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MMC Reviews Discussion


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#1 Danny

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 04:00 AM

As requested, this thread is to discuss reviews and scores from Minimates Central and its reviewer team. Please be polite and constructive. All the MMC staff do this as a hobby and remember that a review is just the opinion of one person. Readers should use the text and pictures to help make up their own minds, rather than a 1 to 10 score.
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#2 Bob Harris

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 04:53 AM

Good idea - NR that is tongue.gif - but let me just come up with something different first. (I don't want to open another thread for that, but if you feel so and think this thread shouldn't be used to discuss such things, please feel free to delete or remove this post!)

I recently read the "Outside The Box" feature on MMHQ and was surprised that this is some kind of a review. Even so HQ doesn't rate the box set in the end, it does discuss MM boxes just the way MMC does, right? Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and I do love MMC's reviews as well, but I think it's not the best idea to come into competition. Although I bet you folks aren't planing to do so, it looks pretty much like that. So far the different MM sites do offer different "services". Or is the regular MMC review and MMHQ's new Outside the Box feature really that different?

Edited by Bob Harris, 20 June 2009 - 05:17 AM.


#3 buttheadsmate

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:05 AM

Any review is obviously one person's opinion & another persons opinion on another site is also welcome as far as I'm concerned.


edit: I would be happy to review the Bullseye/Moonstone 2 pack if anyone wants to send me a set smile.gif

Edited by buttheadsmate, 20 June 2009 - 05:09 AM.

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#4 NorthRaider

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:48 AM

Bob, if my memory's correct then MMHQ had always done Minimate pack reviews even before the site crashed late last year. I particularly remembered one time when MMHQ had put out their own handy reviews of Marvel waves 19-20 (or at least the Archangel/Apocalypse and Hawkeye/Vision packs) months before they were even covered on MMC (which I completely understand and don't fault Danny for; maintaining a niche website whilst keeping up with real life is hard work)

Personally I see nothing wrong with two Minimate sites both reviewing the same product, even (especially) if their opinions were conflicting. One of the best things about the online Minimate community is how benign we are as a group and how we respect each other's opinions (on paper at least tongue.gif), so I believe that MMC and MMHQ both doing reviews isn't really competition at all but the usual "open, healthy exchange of ideas." I honestly never even expected MMC to have the "monopoly" on Minimate reviews, but I do appreciate the perspective they provide as far as the execution of a given character/set/series is concerned.

Edited by NorthRaider, 20 June 2009 - 05:50 AM.

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*But really I'm for anything that'll help Chuck see clearer and diversify the line even more, so that everyone will be happy. Also, I still want Inhumans even though DST said that might take take a while. Also also, I really do not understand DC's decision-making process sometimes. Also also also, the Book of Minimates needs to become a real thing. Also also also also, I'm still looking for Femme Fatales Minimates.

#5 Bob Harris

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 05:56 AM

Convinced. yes.gif

Now, get on with the reviews discussion!

#6 Danny

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:05 AM

I have no problem with MMHQ doing Minimates reviews. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned. Bringing the community more pictures of Minimates can only be a good thing. I think the MMHQ guys run an amazing website.
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#7 NorthRaider

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:52 AM

QUOTE (Danny @ Jun 20 2009, 08:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have no problem with MMHQ doing Minimates reviews. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned. Bringing the community more pictures of Minimates can only be a good thing. I think the MMHQ guys run an amazing website.

Wholeheartedly agree. smile.gif

Okay, my question might be a somewhat silly one, but I was curious about the order in which Minimate reviews get posted. I can't tell whether it was a conscious decision or not, but I think new reviews get posted on MMC to coincide with the rough timeline in which those sets were officially released... a pattern that recently got broken with the posting of the Spirit, Villains boxset and Punisher boxset reviews.

I bring this up because of the lag time that seems to occasionally affect the post order and the people still waiting on a given review. Since MMC doesn't have a web-accessible page that lists all previous Minimate releases by date and not by license (though one can actually do this with the Cappy's Excel list), I sometimes had to resort to checking MMDB's Change Log just to loosely keep track of which review to hypothetically expect next per release order. I just wanted to ask if it's possible to gain access to the exact review/release order list MMC appears to follow (albeit not strictly), including the expected upcoming reviews?
Posted Image
*But really I'm for anything that'll help Chuck see clearer and diversify the line even more, so that everyone will be happy. Also, I still want Inhumans even though DST said that might take take a while. Also also, I really do not understand DC's decision-making process sometimes. Also also also, the Book of Minimates needs to become a real thing. Also also also also, I'm still looking for Femme Fatales Minimates.

