Funko has spent many years cultivating a niche "novelty" avenue before stumbling upon the shocking goldmine that is the Pop! aestethic/line and then they took all that Pop! and suddenly went all-in for action figures last year, launching both the Legacy and ReAction (which they bought off Super7) brands for high quality 6" figures and Kenner-esque 4" figure, respectively. I ended up being underwhelmed by the first series of Alien ReAction figures, so at $10-per I held off for awhile before finally just pulling the cord and snapping up much of what appealed to me. So, I've hoarded up all of my Funko purchases over the last 6 months to give, beloved reader, this ultimate blast of Funko-ery!
Funko - Alien, ReAction: Series 2
Weirdly enough I think I like Series 2 more than 1 even though it's kind of a "lazy" series, as in it's all about cost-savings, but it kind of works. Spacesuit Ripley is alright but her head sits oddly on the body and the absence of the grapple-gun is highly conspicuous (especially on a kitbash with very minimal paint - i.e. cheap/er to produce). Kane is the one welcome addition but his white-outfit really pushes this series into a "bland colortone" for the whole series. His facehugger is cute at seems to fit more 3¾" figures, but this figure really highlights how much we need the rest of the Nostromo crew! The chestburster variant is cute but is a Con exclusive of a figure; he would have been very fun as that kind of release but in the line-proper is just a reminder of what isn't in the line (they should have just done at least Spacesuit Dallas and/or Lambert). The real star of the line is the Alien whose metallic black paint is gorgeous and is exactly what I wanted from the original release - and I'm not alone in that as he seems to be impossible to find.
Funko - Back to the Future, ReAction: Series 1
They just didn't turn out all that great. It took me until Februrary to build up the drive to finally get them and even then it was just so that I didn't miss them rather than for wanting them. The scuttlebutt is that Funko was so excited by the ReAction brand they rushed product to shelves and it really, really shows. The proportions are all wonky and every looking mishapen - flat, triangular torsos, Bert-esque ovalescent heads, short legs and arms... clearly everybody was sculpted off a single buck and they only bother to get that body "good enough" before moving forward. Rushed or not these are just... look I don't want to say "bad toys," having seen some of the Funko designers talk at SDCC I think their hearts are in the right place but... like a movie made to meet a release date, these figures are (presumably) made to meet a deadline rather than made to be good, and what really hurts, as a fan and as a collector, is knowing that they and retail won't "go back" to correct these figures, to release better versions.
Funko - The Book of Life, Legacy: Manolo
Legacy has really proven to be an oddball selection of licenses. I didn't see Book of Life but he's got a fun look to him and his triple-jointed arms are quite intriguing. The sculpt is pretty pretty and the paint is remarkably clean all things considered. The head and left wrist are stuck in place for mine, though, and they feel too prone to breakage for me to try and force it. He comes with with four accessories: a guitar, two swords and a neat skull base made of stonework. The base is really neat looking but the pegs are a bit of a challenge to get into the pegholes and balance is a little tough with all the joints and top-heavy figure. The guitar is pretty cool but despite all his arm articulation he can't really "play" it, and the two swords are cast in such soft plastic that both are terribly warped. In the film he has something on his back to carry these on him but, alas that is not the case here. I'm a little surprised they didn't do a repaint of him in the "Dia de los Muertos"/otherworld style from the trailers as that would look even cooler, but maybe that'll be a con exclusive.
Funko - The Book of Life, Legacy: Xibalba
Figures of Death, especially with giant wings, are un-pass-up-able so I was very pleased to have stumbled on this guy since it seemed like no one carried this line. The sculpt is damn good and he's really fun to look, but has his own set of problems. Like Manolo, it's pretty tough to fit peg into peghole on the base (which is the same as the other figures') and the wings... they're such a hassle. They seat very loosely into the back (on swivel/hinges) so they pop out too easily/frequently and both as so heavy they can't stay raised for more than a second or two. It's a huge bummer! The figure though is pretty fun - he has a balljointed torso, arms and head with hinged elbows and swivel wrists. I really dig all the skulls on him, and many of the dangling ones are separate pieces attached by metal rings, and the great color palette. Based on some image searching it looks like the coloring isn't very on-model with at least his neck needing to be green but you know what, he looks cool enough as is, and I have no connection to the source material, so it doesn't bug me. He also gets a neat snake staff which he can hold fairly well.
