. Super Skrull is likewise a really fun ‘mate, and he was new and different at the time. Honestly, this is one of the coolest sets from ’04, and is a real pick-me-up after suffering through Series 7.