Game of Thrones (3 3/4-inch): Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, and Ygritte by Funko

It’s Sunday and a lot of you are going to be going through Game of Thrones withdrawal tonight, so I decided to pop in with a fairly quick little Feature to take a look at Funko’s new line of 3 3/4-inch Game of Thrones figures. Yes, in a weird turn of events, Funko has abandoned their rather decent 6-inch GoT Legacy Collection line and went for these 3 3/4-inch figures instead. To be clear, these aren’t part of their ReAction line, but rather seem to be designed to stand as their own self-contained series. The initial assortment consists of six figures and all of them are focused on the War in the North. Unfortunately, that’s the aspect of the series and books that interests me the least. As a result, I didn’t go all in, but just picked up three to see what they are all about. And thank The God of Fire, for that, because these really suck!

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Package presentation has never been one of Funko’s problems. The packaging was often the best thing about their ReAction line and the collector friendly boxes used in the Legacy Collection were great. Here, we have a simple and clean presentation for a carded 3 3/4-inch line. The front of the card is generic and feature a large bubble that shows off the figure well. There’s an insert at the bottom with the character’s name, and the back of the cards has a screen capture of the character from the series. I would have preferred a “Collect Them All” sort of thing on the back, but whatever.

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It’s worth pointing out that I thought this line had a lot of potential. Game of Thrones features a rich universe of characters and while I really dig a lot of the 6-inch figures, this smaller scale was perhaps better suited for producing that wide number of characters. Obviously, these are not collector friendly, so let’s rip them apart and take a quick look, starting with Jon Snow.

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Aaaaaand, yup! The arm broke off at the shoulder right out of the package. It’s actually possible it was already broken in there and the cape was just keeping it in place because it really does fit snug against the shoulders. How great a start is this? “You know nothing (of quality control) Jon Snow!” It’s not even a ball joint or anything complicated, just a simple swivel. It’s also one of only nine points of articulation on the figure. At this point, I was ready to bin the figure and scrap this Feature, but I decided to move on with a quick look…

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Overall, this is a pretty soft sculpt without an over abundance of detail or paint. In fact, from the neck down there is some silver paint on the belt fixtures and nowhere else. I suppose the Black Watch garb is convenient as Funko didn’t have to invest in many paint operations. The head sculpt is better than the ReAction stuff, and honestly not terrible for a figure in this scale, but it isn’t great either. One of the straps for the cape seems like it was supposed to be attached, but it looks damaged and just hangs loose. All these figures have the same articulation. You get the standard vintage style in the shoulders and hips, with additional hinges in the elbows and knees. The heads are ball jointed. In the case of Jon Snow, the cape renders the shoulder articulation useless, but you can take the cape off by popping the head. It doesn’t help much in my case since my figure is now missing his right arm. Snow comes with one accessory, his sword, which is fairly decent for the scale. I just hope he’s left handed. Moving on to his buddy…

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Samwell came out of his package without any limbs falling off, so that’s a step up. He features a chunkier build and sculpted quilting on his tunic. Again, there’s very little in the way of paint here. In fact, other than the flesh on his hands, there’s no paint at all from the neck down. Once again, the drab costumes of The Black Watch work to Funko’s favor and save money on paint. The head sculpt is about as passable as Jon’s. Samwell comes with a crossbow, which he cannot hold in anything resembling a firing position. It’s a pretty stupid accessory for him anyway. He should have come with a book or maybe a dragon glass dagger. Moving on…

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And last up we have Ygritte. The sculpt here is super soft, and the costume is downright f’ugly, although some of that has to do with her just wearing a hodge-podge of furs, so I won’t harp on it too badly. Here, Funko couldn’t get away without some paint apps, but it’s basically just gray and brown and some darker brown wash over the fur. The head sculpt here is easily the worst of the three, as it’s a tad over-sized and there’s no likeness to the actress at all. If these were still ReAction figures, I’d probably give it a pass, but seeing as how the other two at least resemble their screen counterparts, I’ll dub this one a fail. The quiver is a separate piece and secured with a shoulder strap and she comes with her bow.

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And there you have it… these are unfortunately pretty lame, and that’s not all that unexpected. I’ve been on record praising some of Funko’s stuff when they deserve it, but this is a weird line and I really don’t know what they’re going for here. They’re clearly not in the same category as ReAction, but they aren’t anywhere near good enough to be considered seriously as a legit 3 3/4-inch action figure line in the year 2016. At least only one of them broke, but that was enough to keep me out of this line in the future. Maybe there’s some merit here to keep them carded and hang them on the wall, but even that’s a reach. At ten bucks a pop, these would be a funny joke, if they weren’t ripping people off. Between these and the horrible Fallout figures, I think it’s time Funko abandon the action figure market and just go back to taking over the world with Pop Vinyls!

