WONDER WOMAN & ARES
Can you believe there was a time when Marvel Minimates wasn’t enough to carry the Minimates brand? Well, around Series 15 (the only cancelled specialty assortment to date), that was definitely the case. The line had stagnated, going over a year without a proper assortment release, and there were four back-to-back assortments made up completely of parts re-use. It was rough to say the least, but then DC came along, and offered salvation. New characters, new looks, and best of all, new pieces. Better pieces, pieces that were stronger, faster than before. Six Million Dollar pieces. Okay, slight exaggeration there, but DC really did get Minimates out of its slump. And then, as quickly as it arrived on the scene, it got dropped. Because that’s just how DC Direct do. We got a strong selection of DC’s heaviest hitters, though, including number three in their power trio, Wonder Woman, paired off against one of her greatest foes, Ares!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Wonder Woman and Ares were released in the third series of DC Minimates, which is probably my favorite line-up for the whole line. Wonder Woman was the headliner for the assortment, and as such was actually the focus character on the packaging.
This would mark the first of Wonder Woman’s three Minimates. Unlike Superman and Batman, she was not a part of the preceding C3 line, though her prototype had been shown off before the line’s demise. This one followed a lot of cues from that, while still remaining somewhat distinct. She’s built on the usual base body, and as such stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation. She uses three sculpted add-on pieces, for her hair and her bracelets. The hair was new to this figure (and would be used again for the next two ‘mates), while the bracelets came from the C3 line. The hair piece may not be super detailed by today’s standards, but it’s still a sharp, cleanly sculpted piece, which works quite well for the character’s classic appearance. Her paintwork is nice and clean. Though Series 3 would be DC Minimates‘ first series to extensively use properly colored plastic, Wonder Woman was unique in following the Series 1/2 style of painting all but the head. It doesn’t make a huge difference in her appearance, but it does mean she slots in more seamlessly with the Superman and Batman from Series 1. And, honestly, that’s probably the best course of action. Wonder Woman is packed with her lasso of truth, a newly sculpted piece. It’s a shame there’s no way to attach it to her waist, but it’s a nice piece regardless.
When it comes to distinctive Wonder Woman foes, there’s pretty much Ares and Cheetah to choose from. DC Minimates would produce both, but Ares got to go first. He’s seen here in his classic blue armored appearance, which has always been my personal favorite for the character, as well as being the most toy friendly. One of the things that separated DC Minimates from other lines was its use of the larger-scaled base body for larger characters. Ares was one of those characters, so he’s got an extra half inch on Diana. Ultimately, whether the larger bodies worked or not was a personal preference thing, but I do find it works particularly well for a character like Ares, who’s just generally depicted as being larger than those around him. Ares had seven add-on pieces, for his helmet, cape, skirt, wrist bracers, and shin guards. All of them are unique to him. These parts really show DCD’s commitment to a higher level of detailing, and definitely rival the modern ‘mates in terms of depth of detail. And, with the larger base body, the parts are also able to be far more compact to the body than at the smaller scale, making for a more solidly assembled ‘mate. His paintwork is quite impressive in its own right. Unlike Wonder Woman, he’s molded in his proper colors for the most part, allowing the paint to actually go more towards accent work. The best of it’s definitely on his torso, which uses dramatic lighting to nicely outline the texturing of his armor. It’s a pretty cool effect. Ares was packed with a sword and an axe, truly appropriate for the God of War.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As with every other series of DC Minimates, I got Series 3 new from Cosmic Comix back in the day. It wasn’t the set I was most excited about in the set, but I was pleasantly surprised by it after opening it. Wonder Woman is a solid rendition of an essential character, and is a selling point for that reason. Ares, however, is the real star for me, and has long been one of my favorite figures to come out of this line.