Guest Review #0032: Liara




The following is a guest review from my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica.  Take it away Jess!

Heyo! Today’s guest review will be the next installment of the Mass Effect Minimates. Honestly, I should have done this sooner, but oh well! Last time I reviewed Wrex and now I will talk to you guys about the last alien companion in this series.


Liana2Liara is part of the first series of Mass Effect Minimates, exclusively released at GameStop. The series features an assortment of the main characters from the Mass Effect franchise, including some of the alien companions that Shepard picks up along the way.

Liara T’Soni is a pureblood Asari researcher who has dedicated her life to studying the mysterious, and long gone, Prothean race. Commander Shepard first finds Liara on the planet Therum, where the young Asari had been researching the Protheans before the Geth arrived. After being saved by Shepard, she is the last to join the Normandy’s crew and she is the third character with biotic abilities, after Kaiden and Wrex. In the first game, she is used to find her mother, Matriarch Benezia, and she utilizes her abilities to aid Shepard in deciphering the Prothean “vison” that s/he received earlier in the game. Her character is very innocent in the beginning, but by the time you run into her again in the second game she has lost her innocent shell. In Mass Effect 2, she is still your ally but no longer a part of your team. Instead, she gives you information relevant to the mission. By the third installment of the series she is once again fighting by your side to save the universe from the Collectors and the Reapers. By this point, her innocent researcher demeanor has been replaced by a hardened badass biotic fighter.

For the figure itself, the Minimate is about 2 ½ inches tall with 14 points of articulation. The figure has a standard body with a skirt-like add-on. Liara’s head, however, isn’t very standard because of the sculpted hair tentacles, and yes that is a thing. I actually rather enjoy the detailing on her head, it’s well done and they even gave her really tiny freckles! For accessories, she was given a tiny heavy pistol and a clear blue plastic hand piece that is supposed to represent her biotic power. The costume that they used for the figure is one of the options for Liara in Mass Effect 3, and personally my favorite of her costumes. The detailing on her chest and leg pieces are pretty awesome, except for some places were the paint didn’t quite make it in between the lines. Her skirt has some of the same issues, where the paint isn’t quite perfect but as long as you aren’t holding the figure right up to your eye, you don’t really notice. The figure is still pretty cool and well done, especially with the costume design and hair tentacles.


This figure was a present to me from my amazing boyfriend, Ethan, this past Christmas. As a character, I find Liara’s transformation pretty interesting. She starts out as a little naive scientist/researcher who needs saving from the game’s early villains, after tackling the galaxy over and over, she hardens into resourceful battle-ready companion that has done a lot behind the scenes to help Shepard and the galaxy. Honestly, she kind of freaked me out at first because she is a possible lover for both Shepards, and some of her actions made a younger me very nervous. After a while though, she grew on me and by the time I started playing the third game she had become one of my favorite characters. I loved that she broke out of the typical female scientist mold and became a strong, independent woman who didn’t always need help getting out of a sticky situation. Her Mass Effect 3 character design is very much her ‘butterfly’ form, or finale stage of development, and I’m happy to have her on board!

Guest Review #0026: Wrex




The following is a guest review from my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica.  Take it away Jess!

“Anyone who fights us is either stupid or on Saren’s payroll. Killing the latter is business. Killing the former is a favor to the universe.” – Urdnot Wrex

Heyyyo! Today on this episode of Ethan’s Super Awesome Girlfriend Reviews Mass Effect Minimates, we will be looking at a member of the Krogan, an alien race full of mercenaries so badass even their women eat nails for breakfast and crap grenades!


WrexJ2This figure is part of the first series of the Mass Effect Minimates, exclusively released at GameStop. The series includes some of the main characters from the Mass Effect franchise, including a few of Shepard’s alien teammates.

