WOLVERINE & MARIKO
The Wolverine’s adaptation of the character’s original solo miniseries brought with it that story’s cast of characters. Chief among them was Marikio Yashida, who paired off with Logan as one of the film’s chief protagonists. Naturally, she was paired off with Logan’s main look from the film when it came time for the Minimates. I’ll be looking at those two today.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
This pair was part of the Marvel Minimates specialty Series 52 assortment. Mariko was only available this way, but Logan was also available as part of the TRU assortment alongside the ninja.
The previous Wolverine movie didn’t exactly have a lot of variety to Logan’s looks, but The Wolverine tried to mix things up a little bit by going for a cleaner, more formal appearance for most of the movie. What begins as his funeral attire turns into his main look for about an hour of the film’s runtime, due to its “on the run” plot. While the all-black appearance itself isn’t new for super hero films, it still ended up being a pretty unique look for Logan himself. Logan features sculpted add-ons for his hair, jacket, and tie, as well as a set of clawed hands. The hair and claws are shared with the other Wolverines in the assortment, the tie comes from The Spirit, and the jacket is Doc Brown’s. No new pieces for this figure, and yet he’s still pretty much a pitch-perfect match for the movie design. As far as paint goes, there’s not a ton going on with this guy, since he’s predominantly one color. There are a few accent likes on his pelvis, indicating the detailing of his waist band. He’s also got a pretty serviceable Hugh Jackman likeness on his face. Of the many attempts at Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, I think this one has my favorite face. Wolverine is packed with an extra set of standard hands for a non-clawed appearance, as well as a clear display stand. Not super accessory heavy or anything, but it covers the basics.
Unlike a lot of movie-based civilian figures, this is actually not the first Minimate we’ve gotten of Mariko. A comic version of the character was offered alongside a brown-costumed Wolverine in an SDCC-exclusive pack in 2004. That one was…not great. This one’s a bit better. Like Wolverine, Mariko is also wearing her attire from the funeral, meaning she matches up with a large subset of the ‘mates based on the movie. Mariko is built using add-ons for her hair and skirt, as well as a unique set of forearms. The hair and skirt were unique to this figure (though the skirt has seen its fair share of subsequent re-use), while the sleeve pieces were shared with Ninja Yukio from the accompanying TRU assortment. All of the parts mesh well together, and the two-pieced nature of her kimono is certainly an improvement on the bulky one-piece thing of the prior Mariko. The paintwork on Mariko is a little more involved than Logan’s. She has a decent likeness of actress Tao Okamoto, and I quite like the subtle line-work denoting the details of her torso, as well as the fully detailed feet that you can only just barely see. Mariko’s only accessory is a clear display stand. Not terribly exciting, but I’m not sure what else could have been given to her.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This set was actually one of the ones I most wanted from this assortment, since I really dug that main look for Logan. I ended up grabbing a full assortment from Luke’s Toy Store back when they were new to make sure I got this one. As the standard Wolverine of the film, this one was the most sensible variant in the set. He’s actually a pretty solid little figure, and a different enough take on the character that he won’t feel any where near as redundant as some Wolverines do. Mariko is a decent civilian addition, and an important enough character in the mythos that I’m glad we got a second go at her. She may not be the most exciting ‘mate, but she’s still not as bland as some others we’ve seen.