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Funko Pop!
by yo go re

Ain't that the truth? It certainly seemed like the internet's fascination with Sharknado was going to be another round of Snakes on a Plane hype: i.e., "ha, this is stupid, let's pretend to like it!" But unlike Snakes on a Plane, everyone who pretended to care about the movie actually watched it. And then their friends watched it. And then their friends' friends watched it, which is why it kept getting higher ratings every time the SciFi Channel showed it. Then a sequel was fast-tracked, and twice as many people watched that. So basically, what should be a terrible, over-hyped gimmick film series has actually turned out to be solidly entertaining.

Funko, never ones to let a trend pass them by, bought the merchandising rights to Sharknado, and put it into their POP! Vinyl line.

The POP! line has a remarkable breadth, covering just about every imaginable property from children's cereal mascosts to the Sex Pistols with cute little super-deformed caricaturizations. But how do you caricaturize a movie with no memorable or recognizable characters? Simple! You do the shark! And so that people don't mistake this for a Jaws POP!, you put that shark in a tornado.

The shark itself matches the Funko POP! aesthetic nicely, with its chunky body and its black eyes. Lifeless eyes. Like a doll's eye! His nose comes to a gentle point in the front, and his mouth hangs open to reveal his adorably pointed teeth. Sadly, there's only one row of teeth, not multiples. Why, it's almost like this super-deformed figurine based on a movie that specifically showed sharks to have skeletons isn't 100% scientifically accurate! Gasp! The fins poke out to the side, and the tail is bent slightly to the right. The body is gray, with a lighter stripe on the belly, and the interior of the mouth is a dark red.

The 'nado part of this toy is a translucent blue swirl enveloping the shark - the ring on top of its body and the swipes on its sides (two on the right, one on the left) are light blue, while the water spout base is darker blue - but they've all been airbrushed with white to add some contrast/keep it from looking entirely like plastic. The sculpt of the waves at the bottom reveals that the storm is rotating counterclockwise; somebody did their homework! From the base of the water to the top of the fin, this Sharknado measures 4¼" tall.

In truth, "Sharknado" is a bit of a misnomer: tornadoes form over land, hurricanes form over the sea; so the thing happening in the movie was actually a hurricane. And although hurricanes can cause tornadoes to form, a tornado that happens over water is called a waterspout. Basically, there wasn't a single tornado anywhere at all in the film.

But who cares? Sharknado was a lot more fun than it had any right to be, and even without a single point of articulation, this Funko POP! Vinyl Sharknado is, too.

-- 08/03/14

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