Rock Candy (DC Comics): Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Modern Batgirl by Funko

What do you do when your Funko and have something like 1.5 million different Pop! Vinyl characters in circulation? You keep expanding, of course! And now Funko has introduced a new line of vinyl collectible figures called Rock Candy. Now, I’ve only dabbled in Funko’s Pop! Vinyls, but these roughly 5-inch tall, non-pose-able female figures feature a super cute style that I couldn’t resist. Currently the line is only featuring characters from DC Comics, and different versions of Barbie. Weird! Today I’m sampling half of the initial six DC Comics releases.

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The figures come in compact little window boxes that feel a lot more premium than the POP! boxes. They feature some nice gold foil lettering with each character’s name in her own particular logo on the front and again on the side panel. Oddly enough these aren’t numbered, so maybe Funko isn’t anticipating a lot of growth with this line. Like the Pop! figures, these packages are designed so that you can use them as their own display cases and still get to see most of the figure. Unfortunately, the front window on my Supergirl has heavy rubbing, so I haven’t decided whether to pitch the boxes, or maybe try to get a better Supergirl box. Of course, if you want to open them up, the boxes are totally collector friendly and you even get clear display stands with pegs designed specifically for each figure.

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Overall, I really dig the styling here. There are definitely some cutesy tropes at work, what with the big head and eyes, but I also feel like it’s something fresh and new and works well with all the characters I’m looking at today. Wonder Woman sports an adorably determined expression with hands on hips and I’m surprised at how much of her costume is fully realized through the sculpt. The belt, the chest emblem, her wrist bracers, all of these could have been simple paint apps, but aren’t. Even the coiled lasso is quite detailed! Only the stripes on her boots and stars on her super-panties are achieved with paint alone.

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And speaking of paint, what’s here is overall very solid. The original promotional shots of these figures looked very sharp and I can remember thinking that it was going to be a line that would live or die based on the quality of the paint and considering some of the hit or miss paintwork on Pop! Vinyls, I’m surprised at what we got here. Sure, the lines could be a little more crisp in some areas (particularly the stripes on the boots), but there’s virtually no slop and the shades of blue and red and gold all look so vibrant.

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Supergirl boasts a confident look with fists on display and ready for action. Once again, there’s a lot of sculpted detail here that could have easily just been paint or printing, including her belt and chest shield. The paint here is also very clean and I appreciate that they even used glossy red for the boots and matte for the cape and skirt. But most of all, the colors are just so bright and luxurious.

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And that brings us to Batgirl. This is the Babs Tarr, Batgirl of Brunside, version of the character and a look that I’m very fond of. The sculpt here is pretty impressive as it includes all sorts of little touches like the laces on her boots, the pulls on her zippers, her belt and pouches, she’s even holding a batarang in her left hand. I think I like Batgirl’s expression the most out of the three, as she has a lot of personality. Even the pose, with her one knee drawn in is just adorable.

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Unfortunately, the paint on this one is a bit disappointing when compared to the other two figures. The lines just aren’t as sharp, particularly around the yellow and black areas. I should qualify that by saying it’s still pretty acceptable for a mass produced vinyl collectible in this price range. I mean, they even made a go at painting the laces on her boots! I think this is more an example of the other two figures looking so exceptionally good, that it hurts the one that looks average.

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But, I don’t want to end this Feature on a sour note, because the truth is I totally dig all three of these figures and I’m definitely going to round out the DC assortment by picking up the DCEU version of Wonder Woman as well as Classic Batgirl and Harley Quinn. At $9.99 these figures are in the exact same price point as Funko’s Pop! Vinyls and I think you’re getting a lot more for your money here. They’re cute, colorful, and feel like a decent value, whereas the Pop! Vinyls to me feel like a dirty addiction that I should be ashamed of. In the end, it just feels like more work and personality went into these. While the Barbie releases aren’t my bag, I’m going to be really interested to see if Funko expands this line to include more DC figures or even other franchises. I sure hope they do.

