Tag Archives: MiniMates

Black Panther – Marvel Minimates (Toys R Us and Walgreens Exclusives)

We are getting ever closer to the next Marvel movie – Black Panther. We know from the previews of Avengers: Infinity War, that the warriors of Wakanda play a pretty major role in battling the evil that comes our way. The figures are out for Marvel Legends, and Minimates. I was able to grab all 5 sets in one afternoon, stopping at Toys R Us and then Walgreens on my way home from work a few weeks back. There are only the five sets between the two stores. Comic stores only got the 4 pack this time around. Really good for those of us who do not have a comic store nearby that will stock the 2-packs. It is really hard to get that one last 2-pack that is an exclusive to the comic shops a lot of the time. Not this time around. For those keeping track the four figures in the box set are:
Black Panther
Powered Up Killmonger
M’Baku
Shuri
So, we have 2 of the figures, Black Panther and M’Baku in these 2-packs. But Shuri and Powered Up Killmonger may just be a pair that will require getting this set as well.

Here we go. We will start with the 2 sets that are at both stores, and then look at the exclusives.

 

First up is Black Panther and M’Baku.

The first pack better have the star of our movie in there. And it does. This is a new armor, or Habit for T’Challa. He comes with M’Baku, who in the comics, wanted to take over Wakanda. So, we will see what comes of this guy in the movie.

M’Baku comes with a long staff. It has a big knot at the end. I am sure he goes around knocking people over the head with it. Black Panther on the other hand, does not use any weapons, so his only accessory is T’Challa’s hair.

The paint apps on BP are really well done. The suit is a really dark grey, and then there are black and silver apps, plus white eyes added.

 

Killmonger and Ulysses Klaue:

Well, isn’t this a pair. This is a set of bad guys to be sure. Killmonger looks like he wants to be Black Panther. Erik Killmonger’s family was kicked out of Wakanda. Erik will come back to exact revenge on T’Challa. As for Klaue, we know him from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Last time we saw him, he was selling missiles to someone before Ultron showed up to make a deal with him for Vibranium. When Klaue started to mouth off, Ultron cut off his arm. It seemed to be an accident, as Ultron could not grasp the idea of how fragile the human body really is.

Since he had Vibranium (same stuff as Captain America’s shield), and the only place on earth to get it is in Wakanda, there was a strong tie of Klaue to Black Panther even before Black Panther showed up in Civil War. Since Klaue lost his arm, it looks as though he got an upgrade of sorts. His prosthetic arm separates into two parts to allow a weapon (sonic device) to be used. This is in connection to the comic Klaw who has a sonic weapon for a hand.

Killmonger comes with a hair piece. This is a great hair piece unlike anything I have seen in the Minimates lines before. Klaue comes with a second arm where the prosthetic is in the closed position with lines that show where it could open.

 

Dora Milaje Nakia and Okoye (TRU EXC):

The Dora Milaje are the bodyguards of the King of Wakanda, and potential wives of the ruler. Nakia comes with a pair of ring blades. She is a spy for Wakanda and travels the world. Okoye is the leader of the Dora Milaje. She come with a spear that is said to be nearly as sharp as her tongue.

So with that, we have 2 of the members of the Dora Milaje. We did not get Ayo, who talked to Black Widow in Civil War and said, “Move or you will be moved.” A tough lady for sure. Hopefully we will get some more Dora Milaje later on, maybe in a Infinity Wars pack or something.

 

Tactical Killmonger and Casino T’Challa (Walgreens EXC):

I don’t know what is going on with Killmonger’s outfit at this point, but I cannot wait to see what transpires to have a guy in tactical military clothes with a crazy looking mask, and two swords. Killmonger also comes with a hair piece. More on the face in a bit. In the meantime, T’Challa is looking sharp in a printed suit coat.

 

Everett Ross and Powered Up Black Panther (Walgreens EXC):

Everett Ross was introduced to us in Civil War, like Black Panther. Martin Freeman was quoted as saying about Ross, “you don’t know whether he’s good or bad, so you’re not quite sure which side he’s on. It looks a little bit like he’s playing one game when actually he’s playing another.” It will be interesting to see what role he plays in the movie. Maybe he is still hunting for Bucky, who happens to be sleeping in a cryotube in Wakanda. He comes with Powered Up Black Panther. We have a regular Black Panther, and now he gets Powered Up. He was a lot for Cap and Bucky to deal with when he didn’t have extra abilities. He is going to be a handful for the bad guys when he gets mad.