Urdnot Wrex is a Krogan mercenary and the third alien companion that you can pick up at the Citadel in the first Mass Effect. He is the classic hardened warrior, whose view of life has been warped by the battles that he’s been through. In some ways, he can be compared to Canderous Ordo, a playable character from the Knights of the Old Republic game (also made by BioWare). Both characters are jaded warriors working as mercenaries with a darker view on life, but both can be redeemed in some way if you make the right choices. Unfortunately for Wrex, your actions affect him more in the first game than the other. Depending on the actions you make or don’t will decide whether Wrex survives the first game and make an appearance in the others. If he lives, he becomes the leader of the Krogans and helps you in the next two installments of the series, but never as a playable character. That’s right, he’s a part of your squad for only one game, unless you buy the Citadel DLC, but that doesn’t make him any less interesting! In fact, after the first game there are other places where you may have to kill him, depending on how much influence you have over him and how much of a paragon you are.

The figure stands at about 2 ½ inches and has 11 points of articulation. Wrex has a regular Minimate body with a unique head and lower legs, like most of the other aliens in this series, as well as a pair of thigh cover add-ons. The Minimate is based on the character design from the first game, which makes sense since he doesn’t always appear in the later installments. The paint detailing is fair for the outfit, though there’s not much to comment on since the armor is almost completely red. The face, however, is pretty impressive because they were able to capture his scary, angry look that makes his enemies piss in their armor mesh. The figure’s mold is also pretty nice, with great detailing in the armor, such as the ridges and the mesh, and his legs are also extremely detailed as well. The figure also comes with a clear plastic stand and a shot gun. Wrex’s shotgun has the standard shape and design and the molding of it is well detailed.


Even though Wrex can be a bit of a handful at times, I really enjoyed him as a companion, especially with his darker humor. I am sad to say that I couldn’t save him the first time I played the game, and I was extremely heart broken when I watched the scene unfold, and I’ve tried to save him ever since. But now I have him in my collection, and it makes me so happy because I would feel terrible without him! I got this figure from Ethan as a Christmas gift, but not at the same time as all the others in this series. As you may have heard already, Ethan got a bunch of Talis when he was trying to complete the set, but he didn’t get a Wrex, at all. It wasn’t until after we got back from the beach that he was able to trade a Tali for Wrex with the awesome JediJohnson, one of his fellow Minimate Multiverse members. Now my set is complete and I shall take over the world! Mwhahahahaha! Nah, just kidding! …Or am I? >:D

Guest Review #0024: Tali

TALI (as labeled on the packet)



The following is a guest review from my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica.  Take it away Jess!

Heyo! Welcome to the next episode of Ethan’s Super Awesome Girlfriend Reviews of Mass Effect Minimates (long title right?). Last time I reviewed Shepard’s first alien companion, Garrus. Now, I’ll be reviewing Shepard’s next companion, Tali’Zorah vas Normandy.


TaliJ2This figure is part of the first series of Mass Effect Minimates, exclusively released at GameStop. The series includes some of the main characters from the Mass Effect franchise, including several of Shepard’s alien teammates.

When you first meet Tali’Zorah nar Rayya, or Tali, she is a young quarian going on a pilgrimage as a rite of passage. After you help her on the Citadel she can join your team, deciding that helping you save the galaxy is a good enough pilgrimage to aid her people. By the second game, Tali finished her pilgrimage with the information that you gave her in the first game, becoming a mature adult quarian and a respectable member amongst her people, receiving the title of Tali’Zorah vas Neema. Later in Mass Effect 2 Tali joins your crew once again to stop the Collectors and to save the human colonies. During her Loyalty Mission she gains the title Tali’Zorah vas Normandy, which is Commander Shepard’s ship, and decides to keep it after the mission is complete. In Mass Effect 3, Tali helps her people to defeat the Geth, the creatures that the quarians had originally created, and to retake their homeworld. She once again joins Shepard’s team when the Normandy decides to aid them in their fight with the Geth.

