Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Minecraft Minis


Minecraft is weird.  And genius.  Weird and genius, both.  As far as game-design goes, it’s an excellent idea – basically LEGO with physics and monsters.  Give the players a canvas and see what they make, right?  But at the same time, it’s also a demented adventure game filled with secrets and monsters.  So when the time came to make Minecraft toys, they didn’t exactly go the LEGO route… until they did.  That picture up there is of a bootleg LEGO zombie, but… ignore that.  We’re talking about Mattel’s blind-packed minis, instead!  They cost $4 each, are really tiny (about an inch), but you can sniff out which is which if you look on the internet – the embossed code on the box tells you which figure it is, basically.  And these guys?  I have a few from the “Stone” series, and a few from the Netherrack” series.  The Nether is a separate dimension in Minecraft, which is essentially Hell.  No, seriously.  It’s full of fire and brimstone.  But we’re not talking about that yet.  Let’s look at the minis, shall we?  Today, you will get to see just how out of place Minecraft looks when next to non-blocky things.



This is Steve?.  The question mark is part of Steve?’s name.  Steve? is a blank cypher for you, you see.  What makes this Steve? unique is that he has the best armor and weapons in the game – diamond armor.  Diamond in Minecraft look like of like blue metal you see.  Now, nothing in the game is proportioned like Steve? here, but that’s a stylistic choice for the minis – it is not shared with the non-tiny figures.  However, it does capture the pixellated graphics very well.



This is a zombie in Iron armor, which clearly did not protect it.  Although the zombies in the game are positively terrifying, this one just looks like a zombie child, which… wow, that’s dark.



These bats are not hostile, and their flight stand makes them kind of stand way out.  I almost picked up The Wither, which floats as well, but its stand is slightly less intrusive.  But I love their expressiive faces.



This is officially a chicken, but I think it looks like a duck.  The battle shall rage forever, with the design specifically calling to mind both duck and chicken.  Doom!



Meet the Charged Creep.  Creeps are weird bone-shaped green plant monsters who explode like living dynamite.  Charged Creeps are empowered by electricity, which happens any time one of them is struck by lightning.  Yes, they found a way to make the mad bombers even worse – and this toy just looks cool.



A horse is a horse, of course of course.  Especially if it’s an undead horse, and its blocky aesthetic somehow manages to put this across very well.  That horse now scares even me.



The Ghast is probably my favorite figure of this group.  Ghasts are creatures found in the Nether, massively bigger than you, and who float around with their eyes closed, only opening them to scream and spit balls of fire at you.  Now see, I would have assumed that they were ghosts, but they don’t trigger any Undead flags – for example, the Wither secret boss does not spare them the way it does anything undead.  So, what are these?  The world may never know.



Speaing of Nether monsters, the Magma Cube is kind of like a lava slime… only it’s a cube.  This one is surreal no matter how you portray it, and the blocky aesthetic makes it seem even more alien.



Zombie Pigmen are also residents of the Nether, and surprisingly gory for this game.  You can see how they’re rotting, and… no, there are no ordinary Pigmen in the game yet.  Ostensibly, they will waltz onto the scene eventually, but for now we just have their undead cousins.



And finally, we’ve got ourselves a Cave Spider.  Smaller than regular spiders, but just as deadly, this toy manages to communicate with blocks what the imagination tan expand into the biggest tarantula ever.  Minecraft’s spiders are fascinating, though, with their odd designs within the graphics of the game.

That is the one problem with these, though – their big heads make them Super-Deformed chibis, not an accurate representation of the game.  it is very weird that they chose to do this, but the toys do look cool – the Ghast is pretty much identical to how it looks in the game, too.  If you want odd little blocky guys tearing up your scenery, you can do a lot worse than these.




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