Diamond Select Halo Minimates
By: Art Asylum/DST
$10 at TRU, 10-15 bucks online
I don’t know what the relationship is exactly between DST and Art Asylum, I’m pretty sure the former owns the latter. Regardless, every time I pick up a minimate, I invariably want to pick up a host of others. With their tiny, easily collectible size and very affordable price tag, DST has a veritable golden goose that just keeps crankin’ them eggs.
Recently, they began making vehicles for their miniscule masters of awesomery under their “M.A.X.” line, packing one figure with a perfectly chibi-ized version fo whatever is their main mode of transportation. Being an old-school fan of the Warthog from Halo, you can bet this was on my list, sucka.
The big hullabaloo about minimates is seeing just how DST interprets your favorite characters. They all pretty much use the same or similar base and add a bit here or there to make them unique. With Halo, holy crap did they go all out. New parts? Helmet, chestpiece, pauldrons, codpiece, thigh-pieces (greaves?), gauntlets, and boots. All of it put together, this generic Spartan looks straight baller. That’s my word this week. Baller.
The paint on this guy is good and thick, but applied well and evenly, such that all the details of the armor are still easy to make out. I would have been fine if they painted on a few details here or there, but DST really went that extra mile and sculpted all the little panel lines and plates to make this really stand out from the other figures and even the other minimates on your shelves. The gun is sculpted with equal attention to detail and is held wonderfully in either of the little guy’s hands.
But come on, you didn’t come to see the driver, did you? Ka-chow!
You’re golldern right I used a Cars reference, I just don’t give a frak. The only 4×4 for all your Covenant-slaying needs, the warthog is just… it’s just… well come on dude it’s a minimates warthog! Do you know how baller that is? Look at it!
The turret, the cockpit, everything looks fantastic at this scale. The paint on the vehicle is just as clean as the figure, with straight lines and the slightest amount of wear on the tires for that rugged look Halo fans have come to love. The palette is simple mind you, but works perfectly with the scale and style.
They didn’t need to, but they even went as far as detailing the bottom of the car with a lovely symmetrical rivet and panel design, so if you want to buy a few and feature that classic flipped ‘hog from where you didn’t brake around that last turn and hit a paperclip and 120 MPH sending you into a aerial spiral of shame and expletives. Slow down, dude.
The figure fits in the cockpit or gun just fine, though you may need to squeeze his legs a tad to get him to fit into the pilot’s seat. For some reason my minimates always seem to have loose right knees, so occasionally I go into a fit of berserker rage trying to keep them straight enough to get him to squat in. But I’m sure that’s just me. Probably.
Well if it ain’t broke…
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see swivel-hinges on this whole line, but especially in a format where the brand name is the thing itself, you gotta stick with what works.
Generic Halo Spartan 119 (who shall heretofore be known as “Carl” because I don’t know any dudes named Carl and Carl Weathers was in Predator, which is one of only two movies every man MUST watch if he ever sees it on TV no matter where it’s at in the movie) features ball and socket joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips, hinges in the elbows and knees, and swivels at the waist and wrists. Traditionally minimates also have swivel ankles, but because the boots are knee-high they don’t allow for any movement.
You’re not going to get a whole lot of poseability out of the articulation setup, but it’s a little better than you might think. The neck is of course hindered by the new chest piece and has very little up/down or side tilt, but the balls in the shoulders and hips do allow for some small amount of rotation—just enough to tweak the look, but it’s something.
Surprisingly, the armor doesn’t hinder articulation at all in the shoulders or hips. I fully expected these add-on pieces to limit the hips especially, but they work just as well as any other minimate I own.
The warthog spins quite freely at all 4 wheels and the turret features a swivel base and a hinge where the gun meets the support arm. It’s not much, but it allows you to angle it so that it looks like the other Mini is really holding onto the weapon instead of just attached to it. The bullet chain is rather stiff though, so don’t expect that you’ll get more than a little tilt on that axis.
I snagged this at my local TRU for about 9.99. A normal minimate 2-pack is usually around 7 to 8 bucks alone, so for Carl to feature an accessory and a vehicle also, it feels to me like quite a good deal.
Left to Right: McFarlane 5-inch, Minimates, Mega Bloks, McFarlane Non-scale
Size-wise, it’s comparable to the Mega Bloks version, and is about a third the length of the full size version from McToys. If you’ve been assembling the members of Noble Team, then you can see that you can fit three Spartans to a hog.
Luckily, soon DST will be releasing the Rocket Hog. Six members of Noble Team, 6 seats in them hogs. Coincidence? Probably. But you can bet your sweet little tuckus that I’ll be picking one up if it sticks to this price point. Carl can stay and guard the base.
Aesthetics: Adults: 9, Kids: 10
Articulation: Adults: 7, Kids: 10
Value: Adults/Kids: 10
Overall: Adults: 8.7, Kids: 10
If you’re a Halo or minimates fan, then this toy is right up your alley. It’s small enough to fit on a desk, tough enough for some fun play, presentation is baller, and one-third the cost of the McFarlane version which does not include a figure. Solid buy for adult collectors and kids alike. Here is a friendly warning, though: if you do not collect minimates and are on a budget, you may not wish to start. I assure you, it only takes one of these fun little pocket toys to get you hooked.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.