Diamond Select Toys celebrates the 20th anniversary of their Mini-Mates action figure line with a box set that pays tribute to the Marvel animated series What If… as seen on the Disney Plus streaming service.
Mini-Mates are two inch tall, articulated figures that have been designed under a multitude of licenses, from Universal Monsters and Nightmare Before Christmas to Kill Bill characters. I’m always astounded at how the simple body form can be transformed to so accurately convey a character.
Along with their slightly larger siblings called Vini-Mates they’ve become some of my favorite collectibles. Even those of us challenged for space by decades of toy hunting and gathering can find room for a few more. This set’s quirky nature puts it on the top of my want list.
The exclusive anniversary pack-up pays tribute to What If… episode 5 of season 1, which features a corner of the multiverse where several of the heroic Avengers take on zombie afterlives.
The figures are designed by Barry Bradfield (@bradfieldart) and include undead versions of Iron Man, Scarlett Witch, Captain America and Doctor Strange. Doing battle with them are zombie hunter Spiderman and Scott Laing‘s head-in-a-jar, held aloft by Doc Strange’s magical cape.
They’re available starting on October 12, 2022 at comic and toy shops as well as on Diamond’s website.
By the way, those of you toy collectors who are also photographically inclined still have a few days to submit entries into the Mini-Mates 20th Anniversary Toy Photography Competition. October 17th, 2022 is the deadline.
Even if you don’t participate do hit DST’s Instagram (@collectdst) to see what your fellow enthusiasts have concocted.
Skeleton Pete Says…
The What If… zombie episode offered my first inkling that Disney/Marvel might be willing to go fearlessly into the fright zone. Although rendered in cartoon form, the characterizations were creepy enough to elicit some real scares.
Sadly, the latest Thor outing Love and Thunder went for more chuckles than chills and missed the opportunity to make Christian Bale‘s portrayal of Gorr The God Killer a truly threatening and brutal adversary.
That said, it’s clear from the special presentation of Werewolf by Night that they are ready to roar into a PG-13 or even R rated territory down the road.
Boogie-Woogie Battle Call…
Those looking forward to the January 6, 2015 two hour ABC Television premiere of Marvel’s Agent Carter, the Agents of SHIELD mini-series spin off, should also be aware of the concurrently launching Marvel Comics series Operation S.I.N..
Shake, Rattle and Damage Control…
While the television series tells the story of Carter’s immediate post World War II exploits in the S.S.R.(Strategic Scientific Reserve), Operation S.I.N. #1 will feature a 1950’s cold war scenario that pits Peggy Carter and Howard Hughs analog Howard Stark (Iron Man’s Dad for the uninitiated) against burgeoning H.Y.D.R.A. forces. They’re all on a collision course to recover powerful alien tech that is planted far behind the Iron Curtain.
We Were Promised Jet-Packs…
S.H.I.E.L.D. fans will be happy to know that “The Man on the Wall”, alien fighting hero Woodrow McCord Jr. will also feature prominently in the new book. His origins were revealed last October in Marvel’s Original S.I.N. Annual and now we’ll presumably learn how he first became connected with Howard Stark.
Written by Kathryn Immonen, with interior art by Rich Ellis, Marvel’s Operation S.I.N. teaser panels promise some butt kicking action and Bondian espionage. Find it in your local comic shoppe on January 7, 2015.
I, for one, am really enjoying how Marvel Entertainment is handling their cross-media plotline on the road to Avengers: The Age of Ultron, with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show expanding the Kree technology story, while Agent Carter will fill in the historical backstory of the pre-Nick Fury agency.
I’m thinking we’ll need Disney Infinity 2.0 Carter and Stark figures to do some video game stealth work.
Thanks to Ken Pierce of the PiercingMetal website for the heads up on this one.
The Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 Summit will be held on August 16 & 17 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The schedule is listed here, in USA Pacific Time, and you can virtually attend via live streaming.
Questions for the Saturday afternoon panel discussion can be submitted via Twitter using #DisneyInfinity. Use the same hash-tag to vote for your favorite Toy Box 2.0 creations in a competitive showcase/playthrough on Sunday.
What It Is…
As reported earlier the Disney Infinity 2.0 platform will introduce the superheroes of the Marvel Universe into the collector toy/digital game world with some beautiful character sculpts and challenging screen play.
One of Infinity’s strong suits has been the Toy Box environment, a virtual game forge that facilitates the creation of your own worlds to play in. It’s a concept that has been embraced by fans who have submitted “hundreds of thousands of Toy Boxes,” according to John Blackburn VP and General Manager of Avalanche Software. Taking feedback from the “active and vocal” Infinity community, Disney and Avalanche have announced major enhancements to Toy Box’s capabilities.
While free ranging in an environment of your own creation was fun the addition of more structured game play is welcome, as are easier to use creative tools, and the ability to design unique interiors and go inside structures. It’s important to note that all your previous builds will be usable and editable in Toy Box 2.0, as will all game characters, and power discs.