Game of Thrones (Legacy Collection): Brienne of Tarth by Funko

The latest season of Game of Thrones is in full swing and I haven’t watched a second of it. I’ll get to it… eventually. In fact, I’ll probably binge it when it’s done. I can’t explain my apathy toward it right now, as I was pretty fond of the last season. Maybe it’s because I know the series is starting to venture more into the mystical shit that I don’t care about and away from the swords and politics I love the most about it. Anywho… Brienne and Jaime Lannister were the last two figures in the series that I bought, and likely will be the last two I will buy. I’m really only featuring her today because she’s one of those figures piled on the floor of my Toy Closet waiting to be opened and I’m making an effort to get that area cleaned up. Not really a proclamation of excitement, but I’ve enjoyed these figures and I like this character, so let’s see what she’s all about…

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The packaging on this line has always been great. You get an attractive window box that shows off the figure beautifully and identifies the character on the side panel. Everything is collector friendly and there’s a J-hook if you want to hang it on the wall.

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One of my favorite things about this line has been the detailed sculpts in the armor and costumes. It was popular to shit on a lot of these Legacy Collection figures, and sure we can quibble all day as to whether the likenesses are any good, but I’ve found their recreations of costumes to be totally on point and Brienne here is no exception. Granted, Brienne’s armor isn’t as fancy as the suit we saw last time on Jaime, but the sculptors still did a wonderful job here. From the ribbed lining on the armor plates to the individually sculpted straps that pretend to hold them on, I’d be hard pressed to think of too many companies to do a better job at this price range. The underlying chain mail is sculpted under her arms, the edge of her belt hangs loose, and even the quilting on her “skirt” looks great.

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The paintwork here is something special too. I’m particularly pleased with the rich, oiled bronze color used for most of the prominent armor plates, and the wash that makes it look worn in some areas. Individual fixtures on most of the straps are painted too. What’s more, the paint really brings out some of the finer details in the sculpt.

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The portrait’s sculpt is decent enough. I’m sure I could recognize who it’s supposed to be if the head was handed to me out of context. I think if anything it’s the lack of depth in the paint that throws it off. It really feels like Funko had totally different teams doing the paint apps for the bodies and heads on these figures. I get that it probably takes more skill to depict the nuanced coloring of a human portrait than it does a suit of armor, but from the neck up, it doesn’t look like they were even trying that hard.

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Brienne comes with one accessory, and that’s her sword. This isn’t Oathkeeper, but rather the sword she carried before she was gifted the finer blade. I actually prefer it this way. I’m a fan of trusty utilitarian sword designs over all that fancy stuff. The sword fits into the scabbard that is permanently attached to her belt. Once again, there’s some really nice paintwork and weathering on the scabbard.

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Articulation in this line has been good on paper, but sometimes problematic in execution due to stuck joints. My figure doesn’t have any issues with that and features some solid pose-ability for a character wearing armor. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, with both the shoulder and wrist armor made of soft, pliable plastic so as not to inhibit those joints. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, and double hinges in the knees. The ankles are hinged and have a bit of lateral movement. There’s a ball joint in her lower torso and another in her neck.

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I like this figure a lot, and to hell with the haters, because I think this was a great line. No, I probably wouldn’t have felt that way if I got hit with a lot of bad QC and joints breaking, but I find it odd that not a single figure I bought had any of those issues. And yet, considering Funko responded to the problems, I know they were widespread. Either way, this was a fun line for me, with some great sculpts and solid pose-ability and I’m truly sorry to see it go. If Funko had kept it going, I’m sure I would have kept buying them. It particularly sucks that we never got a Bronn, as he’s my favorite character. Sure, there’s always a chance that I’ll grab up some of the ones that I’m missing and we’ll see Game of Thrones Legacy Collection  back on FFZ at some point, but once I realized they weren’t making any more, I lost interest.

Game of Thrones (Legacy Collection): Jaime Lanister by Funko

It’s getting near time for Game of Thrones to come back and while my interest in the series has waned a bit over the course of the last season, I’m looking forward to seeing if it can hook me again. Plus… toys! While I was never a completest when it came to Funko’s Game of Thrones figures, I still have a few of these lying around and waiting to be opened and this seems like the right occasion. Today, I thought I’d check out The Kingslayer.

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We’ve seen this packaging before in my past GoT Features. It looks great and it’s collector friendly. Each figure is numbered, with Jaime here being #7, and you get the Lannister Crest beside his name. That’s it. I’ve got nothing more to add. The GoT line lasted a little longer than the other Legacy Collection lines, but Funko still abandoned it after just a few waves, which is unfortunate, because it was easily their best.

