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By Diamond Select Toys and Collectables

Minimates are tiny figures of iconic pop culture characters, about two inches tall. They are typically articulate and detailed in their small statue, making them great to stage for action poses and keep as display pieces to show off on your desk or shelf.

This go around, we’re reviewing two Minimates packs together from Thor: The Lost World: Thor and Malekith , Darcy Lewis and Dark Elf.

Right off the bat, I’m struck by the odd combo. Thor and Malekith are the lead hero and villain of the film, so their pairing makes sense. Darcy with a Dark Elf, or Darcy with anyone, is an odd combination. The character is fine comic relief, but she’s an odd choice as a toy, especially with her plain and boring design. While other figures in the set also include obvious picks like Loki and Heimdall, there’s also the questionable choice of Dr. Erik Selvig, who from the promo photos on the back of these toys’ boxes looks especially lame given that he’s wearing more pants as a toy than he does in the film.

When it comes down to movie accuracy, Thor wins out the set. Chris Hemsworth’s face comes through well on the model. The same can’t be said for Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith or Kat Dennings’ Darcy, whose visages are fairly generic. My roommate attributes Eccleston’s bland face to the fact that the figures lack noses, but oh well. The dark elf, who is a generic grunt within the film, probably has the most interesting design with his face mask and weaponized arms.

Speaking of which, this set has its fair share of extra accessories. The Thor & Malekith set comes with Mjölnir (of course) and an alternate non-scarred head for Malekith. The Darcy & Dark Elf set comes with a cell phone and laptop for Darcy and normal hands to be swapped out with the larger weapon hands of the Dark Elf. Those make almost less sense than having a Darcy toy, as they’re not nearly as fun or interesting as the Dark Elf’s default limbs. They were loose when I attached them too. I’m also a little disappointed in the Mjölnir, only because Thor can’t grip the end for a flying pose. Otherwise though, he holds the hammer just fine. (Hehe… hammer)

Each figure has 14 points of articulation: ankles, knees, hips, torso, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. The hips and shoulders have a surprising range of motion, thanks to being stuck on a round peg. Unfortunately Thor and Malekith’s capes and Darcy’s skirts limit those figures leg movements, as do Thor and Malekith’s shoulder coverings for their arm movements. Darcy can’t sit with her laptop when her legs won’t bend at the waists. Thor can’t exactly wave his hammer overhead when he can’t quite reach that high. If the point of these toys is to have some tiny figures striking cool poses on your desk, they don’t do so well when their bulky clothes get in the way.

Most of the figure also comes apart, which can lead to the real fun of switching appendages and weapons amongst figures. You can swap some of the clothes too, such as Thor and Malekith’s armors, just to have them obstruct movement on another figure.

Overall, I want these figures to be cool, but I’m underwhelmed. Their lack of mobility hurts their playability, and Malekith and Darcy’s bland designs make them poor pairs with respectively Thor and Dark Elf. The Dark Elf is definitely the stand out of this set with unhindered movement, neat design, and cool accessories. If that one came with Thor, it’d be an easy choice, but it’s not enough of a character on its own to warrant getting the uninteresting Darcy with it. Unless you want him playing with a Blackberry.