It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m posting this Feature because, a) I wanted to write it while I was still fired up, and b) I’ve got a lot of decent stuff to look at and I didn’t want to waste one of my normal weekday slots with this shit. I also wanted to preface this Feature by noting that I’ve looked at a fair amount of Funko’s Legacy Collection line here and on the whole I’ve been pretty positive about it (indeed, some have said more than it deserves), so do try to keep that in mind as you wade into the (entirely justified) vitriol that is about to follow…
Fallout. It’s a big deal to me. When I moved away from my family back in the late 90’s to a new city and didn’t know anyone, diving head first into the original Fallout kept me company and helped me muddle through some lonely times. Taking on the adventures of the Lone Wanderer in an unfriendly land was such an apt metaphor for where I was in my life. Now, here we are almost 20 years later, the franchise is stronger than ever and Funko announced they were going to produce figures from the Fallout universe in their Legacy Collection line. I was pretty excited. Yeah, Funko’s foray into the 6-inch figure market has had some rough patches, but I’ve purchased quite a few of them from Game of Thrones to Magic the Gathering to Firefly and overall I’ve been satisfied. At this point, I didn’t think we had much to worry about. These guys seemed to know what they were doing. Then I got these figures and holy hell!
The first assortment (and God, I hope it’s the last) consists of a Vault 101 Lone Wanderer and a Brotherhood of Steel soldier in Power Armor. Gone are the handsome and collector-friendly window boxes we’ve seen with the past Legacy Collection figures. Now we get these narrow bubble on card things that feel like throwbacks. These remind me of the packages McFarlane uses for their Halo and Walking Dead figures. And believe me, if you make action figures and I compare you in any way to McFarlane these days, that shit isn’t a compliment. [I know, McFarlane’s like, what the hell did we do? Well, everyone’s getting a taste of the bitch pudding today!] Now, granted, I throw away like 90% of my action figure packaging because I got no room for it. So maybe I have no right to complain about it. But I’m making a point of it because the watered down presentation here reflects the overall lack of effort put into these figures. Compared to what we’ve seen before, these just scream, “Who gives a shit, just get them out.” You know what else is missing from the packages? Any mention of Gentle Giant. I will say this, the packaging does let you see exactly what you are getting. Unfortunately, I bought these online and sight unseen. Had I encountered them in a brick-and-mortar store, I would have passed. I was originally going to review both figures in one shot, but it would have run way too long, so let’s just start with the Lone Wanderer…
In Fallout you play the Lone Wanderer (or Vault Dweller, if you prefer) and he or she is really going to be vastly different for each player, so identifying with this figure may be difficult if your character isn’t a clean-cut white dude. Even as far back as the original game, you had plenty of customization options. My character in Fallout 4, for example, is a hot redhead who has cast off her jumpsuit and now wears a rather unique ensemble of combat armor. But Funko needed a sort of template look for this figure and I’m not going to hold that against them. So yeah, it’s just generic guy in a Vault jumpsuit and that’s fine. From a design standpoint, I think they went with something that manages to be quite iconic for the series. It’s also worth pointing out that this guy is from Vault 101, which places him in the Washington D.C. area of Fallout 3 and not the most recent game. I just thought that was kind of weird.
So, the basic design here is fine. You get the familiar blue jumpsuit with yellow piping and the designation “101” prominantly displayed on the collar and back of the figure. You also get some extra bits of scavenged kit worn over it, which is very appropriate for the series. Mr. 101 has one piece of large leather shoulder armor to the left and a smaller one to the right, an ammo bandoleer, a gun belt, and one piece of leather knee armor. In theory, this is a solid look for the character in the early game. Unfortunately, they put it on a figure that is a total piece of garbage. I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s go with the technical aspects of the sculpt. The suit looks passable and even the brown, dirty wash is fair. The big problem here is that there’s no credibility in a lot of the gear. The ammo bandolier is just a bunch of cylinders cast in the same brown plastic as the strap. There’s no detail, no paint. They might as well be his reserve supply of Tootsie Rolls. Take a look at NECA’s recent John Matrix figure and look at the individually painted shotgun shells on that figure and then look at this. These two figures are roughly the same price point. Funko’s Wanderer is amateur work at best. Maybe they blew the paint operations budget on those silver buckles. And then look at the holster! It’s just a flat piece of plastic. They couldn’t even be bothered to add any depth to it, or even sculpt a gun in there, let alone… oh, I don’t know… sculpt a working holster and give us a pistol to put in it like just about everyone else who is making 6-inch scale figures would have done in this day and age.