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Jaime comes all decked out in his Kings Guard armor and I have to admit, they did a wonderful job on this sculpt. That’s saying something, because this ornate suit of armor is easily one of the most challenging sculpts they have tackled on any of their 6-inch figures. The intricately etched scrollwork on the breast plate and shoulder armor is fantastic, as are the scaled pieces on the arms and skirt. Sculpted undergarments can be seen in the gaps between the armor, giving the armor a convincing layered effect. The two-tone copper and gold paint used for the armor looks great.

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The cape is cast in very soft plastic, cascades off the shoulders and trails on the ground a bit. It pulls away from the figure quite easily so as not to inhibit articulation and it’s light enough that it doesn’t make the figure terribly back heavy. At the same time, it’s there to offer a support for standing the figure in some of the more trickier balanced stances.

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The portrait is a solid enough likeness to Coster-Waldau. I mean, I can at least recognize him in the context of the rest of the figure. The decision to give him a smarmy little smirk might have been a little too ambitious, as I think that’s the aspect of the sculpt that strays a bit. Still, I appreciate them trying to give the head some personality and I’d argue it’s overall loads better than anything we’ve been seeing out of Hasbro in this scale. And with some crisper and cleaner paint, the likeness could have been elevated a bit further. Of course, if you’re more a fan of the books than the HBO Series, maybe the likeness to the actor doesn’t matter.

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The articulation here is decent and the armor doesn’t create too many problems. The skirt is slit up the back to help give the legs a decent range of motion, but he’s still limited in what he can do from the waist down. The hips are ball jointed, there are swivels in the thighs, the knees are double hinged, and the ankles have rotating hinges and lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and the shoulder armor is soft plastic allowing it to compress. There are rotating hinges in the elbows and wrists. Finally, there are ball joints in the torso and neck. While there was quite a bit of excess paint on my figure’s elbow joints, I didn’t have any issues with stuck joints.

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Jamie comes with his sword and scabbard, although the scabbard is permanently attached to the belt, so it’s technically not an accessory. The sculpt and paint on the scabbard is particularly nice. There’s a slight hammered metal look to some of the fixtures and the paint is very clean.
The sword is also a great looking piece, albeit the detail on the hilt is a bit soft, you can still make out the lion head pommel. It fits into the scabbard perfectly. I did have to take a razor and cut the thumb away from the rest of the fingers so that I could open the hand to have him hold it, but that was no big deal.

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After the blistering (but well-deserved) Features I did on Funko’s Legacy Fallout figures, it’s kind of sad to go back again and see how much potential the Legacy Collection had in its earlier days, before they ran it into the ground. Jaime Lannister is an excellent figure in the overall solid Game of Thrones line and playing around with him makes me wish they had focused more on it, particularly since we never saw figures of Sir Jorah and Bronn, my two favorite characters. With figures like this one, I would have kept collecting this line as long as Funko kept churning them out. Ah, well. When I swing back to this line again in a week or so, I’ll open up Brienne of Tarth.

Pop! Vinyls (Army of Darkness): Ash by Funko

Damn these ridiculous things! I bought a few Doctor Who and Fallout Pop!s last year and swore it wasn’t going to be a gateway into anything, and now I’ve got more of these things then I’d care to admit. I’ve decided that the weekend would be the best time for me to start looking at these things, as well as some Disney Infinity figures and other items in my collection not worthy of occupying a regular weekday slot, so here we go…

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Here is the insidious little box that called to me from the shelf. Ash is #53 of what I’m assuming is their movie series. But Funko is so prolific with these things that any time I see a number less than 10,000 on these things I call foul. I’ve been keeping the boxes for now, but I can foresee a day when I will have Totes with hundreds of loose Pop!s just spilled into them. Someone, please stop me before that plays out.

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The back panel is odd, because instead of showing you what other POP!s are out there to buy it just has a poster from the film. Man, that was a great poster! Now, I realize that this particular Pop! is from Army of Darkness, but the real reason I wanted to look at Ash today was to give me a platform to talk about the TV Series, Ash Vs Evil Dead, which just wrapped up it’s first season and… HOLY SHIT, RIGHT??? This was a series that they could have totally phoned in and fans would have still eaten it up with a Candarian spoon. But the creators didn’t do that. No, instead they delivered what has got to be some of the most unique TV ever produced. This show is beyond a love letter to the fans. It’s a full on blow job letter to the fans. It’s just absolutely incredible and impossible and I can’t believe something like this was actually made and put on television. Needless to say, I loved it and can’t wait for more. OK, back to the damn Pop!