There are the three faces of T’Challa. I am really glad they didn’t just give us three of the same heads. The Black Panther head looks placid, while Powered Up looks mad. Casino T’Challa is somewhere in the middle.

And since we are looking at 3 T’Challas, we should look at the 2 Erik Killmonger heads. Unhappy and “What are you talking about.”

This is a great set of figures. There is a nice wide range. A couple of bodyguards to go along with all of the Panthers. A lot of bad guys to play with too. And I will reserve judgement of Ross for which side he is really on.

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Marvel Minimates – Thor: Ragnarok – Walgreens and Toys R Us sets

With Thor: Ragnarok only a few weeks away, it is time to break into these MiniMates boxes and see what we have going on here.

Gladiator Thor and Hela:

Gladiator Thor and Hela are one of the two packs that are the same across the series. They come dressed for battle. Thor is wearing his gladiator outfit that we are very familiar with from the preview. The details in the outfit are fantastic. He comes with two blue/green swords that have replaced Mjölnir after it was destroyed by Hela.

Hela comes in her over-the-top headdress. It is so wide and fantastic looking. Hela also comes with a cape that is bit too long for her. It touches the ground before her feet, so she leans forward a bit. Good thing I was posing the figures in sand.

They both come with an additional accessory. Thor comes with his short hair, while Hela comes with an unmasked head and long hair.

Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie:

Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie are the other set that are the same amongst the retail sellers.

Hulk is nothing short of amazing in this small scale. He is HUGE! Well relatively huge anyway. He stands nearly a head taller than any of the other figures. He comes with lots of additional body parts to beef up his arms, legs and torso. There are great little additions here and there to make him larger overall using the same basic body as a standard Minimate and then going from there. He has his hammer and axe going into battle.  Valkyrie looks good. She comes with a sword that matches those of Thor in color. The design is unique. She also has a half cape similar to Thor, with a different color.

These two also have additional accessories. Hulk comes with hair, and Valkyrie comes with two small daggers. They are SO small. I am sure I am going to lose them soon.

It is not a surprise that these would be the four figures selected to be in all retail packs. You have to have the main two stars, Hulk and Thor, and you want a bad guy as well as someone else of interest. This is a good start.

 

Roadworn Hero Thor & Civilian Loki:

The Walgreens Exclusive side consists of 2 more 2-packs. The first is Roadworn Hero Thor and Civilian Loki. Thor looks to be in a toned down version of his Avengers outfit. We don’t know what he has been up to yet, but I am sure he is going home for a bit of a rest (you know because he is Roadworn Hero).

Loki is just a civilian at the moment. We know that won’t last long, but I like the all-black suit. It suits Loki very well. The only accessory in this set is Thor’s Mjölnir. We know what happens in the previews with the hammer…

Skurge & Grandmaster:

The other Walgreens Exclusive pair is Skurge and Grandmaster. We saw Grandmaster last at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Now he plays a major role in this movie as he is the leader of Skaar, and the reason we get to see a battle between Thor and Hulk.

Grandmaster is played by Jeff Goldblum, who I really like as an actor. Along with him in this set is Skurge who is played by Karl Urban, who I think is a totally under-utilized actor today. Skurge looks a little on the fat side as opposed to being in armor.  Neither figure comes with an accessory.

These are interesting secondary characters that make for a richer collection. It is nice to get some figures that are not all the same.

All 4 Walgreens packs have the same back pictures and info.

Sakaar Loki & Heimdall:

The final set is the Toys R Us Exclusive. TRU only got three 2-packs for this series, and the first two showed up at Walgreens as well.

A fitting 2-pack. Heimdall had been cast out of Asgard by Loki who was posing as Odin. Heimdall does not have his gold armor, but he does have his fantastic sword.

In the meantime, Loki is in his second box and is being called Sakaar Loki. Guess he ditches the black suit for some super colorful armor. I am bummed to see that there were not additional accessories beyond Heimdall’s sword. We saw Loki in the preview flipping a few daggers. That would have been an easy addition to the set, since we just saw two that came with Valkyrie.

All 3 2-packs come with the same backing for the TRU set.

I don’t know about the rest of the Marvel Universe, but I have been dying to see these two go at it since they began fighting amongst themselves in The Avengers. This should be a pretty epic battle.

Overall this is a great series of figures. Lots of fun, as I am sure the movie will be. Now I just have to wait for the movie in a few weeks.


MiniMate Scale Vehicles

We will continue looking at MiniMates today. They are on my mind, since I have immersed myself in the scale to try and make a quality diorama for them, which I have never had before.  Now it is time to look for some vehicles. The scale of MiniMates is between 1/35th and 1/24th scale. I some 1/24 scale models around, and they are a bit too tall for MiniMates. I do not have any 1/35 scale cars to use.

