For years now, Minimates have been cranking out highly articulated, super deformed mini figs based on a number of different properties. I believe the longest running line has been the Marvel Comics offerings and can range from being based on the comics to cartoons to movies to video games. It seems there is no end to the possible variations Minimates can (and will) put out based on your favorite Marvel characters. One of those characters is Thor.
Thanks to the Thor movie a few years back, we got a number of waves featuring different characters from the Thor universe. Thor, in and of himself, is a pretty iconic and ridiculous character. He’s mythological, alien, viking, and Shakespearian tragedy all rolled into on package and Marvel has made him a central character in their universe. A mainstay of the Avengers and fairly popular with the comic reading crowd, thanks to the Marvel movies, Thor has entered into mainstream awareness.
I like Thor. I like the silliness of the character. I like that he talks funny and is larger than life. I like the weirdness of the Thor world. You take a guy and put him in a winged helmet, tights, striped boots, sleeveless shirts, and give him a hammer. It’s ridiculous. It’s awesome. How do you top it? How can you improve on this formula? Marvel answered not only once, but twice. Give him a beard. Turn him into a horse. Done. Game Over. People, you may be able to equal the greatness that is the comic images of Beaded Thor or Beta Ray Bill, but you can never surpass it. Like Original Coke, there is no topper.
So that leads us to the Minimate’s 2-pack of Armored (Bearded) Thor and Beta Ray Bill. How they missed the opportunity to split these two up and sell double the 2-packs I’m not sure, but I assume the cosmos conspired to assure that these two characters must be together. If you’ve ever bought a Minimate, you know what you’re getting here. You either dig it or you don’t. It’s a blocky articulated mini action figure. Large head and body, skinny legs and arms. A fair bit of articulation for a figure this size with balls at shoulders and hips and swivels everywhere else. The large amount of articulation can lead to a bit of looseness and parts that tend to fall off with much manipulation, but for the most part, the articulation is nice, if a bit limited due to the scale of parts.
The decos are what sell Minimates. They’re inherently cute with their toddler proportions and large eyed simplified face. Combined with a healthy level of detailing in both paint aps and accessories, Minimates really put out a product unlike anything else you’re liable to find on store shelves. These two figures in particular are nice. Bearded Thor has a ton of detail paint on the torso and his armor bits are very well done. The helmet in particular is keen. Beta Ray Bill has his unique horse skull head done very nicely. Even the hammers are nicely done, with Mjolnir even sporting a bit of writing on it. All in all, superb looking figures.
So, what’s the final verdict? Your mileage is gonna vary depending on how you handle Minimates in general. If you haven’t tried picking up a set, I’d highly recommend trying out a set that features characters you dig. If like me, you love the absurdity of alien horse headed Norse deity empowered hammer wielding badasses and his beaded Viking sidekick, then by all means hunt this set down and let the Valkyries sing of your wisdom and glory. Seriously, this set may make dead chicks on flying horses sing.