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One of the thing that impresses me is the way Funko is able to take just one aspect of a character’s appearance and work it into the generic giant Pop! head and make the character recognizable. Here it’s Ash’s cowlick. The scar is neat too, as is the one raised eyebrow. I almost wish they had glued a chin on the bottom of the face, but that would have been going beyond the Pop! aesthetic so I can understand why they didn’t.

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Now, I’m not saying I would recognize this head as Bruce Campbell by itself, but that’s where the body comes in and Funko did a nice job here. You get the torn blue shirt, the chest straps, the boomstick, and the chainsaw hand and all are produced quite well for this scale and scope. There’s just something about a figure this cute holding murder implements that makes me happy. The paint here is not bad at all. There’s a stray fleck of black here and there, but otherwise it’s pretty neat and the brushed steel look of the chainsaw blade is actually quite good.

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So, I originally told myself just Fallout and Doctor Who (and yes, I have more of those to look at), but the problem here is that after you buy your first Pop! you start to notice them a lot more. Beforehand, they were just noise on an endcap at Target and now they sing to me as I make my sweep through the action figure aisle. Because lord knows, I really need more useless pieces of plastic to collect!

Fallout (Legacy Collection): Power Armor by Funko

Yesterday I began a rage-fueled assault on Funko’s unfortunate foray into the Fallout series with their Legacy Collection Lone Wanderer. Today I’m checking out the rest of this initial assortment (yes, mercifully, it’s only two figures) with their Power Armor. I’m still kind of spent from yesterday, but I just took a hit of Jet and I think I’m cool to muddle through another day of this torture. Hopefully today will be a little better. I mean, it has to be… doesn’t it?

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Here’s the same in-package shot that I showed yesterday when I thought I would be able to fit both figures into the same Feature. In a nutshell, it loses all the class and collector-friendly perks of the old Legacy Collection window boxes, but at least you get a better look at the figure. Inexplicably, Funko is not ashamed to show you what’s inside, so unless you buy them online like me, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. Happily, this is one of those good news, bad news scenarios. The good news is, this figure isn’t nearly as bad as the Lone Wanderer. The bad news is, it’s still not very good.

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As with the Lone Wanderer, The Power Armor has many different appearances in the Fallout universe, so this one is kind of a generic design, and I’m fine with that. I’ll also note that while there is no way in hell I would have bought the Lone Wanderer had I seen him in person, I probably would have gone for this guy, because he doesn’t look nearly as bad, at least not in the package. A lot of that is probably due to the bulkier and more forgiving design. Straightaway, let me say that the biggest problem I have with this figure is that the upper legs look out of proportion with the torso. I don’t think it’s so much a problem with the legs as the torso should have been bulkier. Or maybe it’s because the exposed ball joints in the hips make the upper legs look weird. I can’t put my finger on it, but something just looks off. It’s not eggregiously so, but I can’t unsee it. Then again, it could just be me.

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With that being said, I think this is a competent, albeit not spectacular sculpt. The Power Armor has a somewhat primitive design that jibes with what we got here. The silver painted finish looks rough in some areas, but again that works for what it is, at least in place of any real attempts at weathering. The armor is all smooth, so there’s no sophisticated pitting or anything like that. Ironically the most detail on it is probably found on the copyright information stamped on the backs of his legs. You do get some sculpted rivets in the arm, but not a lot else. The backpack is passable, but again feels soft and devoid of any meaninful detail. There are also more of the bare plastic unpainted hoses that make this look rather like a prototype.

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The helmet has a fair amount of detail, but everything looks very soft and the bare plastic used for the hoses again looks rather unfinished. They didn’t even bother to paint the spotlight, which is rather inexcusable since apart from all the silver and the black visor, there are absolutely no paint operations on this figure at all. Unless you count the dribble of black on the front of his left leg. I suppose the bare plastic that’s exposed at the joints gives it a little depth.

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The articulation here is virtually identical to what we saw with the Lone Wanderer. It’s not as a big an issue for me here, since this is a dude in bulky armor. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The pauldrons look like they should be hinged, but I don’t think they are. Either way, the ones on mine don’t move. If this were a Marvel Legends figure, they would be hinged to allow for better shoulder movement. No such luck here. The legs feature the same restrictive ball joints in the hips, double hinged knees and rotating hinges in the ankles. There is what appears to be a ball joint in the waist, but my figure will only twist ever so slightly to the left or right. The neck is also ball jointed, but it’s so tight that I’m afraid to really move it in fear of twisting it off. In fact, there’s very little range of motions on any of the joints on this figure, so he’s not a lot of fun to play with.

