Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Minimate Customs: The Question

Anyone that knows me knows that I collect action figures (and, if you didn't: I collect action figures). Superhero action figures only, though. There are many reasons, but I suppose that it comes down to the fact that I like to hold a three-dimensional representation of these characters in my hands. There's something satisfying about that. And, these days, it's more satisfying then the comic books that spawned the toys.

One of the little subsets of my collection are Minimates. These are little block figures, not unlike Legos, that stand about 2" tall, but have multiple POAs (that's points of articulation, or moving joints). Minimates are way cool, in that they pack an exceptional amount of detail into a small body. And, in the last few years, that detail has been ratcheted up considerably, to the point that I'd stack Minimates up against any so-called "deluxe collector" action figure.

Minimates are also one of the few toys that have characters from multiple comic book companies, movies, and tv properties in a uniform style. The flagship property for Minimates is Marvel Comics (and the movies based on those comics), but Minimates have been made for DC Comics, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, and Battlestar Galactica, to name a few. Honestly, unless you go back to the old Mego World's Greatest Super Hero! dolls, you're going to be hard-pressed to have Batman standing seamlessly next to Spider-Man in your collection-- never mind Jean-Luc Picard, Peter Venkman, and Gollum.

But what really puts Minimates over the top, for me, is the ease of customization. For the uninitiated, customizing is the creation of a brand-new figure from the scraps of others, using paint, modelling clay, whatever. It's not very easy, and good customizers can produce figures indistinguishable from commercial releases. I've always wished I could customize, but it's always proved to be beyond my skill set. But not with Minimates. Because their parts are all interchangeable, it's extremely easy to pull a few apart and create something new. Moreover, coloring and detailing can be achieved successfully with something as simple as a Sharpie marker. Yes, the better customizers also use paints, puttys, and even printed decals; I am not one of those customizers. Yet.

Anyway. One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to show off my meager works. I've cobbled together a few dozen customs, mostly from DC Comics, because 1.) DC Minimates suffered a premature end, and 2.) I like DC better then Marvel. So, without further ado, I'm going to start this off with one of my favorites, the Question.

The Question is a pretty darn easy custom to do. All you really need are a shirt/tie torso, coat, and hairpiece with a fedora. Moreover, many of the pieces you see here were provided by the official Question release. So what makes this a custom? Well, the official release was for the Modern Question, a.k.a. the female Question, a.k.a the sucky Question. As soon as I saw her announced, I knew that she would never have a home in my collection in place of the classic Question. So I took her nongendered parts and created one of my own.

Actually, I cobbled a Question together several months before the official release. The shirt comes from a BSG Gaius Baltar (a Minimate that has proven very useful), though there was not shortage of other options. The hat, however, was a different story. It took me a while to find a Minimate with the proper hat, but finally I stumbled upon him: Tiger Jacket Rocky, of all things. I've never been 100% thrilled at how the hat's cocked, but I've grown to like it. There's a better hat out there now, from the Spirit, but I haven't been able to make the change. I've grown accustomed to your hat....

Oh, and the head, of course, is just a random head turned backwards. Nothing hard about that. I also gave him a little folder to hold, which I apparently didn't photograph. Oh well. Anyway, the Question is, I think, a perfect Minimate custom; easy to do, and looks as if he came right out of the package. They aren't all like that....

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