Art Asylum's Lord of the Rings Minimates
with Mr. Stinkhead
Details, details, details. These Minimates have the most detail I've ever seen on a minifig. By now you're familiar with the Minimates amazing articulation. If not, there are 14 points of articulated goodness on each figure. Having chased after the Marvel, Bruce Lee and Star Trek Minimates, I am pretty familiar with the impressive amount of articulation. In fact, now I'm spoiled... I'm a bit disappointed when I pick up a Kubrick. So I open these puppies and I was simply blown away by the amount of detail packed into this little package. The capes have trim, each chainmail link is drawn in, and the weapons and helmets are expertly fashioned. In addition, they recognized scale issues, and the hobbits and dwarfs are done in the Marvel Minimate size body, the humans and "normal" sized characters are the original Minimate body, and Sauron (a Tower Records exclusive) was supposed to be a new slightly larger size, but is the standard 3" size in final production.
Making a Minimate look like Spider-Man is not too difficult, get the right colors and the logos in the right place, and it's clearly Spider-Man. But getting a perfect cylinder to look like a well know real-person head is pretty difficult. Art Asylum pulls it off with their stylized take on each character. Hands down, this Legolas, to me, looks like Orlando Bloom. Things like hair and costume will help the brain recognize who everyone is supposed to be. But Legolas and Gandalf's figures are striking the right chords in my brain, and really look like their human counterparts. [Ed note: if any of you goobers write in and try to say elf counterpart... I'll be surprised. No one ever writes in]
Art Asylum went nuts providing accessories too. Frodo being the most impressive with a real tiny, real metal ring on a string that you can drape around his neck. Practically everyone comes with a sword or staff, and a scabbard for that sword that connects to the belt of the character. Again, the detail put into the accessories is incredible. As an artist, I wouldn't have the patience to work in this much detail when I'm already working on a solid design. And in the day of stream-lined animation style figures and illustrations, these are the perfect balance of Minimate design rules and the actual character.
Minimates are great for sitting on your desk without taking over. Stealth toy collecting, the new hobby... (I just started a new job and massive collections aren't entirely accepted yet. I'm breaking them in slowly) So the figures are quite articulated, but with the capes and tunics, they can't stand in too many outlandish positions.
The New Bases
A new addition to the world of Minimates, the feet have been re-tooled to include large holes on the base of the feet. Two on the big guys, one each on the little guys. In each package are two clear bases with building brick style pegs and holes on them. You can attach the figures to the bases, and then attach the bases to popular building brick systems. Nice!
I like the window packaging showing you exactly what you're getting. (The Toys R Us 4 packs will have one "hidden" figure like their Marvel assortments). However, I'm still not sold on the happy trees Hobbit-land inspired illustration. It's kind of light and airy. I was expecting more stone, steel and despair type battlefield stuff. I won't go off on it... but it's a little too close to Care Bears or Rainbow Brite. But if you're a MOC type of collector, you can keep these in the packaging and see the product nice and clear.
I'm pretty excited for the next wave. I definitely have to pick up Gollum. I am anxiously awaiting a Ring Wraith. If you're a Minimate fan, you'll absolutely dig the new figures. If you're a LOTR fan, and need something new to satiate... these are worth hunting down. Check out the rest of our Minimate coverage. ActionFigureXpress.com has these figures in stock.
Also check out ArtAsylum.com
All images and article © 2004 MillionairePlayboy.com.