The Minimates from Art Asylum are an interesting example of American consumer-driven miniaturization. Kind of like how mini-Ritz crackers are preferred by some to regular Ritz crackers, Minimates is apparently where somebody said, “Hey, let’s make action figures, but smaller!” And an entire wave of toys was born.
I’ve never really had any dealings with these little critters before, so I was surprised to see just how much articulation they’ve got: fourteen points (neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles). So you’re basically able to handle just about any pose you would want, although action poses appear to be the norm, since despite what the figures’ facial features are on the box, they’re all grimacing and/or growling. I was trying to figure out what they were all pissed about, but considering that when you take off Magneto and Juggernaut’s respective helmets (and Cyclops’ visor), they’re bald–and there’s only one spare hair piece to share among the three of them–I’d probably be a little pissed myself. Or it could be because none of them have noses. That would really piss me off. They get points, however, for having Cyclops’ eyes be full-on red under the visor, and giving Juggernaut and Magneto full faces under their gear. Wolverine’s hair comes off too, inexplicably.
These are pretty slick for what they are, the costumes are from the Morrison days of the title, and well painted, except for the odd nit: Wolvie’s claws have flesh paint on them in places, for example. But these things are tiny, so what the hell.
This four-pack of characters comes with a DVD and a nine-plus minute CGI movie starring the X-Men in minimate mode. Along with the figures, there’s also Archangel, Storm, Jean Grey and what all the press stuff calls “Ultimate Beast,” which is crap, honestly, since it’s the same old “new” Beast that appears in the regular comics. Not sure where that came from. Anyway, if you like the Minimates, you’ll probably enjoy the short film, even though the dialogue is on a par with what’s in the X-titles these days: i.e., no one in any universe could ever talk like this. Unless scripted by Claremont.
Basically, if you like the Minimates figures, you’ll go for these. If not and you prefer your action figures more…well, action figure-sized, then you won’t. Wolverine does look pretty amusing wearing Cyclops’ hair and visor, though.