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Once again, we get only one accessory. In this case it’s a laser rifle, which is at least more interesting than 101’s hunting rifle. It’s a decent sculpt of the rather iconic looking weapon from the game and it features some decent paint apps as well. It is, unfortunately very difficult to get the figure to hold it, but still better than what we saw last time.

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If you were looking forward to another hate fest, I’m sorry, but I don’t think it was warranted here. No, this Power Armor is not a very good figure, but it doesn’t elicit the absolute contempt that I felt for the Lone Wanderer. It just feels very phoned in. It looks passable standing on the shelf, and I can’t say I’m entirely sorry I bought it, but I am still very sorry that Funko got the license to do these figures. NECA would have been my first choice, but having bought several of Mezco’s Mortal Kombat X figures, I think they would have done a much better job with the Fallout license too. If this is the future of The Legacy Collection in Gentle Giant’s absence, I think Funko should just stick to their Pop! Vinyl empire. What a disappointment this has been. Thankfully, I was able to cancel my pre-orders for their Skyrim figures in time.

Fallout (Legacy Collection): Lone Wanderer by Funko

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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!!

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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…

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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!!!

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“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.

Pop! Vinyls (Doctor Who): The 11th and 12th Doctors by Funko

Last month I picked up a couple of Funko’s Pop! Vinyls based on the Fallout video game franchise. This was after a long career of making fun of the fools who bought these stupid Pop! things. Nonetheless, I maintained that it wasn’t going to be a gateway drug into the deleterious habit of Pop! addiction, rather it was just because of the limited amount of real merch and toys based off of the Fallout universe. I have since picked up some more Pop! Vinyls, this time from Doctor Who. I blame Character Options for these, because if they had kept up their 5-inch Scale action figure line, I wouldn’t have to be turning to nefarious world of Pop! Vinyls to slate my Who toy cravings. And with the amazing Series 9 coming to a head, I had a really powerful need to buy some Doctor Who shit. So again, not early signs of any broader kind of Pop! addiction here, it’s just a coincidence. WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING AT ME??? Ahem, I actually have a slew of these Who Pop!s to look at, but I’m starting with the two most recent Doctors.

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The packaging consists of compact little window boxes, showing you exactly what you’re going to get. From what I’ve seen, the trend in the Pop! collecting community is to display these deformed little fellars in their boxes, making it easier to stack and store when you have like 1,000 of them. Funko even makes clear acrylic cases so you can store your Pop!s in the box and in the case. A couple thousand years into the future archaeologists are going to have a great time trying to figure these things out. Anyway, these are numbers 219 and 200, from the Pop! Television Series. That’s as opposed to the two billion other series of these things Funko churns out. I swear to God, there’s probably a series of Pop! Vinyls based on people I used to go to High School with. The back of the boxes show the nine other Who Pop!s they’ve done so far, including a Deluxe Pop! TARDIS. And yes, I’ll be getting to all of them eventually. IT’S NOT AN ADDICTION! Let’s start with Eleven…

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Yes, he’s an adorable, big-headed version of Matt Smith with black soul-less specks for eyes. Even with the accurately floppy sculpted hair, I don’t know that I could tell who this is from a head shot, but the body is spot on. He’s got his tweed jacket, complete with sculpted elbow patches, and his Sonic Screwdriver in his right hand. And yes, he’s donning his bowtie, because lest we forget bowties are cool! While I had some paint flubs on my Fallout Pop!s, the paint here is more or less perfect. There’s one glossy smudge on his jacket lapel, but I don’t know if that’s paint or just excess glue. Moving on to Twelve…

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Can there be anything more right than a super cute Peter Capaldi? I don’t think so. Oddly enough, I might be able to pick out this one from a head shot, just because they painted on his attack eyebrows. Brilliant! The body could have been more problematic, as The 12th Doctor has been rather erratic with his choice of costumes. In this case, Funko went with his original promo pic costume, blue coat with red lining, and it was a good choice. He’s also got his little sculpted ring on his left hand and his Sonic Screwdriver in his right hand. I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be a Sonic Wayfarers Exclusive like they did with The 10th Doctor and his 3D Glasses.