Here is the breakdown of Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 features:
Toy Box Tools
Procedural generation of content can now be accessed and harnessed through two primary systems:
• Creators – Tools that the player can place into the world in real-time, and a themed arrangement will be procedurally build that world within minutes.
• Builders – Non-player characters (NPCs) that a player can drop into their Toy Box to build out detailed worlds.
Players can use these pre-built Toy Box Games ranging from battle arenas to race tracks and customize them using the items saved in their personal Toy Boxes.
Toy Box Games
The Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack will feature Toy Box Game discs, which players can use to access standalone game modes including Tower Defense and Dungeon Crawler games that any character from across the Disney Infinity universe can play.
Players can now create their own interior levels where they can build rooms and theme them to their favorite characters. Unlock hundreds of furniture pieces and decorations based on iconic Disney and Marvel properties. New Toys
New toys allow players to make more detailed games with beginnings, endings, winners, losers, result screens and virtually any type of game including races, battles, collection-based games, defense games or exploration adventures.
• Challenge Maker – Allows players to create any type of game, including structured games within the Toy Box.
• Toy Box Game Maker – Allows creators to restrict core actions typically available in the Toy Box, such as the use of the magic wand.
• Text Creator – Allows builders to write their own text bubbles in the Toy Box. All text is filtered through a safe chat server for friendly writing.
• Creativi-Toys – More than 75 new Creativi-Toys allow players to customize their Toy Boxes even further.
The introductory Toy Box will now be filled with Game Play Hosts who are available to assign missions and answer questions, as needed. Players are free to learn and explore on their own, but can ask a host for help and they’ll even be rewarded with extra goodies once missions are completed.
Updated Online Services
A Newsfeed screen has been added to the main menu, giving the user an overview of the new online services:
• Increased Storage – Storage for locally saved Toy Boxes in a player’s private cloud has increased from 100 to 300 Toy Boxes. Support for downloadable published Toy Boxes has increased from 100 to 100,000 Toy Boxes.
• Like and Search User-Generated Toy Boxes – Players can “like” their favorite published Toy Boxes and find others that are well received. Quickly search through the published Toy Boxes using categories (developer picks, most liked, most downloaded, newest, trending, all Toy Boxes and Disney 1.0), and further refine the search with filters (genre, character required, ability required and Toy Box Games).
• Sharing with Friends – Share Toy Boxes with friends directly using cloud storage.
I’m can’t wait to begin battling as The Mighty Thor against Loki and the Frost Giants on the streets of NYC when the 2.0 Edition launches later this season and I wouldn’t mind trying my hand at building an Asgardian game space with Toy Box 2.0.
Sometimes Love Hurts…
The tokidoki universe is a world of paradoxes; cute little creatures with sometimes prickly or outre attitudes. Take for instance the Cactus Friends – cuddly animals that can’t be cuddled – or the 12 lions and lionesses of the soon-to-be-released Royal Pride family. The crown capped ladies are decked for a shopping spree with their perfect pink poodles by their side, while their maned male counterparts are equipped with crowbars, nunchuks, and ouzi’s, ready for a smash and grab or back alley rumble. Yikes!
Todidoki godfather/designer Simone Legno spun up his Japanese inspired fantasies online about 11 years ago which drew the attention of the Hard Candy cosmetics company. A partnership proposal brought Simone from Rome to LA in 2003 and launched the ever expanding tokidoki line of apparel, make-up and novelties.
New to the Zoo…
In addition to the newest Cactus Friends, (Porcino the pink piggie and yellow snuggie zipped rabbit Truffle) tokidoki is offering several Marvel Avengers tie-in’s in their spring 2012 line. Along with iPhone covers and skate-decks there’s a fun set of baseball caps with embroidered “doki-ized” superhero designs. This includes a winged Captain America cap, Iron Man, as well as the assembled Avengers. My favorite is the awesome Doctor Doom design. Each hat has a unique under-the-brim graphic that ramps up the visual impact, and – yes – there are brim labels for the sticker afflicted. Also on display at the tokidoki Toy Fair booth were Marvel themed Frenzies, little lanyard strung collectible charms that will be sold in blind boxed displays.
Be sure to check the tokidoki web site for a look at their diminutive punk rockers and classic Moofia designs.
In the hands of The Who’s Peter Townshend it could give a whole new meaning to “Hulk Smash!”, but one of the more surprising tie-in’s to be featured at New York Toy Fair 2012 is Peavey Electronics officially licensed Marvel Comics Series guitars and accessories. Some of Comicdom’s greatest superheroes are rendered on these straps, plectrums, percussion instruments and six strings, which run from entry level acoustic to student and upper tier electric models.
At only $49 the half size acoustic model is a great incentive for the young comic fan to try his or her hand at music. Electrics are offered as 3/4 ($139.99) and the full sized Rockmaster ($179.99). Peavey’s 3 Predator models sport more realistic imaginings of The Mighty Thor, Captain America, as well as a positively rippin’ graphic of Ghost Rider on his flaming motorcycle, and retail for $399.99. You can see the Predator models on Peavey’s website. Click any image to launch the gallery.