So for the actual figure itself…Tali is about 2 ½ inches tall with 12 points of articulation. She has a standard body with new shins, and a skirt-like add-on. Her head is made of clear purple plastic, and is covered with a removable helmet/hood. The figure also comes with a clear plastic stand, a standard pistol, and a clear orange plastic omni-tool that’s not removable[it’s supposed to be!–Ethan]. The Minimate is modeled after the costume design that first appeared in Mass Effect 2, which is personally my favorite. It even includes a knife that’s strapped to her lower leg (which isn’t even used until a possible cut-scene in Mass Effect 3). The paint job on the figure is really nice, especially the chest piece, which has a lot of really small detailing. They also painted her ‘eyes’ on the clear head, which I though was great because it gives the same effect that you saw in the game. She includes a pistol and a clear display stand. The Minimate is a well done representation of the game design, and I think it’s great that they even tried to make her calves extend further away from her body than humans. My only complaint is that she didn’t come with a shotgun. Yes, she does use pistols in the game, but in Mass Effect 2 and 3 she is proficient in shotguns as well, and actually uses them more. I mean really, why can’t a girl have a shotgun? They’re great for killing zombies or, in this case, Husks!


So as you may guess, I got this figure for Christmas from my amazing boyfriend, Ethan. I later found out that she was one of six other Tali figures that he got when he tried collecting all the Mass Effect Minimates for me. Isn’t that just proof of how awesome she is? I think so anyways…

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a really big fan of Tali. She has a wonderful and classic story that allows you to see her transform from a ‘teenager’ to a respectable adult. She has a strong personality that is full of determination, but unlike classic ‘strong’ women in gaming she isn’t a bitch. As a character, she is one of my favorite female companions (after Shepard) because I think she can be a wonderful role model for anyone. And I absolutely love her and Garrus as a couple, which can happen in Mass Effect 3, so I am thrilled to have them both as Minimates! 😀

Guest Review #0020: Garrus Vakarian




The following is a guest review from my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica.  Take it away Jess!

Heeeyo! This is the third installment of the Mass Effect Minimates reviews done by yours truly. Today, I’ll be talking about the first alien to join Shepard’s team in Mass Effect, Garrus Vakarian.


GarrusJ2This figure is part of the first Series of the Mass Effect Minimates, exclusively released at GameStop. The series includes some of the main characters from the Mass Effect franchise, including several of Shepard’s alien teammates.

Garrus Vakarian is a Turian that was originally part of C-Sec, the law enforcement of the Citadel. He is one of Shepard’s first alien companions in the fight against Saren in the first game and he is a constant companion through the series. He is also one of the ‘poster’ characters who shows up in the series’ promotional stuff. When you first meet him, he’s fresh out of the box, with his own ideas of justice, grating against C-Sec. In Mass Effect 2, Garrus becomes a sharp-shooting vigilante named Archangel, using his own justice to punish criminals kinda like Batman. By the third game, he is willing to die for Shepard in the fight against the Reapers. He’s one of the few characters in the series to stick with Shepard through the entire ordeal, never giving up or losing faith in Shepard’s ability to lead.

The figure is 2 ½ inches and has 13 points of articulation. He has a standard Minimate body with an additional chest plate, and unique head and leg pieces. The figure is modeled after the Mass Effect 3 costume design for Garrus. The paint job is nice, though not as well done as the Shepard’s; his face is really detailed and I like how they also included the scar that he got in Mass Effect 2. Overall, the design transferred well from game pixels to figure. Finally, the figure comes with a standard stand and a well sculpted sniper rifle.


Garrus was another part of the Mass Effect gift that Ethan gave me for Christmas this year. This is a really nice figure. I especially enjoy the detailing to the face and the addition of a movable targeting visor. In the games, I really enjoyed having Garrus on my team because I liked talking to him and watching him grow as a character. He goes from being a green cop to a hardened, loyal soldier and companion. I’m glad to have one of my favorite ME companions in my collection.

Guest Review #0019: Commander Jane Shepard




Heyo! This is the second episode of the Super Awesome Girlfriend reviews Mass Effect Minimates! Last time I talked to you about the Male Shep Minimate, so I found it fitting to follow up with Jane Shepard, or Fem Shep.


FemShepJ2This figure is one of the first Series of Mass Effect Minimates, exclusively released at GameStop. As I said in my last review, this series contains the characters from the Mass Effect game series.

Commander Jane Shepard is the female version of John Shepard, created for female gamers like me, or for those guys that like to play as badass women. I won’t waste your time restating the things I said about the character, so if you want more information just look at the Commander John Sheppard article.  It would also apply to Jane.

