News is starting to filter out from Pre-Toy Fair, which presents a first look at next season's toys.  One of the new lines that is sure to be of interest to pop culture retailers is an extensive group of 'kubrick'-type figures of Marvel superheroes, which Art Asylum in preparing to market.  The small blocky figures, which Art Asylum calls 'Minimates,' are based, in design at least, on the 'kubricks' that are highly prized in Japan, where nearly every action figure appears to exist both as a 'kubrick' as well as a realistic figure.  Since the name 'kubrick' is protected, Art Asylum has to call its squared off figures 'Minimates,' but the look, feel, and size is equivalent to the typical Japanese 'kubrick.'


For Art Asylum, which is working in conjunction with Diamond Select on this project, the Marvel Minimates line provides access to a very popular line of superheroes at a time when Marvel is dominating both in the movie theaters and in the comic shops.  The question is will Marvel fans be able to resist these cute blocky versions of their favorite characters.  Don't bet on it.