#8 TM2 Dinobot

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 07:46 AM

I miss the old MMC reviews that had a lot more pictures. I realize MMDB has made that obsolete, but back in the day that was my favorite part was all the pictures, because I couldn't really afford any myself, and seeing someone else play with them made me feel like I was playing with them. Sappy, I know.
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No, he's right -- not making that one character doomed the line. Doomed, I tell you. The minute we left him out of Series 1 a raven flew through our window. And killed an intern.


#9 Danny

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 12:52 PM

There is no specific review order.

As we are fans, especially when it was just me and then myself and Rad, because we are based in the UK we would struggle to get the Minimates quick enough from release to allow us to review in a timely manner, especially with the hiatus. At that point it's just a case of getting the reviews out as and when.

For the waves of releases, I am trying to keep to the order they were released in - I won't ever put up Marvel wave 24 before I've done wave 23, for example. Sometimes, with the newer sets, especially the box sets, they are easier to fit into the schedule as opposed to entire waves.

I very much doubt that MMC will ever entirely catch up on everything that was ever released, as the sheer amount of Minimates items have shot up over the last couple of years.

So, NR, to sum up - don't try to predict the next reviews too much!

TM2 - I used to take a lot of pictures when I first did the reviews, but those were the days when there weren't as many different Spider-Men etc so it was feasible to get them all in one shot. I always try to do a few pictures for each Minimate but some just don't lend themselves to many - civilians, or heroes with no accessories, for example.

Also these days we have the fantastic resource that is Minimate Database, who has better, clearer pics than I will ever do.
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#10 wallbreaker2.0

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 02:52 PM

I enjoy all the reviews at mmc but I particularly liked the Defendors boxset review. The pics were great I especially like the one of Valkyrie.

If I had one criticism it would be that the overall scores are alot higher there seems to be alot more minimates scoring 10s. I remember when there were only like 3 perfect 10s ( not including Bo Derek).
I don't know if I completely blame the reviewers because the recent minimates have all been exceptional but maybe grading on a curve or something might be an idea.
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#11 Danny

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:46 AM

Rad took an excellent pic of Valkyrie and actually didn't resize it to match the usual size of pics in the reviews.

It was such a great pic I put it in as it was.

As for the amount of 10s, I have to say I would like to see some more 9s but I can understand why there are more 10s out there these days.
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#12 Rad

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:05 AM

That Defenders boxset is still my favourite. All the mates were so cool that reviewing it was a doddle. It practically wrote itself. Other reviews turn into a real chore. Star Trek waves 2 & 3 were a real struggle to write about. I was trying to find positives so as to present balanced reviews but it was so difficult.

#13 karamazov80

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:35 AM

Regarding the 10s, I only have a couple of reviews up, but I think they both contain 10s. Reason being, I had a chance to pick which sets I was going to review, and of course, picked some with favorite figures of mine. So, there is a "sample selection bias." Personally, I have had issues in the past (still do) with college grade inflation, am very conscious of the 10s issue, and will attempt to keep those to a minimum when possible.

But having said that, anyone reviewing figures there is going to have a genuine love of Minimates that makes a completely cool, objective analysis impossible for some figures. When someone is excited about a figure and really loves it, they might have a tendency to give it a higher score, despite its flaws. They might also be more likely to request that review, thus further increasing the chances of creating a 10 score. But maybe the reviewers could get on the same page as to their grade scaling, if that would be useful.

I think I have a tendency, in my reviews of anything (movies, video games), to treat it like an essay. In the U.S., we have 10 point scales in college (typically), where an A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = 0-59 Given this, anything below a 6 is essentially a "failing" grade, and anything less than a 3 or 4 is going to be really rare, as is anything greater than a 9, but it isn't very difficult to get an 8. I perceive that this is how Rad and Danny have been grading things for the most part, and tried to follow suit, but if this is not the case, then please let me know.

The alternative would be to think of scores as falling on a "normal distribution," where you've got the small number of very worst Minimates who get a 0 or 1, the small number of best Minimates who get a 10, and most who fall in the middle, with the "average" Minimate getting a 5. I don't perceive that this is how 'Mates have been graded on MMC by really anyone so far (though I could be wrong), and I think it may do disservice to a fine Minimate with some flaws if the reader interprets a 6 not as slightly better than average, but as nearly a "failing" grade.

Given that the "average" Minimate might actually have a 7 versus a 5, I think a 10 is not that surprising, though it is reserved for only "near perfect" (or "very favorite" wink.gif )Minimates, in my case.

