Custom Minimates VS Official Minimates Part 1

When I was looking at the recent minimate unveilings at Toy Fair, I couldn’t help but think about some of the customs I have made of these very same new characters. I made a list of my customs that have had official releases later, and I came up with 24 minimates. I thought it would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparrison of each of these. Ivan gave me permission to use some images from the Minimate Database, and the rest I borrowed from the Toy Fair reporters. I put them in order of my most recent customs first, down to my oldest customs. I am splitting this into 2 posts due to the large amount of content. You can expect part 2 to be posted in the next few days.

Click any image to see a larger version.

1. Union Jack

This exclusive Toys R Us minimate was revealed just a few weeks after I finished my custom. This is the only custom on this list that used decals, so this might be the closest to the official version. The official version made me realize that I forgot to paint the white outlines along the red stripe on his crotch.

2. AIM Agent

The official version looks really good, but I like certain parts of my custom better, like the gloves and the gun. With that said, I will be retiring this custom once the official one is released, since I plan on buying a case and having several on display. 🙂

3. Classic Sabertooth

I like the chest fur better on the official Sabertooth, but I like how mine has sculpted arm and leg fur. I am torn between the two facial expressions. They are based on different artists, and I kind of like them both. I will probably keep this custom on display along with the new one for that very reason.

4. Final Battle T-800

When I made this minimate I never expected to have an official version someday! While I love this custom dearly, the official one is one of the coolest minimates I have ever seen.

5. Battle Damaged T-1000

Here is another custom that I never expected to see on store shelves. I will be keeping mine on display along with the new one since the head damage is different. I like how mine has sculpted bullet holes, but I understand why that wouldn’t have been cost-effective for the official one.

6. Miss Marvel

I got owned by the official one. I have nothing more to say. 🙂

7. Archangel

Mine has metal wings, which is definitely cool, but the official mate has a much larger wingspan. Also the official plastic wings won’t slice your hand open like mine will.

8. Thor

Another example of the official version cleaning my clock. I was never completely sold on the face on the official version, but I don’t think mine is much better.

9. Gambit

I am very proud of my Gambit custom, but I do admit the official one is better. We don’t know yet if the official one will come with an extra set of arms for when you remove the coat like mine does. I like how you can read the playing card value in my custom.

10. Dr. Strange

This is another case where the two faces are inspired by two different artists. While my custom was nice, I did retire it when I got the official mate.

11. Namor

My Namor went into the parts bin when I got the official one. I like the foot wings on mine better, since they didn’t require an extra piece, but I can see why DST didn’t create an entirely new foot mold for him.

12. Hydroman

In this battle, my custom is definitely the victor. With most of his body being water, along with a cool base, the official one didn’t stand a chance. Mine is based on a different artist, as you can see the hairstyles are different. In this case, the official one went into my parts bin (I am not a completist by any means).

I hope you found this post interesting. Keep an eye out for Part 2 in a few days!

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8 Responses

  1. NorthRaider says:

    This was a really great post, Luke! I believe this is a very interesting issue to debate: while most of the time I do prefer the official versions of characters to customs, you can’t deny there are certain cases *cough*DCD minimates*cough* where customs really are the best way for us to get certain characters we want.

    I can’t wait to read part 2.

  2. Bob Harris says:

    Very nice comparison, Luke! Looking at those mates I say it’s a tie between your customs and the official ones. I really love some of the originals, but I guess especially your AIM agent, Hydroman and Union Jack are way better. I see a tie with the T-1000’s because of the different head damages, but I have to admit that the new Gambit wins in my eyes. Yours has the better card – I don’t like the official one that much-, but the original’s new coat (!) and hairdo are outstanding.
    I guess the next round will show us a winner. 🙂

  3. Jenny says:

    Luke, even tho “official” versions are made, most of the characters have several variations that no company could justify producing. Plus, so many of these are done by different artists (like you commented with Sabretooth) & everyone has their own favorite style/costume/artist’s rendering; there would be no way to please all the fans all the time.

    PS – Official Ms. Marvel doesn’t totally own. Your choice of hair is the win. (I really dislike that hairpiece — too bad so many females use it.)

    PS2 – Bob’s right about the official Gambit’s hair & coat (I like its actiony-ness). But your card & bo staff are better.

  4. drgnrbrn316 says:

    I know what you mean about these custom killers. Even the obscure characters aren’t safe to make anymore, what with characters like Tarantula seeing official release.

    In my collection, the official ones usually win to my customs, with few exceptions. My Hobgoblin had a removable mask and hood.

  5. Hellpop says:

    Luke, your customs (even the earlier ones) hold up really well next to the official versions. Your Sabretooth in particular is flat out better. I’m a baby customizer myself- I rarely stray beyond quick customs and sharpies- but I rarely do Marvel ones for fear that they will trump me. I just hope they don’t do Ka-Zar. My Ka-Zar rocks.

  6. deadpoolfanboy says:

    Wow, your customs are sweet! I like your union jack, sabertooth, and AIM agent!

  7. TBT says:

    Great idea for an article (or series of articles see below), I wish I’d thought of it 😉

    Perhaps this should become a series with invited guest customisers playing show and tell with their customs that have been made?
    p.s. I know you have many more to show… Ultron and Scarlett witch are prob my faves of your earlier work & stand up really well compared to the DST ones!

  8. Shamrock says:

    Reminds me of my Red Son Superman and Wonder Woman. I think the official ones were shown just days after I posted my customs. In that case, te official ones were way better mostly because of the benefit not being visibly painted. However, the official RS Superman face was really simple.