Fem Shep Minimate is about 2 ½ inches tall with 14 points of articulation. Ethan says that she has a standard Minimate body with additional shoulder pads and a hair piece. The figure has the same paint job as Male Shep, except this figure doesn’t have painted pecks but breasts and a woman’s figure. The paint job on this figure is well done, with great detailing in the armor, and the womanly figure is pretty realistic as well. This Minimate comes with two hair pieces, the generic hair style from the first Mass Effect, and the second one is modeled after the hair style of Mass Effect 3. Personally, I like the style from the third game, as it makes Fem Shep more badass. And finally, this figure comes with a detailed standard assault rifle, a clear orange plastic omni-blade that only appeared in the third installment of the game series, and a standard stand.


This was another figure that I got on Christmas day from Ethan. I really enjoy this figure because I mostly played as Jane Shepard in the games; it was only recently that I played as John. I actually really like Fem Shep in the games because she wasn’t designed to be really busty and seductive, she was a soldier and she truly looked like one too.  She was also a poor dancer, too bad they didn’t give the figure two left feet!

Guest Review #0018: Commander John Shepard




Heeeeyoo! It’s me again, the Super Awesome Girlfriend, Jess.

This addition of The Figure in Question is the first in a long line of Mass Effect Minimates reviews done by yours truly. Since last time I haven’t really learned much about action figures, especially Minimates, so some of the information about the figures will be supplied by Ethan, but my opinions and gaming knowledge is my own. So sit back and enjoy the reading!


JohnShep2This figure is part of the first Series of Mass Effect Minimates released exclusively by GameStop. As the name suggests, this series is comprised of characters from the Mass Effect franchise, created by BioWare. Today, I’ll begin with the main hero Commander John Shepard, also known as Male Shep.

Male Shep is the main playable character from Mass Effect, a role playing game set in space. The Commander is the first human to become a Spectre, an agent appointed by the Citadel Council to work inside and outside of the law to get the job done. The decisions that you make as the Commander will affect how the game unfolds to some degree, more so in the last installment.

The Minimate is about 2 ½ inches tall with 14 points of articulation. According to Ethan, the figure has the standard Minimate body with additional shoulder pads. The figure also has the generic face designed by BioWare. The body is painted like the N7 armor from Mass Effect 3, with amazing detail work, especially on the back of the chest piece. Along with the Minimate is a well replicated standard assault rifle from the game, an omni-blade made of clear orange plastic, and a standard stand.


This was one of several Mass Effect Minimates that I got from Ethan for Christmas. I remember him showing me pictures of the prototypes from one of the conventions. Of course, I geeked out when I saw the detailing in the pictures and told Ethan he should get them for himself. I geeked out even more when I saw them in person and found them in a present for me; I never thought that he would get them for me and I would be reviewing them. Male Shep was well done and looks amazing in Minimate form. Even when he’s 2 ½ inches he still looks rugged and badass.

#0434: Garrus



Part two of my short venture into the world of video games is today. Ha ha! Okay, so today, I’m looking at another Mass Effect character, Garrus. While I have a pretty decent understanding of Tali, I actually don’t know a whole lot about Garrus. I have been informed by both Tim and Super Awesome Girlfriend that he’s a pretty legit character, so I’m gonna trust them on that. Let’s see how the ‘mate turned out!


Garrus is part of the first series of Mass Effect Minimates, which are blind bagged and exclusive to GameStop. Those are not two of my favorite things, but I’m willing to do a lot for Minimates, my best friend and my girlfriend. The figures is roughly 2 ½ inches in height and he features 12 points of articulation. According to Tim and SAGF, Garrus is based on his appearance in the second and third Mass Effect games, which is apparently denoted by his scar. So there. It’s a pretty good design, and, like Tali, it translates nicely to the Minimate form. He makes use of the standard Minimate body, with non-standard pieces for his head and lower legs, as well as an add-on piece for his torso armor. All of the parts are new to Garrus. They’re well sculpted and look like they’re pretty accurate to the source material. The torso armor is just a tad soft on the details, but nothing too terrible. The head also has an extra little piece glued on for his eye-thingy, which is pretty neat, although it doesn’t quite make it to his eye. Garrus’s paint is somewhat mixed. The detail lines are nice and clean, and the paint for his face is downright fantastic. However, the base paint, especially on his torso armor, is really sloppy and frequently misses its mark, which is rather unfortunate. Garrus includes a sniper rifle (which appears to be a new piece) and a clear display stand.


