Marvel Minimates Series 36 Review: Modern Mandarin & Dreadnought

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There isn’t anything quite like stumbling upon a random clearance sale at a local shop. Having recently changed jobs (which explains the lack of posting lately), I now walk past not one but two different comic shops every day on my way home from work! Toss in the fact that I’m now hunting for Minimates constantly, and I couldn’t say no to a pack at $2.

After many defeats at the hand of Iron Man and other heroes – including the Inhuman Black Bolt – The Mandarin was able to rebuild his power base. Convinced that Iron Man remained his worthiest adversary, The Mandarin has once again turned his attention to defeating his longtime foe. The question remains though, will he have more success than he has in years past?

The Mandarin I grew up with was the animated version that took center stage in the Marvel Action Hour. The green skinned, alien powered guy tried to get as far away from the racist caricature of the original design. This design shows Marvel at least attempting to split the difference.

Modern Mandarin is wearing an ornate gold and green robe that covers most of the figure. With the arms slightly stretched out, he can’t do much besides turn his neck and wrists. The robe looks great though with a design of a dragon and flames. Mandarin’s face is stern and does a decent job of making him look vaguely Chinese.

Underneath his robes is a classic Minimate figure with additional designs. The green pants and bare chest make me think of Ra’s al Ghul. The golden sash is a nice touch, but the real detail on this figure are the hands.

Two pairs are included – one skin tone and one pair olive green. The clawed hands are each decorated with a ring, but seeing a Minimate with fingers is weird. The green hands don’t make much sense either. For additional accessories, my Mandarin came with only one golden bracelet but I think the figure is supposed to come with two. It doesn’t bother me too much because you can’t see them under the robe.

The Dreadnought is a combat robot created by HYDRA for use in their nefarious schemes. It is constructed from a titanium/steel allow giving it super strength and durability. Many are capable of attacks featuring flame, electricity and other lethal enhancements.

Dreadnoughts are just one of those characters that seem to show up whenever the hero needs to have an awesome battle – but can’t be shown killing hundreds of civilians. These robots are constantly passed between science groups in the Marvel Universe, but don’t often show up as toys. In fact, I think this is the first time they’ve gotten an actual toy release!

For the most part, this figure is your standard Minimate. The head is a new sculpt and ends up looking more like some weird horns instead of a collar, and the slight smile seems like something out of the Super Hero Squad. The hands are the only other unique sculpting with spiked knuckles.

The rest of the figure is painted in a pearl blue that has a slight metallic sheen. Around the calves are armor segments, but this figure isn’t quite perfect.

For accessories, I believe Dreadnought comes with a long hammer hand and a shorter spike or gun hand. But here’s the issue: the hands on my figures refuse to come off! I’ve tried the boiling trick to no avail and the freezer did nothing as well. These are on tight!

As a two pack, I’m still fairly content with this because I got it so absurdly cheap. At $1 per figure, it’s perfectly fine. While Mandarin would be better with an energy blast or a slightly less cumbersome costume, he looks fine. Dreadnought is an okay figure but just feels a bit too dated for my tastes. It looks like something Tony would have fought in the 60s, not fifty years later.

Written by jestergoblin

October 8th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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