But I do have Transformers, and plenty of Transformers. I figured, why not look at the newest of the lot. The Titans Return figures.  As a vehicle, a Titans Return Deluxe Class figure works fine. The cockpit is too small, since it is made for a Titan Master that is about half as tall as a MiniMate. Too bad, no going for rides in the cabs of these vehicles. But from the outside, they work quite well.

Comparing the robot mode, this works well too. This could be the start of some pretty fun photography.

And as you continue to increase the scale of the Transformer, it works better with MiniMates. It is a good thing Colossus didn’t attack Fort Max, thinking he was a Sentinel.


New Diorama in a new scale

A few nights ago it was window frame building night. Lots of windows in those old brownstones. My MiniMate diorama has begun.

I have been working this time to create a more multi-dimensional diorama for my figures. Since I am making this one for MiniMates, a lot of the pieces are smaller than I have been building in the 6 inch scale. Since I started the window frames, I have moved onto the stairs. I wanted this particular house to have a set of curved stairs to a landing and then a second set of stairs up to the front door. I think it is a cool architectural touch, and a potential for some fun photography in the future…if I ever get this thing built. I have since added the side railing, which is drying in the garage.


Road Trip – 5310 miles and an uncountable number of toy stops

I went on a 3 1/2 week road trip across America. We started here in California, went the northern route across Montana and North Dakota. We ended up in Wisconsin to see some friends before turning back and going across Nebraska and Iowa to see some friends in Colorado. From there it was a hard push home back to California. In all is was 5310 miles towing a travel trailer. There were lots of breaks along the way, mostly at Walmarts. Most of them were bust, but when I hit it big, It was really worth the stop.

In Star Wars, I was able to find the much desired Ashoka Tano. Along with her, I found the new Luke, Jango, and Kanan Jarrus.

In Colorado, there were clearance Halo 5 figures I didn’t yet have at Target. Looks like Target is clearing out most of their toy departments here at summer.

Marvel Legends proved to be very good. I first only found Iron Man for the Giant Man series. Then I hit it big time and found the rest of the wave. I also found Agent Venom at a Walgreens. I went in looking for the new figure, Namor, but came away with a super figure. It was also on sale, listed as Ant-Man, so that was an extra bonus.

In Transformers, I found the first wave of Legends figures in the Titan’s Return. Later I found the First wave of the Deluxe figures. They are so sweet looking. I also found a couple of Robots in Disguise figures. Quillfire was the first figure I found on the trip, early on just a few days in.

In Power Rangers, I found some great stuff, including Titano Charge Megazord, and the Archelon Zord. I found the missing charger I needed to complete the numbered part of the charges, and I found yellow ranger from Super Megaforce.

Then there were the randoms. Planes – Tractor Buck, TMNT – Dire Beaver, a couple of Hot Wheels, and two packs of MiniMates that were exclusive to Walgreens.

It was a great 3 1/2 weeks of travel. And getting to stop often to stretch the legs and look for good stuff in random states made some of the boring driving better.  I left in the middle of reviewing the Marvel Legends Absorbing Man series, and had more in Transformers I was ready to look at.   Not to mention some of the Japanese figures I have gotten my hands on right before I left.   There is a lot of stuff I was ready to tackle, and now the pile is huge.   Glad I have a few more weeks before school starts up again, and my life is sucked up with teaching.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles MiniMates – Wave 2

I love the number of accessories these guys come with.   Pizza in every box.  Weapons galore.   Don’t forget about the pets, Ice Cream Kitty and Spike.  What a great set of Turtles and secondary characters.  All of the figures come with a stand and a key chain.  I had so much fun taking pictures of these guys that I had way more pictures than I wanted to post here.  Check out the special album on my Flickr account for looks at the head swaps and more.

Leo comes with his standard head, along with scared face and Pizza Mask. Take off the pizza mask, and he has an unmasked face underneath.  He also comes with his two Katana as well as a grappling hook. He also comes with a pizza box.

Splinter has his cane and katana blade.

Casey and Mikey come with so much fun stuff. Casey comes with all of his sports gear including two hockey gloves, two hockey sticks, a baseball bat, and his scary mask. He comes with a painted face alternate head with his bandana wrapped around his head. If you take off his mask, you get a clean face Casey. You also get a set of hands to allow Casey to walk around in his normal street clothes.

Mikey comes with his nunchucks, happy face, smiling face, full pizza, skateboard, and Ice Cream Kitty.