Edited by karamazov80, 22 June 2009 - 07:36 AM.


#14 NorthRaider

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:21 AM

Perhaps what we really need is for somebody to actually keep track of all the scores on MMC to test that "average" theory.







Volunteers?
Posted Image
*But really I'm for anything that'll help Chuck see clearer and diversify the line even more, so that everyone will be happy. Also, I still want Inhumans even though DST said that might take take a while. Also also, I really do not understand DC's decision-making process sometimes. Also also also, the Book of Minimates needs to become a real thing. Also also also also, I'm still looking for Femme Fatales Minimates.

#15 Rad

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:36 AM

QUOTE (NorthRaider @ Jun 22 2009, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps what we really need is for somebody to actually keep track of all the scores on MMC to test that "average" theory.







Volunteers?


I nominate you! biggrin.gif

#16 NorthRaider

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 08:41 AM

I should've seen that coming, I guess. tongue.gif Though I don't have actual time right now, maybe I can attempt a full survey later.

Oh, and D'OH!
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*But really I'm for anything that'll help Chuck see clearer and diversify the line even more, so that everyone will be happy. Also, I still want Inhumans even though DST said that might take take a while. Also also, I really do not understand DC's decision-making process sometimes. Also also also, the Book of Minimates needs to become a real thing. Also also also also, I'm still looking for Femme Fatales Minimates.

#17 drgnrbrn316

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:18 AM

Having tried to write reviews of Minimates before, let me say that I appreciate the hard work put in by the gang over at MMC.

I never found reviewing the little guys an easy task. For one, it was never easy for me to grade them. I tried to do a grade very mathematically, but at the end of the review, I'd find that my score didn't equal my overall impression of the figure, so I'd have to go back and find ways to alter my initial scores to make them fit what I felt should be the final outcome. The results weren't great (I'm still getting death threats for scoring Doctor Strange the way I did). That's pretty much why I'm not writing the reviews any more. I'll happily take them out of the box and talk about my likes and dislikes, but I've pretty much decided that whatever score I could put down, if someone wants to like or hate the figure, they will.

All that being said, I have found that the MMC score does seem to mirror the majority opinion in most cases, which may be why many consider it the definitive source for reviews.

#18 Danny

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:09 PM

I think there is sometimes a tendency in reviews (of whatever - computer games comes to mind) where the average isn't 5, it's 7.

For MMC the average is definitely 5. 5 is a pretty plain, uninspired but serviceable entry into the Minimate pantheon. Most civilians score 5!

If a figure has some nice touches, the score goes up from that. If it has some failings, the score goes down.

As karamazov has said, as we are all fans, perhaps there is a the possibility of some soft marking, but generally I think people know a good Minimate from a bad one.

I believe Mariko and Spock's Brain have the distinction of the lowest mark given, which was 3.

I think the most surprising score I ever gave was a 9 to Silver Sable (surprising to myself, because I'd no idea I'd like her shiny silverness so much).
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#19 Dio

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:44 PM

Well, now that you said that I guess it's okay for Gauntlet Tony to get a 6 XD I think he's the best civilian Tony ever though.

Edited by Dio, 22 June 2009 - 05:11 PM.


#20 karamazov80

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (Danny @ Jun 22 2009, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For MMC the average is definitely 5. 5 is a pretty plain, uninspired but serviceable entry into the Minimate pantheon. Most civilians score 5!

If a figure has some nice touches, the score goes up from that. If it has some failings, the score goes down.

That makes sense, and in my mind, falls into the "college grade scale" more than "normal distribution" way of grading. A hum-drum civilian that gets a 5, probably is not the "average" Minimate. To me, the typical Minimate is probably more like a lesser, but decent Marvel comic character like, for instance, a Hawkeye or Rogue--a figure that has flaws, but is still much more desirable than one of the "24" guys to the average Minimate fan. But neither of those characters deserves a 5 out of 10, IMO.

Do you disagree, Danny? I looked back at my Punisher set review, and gave Castle a 4 and Mob Thug a 6, and think that would fit into your description of the "average" civvie getting a 5, as I think Castle is a slightly less than average civilian, and Thug is a slightly better than average civilian. However, both are pretty boring as far as Minimates go, and probably would get a lower vote if I used a scale where the 1 belongs to Riot Spidey and 24 Season 2 Bauer, and a 10 belongs only to, say, wave 2 Spidey and Blue Beetle wink.gif .

As for Dio's post, I honestly really dig that Tony, as well. He's probably my 3rd favorite movie IM figure after the Mark III and Mark I.




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