Funko - The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Legacy: Mr. Fox
The Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my top five, or so, favorite movies so I was very surprised and intrigued when Funko announced Legacy figures for the movie. I have to get them simply on principle but I'm not crazy about them. By all accounts these only exist because the guy who runs Funko loves the movie too and basically just wanted the figure for himself - so I have to believe these are his ideal versions of the figures. And if I had a toy company where I could do figures of my favorite movies I'd sure as hell be a bit more concerned with pleasuring myself, too. Sculpturally, these figures are pretty soft in terms of details, particularly in their uniform and smooth fur - a total contrast to the film. Paint is equally simple. No doubt cost was a big concern as I can't imagine orders were very high at all for these so maybe some things were cut, but... I just don't get it. I mean, other than being a fox in a Wes Anderson suit this doesn't really look like Mr. Fox to me. He comes with some kind of fowl but it's not uniquely familiar from the film and seems a little underscaled. It's a fair choice but it seems to me like his portable radio or interchangebale bandage/tail would have been more proper. Articulation is pretty great, mostly balljoints, but the hinged ankles make it tough for him to remain upright.
Funko - The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Legacy: Rat
In thinking what characters they could do, I can't say I imagined they'd do Rat but it does make sense as he's the only animal villain in the film. However, he's notably taller than the other characters so this figure should be closer to 9" rather than 6", so it's really weird to seem the same size as Mr. Fox. They should have just packaged him with his legs off or something. He comes with his switchblade knife, which is pretty great, and a jug of cider which is... kind of terrible. Not only is it inexplicably painted cream-yellow rather than clear like the film it is ridiculously tiny. In the movie, Mr. Fox is able to contort his body to hide behind one - no way that's possible here. Ultimately it's a rare case of "the thought doesn't count" for me and I'd rather it have not been included. If they had to have a second accessory I'd rather it have been an alternate head with X eyes. Each figure comes with a small, clear stand with two short pegs (one narrower than the other) but they still don't fit the pegholes very well and since the feet are so small the pegs don't have much grip and thus the figures, especially Rat, have a real hell of time staying up right. Plus, the only way the bases remotely work is if both feet are on them, so you can't even do dynamic poses.
Funko - The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Legacy: Kylie
Kylie is great, but also kind of a weird choice for a figure when you lay out the characters in the film. I'm a big part of it was just to mix up the body types, but since the aesthetic on the line is so simple/soft Kylie basically fares the worst. Fortunately they did spend a little extra money on the fur paint and he gets a great subtle drybrush that helps a lot. Still, the industry has established a clear expectations for more detail fur sculpts, not to mention how intentional it was in the film to keep the fur in motion and imperfect, so again the sculpts just seem to totally miss the mark to me. Kylie gets two accessories, and both are again confusingly undersized. He gets an apple... because. And it's in human scale, not animal scale. He gets his platinum card, which is cute but it's a one shot gag and the card is easily half the size it should be making it all the easier to lose. Since Ash gets two heads I'm not sure why that wasn't just the "go to" accessory for the line, since a "getting through to you" eyes Kylie head would have been great! Or if they could afford more than a simple repaint than him wearing a bandit hat.
