DST

I’ve been really into Minimates and rekindling my love for Full Moon’s old Trancers movies. So a few customs later and I’ve started making Trancers Minimate comics. Let me know if you like, there could be more “down the line”.

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Metaluna Mutant from Diamond Select
Universal Monsters
Metaluna Mutant
8 Inch Scale
By: Diamond Select
$15.99

Halloween means more horror figures out on the shelves, thanks to Diamond Select Toys and their Universal Monsters license. They hit most of the big names in previous years, but this Halloween season they surprised us with some of their best figures to date. Including the awesome and ominous Metaluna Mutant, from the film This Island Earth, which is what we’ll be taking a look at today.

Metaluna Mutant Figure Review

This Island Earth is sort of the quintessential 1950’s sci-fi movie featuring plenty of atomic concepts that were big in the era. The film is actually pretty good even today, though it’s definitely dated. Many fans may remember it because it was lampooned in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. That no doubt introduced the infamous Metaluna Mutant to new audiences.

This Island Earth Figure

Sideshow Toys also produced a Metaluna Mutant figure back when they had the Universal Studios license. He was in the 8 inch format as well, but was far less articulated and detailed than this figure. There are currently two versions of Diamond’s Metaluna Mutant out there. This version, which was sold exclusively to Toys R Us and a slightly more expensive version that is sold at comic shops and eccentric retailers. That version comes with Interlociter device from the film, but the figures are identical.
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Battle Beasts
C2E2 Exclusive Vorin
2 Inch Scale
By: Diamond Select Toys

Ever since C2E2 there has been a lot of scuttlebutt about Diamond Select Toys new Battle Beasts line. The line officially debuted at the show, with Vorin being the first “official” figure of the new line from DST. Previously DST had given out similar freebie figures, but they were more concept than anything.


Along with the figure comes an ashcan comic that previews the upcoming IDW comic that will launch with the line. This sets up the toy line and the entire universe of characters that DST is creating.


How do the comic and the figure stack up? Well step inside and we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of this new and exciting line!

Packaging:
As a preview figure, this was given away in just a simple baggy.


They were giving these away every day at the DST booth at C2E2, but they went pretty quick from what I could tell.

Sculpt/Paint:
Since this is a sample figure to generate interest, it’s cast in translucent plastic and there are no paint applications. At the Minimates panel, we saw some previews of what the final figures would look like and they will have plenty of paint.


The amount of detail in the sculpt is pretty amazing. Translucent figures often allow you to get a good feel for how much sculpting is in a figure and that’s definitely the case here. It seems like every little nook is sculpted in some fashion or another.


The design is really cool and while the comparison will no doubt be made to Hasbro/Takara’s 80s line of similar style, there is a lot of difference here. The feet on Vorin are hinged backwards like a ram and this guy almost looks like he could be a MOTUC character, with his style.


In fact if I had to compare it to something, I’d say Masters of the Universe is the vibe I most get. This is a lot more sword and sorcery than some folks may be expecting. It’s like MOTU 200X, only with no humans or something like that…


These guys are sort of their own scale, but they will definitely make fun desktop toys and I think kids would get a real kick out of them too. From what I understand from the DST panel, the characters will also have a scale between them as well, with bigger guys like Gruntos actually being a bigger figure.


Yes, these figures are based off the Minimates body, but by no means are these just Minimates. Instead they’re sort of their own animal, with just a touch of Minimate underneath. You’ll note that the specific legs make Vorin considerably taller than a standard Minimate.


But if you’re a fan of Minimates, you’ll enjoy this line too. Much like a traditional Minimate, these guys can be deconstructed. This allows you to do a lot of part swapping. There is some difference in the hands (more on that in the articulation section) and the feet, but you’ll find that a lot of this stuff can be swapped with your Minimates.


This means there are already hundreds of parts you can add to your Battle Beasts from the previous Minimates lines and likewise, this can be added to your Minimates ranks if you want to give your Spider-Man some crazy armor or give a Minimate Ghostbusters a ram for a head.

Articulation:
Fans of Minimates will know that they are surprisingly articulated. They blow pretty much every other “block” figure on the market away in terms of articulation. Battle Beasts carry over a lot of the same articulation, but they do lose a few points.


For starters the armor on the chest and shoulders hinders the arm movement a fair amount. I suspect this will vary depending on the figure and subsequent costume, but in Vorin’s case, he’s got some limitations in range of movement here, that a normal Minimate wouldn’t.


Unfortunately the hips suffer the same fate as the loin cloth seems to limit the movement in the legs. Likewise, the feet do not have the ball jointed ankles that traditional Minimates more or less have. Also the hands are bulky “sleeve” pieces, which allows them only to swivel as the whole lower arm. I hope that’s something they fix in the future, as I found the lack of true wrist swivels to be a bit cumbersome.

Accessories:
For a freebie, this guy comes with a lot. I suspect the final figures will come with a whole host of weapons, just as Minimates often tend to do.


You get a shield, a sword and a removable scabbard for the sword. It all works quite well. The sword is a bit warped on mine, but it can be fixed and I think the translucent plastic may be part of that cause… That or walking around all day with it at C2E2 in a bag.


The weapons all fit nicely in his hand and he can hold them pretty snug. Likewise, they can be used for regular Minimates as well!

Comic:
The comic is short, but surprisingly engaging for just a few panels. It’s very violent, which is something I love, but may not be for everyone. It mainly chronicles a battle that Vorin and his friends Merk (the bird dude) and Gruntos (bad ass walrus man) have with some other creatures. I must say, if DST produces even half the Battle Beasts previewed in this comic, it will make for some very interesting figures.


Obviously this is a new line and a controversial one in some respects, but I think folks will find both the comic interesting and the toys a fair amount of fun. Hopefully future figures will be able to maintain a more even balance of cool design and articulation.


The comic is a lot of fun and it already sold me on Gruntos! I need that figure like, yesterday.


All in all, DST’s new Battle Beasts seem like a lot of fun and could be one of the breakout toy lines of the year. The Battle Beasts have landed and I for one, hope they stick around for a long time!