The Pip Boy is passable, but it’s big ugly green screen shows little effort. And because there’s no swivel in the arm, he can’t even hold it up to look at it all that convincingly. You can’t angle it toward his face, just hold it so the screen is straight up and have him look awkwardly down at it. Oh, just wait. I’ll get to articulation in a bit. DON’T PASS OUT ON ME YET! The head sculpt is probably the best thing about the figure, and boy is that not saying much. He looks more like one of the mannequins in the game that I knock over when scavenging. There’s brown paint from the hair all over the side of his face and the paint on the hair is chipped. His eyes are all wonky too, but frankly that’s a common problem with action figures these days, so let’s not hold it against this guy.
The articulation hurts this figure on two fronts. Primarily, the jointing just looks terrible and that’s my biggest issue. I can accept a trade off of limited articulation for a good looking sculpt, but just look at this mess! The arms look like weird insect legs all pinched in the middle and the ball joint on the left wrist looks so unnatural. The hips are easily the worst things of all with those awkward ball joints. What really pisses in my Nuka Cola is that the articulation isn’t even that good. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. You get those hideous ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, and rotating hinges in the ankles. Swivels? Nope, none in the arms or the legs. The neck is ball jointed, and there’s a ball joint in the torso, but that one is fused solid on my figure. So basically we get all the drawbacks of ugly jointing with none of the benefits of super articulation. Brilliant!
Even the ball joints in the hips don’t work like proper ball joints. For all the awkward range of motion you get in those hips, they might as well have just put a T-crotch in there and made it look good. LOOK AT THIS SHIT!!!
Accessories? You get one. It’s a rifle. It’s a decent enough little sculpt, but at this point, who gives a f’ck? With all the great unique weapon designs in this franchise, Funko, you give us a generic rifle. Thanks. Oh yeah, he can’t even hold it like he’s going to use it convincingly. His right hand is a freaking fist so I’m left having this dude aiming and firing a hunting rifle with one hand. Yeah, I could point out the obvious and say how cheap it is to just throw one accessory in with this figure. Can you imagine what NECA would have done with this figure in their Ultimate line? But no, we get nothing. No 10mm pistol. A Fatboy? Pfft… like that was ever going to happen! Not even a little box of Sugar Bombs. Ah, screw it. At this point it just feels like beating a dead mole rat. Besides, there’s so much else to talk about. Like this…
Yes, the Lone Wanderer does have one cool little action feature. It’s inspired by the game’s VATS system and simulates a Super Mutant targeting your leg and blowing it off. Oh, wait, no, it’s just poor craftsmanship that makes my figures’ right leg fall out every time I try to pose him. AND I MEAN EVERY FREAKING TIME!!!
“Gonna need a Stimpak over here!”
This figure set me back $20 and it is an absolute disgrace. Seriously, Funko should be ashamed of themselves for putting this out and Bethesda for approving it. I am not in any way joking when I say that the Funko’s own Pop! Vinyl Lone Wanderer I have on my desk is a better piece of merch from the game than this piece of garbage. Funko has released at least a couple dozen 6-inch scale Legacy figures and yet this one feels like a first attempt by a company that has no freaking clue what they’re doing. And that’s being kind, because the alternative is they just don’t give a shit what they sell to their customers. It’s December. There are only a couple weeks left in the year. I’ve probably reviewed close to 300 figures and toys in 2015. This is the worst piece of shit I looked at all year. There is no competition. And you know what the worst part is? I still have another one to look at. I’ll do that tomorrow in Part 2.