#1557: Ellen Ripley

ELLEN RIPLEY

VINIMATES (DIAMOND SELECT TOYS)

“After surviving the xenomorph attack that killed her crewmates, Ellen Ripley was found and awoken years in the future to learn that the discovery site of the lifeform, planet LV-426, had since been colonized. Joining a military expedition to the planet, Ripley knew that even a single xenomorph would pose a danger to the entire colony, and if any escaped the planet, they could threaten the galaxy.”

Hey, while we’re on the topic of competitors to Funko Pop!, why not take a look over at Diamond Select’s stab at the world of collectible vinyl figures, Vinimates!  My Vinimates collection is modestly plugging along, and so far is only made up of figures just from my favorite properties.  Of course, I’d so far missed my all time favorite movie, Aliens.  Let’s fix that.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ellen Ripley was released in August of 2016, as one of the two Aliens-themed Vinimates (the other being the Alien Warrior).  Like the first proper Ripley ‘mate, this one’s based on her hive-storming look from the end of the movie.  It’s a distinct look, so it’s a good choice.  She stands about 4 1/2 inches tall and she has an articulated neck (a ball-joint, just like the others in the line).  Ripley’s sculpt is, of course, all-new to her.  It’s notably divergent from the smaller-scale take on this same design.  The hair should, in theory, be a little closer to Weaver’s from the movie, since it’s a new piece rather than a straight re-use, but I personally find it to be too close cropped for her hair.  It’s not terrible, though.  She’s posed hunched over, like she is while she explores the hive, holding her combo pulse rifle/flamethrower.  It’s a good look, and pretty standard for this particular look.    Her paint work is decent enough.  The base colors are pretty good matches for the movie, and the application is mostly clean, though there are some fuzzy lines.  The face is a decent enough likeness of Sigourney Weaver, though it’s kind of funny that her eyebrows aren’t filled in.  I would assume that’s not an intentional change, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I kept meaning to pick up Ripley, ever since she was released, but I just sort of kept forgetting.  Admittedly, Vinimates are not usually at the top of my priority list.  I ended up finally getting her because she was marked way down during Luke’s Toy Store’s Black Friday sale, and that was enough to prompt me.  She’s decent enough, though I don’t know that she’s quite as exciting as the other two.

#1465: Iron Giant

IRON GIANT

VINIMATES (DST)

“Arriving on Earth from an unknown point of origin, a colossal robot explores his new environment and befriends a young boy. But as aggressive actions are taken against him by the military, he must battle his violent programming to be who he chooses to be.”

I love robots, I love period pieces, and I love Brad Bird, so it’s probably not a huge shock to find out that I also love The Iron Giant.  In fact, it’s safe to say that Iron Giant is one of my favorite films (I had the film’s poster hanging in my room for many years).  Since the film was never a huge commercial success, it only had a very modest selection of toys at the time of its release, followed by a whole lot of nothing.  Those few toys all carry a substantial after market value, so anyone nowadays looking for an Iron Giant fix is going to be a little let-down.  Or at least they would have been up until very recently.  Diamond Select Toys picked up Iron Giant as one of the slew of licenses they’ve added to their ever-expanding Vinimates line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Iron Giant was released in May of this year as part of DST’s over-arching Vinimates line, alongside Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet, Nite-Owl, Comedian, and Rorschach from Watchmen, and Lydia from Beetlejuice.  This is the standard version of the Giant, but there was also an SDCC-exclusive version sporting his “super hero” logo from the film.  This figure stands almost 5 inches tall and has a single point of articulation at his neck.  On the plus side, the neck joint is a ball-joint, which sure does offer a lot of possible posing options to mix things up a bit.  After looking at the B-9 Robot, which strayed quite a ways from the Minimate aesthetic which spawned this line, Iron Giant is a bit more of a return to form.  He’s still very specialized in his sculpt, of course, but it’s more conceivably built on the standard body…even if it actually isn’t.  The Giant makes the transition to this style very well; he was already very geometric to begin with, so it doesn’t take too much to get him to the end point.  My favorite part of the sculpt is definitely the head, which just really gets down the character of the Giant.  My only very, very minor issue with the head is the lack of the small dent near the top.  It’s sort of important to the plot, so its absence is more noticeable.  Still, very minor.  The Giant’s been given a hands-on-his-hips hero pose, which is certainly in keeping with the character, and allows for an easy translation to the “super hero” variant.  In terms of paint, the Giant is mostly a lot of greys, which are accurate to the source, but perhaps not the most exciting.  Some of the transitions between the shades of grey are a little sloppy, but the overall look is decent enough.  I do really like how well they’ve handled the eyes, giving them that sort of glowing feel.  It looks really cool!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was super excited when this figure was unveiled, and I was fully intending to pick him up as soon as he was released.  And then life got in the way and I got distracted for a while.  Bad on me.  So, I ended up waiting several months to pick him up, which turned out to be in my favor, since I was able to score him for $5, courtesy of a grand opening sale at Lost in Time Toys!  I really, really like this guy.  The B-9 was cool and all, but he didn’t really sell me on this line as a whole.  This guy’s a different story, because he shows what this line can be at its best: an augment for Minimates.  Sure, he’s not quite in scale with the little guys, but he’s large enough that you can comfortably put him with the Hogarth from the two-pack (which I still really need to grab) and have it look pretty darn respectable.  I’m all for more stuff like this!