Donatello come with a bladed version of his bo staff, as well as a grimacing face, love face, two slices of pizza, a mutigen finder, and a mutigen storage tank.

The Krang comes with a Krang, and a Krang’s gun. When you remove the Krang’s suit jacket, it reveals the Krang painted on the torso underneath.

This Donnie is the same version as the full color version, but you can see through him. He comes with his staff, but is missing the rest of the accessories.

The Krang in the set is the same as the Krang that comes in the standard set, but really, you need more than one Krang. It is a must for more bad guys.

Raph comes with his grimace face (standard for Raph), as well as a startled face. He also comes with two sais, three throwing stars, two slices of pizza, and Spike (before he went and got giant and mean).

Anton Zeck is decked out in his pre-Beebop gear. Someday he will be an ugly pig, but not quite yet. He does not come with any accessories, but he sports his awesome see-through mohawk.

I really like how they are all slightly different shades of green with different colors for their shells.  Even their pads and wraps differ.

Lots of good guys, some bad guys, and a lot of pint sized fun.

If you are looking for more pictures of these great figures, visit my TMNT Flickr Album Here. Click on my Flickr folder on the right menu bar for even more pictures.


Marvel MiniMates – Iron Man 3 (Wave 49)

Iron Man 3.  I really liked the movie.  I thought it was a lot of fun, and really moved Tony Stark forward in the Marvel (movie) Universe as well as looking back and connecting from Iron Man 2 through The Avengers to get to Iron Man 3.  There is a very nice linear approach Marvel is taking to really tie their movies all together.

The Marvel MiniMates have not really been on my radar as of late.   I was walking down the super hero section of a Toys R Us to see if I could find the remaining figures to complete my Marvel Legends Iron Monger.   No luck there, but they did have a nice collection of Iron Man 3 figures by our friends at Diamond Select.  What we end up with are two bad guys, 4 Iron Men, Tony Stark, and Iron Patriot.  It is not as if I need another Iron Man MiniMate, but these are new, the design is well executed, and there are some special surprises in there too.

Mark 42 and Mandarin:

There are a lot of bumps and color all over the Mark 42.   A really well done figure.  With the armor we get Tony hair and an extra helmet that has a removable face plate (more on that in a moment).   The Mandarin is in his evil Mandarin garb, with his short beard.  Fear not, he also comes with the long beard for easy swap for his onscreen time.

Back to the Mark 42 extra head.   Great for taking pictures of:

Tony in the snow. Mark 42 is out of power.

 

Iron Patriot and Extremis Soldier:

Iron Patriot looks bright and colorful with his new paint job.  He comes in his new slimmed-down appearance after shedding most of the weapons from War Machine.   He has the nice shoulder mounted cannon that can be removed.    Look down there.  It’s Rhody’s head.  So, whose head is under the helmet?  A little surprise I am not going to ruin for the people who have yet to go to the movie.  The Extremis Soldier is just starting to warm up.   Getting hotter!   He comes with a vest and a hand gun that can go in the holster on his leg.

Heartbreaker Iron Man and Tony Stark:

The Heartbreaker is one of the armors we see in the big battle at the end of the movie.  This Mark 17 can create quite a powerful blast out of the over-sized chest plate as well as creating shield.  He is a pretty menacing looking Mark of the Iron Man armor.

Along with Heartbreaker, we get Tony, while he was trying to perfect the Mark 42 in the movie.  He comes wearing the Mark 42 gloves and boots.  He comes with alternate shoes as well as hands.  One hand is bandaged.

Silver Centurion Iron Man and Skeleton Armor Iron Man:

Two more Iron Man suits.  Mark 33 and 41.  The Silver Centurion Suit creates pulse blasts that increase in strength the further they travel.  It also has some force fielding.  The Skeleton Armor is made for maneuverability.   Very light weight in design.  Both come with yet more Tony hair.

All that Tony hair leads to…

5 Tony Starks.  I guess he really is Iron Man.   The fun part is that we get 4 Tony heads.  The Mark 42 and Skeleton Armor heads are the same, but the other three are different.  Not that they would be displayed too often with their helmets off.

All 8 figures for the Iron Man 3 wave.  Really nice figures.  A couple of bad guys, and more armor for Tony’s Hall of Armor.  No repeats in this wave.  Nicely done!

The box features the Avengers Initiative logo.  I am thinking the Initiative of the Avengers was not what Tony did at the end of the movie, but maybe that is just me.  It will be really fun to see how we get to the next Avengers movie from here.


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