Back before he was a major movie star headlining two of the biggest movies of all time, Thanos was sort of an odd-ball who was rather hard to place when it came to toy lines. Like, he was around, and some people knew him, but you had to sort of sneak him in there, lest someone notice his presence. Such was the case with his original Minimate release, which was one of the early line’s sort of odd floater figures for a bit, much in a similar fashion to last week’s Dark Phoenix. He finally made it out, of course, and there have been a bunch of subsequent releases at this point, but it did take a bit of doing.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Thanos was released as a San Diego Comic Con-exclusive Marvel Minimates release in 2005, packed alongside yet another reissue of the original Silver Surfer (albeit this one with C3 feet, rather than the long ones). He had been shown off a few times prior over the preceding years, and before 2099’s inclusion was cemented in Series 7 of the main line, it was assumed he’d be in that slot. Then he…wasn’t, and everyone was confused for a bit, until this exclusive surfaced the following year. Hey, at least he got released, I guess. The figure is built on the C3 base body, and he stands 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. Thanos has four add-on pieces for his helmet, chest cap, and gloves, all of them new to him. These pieces are pretty nicely handled; they get the character’s usual design elements down, while also keeping him in line with this earlier line aesthetic. They all sit pretty well, and he looks generally uncluttered. I quite enjoy the simplicity of the Infinity Gauntlet here; later releases would go for the separate fingers, and it always wound up looking weird. Thanos’ paint work falls into a similar boat as the Dark Phoenix and Cyclops; there’s a lot of detail and creative shading, but it doesn’t feel like it goes too overboard. Thanos included no accessories of his own, unless you want to be rather demeaning to that Silver Surfer figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I still wasn’t really in on the exclusive game yet with this one, and I already had the standard Silver Surfer, who was my preferred figure out of this set, so I didn’t really try that hard to get this Thanos. However, when the rather large Minimate collection came into All Time in 2019, and this guy was there, I opted to go for it, because, hey, why not. I like the simplicity of this Thanos compared to others. I think he’s one of those characters that they really got right the first time.