EMMA FROST & NEW CYCLOPS
Marvel Minimates‘ third year was headlined by the proper arrival of the Fantastic Four, but coupled with the assortment centered on them was a slightly more mixed bag assortment, combining the X-Men with some Marvel Knights branded characters. The X-Men were of course no strangers to the line by this point, but they’re proper mainstream counterparts were just starting to dip their toes in the water, especially for the main two-packs. Heading off the assortment were two X-Men mainstays, one new to the line, and one not, Emma Frost and Cyclops, who I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Emma Frost and New Cyclops were released in Series 9 of Marvel Minimates, which hit specialty stores the week after Series 8, in January of 2005. This particular set was the variant, which featured Emma in her diamond form, as introduced in New X-Men. Cyclops was shared between the two versions of the set, and would later be slightly tweaked for inclusion in the Darktide set in 2006.
Emma made her debut in the line with this release, but got two whole figures right off the bat, which I suppose is good for her. There were both diamond form and regular form releases, denoted by the diamond form being called “Emma Frost”, and the regular being called “White Queen”…which is kinda backwards feeling, really, especially compared to how they handled the naming on the Sue Richards/Invisible Woman split. Whatever, it’s just the name on the box, I suppose. Emma is constructed from the new and improved C3 parts, with a peg hole on her head and everything. She also gets new add-on pieces for her hair and cape, both of which were shared with her standard counterpart. They’re basic, but get the job done. Emma’s main thing is her paint work. It’s nice from the technical side; the white sections are largely painted on, and look pretty crisp and clean. Her face is also painted on, and is a respectable translation of smug classic Emma. All of her exposed skin is clear plastic, showcasing her diamond form. It looks pretty cool, but does lead to the somewhat lingering issue of this being Emma’s classic costume, which was before she had the diamond powers. I get wanting to do her most distinctive look first (though it didn’t stop them from having weird starting looks for other characters), and also wanting a solid variant, but the two don’t quite reconcile here. At least she looks pretty nice.
Ah, yes, New Cyclops. So much better than Old Cyclops. This one’s New, you see. Yes, this Cyclops is based on his leather uniformed design from New X-Men, joining the two other NXM figures, Jean and Logan, from the prior year. And also joining no others, because they literally only did three members of this incarnation of the team. As I mentioned in the Jean/Logan review, it was somewhat bad timing, since the looks had been abandoned in early 2004, with the launch of Astonishing X-Men, which put Scott back in a classic-inspired costume. But, I guess it would have been weird to leave him out? Scott notably gets the C3 feet, but *not* the head with the peg-hole. Correspondingly, his new hairpiece/visor combo was also missing a peg, making it seem like this guy may have been designed at the same time as the other two, and just held back a bit. He also gets a new jacket piece, as well as the belt piece from the other two. It’s not a bad look overall, and the pieces hit that nice middle-ground of detail vs simplicity. The paint work also treads this middle-ground, though perhaps not quite as well. The face on this guy is really, really detailed. Too detailed, if I’m honest; Scott ends up looking like he’s 80. On the costume, rather than match Cyclops to the other two’s dark grey attire, Scott’s got black. Not sure why they changed, and it means he doesn’t match anyone else. I generally like this look a little more personally, but I’d probably still prefer consistency over anything else.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Back when these were new, I picked up the standard release of this set, mostly due to just wanting the Cyclops, because I like Cyclops. I know, you’re all really shocked by this development. I managed to hang onto all of his parts over the years, but lost most of the standard White Queen pieces, so I snagged the variant version when All Time got that big collection in 2019. They’re not bad, but do sort of feel like an odd middle ground for the line.