Character Building Mini Figure Review
Character Building Mini Figures (Series 1)
Special Ops, Black Knight
2 Inch Scale
By: Character Options
$1.99

It’s 8 days into Mego Month and I haven’t gotten a single bit of Mego content up. That’s not exactly a good thing, but I promise Mego goodness is coming. Truth be told, I’ve sort of got caught up in the mini figure world, along with being really busy. Which brings us to a review for this morning, on something I found at the local Toys R Us by total surprise.

Character Building Review

It’s Character Building micro figures! You may remember I reviewed the Character Building 11th Doctor set a while back. Up until now, that set was either imported or carried in specialty shops. While over in the UK, Character Options had managed to get their brand of mini figures into stores, I never expected to see them in the US. Surprisingly it’s the generic figures that are showing up and not the Doctor Who licensed ones.

Expendables Mini Figure

Still, I love mini figures and I liked the Character Building Who figures, so at $2 per figure, I decided to give it a whirl. I went in completely unaware of what most of the figures are (they only showed 6 on the package) and I wanted to get the Frankenstein/Zombie guy. Alas, I didn’t score him… But do I like what I did get?

Packaging:
These come blind bagged, in a pretty simple bag similar to all the other ones out there on the market. Although it says 12 to collect on the package, only 6 are shown. This leaves half the figures as a mystery.


The back of the package is really plain. That seems to be a common trend with these mini figures or “Micro-Figures” as they’re called here. Honestly you’d think these companies would find something better to do with that space. It does mention that these are distributed in the US by some company called Jonic Distribution North America… Whoever the hell that is.


Inside is a double sided sheet that shows off the other figures. I think it’s a little strange that the ninjas aren’t advertised on the front. You’d think a ninja figure would be a big draw. Likewise, I think it’s a little odd that none of these figures are labeled with names. I do appreciate that they tell you which ones are rare.

I used the old tried and true method of feeling around to figure out which guy I was getting. I was able to figure out a Knight pretty easy (at the time I didn’t know there were two knights) but I failed at getting the monster man. I felt the vest of the Special Ops guy and thought it was the brain head of the monster zombie dude. Oh well, I was 1 for 2.

Sculpt/Paint:
The bodies are a complete reuse of the simple bodies that we saw with the Doctor Who figures. This is the basic Character Building body. All of Series 1 use this very basic body, just repainted. So there’s no unique sculpting on the bodies themselves.

Knight armor

Each figure comes complete disassembled. I don’t really get the point of this, for the record. I guess it helps in keeping the “mystery” element alive, but it’s not like there’s a whole lot of fun in assembling these guys. It takes under a minute to pop them together.


The Knight is really cool, with the big bucket style helmet and the cross opening in the front. It’s not your standard generic knight. He has a little bit more flavor to him. The tampo work is really nice and clean which gives him a pop of color. It definitely works to brighten up the otherwise pretty monotone figure.


The shield is pretty basic, but the dragon on the front is great. It matches the dragon on his chest. The sword, although only one color, has some sculpting elements to it that are really nice. There’s even some detail on the hilt. He comes with a small cape as well.


The helmet is the full head. There isn’t another head underneath or anything. I think it looks good, although perhaps a little paint on the helmet would have made it stand out a bit more.


The Special Ops guy is a bit more boring to me, but he could work as a member of U.N.I.T. or something. Actually it almost looks like he’s been designed to be Barney Ross from the Expendables or something. Maybe it’s just me that sees that in the figure.


It almost looks like he has sloppy paint work on the face, but it’s actually a very detailed tampo application that makes the face streak paint look like it was actually done by hand. You can almost see fingerprints in it. It’s a very nice bit of detail on something so small.


His vest is a semi-hard rubber and it is removable. On the plus side, he’s got a shirt printed on underneath so you can have him go without the vest.


Or you can swap heads with another figure in this range.

Articulation:
The articulation is really basic with swivel neck, swivel wrists and hinged arms and legs. It’s basically the same amount of movement you can get with a Lego man. Although the way the bottom half connects, you can also get a swivel at the waist, but it’s awkward.


Posing is going to be pretty basic, but I do feel like these guys have a bit more heft and charm to them than a regular Lego.

Accessories:
Each figure comes with a couple of things and a stand.


The Special Ops figure has a black stand and a gun. His vest could also be an accessory. The stand is nicer than any of the other mini figure stands I’ve seen to date. It has a knife printed on it and a CB logo.


The Knight has a brown stand with a sword printed on it. He also has his cape, sword and shield. He’s got some nice gear all in all.

Value:
At $1.99, these are some of the cheapest mini figures around. I don’t know how well they’ll do in the United States, given that they almost come across as bootlegs. Not in quality, but in presentation. If you’d never heard of these guys, you’d think they were come cheap junk. However the truth is that these are very nice little mini figures. I think they have more charm than Legos, at least on the base level. However the choice of characters is pretty bland.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 5
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 4
Accessories – Sword, Shield, Stands, Cape, Vest, Gun
Value – 10
Overall – 8 out of 10

Black Knight Figure

These guys score a pretty high 8 out 10 for me. While they lack the depth in character selection of Lego, the base body appeals more to me because of it’s rounded features. Each guy comes with a couple of accessories and although I much prefer the Knight to the Special Ops guy, both are pretty neat. Part of me wants to get quite a few of these Knights. They could come in handy for some Doctor Who mini figure time traveling stories.

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