THOR & NIGHTHAWK
Early in the run of Walgreens taking their own exclusive sets of Minimates, everything was completely animation based, drawing from Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Guardians of the Galaxy. While this meant there was a lot of re-hashing of the heavy hitters in their animated designs, it also allowed DST to sneak in a few lower tier characters with animated appearances who had not yet shown up in the main line. Avengers Assemble‘s inclusion of the Squadron Supreme in particular was taken advantage of, giving us a whole line-up of those wacky not-the-Justice-League guys. Today, I’m looking at one of those Squadron-inspired sets.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Thor and Nighthawk were released in Series 2.5 of Walgreens’ exclusive Marvel Minimates. Yes, there’s a .5 in there. For some reason, the first four assortments at Walgreens used the half-series numbering. They abandoned it after this one, presumably because it was just kind of confusing.
Slowly bust surely, DST pieced out the animated versions of the core Avengers, intermixed with their alternate universe “Dark Avengers” counterparts. Thor’s Dark version came first in Series 2, and the standard followed shortly after. The figure is based on the standard post-c3 base body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. Thor gets three add-on pieces, for his helmet/hair, cape, and belt. The cape is re-used from the DCD Superman, while the helmet and belt were first used for the Dark Thor in the prior assortment. It’s a clean set of pieces that match up well with the character’s animated appearance, and sit well on the base body. The paint work on this figure is pretty solid. It’s clean and simple, and it works well for the aesthetic they were aiming to capture. He looks like the animation models, but also still fits in alright with the pre-established line. Thor was packed with Mjolnir, a flight stand, and a display stand.
Despite his mainstream counterpart bouncing around amongst a number of teams and not being *absurdly* obscure, Nighthawk was not able to get any ‘mate coverage until he showed up in animation. I suppose it’s not the worst thing. On the plus side, his animated counterpart kept the character’s classic costume design, so he can at least pull double duty very easily. Nighthawk’s got two add-ons, one for his mask, and the other for his cape. The headpiece is just the standard full-face mask, while the cape is an all-new one. While I would have liked to see a proper sculpted piece on the mask, it’s a simple enough that the full-face set-up doesn’t look too terrible, and if it was either the mask or the cape, they definitely made the right choice. The cape is really nicely handled, and sits quite well on the figure’s shoulders. Nighthawk’s paint work is clean, colorful, and a good half step between the animation and the comics, which I certainly appreciate. There’s a full face under the mask, and he’s also got an extra hair piece (borrowed from BttF‘s Doc Brown) to show it off. He also includes a clear display stand.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’m gonna be honest, I don’t actually recall exactly how I got this set. It was probably at a Walgreens, but it’s also entirely possible I got it second hand because I just really wanted the Nighthawk figure, and there was enough weirdness with the early Walgreens exclusives that I don’t remember exactly how these particular chips fell. I do recall being excited about Nighthawk, but also kind of meh on another Thor. Ultimately, Thor’s not terrible, and I don’t hate having him, but he’s certainly not the draw. Nighthawk has to make due with the re-used head piece, but he’s otherwise really great, and I’m glad they were able to work him into the line one way or another.