#1182: B-9 Robot

B-9 ROBOT

VINIMATES (DST)

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Last Monday, I took a rare look into the world of Lost In Space.  That was cool.  Why not do it again?

Minimates are a frequent topic of reviews on this site, and today’s focus comes from what is effectively the big-brother line to Minimates, Vinimates.  Now, Vinimates is a relatively new thing.  The line was officially launched at SDCC in 2015, but didn’t really get any proper releases until early 2016, and it really started picking up steam towards the end of last year.  They share a lot of stylings with Minimates, but in terms of actual feel, scale, and general design, they’re a lot like Funko’s various Pop! lines.  I’ve yet to really break into Vinimates, so why not start things off with one of my favorite designs of all time, the B-9 Robot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

lisrobotvini2The B-9 Robot was released as part of the Lost in Space sup-set of the larger Vinimates line.  He hit stores in mid-October, wedged in-between the Ghostbusters and Predator Vinimates.  The figure in today’s review is the standard version, but like the big electronic B-9, there’s also an Anti-Matter variation, which was available through select specialty retailers during Diamond’s Local Comic Book Store Day event.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall (about twice the size of your average Minimate) and has 1 point of articulation at the neck.  Most vinyl figures don’t sport more than that one point (including Pop!s), so it’s no surprise to see Vinimates follow the same pattern.  Of all the Vinimates currently available, the Robot is the one that least follows the Minimate aesthetic.  There’s no sign of the usual arm articulation (which is present on other figures in the line), and all of his details are sculpted on, rather than the usual painted line work we usually see on Minimates.  This isn’t too far removed from the Robot’s smaller predecessor, who made use of a pretty extensive selection of sculpted add-ons in order to properly convey the character’s unique design.  I’d say the closest connection this guy has to a Minimate is the slightly squarer shaping of his legs (and even then, it’s not that far removed from the Robot’s on-screen design).  Nevertheless, this figure has a pretty impressive sculpt, which does a great job of caricaturizing his show design into something slightly more goofy.  Even with his more cartoony nature, he’s still sporting quite a bit of detail work, which is quite impressive for this style of figure.  The paintwork on the Robot is pretty solid too.  It’s mostly basic color work, but it’s all appropriate to the design, and the application is nice and sharp.  As a larger figure, he’s able to make use of more clear plastic in in the appropriate sections than the mini version, which makes for a slightly more interesting look.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Robot was given to me for Christmas by my parents.  No goofy story for this one, I’m afraid, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy him.  I’d been looking for a good entry point into Vinimates, and this guy was definitely the one for me.  He’s certainly different from what I usually expect from DST, but a solid offering nonetheless.  Who knows, maybe Vinimates will be the next big thing?

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