BATTLE-SCARRED THING & GAJIN WOLVERINE II
The trouble with a four member team, at least when it came to Minimates and their early three two-pack per assortment structure, is that you end up with extra slots. In the case of the Fantastic Four, there have been a number of different approaches to filling those extra slots. In the case of their first entry into the line, the approach was hard-lining the heavy hitter mash-ups. More Thing! More Wolverine! Yes!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Battle-Scarred Thing and Gajin Wolverine II are the last set from the Fantastic Four-themed eighth series of Marvel Minimates. Battle-Scarred Thing remained exclusive to this assortment (for his own good, really), while Wolverine was re-packed with a standard Spider-Man for Target.
Battle-Scarred Thing is actually interesting, in that he’s Minimates’ first real stab at a figure based on a specific comics appearance. He was patterned on the Thing’s torn up appearance following a run-in with Wolverine in Fantastic Four #374, which I guess is meant to really give Wolverine an excuse to be in this set. It doesn’t really work out quite so well. This was the fourth version of Thing we’d gotten, and he follows the “Clobberin’ Time” model of putting Ben in one of his actual uniforms. He’s built on the standard C3 body, so he’s 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. Structurally, he’s the same as the more basic Thing from this assortment, with the same head piece, chest block, and bulked up hands. The powerhouse piece is still fine, but I really don’t like that head piece. Fortunately, this would mark its last use. The paint work changes things up here, obviously to give Ben his costume change. I do find it interesting how he has a standard looking musculature on the uniform, despite the standard one from this set not getting any musculature at all. Also, thanks to this costume being a post-Byrne one, it’s got white boots, so it doesn’t really match the rest of the team from this same assortment. And that’s not even getting started on the blue sections being actually blue, rather than the black they should properly be. Thing’s face gets adjusted detailing to include the scarring he got from Wolverine. It doesn’t help the already less than stellar Thing head from the regular version in this set. What does help that face, however, is the full helmet that this guy includes as an accessory, replicating the one he wore in the comics after getting injured. It’s actually a pretty cool piece, and it’s nice that they gave him an accessory, and even a unique one at that.
This Wolverine’s official name is “Gajin Wolverine II”, which is quite the monicker. “What happened to Gajin Wolverine I?” you might ask? He was a summer con exclusive in 2004, and he’s honestly only very minorly different from this guy. “Why Gajin?” you may follow up? I guess it’s in reference to his first solo series, where he was in Japan, and referred to as “Gajin” fairly regularly. It’s a very specific reference for something that would far more simply be summed up with the name “Brown Costume Wolverine”, but here we are. Also, it’s worth noting that, while the Thing in this set is very specifically patterned on an issue where he has a run-in with Wolverine, in said issue, Wolverine was sporting his tiger stripe costume, not the brown one presented here. Oh well. Structurally, this guy’s *mostly* the same as the GSXM Wolvie. The only change up is that instead of having the long feet under his boot pieces, he’s got the C3 feet, which means there’s a gap between the two of them at the front. He doesn’t have the peg hole in his head, because they weren’t quite standard yet, and the older mask piece meant it wasn’t required. The paint work on this guy’s overall not bad. There’s one small gaffe with the secondary color on his mask being brown instead of orange, but beyond that the colors work well, and the detailing on both the face and the torso is pretty much straight out of Miller’s illustrations from the miniseries. He was certainly one of the most detailed ‘mates at the time, and rather starkly contrasts with his assortment mates. Wolverine had no accessories, as neither extra hands nor hair pieces had become standard quite yet.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This whole series got passed on by me, but even before that, this one wasn’t really high on my radar. The appeal of such an extraneous re-pops of heavy hitters was kind of low for me. When I finally got around to picking up this series from All Time last year, I still hesitated on these two, but they were there, and I figured “why not?” Wolverine’s actually pretty solid, even by later standards. The Thing, on the other hand, was iffy when he was new, and has not been helped by time.