BLACK CAT & BEN REILLY
The third year of Marvel Minimates had a very focused beginning, bringing in the FF for the first time, but after getting them out of the way, the rest of the year wound up being a pretty major mixed bag. The 9th, 10th, and 11th assortments were all sort of mixed bags in terms of characters, and the 10th and 11th in particular would introduce something new to the brand: total parts re-use assortments. In order to stretch things as far as they could go, DST would do as many characters as possible with no new pieces. Included amongst these heavily re-used figures were today’s offerings, Spidey characters Black Cat & Ben Reilly!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Black Cat and Ben Reilly were released in Series 10 of Marvel Minimates, which hit in the summer of 2005. Black Cat would remain exclusive to this pairing, but Ben found his way into a re-pack, alongside fellow Series 10 figure Sandman, for Target later that same year.
Black Cat made her Minimates debut here, sporting a fairly classic design for the character. She was built on the basic body, post C3 feet, so she stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She doesn’t get the new head with peg hole, due to the re-used hair piece, which comes from the Series 6 Phoenix. While not a terrible piece on its own, it was about to get a bunch of uses all right on top of each other, which earned it the nickname “The Rachel”, in reference to when lots of women got the same haircut as Jennifer Aniston, during Friends‘ hey-day. And now you know that completely useless bit of trivia. Aren’t you glad? Apart from the hair, Felicia was a totally vanilla ‘mate, which honestly isn’t all that out of place for the character. The rest of her design is handled through paint. It’s actually pretty decently handled. The face is really my favorite of the Black Cats that DST did, and they even did a respectable job of recreating a more feminine shape for her body, by use of shading. It’s actually pretty cool.
Spider-Man had plenty of Minimates by this point, but this marked the first one for his clone, Ben Reilly. Interestingly, it’s not in his Scarlet Spider gear, but instead his take on the Spider-Man costume. Exactly why is anyone’s guess, especially since it’s usual thing of “being a more credible standard Spidey variant” is kinda lost given he didn’t get Spider-Man in his name at all. I’m probably over thinking things. DST didn’t overthink this guy, that’s for sure. He’s got two add-ons, for his web-shooters on his wrists. They’re re-used from Power Man, and, while they should technically be segmented, they do work pretty well in a pinch. Beyond that, he’s another heavy on the paint sort of figure. It’s pretty good paint, and I do like how they actually painted the red entirely, rather than the mix of paint and plastic like the standard Spidey. Honestly, this is probably my favorite Spidey paint scheme. He’s got no accessories, not even the generic webline piece, which is kind of a shame in one way, but a bit of a relief in another, because one man can really own so many of that one piece.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This is a set I actually snagged new. This whole period of time marked me starting to fall out of things a touch (though, to be fair, it’s not like even DST felt all that invested at the time), but I liked this pair enough to buy them. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Ben Reilly Spider-Man costume, and it remains perhaps my favorite Spider-Man minimate. Black Cat’s not too shabby either. Overall, a pretty solid set, even if they were just re-use.