DC C3 CONSTRUCTION (PLAY ALONG)
In 2004, Marvel Minimates entered their second year, making them by far the most successful Minimates offering up to that point. Not that it took much, of course. That same year, the brand attempted to expand…in a fashion, anyway. Since Marvel’s cavalcade of super heroes proved successful, there was an attempt to get DC in the game as well. Due to how the DC license was split up at the time, there was no space for a straight forward DC Minimates release at quite that time, but through a bit of loophole abuse, Art Asylum was able to partner with Play Along, who held the license for DC-based construction sets. Dubbed “C3” (for “Create, Construct, Customize”), the sets each included at least one Minimate as a pack-in figure. The first round was Batman-heavy, and included multiple versions of the Caped Crusader, as well as his trusty sidekick, Robin, who I’ll be looking at today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Robin was included in the “Mini Batmobile” set, one of the first 7 sets released in the DC C3 Construction line in the summer of 2004. There was also a Batman included in the set, but I’m just focusing on Robin this time. Robin was one of the comic-based figures, and was specifically based on the Tim Drake incarnation of the character. This was noteworthy for being the only Minimate version of Tim ever to be produced. The figure was based on the standard ‘mate body, with the new C3 feet, of course, so he stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. While he’s got the C3 feet, he’s still without a hair piece with a peg, showcasing the slow evolution of the line. He gets a new hair piece, cape, belt, and gloves. They were pretty decent pieces overall, but for whatever reason, the add-ons for this guy are really rubbery. This is the biggest issue when it comes to the hair, which has a lot of trouble staying properly in place, as it’s not rigid enough to actually clip on. It still looks okay, but it’s not ideal for play. The gloves are definitely the nicest pieces, though, and have some pretty sharp detail work. The paint work is pretty solid. It showcased a bit more detailing than earlier Marvel efforts, with the mask and boots in particular having quite a bit of creative lighting to them. The face and musculature remain fairly basic at this point, but it allowed him to remain at least somewhat consistent with the animation-based figures from the same set. Though Robin was effectively an accessory himself, he nevertheless did get an extra of his own, namely Tim’s signature bo staff. It’s another soft plastic piece, but it still looks pretty cool.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When these guys were shown off, the Mini Batmobile was the one I most wanted, and was subsequently the first one I got. As with many of my early ‘mates, I lost most of the parts to both the Batmobile itself and the two figures it included. Batmen are a dime a dozen, but this was the only modern era Robin, so I’d been looking for a replacement for a little while. Thankfully, when All Time got in that large collection of Minimates last year, I was able to snag a replacement Robin. He’s definitely one of the coolest C3 offerings, and honestly holds up pretty well, even after all this time.