Funko - The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Legacy: Ash
And then there's Ash. Another "good enough" figure with decent but soft sculpt and lots of articulation. What's frustrating here is that he comes with two heads. One is his sock-bandit hat, which is pretty fun and the other is his... athlete bandit hat!?!?!? You know, from that one single scene at the end. That's way more important than an unmasked head. WTF, guys? Oh, and I should note that the blackmask head won't even fit on the balljoint in the neck. I kind of wonder if they held the regular Ash head as an enticement for some retailer to pick it up as an exclusive... for one of Wes Anderson's less famous films. That came out five years ago and there has been no clamor for merchandise. My hope is that we'll see that as a con exclusive, but who knows? I really do not understand why they went Legacy. It seems like ReAction would have been a better fit since they could have gotten out a wider array of characters.
Funko - Game of Thrones, Legacy: Jaime Lannister
For as neat as the first series of Game of Thrones figures were series 2 seems to be a big improvement. The sculpting here is fantastic and the likeness is practically spot-on (it looks better in person than in this photo). The paint is equally good, though I'm given to understand his missing some white on his chest armor. I'd guess it was a cost issue but seems like it'd be as big of an omission as to not paint those horizontal bits on R2-D2s trunk blue. Being more a fan of the books than what I've seen of the show I'm not familiar with the armor or any inaccuracies, so I am bothered not. He comes with a nice big sword and fortunately it fits snugly in the sheath because he can not hold it. Yup. The hands are sculpted with the thumbs attached to the fingers and his sword has a big, non-removable lion's head pommel, so... you gotta break your figure in order for it to do what it's meant. But fortunately he looks great as is.
Funko - Game of Thrones, Legacy: Brienne of Tarth
Brienne is one of my favorite characters in the book and I'm so happy the figure turned out so well. I'm not so sure the likeness is all that great, but the short blonde hair helps, and goddamn that's some cool looking armor! I love the style of it and the colors are gorgeous! She comes with a sword that not only fits in her sheath but also in her hands! I don't really have much to say but that I love this figure and, indeed, she's my favorite of the entire line!
Funko - Game of Thrones, Legacy: Arya Stark
Funko really nailed it with this figure! The sculpt is fantastic and the paint is great. The likeness is by far the best of all of their Legacy line, too! Needle's hilt is a little too narrow or her hand a little too wide and the grip is a bit loose, but even still this is effectively a perfect figure. Funko has really figured out the game on collector action figures with this, so I really home they are able to maintain this bar with their future releases.
Funko - Game of Thrones, Legacy: Khal Drogo
Yet ANOTHER awesome figure! The detail in the sculpt is everything that the Fantastic Mr. Fox figure aren't. And the paint? Forget about it - those shoulder stripes look so good! The likeness is a little caricatured but it doesn't hurt the figure for me. He also gets FOUR weapons, a max for the series, with two scimitars and two daggers that fit snugly in waist-sheaths. He grip is a bit loose on all but the biggest scimitar but I'll go with it since the goods far outweigh the bads here.
Funko - Game of Thrones, Legacy: Robb Stark
Well, I guess they had to do him. The figure actually isn't too bad. It's a nice costume that sort of fuses the Eddard and Jon Snow figures together and adds in the armored limbs that Funko/Gentle Giant have been doing so well. The likeness is darn solid too. It's just... Robb, though. Not a favorite figure. But I guess this gets us one closer to the full pack of Stark kids. Man, they really should do the dire wolves.
Funko - Game of Thrones, Legacy: Daenerys Targaryen
Oooookay. Is anyone else not surprised that this figure is the most pegwarmingest of the entire line? Daeny is everyone's favorite so it it makes sense they'd try to double dip (heck, we even got two Tyrions, the other favorite, in series 1 already) and to get her in her more queenly garb, but come on... it just seems "too soon," especially since she comes with no dragon/s! I mean, this is the mother of dragons, guys - did you not hear the resounding "bummer, why only one?" feedback from the series 1 figure? I don't even watch the show and I show this outfit demands a dragon to sit by. The sculpt is fine but the likeness is practically nonexistent, but at least it's consistent with the equally off likeness of the previous figure.
