I recently picked up the first couple pieces in what will become my collection of Art Asylum DC Comics C3 (collect, create, customize) sets. It seemed like I had been waiting forever to get my hands on these things, and now they're finally here! I've always thought the minimates concept was really cool (they always seemed much cooler to me than the other types of mini-figs on the market for some reason), but I'm a dyed in the wool DC fan and the Marvel minimates never really did it for me. Needless to say, I was really excited when I heared this line announced. Not only would I finally be getting minimates of my absolute most favorite comic heroes, but they'd be coming with Lego style building block sets just to sweeten the deal!
The first two sets I've bought are the Batman Batglider with Stealth Batman and Catwoman and the Mini-Batmobile with Batman and Robin. The figures I love, but I was also pleasantly surprised with the building blocks and the vehicles they combine to create. I was a bit worried that I'd be buying these toys only for the figures and that the blocks would end up as junk; which would've made the figures more than a little expensive! So many companies try to copy Lego's style with little success. Non-Lego building block sets usually end up looking cheap, poorly molded with occasional partionally formed blocks and often don't fit together well (I've had problems before with other companies' blocks, such as MegaBloks, actually popping apart). The C3 blocks don't suffer from any of this, and seem just as high in quality as Legos! Not to mention the fact that the vehicles not only look cool, but also represent Lego styled versions of Batman vehicles just like I've always wanted!
The figures themsleves even come with a decent number of accessories - things like actual folding Batarangs, Robin's staff, Catwoman's whip, a grappling hook with a line to swing from, a bag of loot, and a few others. The coolest accessory has to be the extra Batman costume for Stealth Batman that comes with the Batglider! To be honest, I didn't think I needed a Stealth Batman, and considered him just another useless variant. I was surprised to find that I could just take off his mask and cape, replace them with the black cowl and cape with torso armor that's included in the set, and voila...instant movie style Batman! Of course, I ended up really liking Stealth Batman after I got him out of the package anyway (he's one of those variants that seems to "make sense"), but it's a nice little extra nonetheless. I imagine a kid having to choose between getting the Batglider set or the Mini-Batmobile set will be pleasantly surprised that he'd get some sort of basic style Batman with either set! It all works out!
So far I have only found one other C3 construction set - the Batwing, which I do plan on buying soon enough, but I really can't wait for the Apokolips Throne Room with Superman and Darkseid, the Chemical Factory set with Batman and the Joker, the full size Batmobile and the awesome Batcave playset which comes with Batman, Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and a new Joker! The most recent Diamond Previews catalog also has pics of the new upcoming mini-vehicle sets featuring smaller sized vehicles each coming with figures such as the Flash, Martian Manhunter, the alternate universe SUperman from the cartoon, Batgirl, Nightwing and the Riddler. Also upcoming are sets featuring characters such as Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman and Solomon Grundy.
I have high hopes for this line and would highly recommend it to anyone that likes mini-figures or Lego type building block toys, or if you just happen to be a huge DC fan like me! I'm hoping to see a lot more sets in the near future with figures of Green Lantern, Aquaman, Captain Atom, Green Arrow, Red Tornado, the Atom, Supergirl, Hawk and Dove, Zatanna, B'Wanna Beast, Vigilante, Elongated Man, Wildcat, Sand, Mr. Terrific, Atom Smasher, Aztek, and all the other characters from the Justice League Unlimited series (so far the line appears to be limited to the comic and animated versions of Batman and friends, and the animated Justice League; though I am hoping that we'll get some comic versions of DC's others characters as well).
These things are awesome!