Figure 8 – Non-Marvel Minimates

The PoP! Stars give their take on the latest and greatest in Action Figures and Toy Lines in eight (succinct) parts.

We all know I love Minimates. We all know I love Marvel Comics. There should be no surprise, then, that Art Asylum’s most successful line – Marvel Minimates – is my absolute favorite toy line currently available. But what about the other offerings from the inmates?

Ghostbusters

When there’s something strange in your neighborhood and it’s two inches tall, it’s probably one of AA’s Ghostbuster Minimates. Available in original recipe or new Real Ghostbusters animated style, these figures bring the typical attention to detail in every aspect. Ghosts on flight bases, open traps, and proton beams all allow for some creative display options. The animated line is still in its infancy, so character selection is a little limited, but on the rise, and with their history with other properties, there’s no telling how far this line could go and who and what it could end up including.

Universal Monsters

Okay nostalgia fans and movie buffs, this sub-line’s for you. The line features Wolfman and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, packed in with great human figures of the likes of Larry Talbot and Dr. Reed. For an extra little bit of movie magic, the above monsters can be purchased in “black and white” variant form. And each monster has their own box set, too, if you’re looking to get your hands on a couple of damsels in distress.

Halo

I don’t pretend to know shit about shit when it comes to Halo, but I do know toys and I can safely say that the quality and quantity of Halo figures McFarlane has been cranking out at the 5-6 inch mark has been impressive, to say the least. But now, Art Asylum has joined the fray with their two inch terrors, and the possibilities are nearly endless. From alien threats to armor variations, Halo offers a rich selection of characters to build and arm. Hell, I’ve almost bought a set or two, myself, because the active camo figures features totally translucent base figures under their armor – just begging to be used in customization!

MAX

Speaking of customization… what other toy line has offered us emergency response workers and basic soldiers for our super heroes to work with, side-by-side? The Toys R Us exclusive MAX line of firefighters, police officers, and soldiers not only offer up background characters for your displays, but because of the easily-kitbashed nature of Minimates, the MAX figures are veritable treasure troves of new accessories and spare body parts.

DC

DC Direct controlled the production of the company’s Minimates and eventually brought the line to a close, but not before we got a damned fine selection of characters including the Trinity, the Hawks, Blue and Gold, and even characters like Salaak and Ma Hunkel. Villains in the line were a bit lacking, due largely to its short-lived nature (there were only ever eight waves) and few if any figures featured the kind of accessory pack-out the Marvel line has enjoyed. Still, while they were around and for what they were, the DC line was great, and most of your favorite heroes probably saw release. And if you still can’t find who you’re looking for, the C3 line of construction sets offered a few characters who didn’t make it to the regular assortments, such as Darkseid and the Jim Lee-styled Catwoman.

Movies

Sure, Ghostbusters and The Wolfman are movies, but Minimates dabble with so many other films. The Terminator franchise saw its fair share of ‘mates, focusing primarily on Sarah Connor and the titular machines themselves. Back to the Future mustered a quartet of boxed sets and a few ancillary two-packs. And both properties have since been bolstered by mini-vehicle sets: a T-800 Endoskeleton paired with a Skynet drone and Marty McFly packed in with the DeLorean. Toss in Desperately Seeking Susan, the Godfather, Platoon, and a whole host of other films, and any cinephile should be able to find something to float their boat.

Playstation Minimates

A recent edition to the mini-menagerie, Sony has released four 2-packs based on their games Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and Resistance: Fall of Man. While the figures from the two former sets are a bit specialized in their design, the latter two offer up some great basic figures for parts use. Or… if you’re a fan of any of these games, I suppose there’s that.

Calico Jack’s Pirates

On the heels of the MAX line (and coincidentally, right around the time of a certain Johnny Depp-helmed theatrical release), Art Asylum has released this proprietary line of pirate-themed figures. And where’s Tony the Tiger when you need him, because they’re grrrrrrrrreat! These figures feature some of the most intricate sculpting and paint apps I’ve seen from Minimates to date. They’ve also got some fantastic weapon pack-ins, like “Old Dad the Cooper”‘s bladed peg leg or Nukpana’s interchangeable weapon hands. Two versions of their ship will be available, a regular version as a Toys R Us exclusive and a glow-in-the-dark variant available at specialty shops (as reported by Zach Oat, below. I’m pretty sure he knows of what he speaks)

I’d make some kind of promise to lay off the Minimates for a while, but as long as Art Asylum keeps cranking out such fantastic product, I don’t think that’s a promise I could keep.

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Who ARE these people!?

Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

Comments (4)

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  1. TENIME says:

    Godfather got cancelled before being released.

  2. Zach Oat says:

    The pirate ship is definitely coming out. Regular version is TRU only, but comic shops get a glow-in-the-dark one. Seen the packaged samples myself. A video preview:

  3. Jason Kerouac says:

    HOLY CATS! It’s Zach Oat! This column just got 100% legitimater =D

  4. Joshua says:

    I’m still saddened by the cancellation of the DC line. They were wonderful and remain the only Minimates I have purchased.

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