#1331: Chief Tyrol & Mortar Pack Cylon



One of the appealing things about collecting Minimates is the ability to have a very wide range of properties all in one consistent style.  Their main Marvel line is pretty much always running in tandem with at least one line based on a popular Sci-Fi property.  Currently, that’s Aliens, but a few years ago, their sci-fi line of choice was Battlestar Galactica.  While it was never a huge seller, the line ran for 4 series before getting cancelled, and even then it was picked up for another two series by Toys R Us.  I’ll be looking at one of those sets today, so let’s dive right into the review!


Tyrol and the Mortar Pack Cylon were released in the second Toys R Us-exclusive series of Battlestar Galactica Minimates.  This pair is notable for being one for the few sets in the two TRU series not to be re-purposed from the cancelled Series 5 and 6 or New Caprica boxed-set line-ups.


“One of the more troubled members of the Final Five, Chief Galen Tyrol resigned his commission after the loss of his wife and tried to find happiness with his son Nicky before learning the truth about his family’s past.”

Poor Chief.  Dude was a serious punching bag, especially later in the series.  He was pretty lucky when it came to Minimates, though; this was his third.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  He’s built on the standard base body, with add-ons for his hair and the bottom of his shirt.  The shirt is a standard piece and the hair came from Ghostbusters’ Ray Stanz.  The hair seems a touch bulky for Chief, especially a later in the series Chief, but it’s not terrible.  The rest of the details are rendered via paint.  Early BSG Minimates were a bit more on the simplistic side, but when TRU brought the line back, the level of detail was brought up to par with the more current stuff.  Chief’s got some pretty solid detail work, especially on his uniform.  The likeness on the face is a bit iffy.  Personally, I’ve always felt it looked more like Tamoah Pinikett (who played Helo on the show) than Chief’s actor Aaron Douglas.  I think Douglas just has one of those faces that doesn’t really lend itself to the ‘mate aesthetic, as his earlier ‘mates weren’t much better.  Chief included no accessories, but I’m not exactly sure what you’d give him.


“Capable of downing enemy aircraft from stealthily concealed positions, Cylon ground forces often include at least one Mortar Pack Cylon Centurion. When damaged in battle, these destructive units can even repair themselves on the fly.”

The Cylon Centurions were the bread and butter of this line, since they were kind of the easiest way of keeping the packs at least somewhat interesting.  Chief may just be a normal dude in drab clothes, but that’s okay, because he’s packed with this sweet ass robot, right?  The figure uses the same starting base,  as every other Minimate, but with add-ons for the faceplate, chest piece, hands, pelvis, and feet.  They’re the same pieces that had been used countless times before for other Cylons, though the chest piece has been tweaked ever so slightly to allow for the mortar pack to be plugged into it.  The pieces all make for a decent enough approximation of the Cylons from the show.  I wish the upper torso were a little more mobile, and I’d really like to be able to actually use the neck articulation, but it’s decent enough.  The details are nice and sharp, especially on the torso and face, and he looks suitably different from the standard Minimate, without deviating so much as to lose the aesthetic altogether.  The paint is a bit more lax on this guy, but it’s still pretty solid. The gunmetal grey is applied cleanly, and all of the detail work is pretty sharp.  The only accessory is the titular mortar pack.  I don’t know if this was ever actually used on the show, but it’s a pretty cool piece nonetheless.


There’s not much of an exciting story behind this set.  It hit Toys R Us, and I went and got it from my local store.  That’s really it.  I had a lot of the BSG Minimtates, but I can’t say I was ever super into any of them.  This set’s about average for the line.  Both ‘mates are well made, but there’s not a whole lot of excitement here.  If you like the show and Minimates, I guess you’d like these.


#0142: D’Anna & Apollo




We’re continuing with my old faithful of lines to review, Minimates.  This time around, I’m taking a look at a set from the BSG series of Minimates.  BSG Minimates were a line that Diamond really wanted to see succeed in spite of a just mild reception from the fan base.  Pretty much every major character from the series was released at some point, which is a pretty decent feat, but the first 4 waves of the line can still pretty much be found for exceptionally low prices.  Two additional waves were originally announced to continue the line and pretty much wrap up any missing characters, but orders proved too low.  Then, for some reason, TRU came to the rescue, and granted the line two more waves, a reboot of sorts.  The Toys R Us waves are generally seen as being far superior to the preceding waves, and can still command some decent prices.  Today, I’ll be taking a look at one of the TRU sets.


These two were released as part of first TRU wave of BSG Minimates.


First up is one of the series 12 human Cylon models, D’Anna Biers aka Three.  Three had quite a following, due to being played by fan favorite Lucy Lawless.  She’s presented here in her all white get-up, which I believe is what she wore following her model being reactivated later in the series.  She’s built on the standard Minimate body, so she has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall.  She features 3 sculpted add-ons: hair, coat, and skirt.  The skirt is a generic piece that’s been seen on a number of female ‘mates, but the hair and coat appear to be new.  I’m not a big fan of the coat, as I feel it’s needlessly bulky, but the hair looks pretty spot on for the character’s appearance on the show.  The paint is minimal on this figure.  She’s got face and torso detailing and that’s about it.  The face is nice, and looks pretty close to Lawless, certainly much better than Diamond’s first attempt. The torso detailing is nice, and allows you to display D’Anna without the coat.  D’Anna included no accessories.


Next up  is one of the central characters of the series, Lee “Apollo” Adama.  This was Lee’s 3rd Minimate, and his 2nd in his flight suit.  The figure appears to be based on his look in the final season of the show after he quit being a pilot for a while and had lost his more close cropped military hair.  Originally, the head was meant to go on a suited body to represent him from earlier in the season, but he’s been put in a flight suit, giving him an appearance close to what he had in the series finale.  He features 4 sculpted add-ons: hair, flight vest, belt, and holster.  All the flight suit stuff is reused from the previous flight suit characters, which makes sense.  The hair is a new piece, and it looks pretty good and has a lot of potential reuse.  The paint is fine, though, all the lines and such are clean.  The metallic green of the flight suit is also of a higher quality than previous pilots, so it’s less prone to chipping.  I think that this ‘mate has a closer resemblance to actor Jamie Bamber than the previous two, which is cool I guess.  Apollo includes a flight helmet and a hand gun.


I picked up this set at my local Toys R Us (which is no longer there.  They just moved it across the street, but they had this big “store closing” sale, and deeply clearance everything.  It was weird.)  when they were released.  I know the series had ended not long before and I was fairly excited to get these guys at the time.  They’re still very good Minimates, but I’ve lost a lot of my interest in BSG, so they mostly all sit in a box these days.