Hey, so remember how I bought ten Mass Effect Minimates and six of them ended up being Tali? Yeah, the next three ended up being ol’ Garrus here. So, that means I got a Garrus to keep for myself. Despite my lack of knowledge about the character, I must admit that Garrus sports a really cool design and he translated very nicely to the Minimate style. The paint could stand to be better, but I think Garrus makes for a really great addition to my Minimate legion. I hadn’t really intended to get my own Mass Effect Minimates, but if I was going to get two, I think Garrus and Tali are those two, so I’m actually pretty happy with how things ended up.

#0433: Tali



Okay, so I don’t generally get into the video game stuff much on this site. Sure, I play the occasional game here and there (though mostly just the LEGO stuff), but when it comes to video game action figures, I usually leave it to Tim and Christian to provide coverage. However, there’s one exception to that rule: Minimates. I will buy practically anything if it’s a Minimate. Heck, I watched the Kill Bill movies as an excuse to buy the Minimates. Recently, DST has picked up the license to do Minimates based on the Mass Effect series of games. I’ve never played the games, but I’ve watched other people play them, and I have to admit they have some pretty cool designs. I’ve gotten two of them so far. Let’s kick things off with Tali, one of the few characters I actually know a little bit about.


Tali was released in the first series of Mass Effect Minimates. They are blind bagged and exclusive to GameStop. If I didn’t have an irrational love of Minimates (and a few other driving forces I’ll get to later), I probably would have gone through the ordeal of getting them.  The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and she sports 12 points of articulation. I’m not an expert on the changes to the characters from game to game, so I don’t know which of the three Tali was based on. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say she’s based on the third one. Tali makes use of the standard Minimate body, with a non-standard set of lower legs, plus add-ons for the belt/skirt, mask/hood, and wrist-energy-thingy (it’s a technical term). All of the pieces are brand new to Tali and they do a great job of translating her look to the Minimate form. They also exhibit some very nice detail work and just mesh very well with the base body in general. Tali’s paint, while not exceptional, is pretty decent. She has a little bit of slop with some of the base paint. However, the colors seem well suited to the character and the detail lines are not only plentiful, but also clean and sharp. Perhaps one of the coolest touches is the eyes that have been placed on the otherwise undetailed clear purple head. The visor of her mask is cast in the same purple plastic, which allows just the faintest hint of her eyes to show through. It’s a really cool effect. Tali includes a small blaster pistol-thingy and a clear display stand.


So, story time. Both my best friend Tim and my Super Awesome Girlfriend Jessica are pretty big fans of Mass Effect. So, when this line was announced, I knew I’d need to track down a few figures for both of them. GameStop is not a store I typically like to venture into, so I resorted to ordering as many blind bagged figures as I could online. That ended up being ten. There are eight figures in the set, so I figured I’d piece together one set for Jess and give the rest to Tim. When they arrived, I was hopeful that there would be two Talis in the bunch, since Tali is Tim’s favorite character, and I wanted to make sure he and Jess both got one. I opened the first bag and it was Tali. Good start. The second was also Tali. Great, now they both get one. Then the third was Tali. Well, I like Tali enough, so I don’t mind having one. Then, the fourth, fifth, and sixth bags were also Tali. Six of the ten I’d ordered were same character. What are the odds? Ah well, Tali’s a pretty good figure. I actually quite like the design and I think it translates well to Minimates. Plus, who doesn’t want an army of Talis?

Guest Review #0013: Legion




Today’s review is written by Tim Marron.  Check out more from Tim over at Tim’s Blarg and Timsical Thoughts.  Take it away Tim!

If you recall I reviewed the DC Direct figure of Tali from the Mass Effect series some time ago. This time I’ll be taking a look at essentially her synthetic Geth counterpart, Legion, for he is many. It’s still just a single figure though, but whatever. Semantics.


