Art Asylum has posted new images and info for their upcoming Marvel VS Capcom 3 Minimates. They have posted images of Marvel VS Capcom 3 Series 1, Marvel VS Capcom 3 Minimates Toys “R” Us Series 1 and a partial shot of Marvel VS Capcom 3 Minimates Series 2. They have also revealed the style sheets and concepts for the characters.
Click the headline of the story for all the images and info.
Having made hundreds of Marvel characters into Minimates, not to mention dozens of video game characters, for Diamond Select Toys to take on Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, it was, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t also a lot of work. There were over a dozen different characters in the game that the DST had never tackled before, and the ones they had done often looked very different. I sat down with product manager Robert Yee and artists Uriel Caton and Barry Bradfield to see what sorts of challenges they faced in putting together this highly anticipated line. (Scroll to the bottom for larger versions of all the pictures, plus a few extra.)
Art Asylum has worked on both Marvel Minimates and Capcom Minimates before “” was a lot of the work for this series already done, in a way?
Robert Yee: ‘One of our main Minimates artists, Uriel Caton, worked on both the old Street Fighter/Darkstalkers line and the current Marvel vs. Capcom series. But we actually didn’t draw on anything from the previous series “” we took it as a new project, utilizing the reference and the on-screen images to be as faithful to the new game as possible.’
Uriel Caton: ‘On the Marvel side, we had Iron Man, Capt. America and Thor back for another turn. We’ve done quite a few versions of these guys, but they look neater with each new iteration. Looking at the early figures, they seemed a little simple, almost shy. I think that we have a great team today and the synergy that exists between all the people involved in making the minimates have brought them to a nice place in their evolution.’
Barry Bradfield: ‘Having worked on Marvel Minimates since Wave 17, I’ve designed some characters in a few different incarnations, and I like to make revisited characters unique; I find it gives flavor to the figures when you have multiples of the same characters. But I was able to pull from previous experiences in constructing similar parts, choosing colors or drawing tampo elements.’
UC: ‘Sometimes, looking at how something was done previously would lend inspiration to approach a certain texture or design differently, sometimes clearly illustrating where more detail could be used, or if less detail was the way to go.’
How much did the returning characters have to change to match the game depictions?
RY: ‘When we design a Marvel character, it’s kind of a mish-mash of the most popular artistic interpretations, unless we’re trying to capture a certain design aesthetic (for example, the Jim Lee X-Men). In this one, we made sure that the Marvel characters were really consistent with the way they look in the video game.’
BB: ‘There are some differences here that may not be as noticed at first glance: for instance, the more vibrant colour schemes on some of the Marvel characters compared to some of their comic book counterparts, or the style in which Iron Man’s face is drawn.’
UC: ‘On the Capcom side, we had Chun-Li, Ryu and Morrigan back from the Street Fighter series. It was great to get a chance to tweak these guys with better hair and more attention to detail in both sculpt and tampo printing. ‘
RY: ‘At certain times there were some concept pictures that were released that wouldn’t match the in-game reference, but we made sure that the characters appeared as they would in-game. Barry took a lot of screen captures while playing the game, sometimes having to beat the entire game with a certain character so we could get the turnarounds at the end.’
Which characters presented design challenges? Which required the most additional parts?
RY: ‘Quite frankly, almost every single Marvel vs. Capcom character that was non-humanoid posed a little bit of a design challenge, but there are actually a few different characters that presented some bigger challenges. One of them, of course, is MODOK “” he’ll be released in Wave 3. I’ve always wanted to do a MODOK figure or the regular Marvel wave, so having him in Marvel vs. Capcom was something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. The problem was how to keep the Minimate aesthetic balanced with all those parts, and I think we were able to achieve that. He can actually come off his chair. Another one was Amaterasu, who’s a wolf. We’ve done dogs before, but we’ve never done a wolf, where the legs are much thinner, but I think we were able to execute that well, also.’
BB: ‘Arthur and Zero needed the most additional parts, with nine and seven respectively. They weren’t too difficult to execute, though, since both shared similarities to other characters we’d created in the past. We knew the tricks already to make designing them more simplified, like knowing that, to achieve Zero’s boot size, we needed to have his legs at angles for the neutral position.’
UC: ‘I would probably say Chris Redfield, Dante and Spencer “” that bionic arm required special attention. Taskmaster had a good amount of parts, too.’
BB: ‘I think Hulk presented the biggest design challenge “” we wanted to make sure this new, larger Hulk was perfect. We were working on the Hulk for Marvel’s Wave 41 at the same time, so most of the design work began there, but since the two figures were going to be sharing parts, the revisions continued through into the Marvel vs Capcom series. I began with a pass on the figure’s general shape, then Uriel refined it with great success. I went back in afterwards and tweaked little elements as I was coloring. In the end, I have 16 files that are different versions of the Hulk figure. Normally we might have three to five. The various Hulk changes are everything from looking completely different down to just having tweaked eyebrows. I think 16 is a new record!’
How do you decide which Marvel character to pair with which Capcom character?
RY: ‘This is something that (DST director) Chuck Terceira and I actually do a lot of back and forth on. Sometimes there were suggested pairings by Capcom “” some of the original concept art had certain pairings, like Iron Man vs. Morrigan, things like that “” but there isn’t anything set in stone. We usually determine the pairing depending on which market they’re going to go into. For example, if it’s going to go to Toys ‘R’ us, we try to pick something that appeals to larger audience. We try to put fewer girls at mass, because we’ve found that Minimates is 50% collector and 50% a younger demographic, and while a female Minimate could be purchased by an older collector, it doesn’t really appeal to boys. If there was a character we felt would be less recognizable to our audience, we would pair it up with a stronger character. And Capcom has the final word, if they feel that the mix isn’t right. ‘
Which characters were the most fun to work on?
UC: ‘ Inevitably there was a fun factor to working on all of them, but if I had to name a few, I’d say Dante and Morrigan, for their expressions, and Chun-Li, because I really like how her costume came out this time around.’
BB: ‘Working on the Capcom characters was really exciting. I grew up playing Capcom video games on the Nintendo, Super Nintendo and in the arcades, so to be able to think that I was doing research back when I was 10 is kind of wild. Zero was probably the most fun for me, since I fondly remember powering through Mega Man X (Zero’s first appearance) with a friend in one day back when it was released. I’m a big fan of Mega Man’s classic titles. This of course isn’t to say the Marvel side of things wasn’t fun! Any day you get to wake up and draw Iron Man or Phoenix for work is a pretty awesome day!”