Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have no interest in toys, then you probably know that Funko is putting out a ridiculous number of retro-style 3 ¾” figures based on a whole slew of licensed properties. While I think this line would have been more interesting if they focused first on actual retro-properties, at least initially, I can’t help be drawn in to some of these figures and I wound up pre-ordering a ton of them, despite the fact that a lot of them don’t really look that good. What’s wrong with me? I don’t have enough time to get into that now. Anyway, the first release is a stand-alone figure drawn from Disney’s 1991 sleeper hit, The Rocketeer, and this figure should give us a good idea of what to expect when the flood of figures rolls in toward the end of the Summer.
If there’s one thing about these ReAction figures that is going to drive me crazy is whether or not to open them. In keeping with true vintage style, the figure comes on a card and bubble and it is most definitely not collector friendly. I get that they were going for authentic vintage packaging here, and I’m sure keeping costs down played into it too, but these figures are aimed at collectors so I’m thinking they could have come up with something a bit more versatile. On the other hand, the figures are cheap enough that openers can buy two without breaking the bank.
The presentation here is very nearly a homerun. You get the simple Kenner-inspired card with some very nice art deco style artwork inspired by the film. I think the black box with the figure’s name is a little bland and the outline for the bubble doesn’t line up with the actual bubble, but those are really the only blemishes on an otherwise attractive looking card. The figure is encased in a coffin style bubble with the accessories similarly sealed beside him. There’s no tray to support the figure and so he is rather askew in the bubble, but that’s all part of the retro charm. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m going to rip this baby open so we can check him out.
So, one of the things I’m going to grouse about is the fact that the ReAction line seems to be overdoing the retro thing just a bit. If you take some of the old Star Wars figures, you can see that there’s actually a lot of sculpted detail on many of them. The sculpt on the actual figure feels like it’s dumbed down a bit to emphasize its faux retro heritage. There’s also a little inconsistency where the sculpting on the jetpack looks a lot more detailed than the figure. I’ll also point out that I’m not a fan of the plastic used for the head. It looks super cheap and doesn’t really jibe with the rest of the figure. It’s also a bitch to photograph properly. Now, with all that having been said, I still dig what Funko did here. It’s a solid looking figure within the stylistic confines that they set out to emulate.
The paintwork and quality control on the figure has a few hiccups. There is a large mess of something on poor Cliff’s groin area and there are a few other stray paint marks here and there. Still, I’m rather impressed with the individually painted buttons on his tunic and sleeve buckles as well as the paint apps for his eyes and eyebrows. Naturally, the figure features only the classic vintage 5-points of articulation. The joints are all nice and tight, although now is as good a time as any to point out that one of my figure’s legs is slightly longer than the other so he’s always going to be leaning a bit.
As for the accessories, what would The Rocketeer be without his helmet and jetpack? The jetpack, as mentioned, is quite highly detailed and pegs right onto the figure’s back and holds on snugly. The silver paint looks really nice on this piece and they even sculpted and painted the piece of bubblegum used to for the makeshift repair in the film. The helmet fits over the figure’s head quite well. Yeah, it’s a little big, but I’m going to write that off to retro charm.
It may sound like I had a lot of beefs with this figure, but I actually do like it a lot. It’s important to note that while the figure is definitely a niche collector item, we are still talking about a $10 figure here, so expectations should be tempered. My only standing complaint would be that I really wish they would either use a less cheap looking plastic for the head, or paint the face, because as it is I think it detracts from the figure. Ultimately, however, I think Funko succeeded in what they set out to do here and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other releases, particularly the 80’s Slashers and the Universal Monsters.