CAPTAIN AMERICA & SCARLET WITCH
When Minimates first started out, getting just one Avenger was a pretty big deal. It’s less of a big deal now, especially when it comes to heavy hitters like Captain America and Iron Man. That said, it’s still kind of cool to get those slightly less well-known Avengers, like Scarlet Witch. Although, it’s hard to imagine Scarlet Witch being quite as overlooked following her fantastic appearance in Age of Ultron and upcoming appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Time will tell.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Cap and Scarlet Witch were released as part of the 16th series of Toys R Us exclusive Marvel Minimates. They were done to sort of tie-in with the release of the Marvel Now!-themed Series 51.
This figure is Cap’s 29th foray into the world of Minimates (although it’s only the 27th for Steve Rogers as Cap) and it showcases Cap’s redesign following the Marvel Now! relaunch. The design still shares most of the pivotal details of Cap’s traditional costume, while also working in a few more movie-esque parts. Cap makes use of add-on pieces for his helmet, gloves, and belt. Each of these is a brand-new sculpt, and they are all quite well handled. The helmet is a very adept recreation of the comics design, and it features etched in lines for the ‘A’ and the head wings. The gloves are bulky, but not overly, and they offer a more intricate, stylized take on the character’s traditional flared gloves. The left glove has a peg allowing it to be used with the shield, and it can be swapped out with a non-pegged hand for display sans-shield. Lastly, the belt is a fairly straight forward piece, which does its job without being obtrusive. Isn’t that what belts are for? The painted detailing on Cap is really quite good. Some of the white areas on the helmet miss their mark just a slight bit, but the detail work, specifically on the figure’s torso which features an intricate hexagonal design, is very sharp and brings a lot of dimension to the figure. Also, even after all this time, I still marvel (heh) when Diamond gets the eye placement perfect on a figure. The eyes here line up exactly with the painted face, and it just looks really cool. For accessories, Cap includes the standard clear base, as well as his mighty shield, and a hairpiece that allows him to be displayed unmasked.
Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, hasn’t received anywhere near as many Minimates as the good Captain. However, this was her third Minimate and it was even released in fairly close proximity to the second. That’s not bad for a character most people hadn’t heard of before Avengers: Age of Ultron. Like Cap, Wanda is presented here in her first Marvel Now! costume. Unlike Cap, it moves a bit further away from the “classic” design. YMMV on how well that works out, but there were far worse redesigns during Now! Wanda has additional sculpted pieces for her hair/headpiece and the bottom of her jacket. These are new to the figure. The headpiece is similar to the two prior Wandas, but it sits a little lower, and the hair is a little fuller. It makes for a good rendering of John Cassidy’s illustrations of the character in Uncanny Avengers, which I feel certain is what they were going for. The bottom/skirt of her jacket is similar to Cap’s belt; it’s not the most thrilling piece ever, but it does what it’s supposed to. It’s nice that it has a more organic shape and flow to it than a lot of skirt pieces, so there’s that going for it. Wanda’s paint is mostly a mix of reds, befitting a character named the Scarlet Witch. The metallic red of the head piece certainly pops, although there’s a fair bit of bleed over from her hair, made more noticeable by the aforementioned popping of the metallic red. Aside from that, the paintwork is relatively clean. The detailing on the torso block is fairly sharp and does a fairly nice job of giving her a more feminine figure. Wanda is accessorized with a clear display stand and a pair of spell-casting hands, which were first introduced on the AvX Scarlet Witch. They were cool there and they’re cool here. They’re a great representation of her powers as they are usually depicted in the comics, and they make the figure stand out a bit more on the shelf.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got these two from TRU’s online store. Things actually went pretty smoothly that time. Generally, I overlook variants of A-listers, and I wasn’t super thrilled then Cap’s Now! redesign was unveiled, but I find myself very impressed with the quality of this figure. He reminds quite a lot of the original Wave 5 Cap, and that’s a very good thing. Wanda is one of my favorite Avengers, so I’m always happy to see her turn up in the various Marvel toylines. The Now! look isn’t my favorite, but it’s unique and it is certainly a valid choice for a figure. Being released in close proximity to a more classically inspired Wanda, this one comes across as a little less exciting. Still, it’s a solid Minimate and a decent version of the character.