M.A.X. MINIMATES — ELITE HEROES
“Mobile Action Xtreme, the world’s premier action response team!”
A large piece of Minimates success is how closely tied they are to all sorts of pop-culture. There’s a definite novelty to having all of your favorite characters from numerous media sources in one cohesive style. With that being said, one of the biggest holes in just about any toy collectors collection isn’t the main, licensed heroes; no, it’s actually the everyday joes who populate the background of all our favorite stories. The cops, firefighters, soldiers, etc. In 2010, DST offered Minimates fans the chance to add a few of those average joes to their collections, under the banner of M.A.X. Elite Heroes. The line was sadly limited to just two series of two-packs, a box-set, and a handful of vehicles, but what was released was pretty darn awesome. Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the line’s sets of Fire Fighters!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
There were actually five varieties of Fire Fighters available in the M.A.X. Minimates — Elite Heroes line. This represent the most basic of the group (the others were Smoke Jumpers and Chiefs). This set was offered in both Series 1 and 2 of the line, with one slight tweak; mine is the Series 2 version. Included in this set are effectively two versions of the same figure, albeit with brown hair for one and black hair for the other. Both figures stand about 2 1/4 inches tall and have the usual 14 points of articulation. They use the basic ‘mate body as a starting point. Both figures include standard Fire Fighter garb, which includes a helmet, a jacket, sleeves for the wrists, and a unique set of feet with bulky pant cuffs attached. The pieces all sit well on the body, and look like the gear gear that the real guys use. The details are nice and clean, and fit well with the slightly simplistic stylings of ‘mates. The second guy includes an extra set of arms, hands, and feet, as well as a belt piece and hair, allowing for a dressed-down appearance. There’s also a clear torso piece to allow for storage of his jacket and arms when he’s not using them. The paint on the two figures is virtually identical, apart from the previously mentioned hair colors. This means both guys have the same face. Most of the M.A.X guys were really generic facially, but these two were less so. They’re still generic enough to work, but they look a bit like twins. Fortunately, the nature of Minimates makes it pretty easy to swap the heads out if you want to. The rest of the paint is all pretty solid; there’s some slight bleed over here and there, but nothing beyond reason. The set was quite heavy on the accessories. In addition to the already mentioned extra body pieces, there was a hair piece for each figure, a helmet with a mask attached, an oxygen tank, a polearm, a flashlight, the jaws of life, and a fire extinguisher, and two axes. That’s a fun selection of extras, and allows you to build your Fire Fighters pretty much how ever you want to. There’s a reason these sets all ended up being rather hard to find.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I completely missed the first series of M.A.X. Literally never saw a single one in stores. They were pretty popular, and hit at a time when I wasn’t able to just swing by Toys R Us every few days to check. I almost missed these guys too. One of my local TRUs was going out of business and had a good chunk of products marked down pretty far. I ended up grabbing pretty much all of the Minimates they had in stock, which included most of the second series of M.A.X. (I never did get those Police Officers, though). This is probably my least favorite from the set, but that’s kind of a hollow qualifier, since they were all really awesome. It’s a shame we didn’t get more of these guys, but I’m happy I got the ones I did.