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I picked up these Pop! Docs during a Black Friday sale over at Dorksidetoys for about forty percent off, along with some other stuff. It worked out to be about $12 for the pair. I think they’re still up for sale, so anyone looking for some Pop! Vinyl Time Lords should go check them out. Next week, I’ll swing back around and check out The 10th and 4th Doctors.

Pop! Vinyls (Fallout): Male and Female Lone Wanderers by Funko

Yes, I am now officially part of the problem. I have shaken my head in disbelief over the truckloads of Pop! Vinyls that Funko releases on any given month. I have pondered how it was ever possible that these damn things have invaded every retail store from Target to Barnes & Noble. I have swore that never would one of these ridiculous pieces of tat ever soil my collection. And now I bought two of them. In my defense, they are Fallout Pop!s and up until a short while ago (before the Legacy Collection announcement), it didn’t look like we’d be getting any official Fallout action figures from anyone. I mean, I just bought a PS4 specifically so that I would be ready for Fallout 4’s release next month and considering that kind of commitment to the franchise, it should be no wonder that I dropped $20 on a couple more tokens of my affection to all things Fallout. Let’s check these stupid things out…

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If you’ve never seen Pop!s in their original packaging, you’re a liar. These are everywhere. I have seen pictures of people’s collection where an entire wall of their spare room was covered from floor to ceiling by boxed Pop!s. They come in colorful window boxes, that remind me of the kind of box a Christmas ornament would come in. The box decos seem pretty standard throughout the two billion different licenses that Funko makes Pop!s for, with the name of the license on top and the character name on the bottom. In this case, these “characters” are only known as The Lone Wanderer and I got one of each gender, because why not? I have played through nearly every Fallout game as a man and a woman, so I wasn’t about to commit to just one.

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I don’t pretend to understand the numbering system. These two figures are 47 and 48, which, by my reckoning of how many of these Funko turns out, seems to be missing about nine digits and a couple of commas. And yet they obviously haven’t made 48 Fallout Pop!s, so if anyone out there knows the madness behind the numbering, drop me a line. Let’s start with the dude.

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Well, aren’t you just f’cking adorable. Big head and tiny body, that’s what these Pop!s are all about. True to form, this guy is missing a mouth and stares at me from behind two soul-less dots he calls eyes, but that’s all part of the charm, I guess. The head is pretty generic with it’s brown hair, but that’s kind of the whole point behind this nameless RPG avatar. The real effort goes into the body and in this case, Funko did a nice job on it. He dons the trademark blue jumpsuit with his vault number, 101, lettered in yellow on the back. He features some belts, straps, and a piece of shoulder armor that would do any Wasteland Walker proud. He’s also wearing his Pipboy and wielding a weapon in his right hand. I’m making it out to be the default Colt 10mm pistol. The paint is bright and colorful, but there’s an unfortunate black slash across the last digit of his vault number and that’s rather disappointing. On the other hand, I’m rather impressed that they painted all the tiny silver fixtures on his belt and pouches. Moving on to the lady…

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This version of our hero, or heroine, has stylish blonde hair and some eye lashes added to her soulless peepers just so you know she’s a lady type. Her outfit is more or less the same, from the blue jumpsuit and down to the shoulder armor and 101 lettered on her back, only this time with immaculate paint all around. By way of body language, Ms Lone Wanderer has a lot more sass than her male counterpart, with one leg out and her weapon held up at the ready. Speaking of weapons, holy shit, she’s sporting the Railway Rifle from Fallout 3. I have to hand it to Funko, they did their research and sculpted the guns well enough to make them easily recognizable. They put a lot more care into these pieces of tat than I would have suspected before seeing them.

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These things are weird. And while I can respect the little touches that Funko put into this pair, at $10 a Pop! (see what I did there?), I’m not sure I see the broad appeal. But far be it from me to poke fun at anyone’s collecting habits. There are closets at my place that look like toy store stockrooms and I’m sure there’s stuff in there that would baffle plenty of people. So when I mock the Pop! Vinyl scene I’m doing it in jest, especially now that I own a couple. But now that I do, I’m not likely to be amassing hundreds and building an accent wall out of them, but I can easily see myself picking up some more of the Fallout releases, particularly the Power Armor and Vault Boy… and just maybe some of those Bioshock releases. So, yeah, the Pop!s will grace the pages of FFZ again at some point in the future.

