MR. FANTASTIC & DR. DOOM
The Marvel Minimates Best Of assortments frequently paired off classic Marvel characters and their greatest foes, but what happens when the foe is actually the foe to a whole team? You compromise, I guess. At least in the case of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards does have the slightly more personal connection to long-time foe (and greatest villain of all time) Dr. Doom, so he was the one who got the slot. Good for him!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Doom were part of the second Best of Marvel Minimates series, which hit stores in early 2013.
Second only to The Thing in terms of number of Minimates, this particular Mr. Fantastic was his sixth time in this particular style. He’s sporting his classic black and blue gear, based on his look from earlier in his career. Curiously, there are, to date, no other members of the team with uniforms to match this one. Not even the Ben from Series 1 of the Best Of line. This is something of an odd development. In his most standard configuration, Reed is built on the basic Minimate body and uses just one add-on piece, for his hair. It’s the Frank Wemple piece, which saw a lot of use right around this time. It’s definitely well-chosen for Reed. Of course, since Reed’s powers make for a pretty versatile look, the figure has multiple other configurations. DST experimented a bit with TRU Series 6’s Stretch-Attack Mr. Fantastic, which gave us a stretched out base piece to swap out for the lower legs. This figure includes that extra, along with several new ones to match. There’s an extended neck and stretched out arms, which can be mixed and matched into all sorts of different configurations. Perhaps my favorite part is that the open hand on the right arm is perfectly sized to grip a standard Minimate torso. Reed’s paintwork is fairly clean, and the color choices are bold. He’s more colorful than his TRU Series 8 counterpart, but the blue isn’t quite as deep as the original Reed figure. He’s somewhere between them. I already chronicled the extra stretchy parts, but Reed also includes a standard display stand, if you want to be silly and not display him with that sweet stretched out base piece.
Victor Von Doom actually has his nemesis beaten in number of Minimates available, with eight releases under his belt. This one was the seventh, and actually came out in rather close proximity to the Marvel vs. Capcom version, which it is quite similar to. Most of the similarity between the two Dooms is in their sculpted parts. Doom uses add-ons for his cloak, belt/skirt, gloves, and boots, as well as non-standard upper-arm pieces. All of these were used on the prior figure. They work decently, though the cloak runs into the same problem that prior Dooms have run into, with limitations being placed on his mobility. It also makes him quite top heavy. And, in conjunction with all of the other sculpted parts, it generally creates a figure that’s not great for much other than standing. The main change-up between the two Dooms is paint. While the MvC release was in more game accurate colors and featured metallic armor, this one goes for a more print-styled flat color scheme. It works well enough, and it’s definitely a more unique take on the character, compared to what we tend to see. I think it helps the detailing on his faceplate stand out better, but leaves the arms and legs looking slightly bland. Doom is packed with three accessories: a pistol, and alternate head with Doombot detailing, and a clear display stand. I really like the Doombot head. It’s a quite fun touch, and seems to especially work well without the cloak over top, thereby making the figure a good deal more playable.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I grabbed these two back when they were new, from my regular Minimate haunt, Cosmic Comix. Reed is a solid figure, marred not by anything about this figure himself, but rather by the lack of any other members to match him. Ben’s an easy enough fix if you just want to swap out the pelvis, and Johnny’s just really a head swap, but there’s no matching Sue, and that’s a little sad. So soon after the MvC version, this Dr. Doom felt a little redundant, and ultimately inherits all of that figure’s flaws without any time to have fixed them. That said, the Doombot head does quite a bit to salvage this guy. Overall, he’s a decent offering.