Funko - Horror Mystery Minis: Captain Spaulding, Ash, Freddy, Jason
I goddam I love the aesthetic of this line! A local toyshop had a deal where you could swap out with the display model if you got something you didn't want so I cautiously bought four till a I pulled a second Jason, swapped for Spaulding and left happy. I just need a Leatherface and a Lecter, and would like a Michael Myers and Pennywise, and then I can walk away. I'm not sure how to describe it, but the proportions and the... just the whole style of the designs just 110% work for me. These are a solid pieces with no articulation, despite having separately molded pieces. The Horror line has been relatively kind to me, in terms of blind box "f**k you"-ery so I'm having trouble being as angry with it as the Sci-Fi one over this asinine package format.
Funko - Horror Series: Freddy Kreuger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Pinhead
I decided to only go in for the truly classic horror icons in this line and they certainly do but a nice line-up (though we desperately need a Leatherface to complete the set). Despite using the same, bad base body these figures actually turned out pretty well, probably a result of being more toyetic costumes than things like Back to the Future. They were part of that first series, though, which is clearly evident - particularly in Pinhead's V-ed out skirt, which is super annoying. I like that he comes with the puzzle box, but clearly little effort was put into the figure because he can't hold it well at all. Freddy gets a surprisingly detailed head sculpt and his fedora fits on perfectly! It's weird that his claw hand is inexplicable palm back rather than palm in, but he looks nice enough. Michael Myers and Jason are the comparable brothers they've also been. Despite my gripes with ReAction on the whole, I do hope we get a second series of Horror; again, Leatherface is desperately missing and I'd kill for a New Nightmare Freddy and Cyber-Jason.
Funko - Magic the Gathering, Legacy: Ajani Goldmane
I understand the Magic is more popular now that ever, but even in my ignorance of the game it's clear that that won't transfer over to enough numbers to move product like this. I got this guy for $7 or $8 on clearance from Target mainly because, even though he's a bit of a trainwreck, the price was too good. At first glance, he's pretty neat - nice, big lion-man with vibrant colors - but at second look the cost-cutting is all too clear. The sculpt is actually pretty great. Nice and detailed, plus plentifully articulated. He comes with a gigantic... bladed staff thing and a cool sword which fits very well in his scabbard and can not be held since he's cast in such hard plastic you can't get the hilt between the thumb and fingers. The really problem here is the paint. What's there is good but what isn't is overwhelming, particularly on his fur. It really needs a wash or something to bring the detail out of the translucent-y white plastic. Insanely, they did paint his mane, but in exactly the same color as the plastic so... man, it just looks bad. I can only assume they started slashing paint apps when they got the quote back from the factory when what they should have doe is drop some articulation. Or just realize from the outset that this was a very, minimal interest line and not swings for fences so hard.
Funko - Pop! Minis: Maleficent
I found this little lady in the "stocking stuffer" section at Target back during Christmas. I certainly do love Maleficent and I have bit of Pop! collection of her going on (having gotten a "giant" one at SDCC and the regular one) so this makes for a nice addition to that grouping. She appears to be identical in sculpt and paint to the standard release, just now in a smaller size.
Funko - Rocketeer, ReAction: Rocketeer
The sculpt is pretty soft and proportionally wonky (particularly in the torso) with thick paint and translucent skintone plastic - it just doesn't feel like Kenner and it's not great by modern standards. It just feels horribly rushed and a bit haphazard which really hurts, as a Rocketeer fan because not only is this only okay, it also means there is very little chance of Funko ever going back and making a version 2.0. His rocket pack turned our remarkably good, complete with gum plug, but the exhaust ports are flat rather than indented, so no chase of adding little flames or anything to him. He also comes with a removable helmet, a feature I don't think anyone was especially expecting or clamoring for, which results in a pretty off-model rendition of the iconic piece. It's a giant bucket size, the eyes are too small and both then and the mouth are oddly spread out out to accommodate the oversized width of the helmet. It's pretty bad. And I just don't get it - Funko seems to really care about this format but then everything is just so... off. Like they're trying to ape an aesthetic they don't understand.
