Art Asylum's C3 (DC Minimates)
Mini-Batmobile and Throne Room Battle
with Mr. Stinkhead
I thought it would take forever for this day to come, to have this talk with you. But here we are, and I'm laying out how unbelievably cool the new C3 playsets by Art Asylum are. We love Minimates around here, particularly the Marvel variety. At Toy Fair we finally got to see the DC Comic heroes on the familiar Minimate body. But instead of simply being sold in two or four packs, these figures came with bricks for building vehicles and playsets. Anxiously waiting since February to sit down and have this chat with you, today is that day. Man, now I know how parents feel with that whole puberty thing.
Why the Changes Now?
Put simply, getting the likeness rights (permission) for any comic book hero can be very difficult. A lot of times, more than one company has permission or ownership of a super hero. There are already action figures ideally sized for cloth storage compartments representing the DC characters. So a deal was struck that this line of figures would only come with building block playsets, as not to impede on the existing toys. Seems fair. I mean, I'd rather go out and just buy a two pack of figures, however, I have been longing for playsets and vehicles that are the perfect size for my Minimates. See the picture on the right for the conundrum I've faced for years.
Are They Any Good?
Yes, they're good. C3 bricks are sturdy, easy to assemble and break apart, and have a great mix of generic and stylized parts. They're perfect for making playsets and vehicles, and though some collectors have approached the bricks as the peas you must finish to get to the desert, do not worry these are nothing like peas. They're toys. If you eat these, they'll rip up your esophagus. You'll still want ice cream, but you'll have an awful stomach ache.
Get to the Good Stuff Dammit
Yes, yes, the figures. Ok, honestly, I almost poked my eye out with how excited this Minimate Batman made me. The overall look and feel for each figure is dead on. Batman, a good black and gray, Miller-inspired figure. He has the black emblem on his chest without the yellow oval, and the white, pupil-less eyes. The cape consists of two panels. It looks good folded up, but you can swing them up to enlarge his wingspan. The cowl and cape are soft rubber, allowing the them to be removed easily, revealing Bruce Wayne's internally tortured face. The cape is also built to allow full arm movement to get some of those great poses. Some of the accessories on the Lord of the Rings Minimates look the figures look superb, but their movement is restricted in the process. You get to enjoy all fourteen points of articulation with Batman, and he still looks good.
Robin, looks great with his Tim Drake style get-up. His gloves have sculpted ribs on them, the cape and hair are flexible, and the figure looks great overall. He comes with a silver soft rubber bow and a suction cup accessory for hanging off of smooth surfaces.
Darkseid looks great. I like the new feature of his tunic being hinged so you can seat him in his throne. For the Mini Batmobile the directions suggest you remove Batman's cape before placing him in the vehicle. So this is a nice feature, to cut down on wardrobe malfunctions.
Superman is good ole Supes. I've been reading Kingdom Come, so I'm glad his figure does not look like that old fogey. He's classic Supes. I did notice the lack of the yellow emblem on the cape, but that's because I'm most familiar with the movie. Speaking of which, here is one of the few Superman figures with bendable knees, and there is no General Zod Minimate for him to kneel before. The irony...
Can I Play With It?
Absolutely. Besides these latest Minimates being especially designed for mobility, there are some great action features worked in, encouraging you to get these out of the box and into your hands. The rear axle of the Batmobile is connected to the flame exhaust coming out the back. Roll the Batmobile across the floor and the flame spout will rotate. Nice effect. The Throne Room has a pair of Kryptonite shackles on the back for chaining up Superman, and a moveable clear support. Plug the support into the base of Superman's foot and he can take a flying position. I loved how this helps for cool Photoshopping shots. I also liked how the support connects to the stand at an angle, so you can control how high Superman is by rotating it. And of course you can plug the stand into virtually any spot on the gray base.
I should mention that being Minimates by design, their pieces are completely interchangeable with other Minimates of their scale. In this case, Marvel Minimates, and Hobbit/Dwarf/Gollum Minimates. The DC and LOTR Minimates have holes on the bottom of their feet for sticking to the block bases. One of the nice things here is that you can remove Batman's cowl and put a hair piece on from one of your Marvel figures.
It's a very exciting time... this did not satiate my appetite, it merely made me thirst for more. I want, nay, need the Batcave, the Chemical Plant and the full-sized Batmobile. I will of course also need the Batwing, Con-exclusive stealth Batwing, and Batglider. This is my bidding. Now I'm going to go use my eyes to burn my likeness into Mt. Rushmore.
Check out the rest of our Minimate coverage. Including the upcoming sets from Toy Fair.
Also check out ArtAsylum.com
All images and article © 2004 MillionairePlayboy.com.