#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.

#0020: Reborn & Suspended Animation Captain America Minimates



For today’s review, I’ll actually be looking at something I just got, for a change.  This is another Minimates entry.  Today’s review focuses on half of a set that was both a Toys R Us exclusive and a Fan’s Choice set: Captain America Through the Ages.  The set was released to coincide with Cap’s return to the land of the living, and featured four of his looks from throughout the years.  I’ll be looking at two of those today.




First up is the figure that functions as the set’s definitive Captain America.  This figure depicts Cap as he appeared right after his return from the dead.  It’s the classic Captain America look with a few minor changes that aren’t really noticeable.  The figure stands about 2.5 inches tall, and has the standard Minimates articulation of 14 points (well, technically 12, since the boots remove the foot articulation).  Minimates mostly rely on paint to convey the character, and it all looks crisp and well applied.  Like most of the more modern Minimates, he does have his share of sculpted pieces: Glove cuffs,  Mask, Belt and Boots, as well as an alternate hair piece for an unmasked look.  He also includes his mighty shield, for throwing, which can either be plugged into his left glove or his shoulder harness, depending on how you want to display him.  One thing he doesn’t come with, however, is an alternate left glove cuff sans the strap for the shield.  This is a bummer, because it effectively makes his really cool harness piece useless, because his glove looks weird.  I gave mine the right glove from SA Cap, because I think that one looks better sans gloves, but it would have been nice for Diamond to include the extra piece.




Interestingly enough, this figure also depicts Cap after he returned from the dead…the FIRST time!  Yep, this figure’s based on Cap’s appearance at the beginning of Avengers #4, right after the Avengers find him floating in the ocean, frozen in a block of ice. This is back when Cap’s long nap in the ice was about 15 years, not the 70 years it is now.  Anyway, the figure gives us Cap in his army fatigues, which have been shredded, revealing his Captain America costume below.  He’s got the basic Minimates articulation.  The painted details are once again really well done here.  The tears in the fatigues are quite well done.  He also has a few sculpted pieces:  his hair, gloves, belt, as well as both a mask to put on his head and one to drape over his shoulders.  He also comes with a spare set of ungloved hands, his shield, and coolest (heh!) of all, a chunk of ice to place him in.  I could complain that it’d be cooler if the chunk actually covered more of the figure, but it does the job pretty well.  This is a really neat variant of Cap, and is definitely one that will stand out on the shelf.


I was never able to track this set down at retail, and for whatever reason never got around to picking it up online.  When I saw it going for between 60 and 70 dollars, I just figured I’d missed my shot.  Fortunately, I was able to score these two loose on ebay for a decent price, and I’m really glad, because they’re great additions to my already large Minimate collection.  One of these days, I’ll get the other half of the set.  I mean, everybody’s gotta have a crazy 90s armored Captain America in their collection, right?  How could you not?