Funko - Sci Fi Mystery Minis: Series 1
In taking this photo it really hit home how much money I have wasted trying to find my most-wanted Rocketeer and really... it's not only turned me totally against the line but against Funko too. At an SRP of $7 these are not cheap things to just impulsively buy a ton of! I have spent well over $140 and I still only have 9 of the 13 different characters. I just don't understand how people are okay with this. This is far worse case packing than Mattel or Hasbro has ever done. It is offensive as hell and pure and utter anti-consumer business. In terms of review - sculpts and paint are good (but the Predator is too soft/cute looking to fit in with the others).
Funko - The Terminator, ReAction: Series 1
The real appeal to this line is that it's the first ever figure of T1 Sarah Connor, but thanks to that head she's also one of the ugliest figures ever released. Similarly The Terminator, in the Bill Paxton clothes, has an equally alien-esque head. He kind of looks more like Brian Thompson than Schwarzenegger but that isn't a very exciting or toyetic costume. T800 Terminator, from the police station raid, works better, partly due to his double guns and mainly due to the nice shiny black used for the coat and glasses; it helps break up the aesthetic and is a nice change from the chalky looking paint of the rest of the line. Kyle Reese is easily the best figure in the series thanks to his cloth coat. It makes sense that it's cloth but it is a perfect highlight with the problem with ReAction - it's too modern whereas Kenner would have done the vinyl cape thing. I really dig the coat but for some insane reason Kyle has narrower shoulders than the other ReAcion figures it's not the universal fit you'd expect. This series also included two Endoskeletion paint variants, too.
Funko - Universal Movie Monsters, Pop!: Creature From The Black Lagoon
Pop! has always been pretty tempting but due it's epic explosion of licenses it is a very dangerous, very slippery slope so I've often fought the urge to stay away (which isn't too terribly hard since the paint QC is always pretty rough). The entire Universal Monsters series turned out really, really well but... slippery slope. So I just picked up the Creature for my character collection. This is just a wonderful piece! The sculpt is excellent and the paint is both subtle and good! I really dig this guy, and he's making it very tempting to venture into the realm of collecting up the other monsters.
Funko - Universal Movie Monsters, ReAction: Series 1
Despite being released all at once the UMM ReAction figures were officially two separate series. Overall they are the strongest figures in all off ReAction series 1. I think the characters lend themselves to this style, not to mention the Remco figures helped provide a very clear road map for the design aesthetic. The sculpts are just all around more detailed or solid here. Frankenstein's Monster isn't the most exciting figure but he's iconic and neat. Bride of Frankenstein turned out pretty well, with wonderfully detail arm wrappings, but good GOD that ridiculous leg V basically ruins the figure - has Funko never even looked at the Kenner figures with skirts/dresses!? The Wolf Man turned out surprisingly cool for being the sort of middle-child of the monsters; really nice sculpt and excellent color choices! And speaking of color choices, The Invisible Man is my favorite figure from he entire license - those colors are just so beautiful and well balanced! Entertainment Earth offered an exclusive clear version, which I just had to get to be a completist.
Funko - Universal Movie Monsters, ReAction: Series 2
I've already talked about the Creature from the Black Lagoon before, but suffice to say I love him, so I got a second to have in both character and line displays. Dracula is like Frankenstein, a bit bland but iconic none the less. Phantom of the Opera suffers from being black-heavy and pretty similar in look to Dracula, but the maroon bits help and I quite adore the vinyl capes on both figures. The Mummy is probably tied with the Creature and Invisible Man for being my favorites of these figure. Even though he suffers the same wonky proportions, with no clothes to hide it, the sculpt is incredibly well detailed and the paint is pretty nice. Just compare the sculpt of this guy or the Creature to Rocketeer, Terminator, or BttF and you'll see what I mean by how half-assed or rushed those soft sculpts look. I'm glad that Funko at least took it's time to get the monsters right! And I really, really, really hope there are more to come!!!