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Hoban Washburne

Firefly
by yo go re

"Hey, I've been in a firefight before. Well, I was in a fire. Actually, I was fired... from a fry-cook opportunity."

Serenity's crack pilot, Wash is considered something of a lightweight compared to the battle-hardened crew Captain Reynolds has assembled. Even so, he manages to win the heart of shipmate Zoe, soldier extraordinaire and a cool judge of character. Relaxed, funny, and fond of toy dinosaurs, Wash is sometimes jealous of Mal's special hold over loyal second-in-command Zoe. But in the end, this feisty flier proves his courage on a number of "jobs," joining his gung-ho compatriots in some furious battles.

Hoban "Wash" Washburne could best be described as "space Xander." He was the plain, middle-of-the-road character, covering his insecurity with humor. It's possible he was a pilot during the Unification War, and shot down during his first mission - he then spent time in a POW camp, entertaining the other inmates with shadow puppets.

Wash was played by Alan Tudyk, whose biggest role to that point had been in A Knight's Tale. The toy does a terrific job of capturing the sort of dopey, carefree look the character usually had, but something got screwy when they tried to sculpt his hair. His vaguely spiky poof of hair is instead done like Conan O'Brien's wave dealie.

Wash's typical fashion sense involved a standard flight suit and a Hawaiian shirt, and that's exactly what this toy delivers. He had a couple different colors of flight suit, and many styles of shirt, but this particular combo never actually appeared on the show: the jumper is green, and the shirt is white with incredibly intricate Asian designs (pagodas, mountains, cranes, etc.) printed all over it; while the green suit did make it onto the show - you can see it in "Jaynestown," for instance - this shirt didn't; the only place it appeared was in a series of publicity stills, which may be why Funko chose it. [The same material was used to make a long-sleeved shirt for Kaylee in the pilot, though --ed.] The real garment had a slightly bluer tint, and more details, but this is still an impressive job.

The shirt (and the collar of the flight suit, which sticks out over the shirt) is made from PVC, and is sculpted with a few simple wrinkles. The suit beneath it is slightly baggy, so its wrinkles are big and smooth as well. His shoes were Italian sneaker boots made by Jo Ghost, but the details on the distinctive soles are a little soft.

The articulation is what we've come to expect from Funko's action figures: a balljointed head and neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, and wrists, a balljointed torso, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and hinged/rocker ankles. They're all made from clear plastic, despite Funko saying they weren't going to use that any more, so hopefully nothing breaks. The neck joint is stiff, but I'm not about to get rough with it. I like my Wash to have a head on his shoulders.

He does get a pair of accessories: two of his toy dinosaurs. So that you can re-create the "curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal" scene, he's got a blue stegosaurus and a tan T rex. They're both painted up nicely - not just molded in color - and his hands are designed to grip them. Sadly, while Steg can stand on his own, Sexy Rexy can't; his legs are set too far back, so he tips over forward. It's still adorable that we got these. Toys of toys.

Hoban Washburne goes by "Wash" because, as he said himself, "why would anyone call themselves Hoban?" The toy is decently made, but that clear plastic makes me nervous. Really, it's just a shame that there won't be a pilot's chair for him to sit in.

-- 07/25/15


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