Thursday, January 30, 2014

TRU 15 Transforming Thing/Herald Silver Surfer

I passed on this one a few times, but with the release of Series 48, that included three other members of the Fantastic Four and Blastaar, a plan started to formulate in my head. Clinching the deal was the Silver Surfer, whose betrayal of Galactus in Marvel Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 3 TPB thrilled me just three years ago. I soon after dug deeper into this character, picking up Marvel Essential Silver Surfer, Vol.1.  These are the books to read if you want to see the genesis of Galactus, the FF, and Silver Surfer coming together. Great stuff! This 2-pack is another with a double tray due to the deluxe accessories included. This should be real fun!   :D

While the Surfer is relatively vanilla, the translucent magenta accessories help out quite a bit. The board pegs onto a clear plastic flight stand Diamond included. His buff physique is tamped onto the torso, front and back, and his clenched teeth and furrowed brow look great.

Surfer's board-blast accessory is really supposed to fit onto the tail (below), though I had fun putting the blast below his flight stand for photographing. It's a nice touch that Diamond thoughtfully added Kirby-dots to for that Silver-Age feel I really enjoy!

Herald Silver Surfer with his master, Cosmic Power Galactus...

I'm glad I got into MiniMates after the larger characters started getting the sculpted overlays to beef them up, a most especially important upgrade to the ever-lovin', blue-eyed Thing! The boots on these larger MiniMates are prone to slippage, but they sure look cool. Diamond sculpted Thing's craggy orange hide really well, tamping a serious face on the figure that only his Aunt Petunia could love! He looks great...

Thing with my TRU 16 Indestructible Hulk...

What makes this Thing MiniMate special is the ability to strip off the rocks, and pop on the extra head, feet, & hands to make Ben Grimm. The Thing has reverted to his human form from time to time, adding dramatic effect to this tortured character, and it was revealed later that Franklin & Valeria developed a potion that allowed him one week a year to be his old self again. I love the details on Ben's orange flight suit- transforming him is a job, but worth the effort.

With the Nova Flame Human Torch to keep Ben company, I now have half the team. As Sue and Reed do, Johnny and Ben create a lot of human drama that made the Fantastic Four special in it's time. Trapped in their cosmic ray conditions, the gruff Ben bristles at Johhny's immature showboating and trouble making, but cares deeply for the youth nonetheless. In my opinion, this relationship is a foundational cornerstone of the book that made Marvel the giant it is today.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

TRU 15 Nova Flame/Annihilus MiniMates

I picked up the Nova Flame/Annihilus 2-pack some time ago, but decided to open it when I found anther 2-pack from the same TRU 15 wave of Marvel MiniMates recently. Having read the Fantastic Four #600 50-year Anniversary Special (2012), the former of these 2-packs was of interest to me, telling the tale behind Johnny Storm's apparent death and subsequent triumph over his Negative Zone tormentor, Annihilus. It's a frightening tale akin to stories of Hell, in which one is gorily killed every day, and revived to face death again and again. But the stubborn Johnny bands his fellow enslaved together and escapes with Annihilus in chains at his feet!

This is a great 2-pack, starring the Human Torch in his nova flame mode, the hero's maximum output of heat, dispelled omnidirectionally in an explosive manner. He looks like a regular Human Torch MiniMate, but does have several fiery accessories, including  fireball gloves, and a magnificent base any MiniMate fan that's collecting the Fantastic Four should have.

The figure also has extra flame shoulder overlay that laps over his head, and flame anklets for extra flare. The yellow eyes and classic Torch lines painted onto the figure's front side and face are perfect Silver-Age goodness! I love translucent plastic figures in general, and naturally, this character lends itself well to the treatment.

I like this Annihilus MiniMate okay- the spiked shoulder armor and bat wings are really dramatic! It would have been nice to get a Cosmic Control Rod with him, but he looks good and poses well, his wings articulated well enough to tilt from side to side for flying poses.

Annihilus creeps me out- he's all buggy with a killing disposition that's downright chilly. Johnny couldn't seem to kill him after many nova flame assaults. He's from the Negative Zone and hangs out with guys like Blastaar. Nasty creature.

This was an intelligent pairing that is still contemporary with the latest Fantastic Four saga recently concluding. The team just defeated Doom, Kang, and Annihilus in a dimension hopping, alternate reality colliding adventure that centered around old Johnny Storm's frantic race to stop Doom's plans for permanently undoing his team mates.

Be sure to visit the MiniMate DataBase!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mail-In MiniMates

Sure, I've received MiniMates by mail before, and though I've pretty much stopped doing "Hey Mr. Postman" posts here on the Super-DuperToyBox, these are the first loose MiniMates I've bought. I've been eyeing Gamora online for awhile, her 2-pack partner modern Nova's desirability too high for me to tolerate the inflated second market price they fetch together. I really wanted her anyway. And while Angela and AU Iron Man came in a nice box set, I was most interested in these two, unfamiliar with the whole Age of Ultron saga that concluded recently. Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy have become favorite monthly Marvel NOW! titles I've enjoyed in the last year, the latter of which all three of these characters have appeared.