This figure is based on Legion’s debut appearance in Mass Effect 2. The sculpt is all new, and given the slightly more intricate design of the character, it’s pretty well done. Sadly, as with Tali, the rest is a bit of a downhill trend. Legion has 14 points of articulation but they all feel like they were added after the fact as opposed to cleverly incorporated into the figure’s construction. The range of motion in each of the joints is not terrific either so its practically impossible to get him (it?) into anything resembling a natural pose. At a glance, the paint looks fine, but when you get down into the details the problems get a little difficult to ignore. There are a few spots of bleed over as well as some areas that just look poorly handled, namely, the detailing inside the hole in Legion’s chest which is covered in blue polka-dots. Sure, it’s meant to look like all the little lights of his internal mechanisms, but they don’t conform to any sculptural pattern, they’re just a regular evenly spaced dot pattern laid over a very irregular surface. Legion comes with a sniper rifle and a stand. Sharp eyed readers may notice that my figure has a different rifle than what comes in the box. This is because for whatever reason, DC Direct decided to swap Legion’s and Garrus’ rifles so that Garrus came with a gun that, in game, was exclusively used by Legion. Luckily a friend of mine saw the same issue with her Garrus figure and we agreed to trade rifles for the greater good. Legion has his share of problems. He is a decent depiction of the character if you’re willing to overlook a couple of things, but sadly thats all there is really. There’s not a whole lot of action to go with the figure.


I got Legion from my local ToysRUs kind of on an impulse. I already had the Tali figure from the same line so I expected it to have its share of problems. Nevertheless, given how Legion and Tali have a fairly important backstory in the game, I felt compelled to get him. Maybe it was how cool he was in the game, or maybe it’s the fact that, to my knowledge, no one else makes a figure of him. I guess he isn’t really all that many.

Guest Review #0002: Tali




Hey, guess who’s back. That’s right. It’s Tim with another guest review!

Those of you who read my review of Raiden from Metal Gear Rising will know that I love video games. One game franchise very near and dear to my heart is the Mass Effect series by Bioware. In particular, I absolutely love the character Tali. So, today I’ll be looking at DC Direct’s attempt to recreate her in plastic form.


This figure is based on Tali’s appearance in Mass Effect 2 and was released around April of 2011 as part of series 1 of DC Direct’s line of Mass Effect 2 figures. She stands about 6.5″ tall and features 12 points of articulation. The sculpt is decent. Being the first Tali figure released, all of the sculpt work is new although this figure was re-released as part of the Mass Effect 3 series. There’s nothing really mind-blowing but it is the right shape and proportion. It would be absolutely fine if the detailing was taken care of with the paint, but sadly this is not so. Most of the figure is painted in solid blocks of color with almost no attempt made to add shading or texture. This is not to mention the substantial amount of slop and even parts where the color is just plain wrong. They painted her helmet visor pink, for Pete’s sake! In terms of posability, it almost seems like the figure’s articulation was a rushed afterthought [welcome to DC Direct! –Ethan.] The joints in the arms and legs allow you to pose Tali in any combination of standing vs. awkward half-squatting and rigid stick arms vs. karate chop action pose. Fantastic. Her head can technically move, but given that her hood is made of rubber and glued down where it connects to her torso, turning her head ends up with her looking at the inside of her own hood. She comes packaged with a shotgun and a stand. The shotgun does not stay in her hand and due to the articulation issues in the arms, she can only hold it one-handed. She also technically comes with her Omnitool but I hesitate to call that an accessory because, while it is not an integral part of the figure, I’m not sure it can be safely removed either.


Tali was my first online action figure purchase as well as my first experience with a pretty disappointing figure. Although at the time I bought it, I was just excited about anything to do with Tali coming out so I jumped on it as soon as I could. It was only after that that I started hanging out with Ethan and learned that apparently this figure is pretty standard for DC Direct. At this point, I look at it and it’s not a great action figure, but it’s still Mass Effect, and it’s still Tali so despite all my criticisms, I can’t hate it.

Check out more from Tim over at Tim’s Blarg and Timsical Thoughts