Diamond Select Toys Mini-mates

Minimates are block-style miniature action figures originally created by Art Asylum in 2002 and now released by Diamond Select Toys. The basic Minimate figure design has a 2 in (51 mm) tall body that resembles an extremely simplified human form with 14 points of articulation, higher than average for block figures. Released in both speciality stores as well as mass-market retailers, Minimates are made for both kid-friendly and adult-oriented properties, giving them a diverse fan base. The best-known and longest-running series of Minimates is based on Marvel Comics, with over 81 waves of figures in existence, but lines of Minimates have been released for numerous other comic books, TV series, movies and video games.

Designed and produced by New York City-based sculpting and design house Art Asylum, the Minimates began in 2002 with multiple lines of 3″ Minimates based on several different licenses. These included Dark Angel, Star Trek, Kung Faux, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the films of Bruce Lee, along with a Rock line featuring KISS, Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper. The 3″ Minimate line also included several blank or promotional Minimates—these usually bore the logo of a specific company and were used as giveaways.

Minimates came of age in 2003 when, following a partnership with Diamond Select Toys, a range of 2″ Minimates based upon the Marvel Comics Universe was launched. The 2″ Minimate body type began to be used for the promotional Minimates in place of the 3″ body type, and it was announced that the 3″ range would be discontinued. However, a Lord of the Rings line produced by Art Asylum and Play Along Toys in 2004 added a third body type, which stood 2.5″ tall, to further illustrate the size differences of the various races of Middle-Earth.

In 2004, Art Asylum and Play Along launched their Minimate-based C3 (“Create Construct Customize”) construction sets, which could be used to build vehicles and playsets from the DC Comics universe. Focusing mainly on Batman and the Justice League, the Lego-esque line was moderately successful, but the license terms limited the selling of the 2″ DC Minimates to the construction sets, and the line failed to gain a foothold in the market. C3 was discontinued, and in 2006 DC Direct announced that they had picked up the DC Minimates line and would put out their own figures (in 2″ and 2.5″ scales) in partnership with Art Asylum. That same year, non-construction-set vehicles were introduced to the brand, in lines based on the Speed Racer cartoon (from Art Asylum) as well as both the classic and modern Battlestar Galactica TV series (from Art Asylum and Diamond Select Toys).

In 2007, Art Asylum became a division of Diamond Select Toys,[1] and the Minimates body type has since been applied to dozens of licenses from comic books (The Walking Dead, Invincible), TV (24, Star Trek again), movies (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Universal Monsters, Marvel Studios), animation (The Real Ghostbusters, Peter Pan) and video games (Halo, Tomb Raider, Marvel vs. Capcom 3). DST has also developed Minimates based on its own concepts, under the brands Calico Jack’s Pirate Raiders, Minimates M.A.X., and Battle Beasts, which they acquired the trademark for in 2009.

DST Mini-mates Alien Checklist