Ah, Firefly, what is there to say about it other than it was killed before it’s time. I actually didn’t get to see it until after Fox had already shit-canned it and indeed I’d never even heard about it until a year or so after it was cancelled and I picked up the DVDs because I was bored and the premise sounded interesting. It was love at first sight and if nothing else, I think it was cool that we got a pretty damn fine feature length film out of the deal too. That’s one thing more then most failed TV series get… what’s another thing? Action figures! This actually wasn’t the first stab somebody took at making figures out of this franchise. Even before these and Funko’s ReAction line, Diamond Select did a single wave of some super shitty figures based off of the Serenity movie. There were two versions of Mal, two versions of Jayne, and a Reaver and they were pretty awful. Let’s hope Funko fared better here.
One thing Funko has down pat by now is their 6-inch figure packages. You get a couple of simple window boxes similar to what we’ve seen from Hasbro’s Black Series and even NECA’s Planet of the Apes line. These have a great deco, which is heavily inspired by the series artwork and you get character names and portraits on the spine. [Jayne: “‘pine? Is ‘pine OK?”] Quiet, you! Your figure will get its turn eventually! Anyway, I like everything about the presentation here, maybe even enough to actually keep the packages, as they are collector friendly and they do look shiny all lined up on the shelf. The backdrop behind the tray is even illustrated with a nice big sky. And before you ask, No! I’m keeping it! You can’t have it. You can’t take the sky from me!!! Today I’m starting with just two figures in the series. These are actually #1 and #5, but I thought it appropriate to feature The Heroes of Serenity Valley together. Let’s start with the Captain…
Captain Mal comes in his trademark space-western garb, complete with khaki trousers, high boots, button down shirt, suspenders and his infamous brown coat (please, don’t call it a jacket!). The paint wash on the coat and the shirt is rather heavy handed and the decision to go with a gloss paint for the shirt is a strange one, but overall, I like the work on the outfit. That is not to say, I don’t have a few other gripes.
The coat uses the usual plastic vest with sculpted sleeves and i normally don’t have any issues, but in this case, the coat tends to ride up a bit making it pretty obvious that the sleeves are not part of the coat. It also tends to give Mal a bit of a hunched look. Still, a dealbreaker this is not and overall I think the figure looks fine. The gunbelt features a working holster and I really dig the way the right flap of the coat is sculpted to fall back behind the holster. Nice!
The likeness is not at all a bad one. I think it holds up really well under scrutiny, but looks best when viewed from a bit of a distance. It’s definitely Nathon Fillion and a far sight better than the likenesses we’ve been getting in Hasbro’s 6-inch Black line. It’s pretty clear that Gentle Giant is still at the helm.
The articulation here hits all the right points for a 6-inch retail figure. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles feature both hinges and rockers and there are ball joints in the torso and neck. You’ll note I didn’t mention the wrists, because these are just bizarre. The hands are hinged and placed on these tiny posts, which connect to ball joints inside the sleeve. They look very frail and neither wrist wanted to move at first. I threw caution to the wind and was able to get them started so now they do indeed have swivels and hinges, but man, that was a tense moment. I should also note that while I have no other issues with frozen joints, Funko is still using the clear plastic for the joints that have caused them and DC Collectibles so much trouble.
Mal comes with two guns. you get his trusty pistol and a Winchester-style shotgun. He can hold the pistol in either hand quite well. I wasn’t really able to get him into a convincing firing position with the rifle, aside from doing a little trick with the perspective, but he can still hold it in some decent poses. Moving on to Zoe…
Zoe sports similar khaki pants (minus side striping) and high boots as her Captain. She’s also got the brown vest and green shirt that I remember her wearing for most if not all of the episodes. Little details include the wide bracelet on her right wrist and the thin strip necklace and choker sculpted on. The gunbelt is a separate piece and includes sculpted and painted cartridges and a rather unique fast-draw holster for her shotgun.
As with Mal, I think the likeness to Gina Torres is there. It’s a good portrait with clean paint. The hair is a bit at odds with the neck articulation, but it’s pliable enough and has parts at the shoulders to make it work a little better. The paint is clean, although her right eye is ever so slightly higher than where it was supposed to land. Still, in terms of googly eyed figures, I’ve seen a lot worse than this.
The articulation is quite close to Mal. I’m not sure if Zoe features ankle rockers, but if she does, I can’t get them to work and I’m not going to force the issue. Her wrists aren’t on the same super thin posts, os that’s a plus. Most of the other joints are fine right out of the package, but I have some trouble getting her right elbow to swivel and again, not going to force it.
Also like Mal, Zoe comes with two guns. You get her trademark shotgun and a pistol. The shotgun fits nicely into the loop on the belt holster. Her pistol doesn’t really have anywhere to go when she isn’t holding it, but maybe I’ll lend it to her husband when I get his figure.
I’ve wanted a set of Firefly figures in my collection ever since I saw the show and now it’s finally happening! All in all, these turned out to be very nice figures with just a few bumps along the way. I’d say my biggest criticism is that the little quibbles I have are things that Funko should have probably worked out by now. With a couple waves of Game of Thrones, a wave of Magic the Gathering, and at least one other 6-inch Legacy line out there, it feels like they should be beyond some of these rookie mistakes. That having been said, I’m happy to report no QC issues this time around, so I guess there is some improvement. I didn’t buy these as a complete Wave, but I’m still going to try to get back to the line at some point next week and check out some more figures. This is definitely a line I want to support because I really want to see a second Wave.