Companies walk a fine line when they offer exclusives: make a figure that's vastly different from what's publically available and the fans complain that it's too limited; make a figure that hews too closely to the norm, and they complain that there's no reason to make it. Hard battle to win.
So Art Asylum's strategy for the exclusives seems to follow a careful pattern: one new character (Punisher, Mariko Yashida) mixed with one variant of an existing character (Battle Damaged Captain America, Gaijin Wolverine). This pattern continues with Tower Records' second exclusive, a two-pack of Clobberin' Time Thing and the Super Skrull.
Sure, we've already had one version of Ben Grimm, but this one does have some obvious differences. He's wearing a different costume - a blue unitard that goes up onto his shoulders - and he's got a different expression on his face. The first Thing had an open mouth that almost let you see his stony tonsils; this version is calmer.
Maybe that's because he got his nicotine fix - "Clobberin' Time" apparently allows smoke breaks, because Thing comes with a tiny tiny tiny cigar. Basically little more than a small brown stick, the stogie will probably be ridiculously easy to lose. Ben's also got new hands that allow him to grip the cigar - shame there's no way to put it in his mouth.
The Skrulls have long been Marvel Comics' malicious aliens of choice, because they just present so many opportunities - they're devious, underhanded shapeshifters, and every so often one of them gets inserted as a sleeper agent into some sensitive location. Of course, some aren't just shapeshifters, and get flashier powers as well. For instance, the Super Skrull.
Engineered specifically to fight the Fantastic Four, Super Skrull duplicates all of their powers at once - fire, invisibility, super-stretching and a tough, rocky hide. It makes him a pretty cool enemy and a visually interesting toy. SS has the traditional Skrull uniform in lavender and purple, then transparent legs, a plug-on fireball for his right hand and an extra-long left arm made of orange stone. While you can remove the fireball and just have a normal hand there, there is no replacement left arm - but you can borrow a hand from whichever Thing you're not using at the time.
All the Minimates share the same body with different paint decos, and they all move at the same 14 points: neck, waist, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles. The feet of these two figures have holes in the bottom that make them compatible with the new C3 Minimate sets, and they have new-style shoulders that give them a slightly wider range of motion.
Clobberin' Time Thing and the Super Skrull come in the new "blind box" packaging that now seems to be the standard for Marvel Minimates. Limited to 240 pieces, they are Tower Records' second Minimate exclusive this year, after Sauron, and were available through Tower stores or its website. There's already one Thing on the market and another on the way, but so far this is the only place to get one of the Fantastic Four's most impressive enemies.
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