This appears to be the Annihilation Conquest Gamora, my most recent exposures to the Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe. Her risque dress was toned down with the Marvel NOW! relaunch of Guardians, perhaps due to the marketing the multitude of toys sure to follow the forthcoming feature film. I love girls in green for whatever reason, and Gamora has become a favorite, like Polaris and She-Hulk. The ear rings attached to the hair piece are sassy, and she has a great cape and sword!

Angela has even more flash than her partner in cosmic battle, gold wings protruding from her orange locks and sculpted belt, tassels flowing from her rear sword sheath. Greatness!  Originally a Spawn character created by Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane, the warrior angel recently moved into the Guardians of the Galaxy after the Age of Ultron event, where I was introduced to her. She's rad!

I have some lady MiniMates I really love, but these two sure make a great pair!

 I picked up the Marvel Universe AU Iron Man last fall, who seems to have become the peg warmer of that wave, but he's a character I can't seem to collect enough action figures of. He just lends himself easily to a wide array of variants, being an armored hero.

The pegs have been saturated with Iron Man figures for years, but this version is special for his unusual color scheme. He's surely not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm somewhat fascinated by him. He's got a stock MM buck, but the dark, metallic silver on his body gives him dimension, and the odd choice of gold face mask is unexpected. I'm not surprised I like the light blue on black, being such a fan of the third Blue Beetle.

AU Iron Man didn't come with a base, but I thought this blue one looked cool, don't you?

Age of Ultron Iron Man with Marvel NOW! Iron Man...

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Monday, January 27, 2014

A Vs X MiniMates

I haven't yet read the A Vs X saga, but not out of lack of interest, rather lack of time. I passed on the TRU exclusive A Vs X MiniMates box set, which also included a Cyclops figure, my only regret having missed out on that Phoenix Killer Iron Man. Though I don't care much about Colossus as Juggernaut, this 2012 SDCC set had Hope Summers, and a nice Emma Frost. I also paid less for it and got free combined shipping with some other MiniMates on Amazon. Even if you didn't need another Cyclops MiniMate, this set has a lot going for it.

From what I understand, Colossus gained Cain Marko's Juggernaut powers during the Fear Itself story arc, where the majority of this character mash-up is played out. But the resolution of Piotr's new power is supposedly played out in A Vs. X, and so here we are, in spite of my marginal enthusiasm.

 I will say the helmet is spectacular, the colors vibrant, and I like the beefed-up MiniMates. He pairs really well with my Robot Hulk!

Like Wolverine, stick with any major action figure line of Marvel characters and you'll end up with a few Cyclops figures, but this one's special for his optic-blast visor accessory cast in translucent red. Mine is  hilariously bent like a limp bar of taffy, but it's a wonderful accessory!

Cyclops also comes with a regular visor and Scott Summers toupee. Admittedly, I like most all of the character's different outfits, probably because they are so similar and simple, so this modern version suits me fine. Diamond thoughtfully painted his gauntlets and boot tops underneath his accessory parts, so you can trim him down in size if you please. Nice.

A Vs X Cyclops with X-Factor and 90's Cyclops...

Emma Frost is somewhat of a vanilla MiniMate, but a deceptively great one. the cape clasp is simple but perfectly placed, a bustier strap molded onto overlay piece. Her oversized mane of blonde hair is appropriately glam, and lips understatedly lavender. I'm surprised delighted by this tiny temptress! Emma had shady beginnings as the White Queen of Sebastian Shaw's Hellfire Club, then starting a psychic love affair with Cyclops, who seems to have run amuck lately himself- it must be love!

Emma contrasts nicely with Crimson Viper, a character from the Capcom Street Fighter game, don't you think?  

Though the other figures in this set were nice enough, Hope Summers was the the motivation for this purchase. I read those Messiah War Cable books recently, and really enjoyed them. Hope is of interest to me due to her savior, Cable, but more well known for her status as first born mutant after the House of M event, whereafter the mutant population on Earth-616 was nearly wiped out.

Hope comes with a pistol that can be holstered, an oversized rifle Cable would be proud to carry, and a magnificent blast-off jet pack display that rocks hard. Behold...

The three-part assembly of this base is a little on the delicate side possessing more pieces to come apart when handling, but it stands up well enough, and plainly clever. Bravo!

Hope pairs nicely with X-Factor Jean Grey, their orange hair and green/yellow outfits- cute!

Hope Summers with Pepper Potts in her Rescue Armor...

This was a fun set I'd recommend to any Marvel MiniMates fan! All the parts worked well, and Diamond's attention to detail was superb. I was a fan of their Marvel Select figures first, but soon after won over by their MiniMates in a BIG way   :)  Be sure to visit the MiniMate Database!

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