Firefly (Legacy Collection): Kaylee Frye and Jayne Cobb by Funko

Back in June I checked out Captain Mal and Zoe from Funko’s Firefly Legacy Collection and while I wasn’t blown away by them, I found them to be solid enough to keep going. I was planning on waiting to get the last three figures and knock them out in one fell swoop, but I haven’t found Wash yet, so we’ll worry about him another day. Today we’re looking at Kaylee, Firefly’s spunky young mechanic, and Jayne, the resident gun-toting psychopath.

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The packaging is uniform to what we saw last time. The figures come in window boxes with a deco that matches the show and side panels that identify the figures inside. I like these a lot and so far I’ve been keeping the boxes to all my Legacy Collection figures. The figures in the wave are numbered, with these two being 2 and 3, although I haven’t been going in any order so it doesn’t really matter. Let’s talk about Kaylee first…

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Kaylee is sculpted in her green, sleeveless mechanic’s overalls with her purple floral patterned shirt sleeves showing through. I really like the detail they put into the outfit, both from a sculpt and paint standpoint. There’s scattered bits of Chinese writing and the teddy bear patch on the left leg is actually part of the sculpt, which is great. The paint wash on her overalls is a little heavy handed, as was the case with Mal’s jacket, but in this case it can be passed off as grease, so I’m alright with it.

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The portrait is kind of an enigma. There are angles where it looks good, there are angles where it looks not so good. I know, that’s not a ringing endorsement, but I get the feeling Jewel Staite is one of those people with rather distinctive features which defy all but the most talented sculptors. Still, Gentle Giant is still credited on this line and they aren’t exactly amateurs. The look they went with has Kaylee offering a sly smirk and I’d have to say that I could probably identify her even if someone just handed me the head and asked me to guess. Bottom line, I expected this likeness to be a train wreck and what we got is passable under certain circumstances.

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Kaylee features a good amount of articulation with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles. She has ball joints in the hips and double hinged knees. There are swivels in the thighs and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s no waist swivel, but you do get a ball joint just under her chest and again in the neck. Alas, Funko is still using the super shitty clear plastic for the joints and I did have one stuck knee joint. I have no patience for boiling these things, so I rolled the dice and was ultimately able to coax it into working without snapping anything.

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Kaylee comes with one accessory, and that’s a wrench that she can hold in her right hand. Seems like they could have thrown some more in there, but then Jayne makes up for it with some extra bits. And speaking of Jayne…

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Now here’s a sculpt that is just spot-on perfect, or at least as close as we’re likely to see in a 6-inch scale mass release figure. Granted, the outfit is simple, with just a green t-shirt and khaki pants, fingerless gloves, combat boots and a gun belt, but everything about it is solid. You even get a functional holster and knife sheath.

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The portrait is a dead on likeness for Adam Baldwin. I mean, there’s really nothing else to say, except the paint is nice and clean. This one is a slam dunk.

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The articulation, on the other hand, is a little wonky and wanting. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, and these really, really weird variations of the same in the elbows. These were on the Mal figure too, but they look a lot stranger on Jayne’s bare arms. The legs feature ball jointed hips, double-hinged knees, and swivels in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The torso features a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. This one has a few more stuck joints than Kaylee did. The left thigh swivel won’t budge, nor will the rocker in the left ankle. Guess I’ll be boiling some water after all.

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Jayne comes with three accessories and, surprise! They’re all weapons! First, you get a pistol and a combat knife that he can wear on his belt. Both are very nice pieces and while his left hand is clearly sculpted to hold a gun, I appreciate the fact that it will still hold the knife without it falling out.

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You also get Vera, Jayne’s favorite gun and Funko definitely invested a lot of work into this piece. The sculpt is wonderfully detailed and you get some pretty solid paintwork for an accessory. The stock even has the individually sculpted and painted bullets on it. I can see why Jayne is so fond of Vera, it’s a great little piece.

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While it’s sad to see that Funko is holding on to the use of the clear plastic jointing and Jayne’s elbows are really odd, I’m still going to chalk this pair up as a win for this series. If Mal and Zoe left me a little on the fence, Jayne and Kaylee have elevated the line a little in my eyes. Funko is still making some strange and curious choices in the production of the Legacy Collection, but I’m still overall satisfied with what we’re getting. Indeed, I like Jayne well enough that I may go ahead and pick up the exclusive version with his infamous hat. I’m also still on the lookout for Wash. Are we getting any more of these? Who knows. So far, Funko has dropped the Magic the Gathering Line after just one wave and rumor is Game of Thrones is done too. I’d still very much like to see Reverend Book and the Tams see releases, but I’m not holding my breath.