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!

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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.

Game of Thrones Legacy Collection: Eddard “Ned” Stark by Funko

It’s time to venture back to Westeros and visit with Funko’s line of Game of Thrones action figures. This time we’re checking out Ned Stark, who might not be at the top of everyone’s list because he’s been absent from the show for two whole seasons now. What? That’s not a spoiler! I didn’t say he was dead! Oops. Anyway, a big part of why I’m collecting these goes beyond my enjoyment of the books and the show. The truth is the history buff and me just really likes the idea of having some nice medieval style figures and Ned Stark certainly fits the bill.

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There’s the packaging, we’ve seen it three times now, so I don’t have a lot new to add. It is quite attractive with a simple, but effective deco. Ned comes with his scabbard attached to his belt and his two swords beside him. The package is totally collector friendly, and when you open it up you will likely be treated to an assault on your olfactory senses of a like you have never dreamed possible. In other words, these figures stink!

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So far I’ve looked at a couple of figures in full armor, Jon Snow in his Black Watch garb, and now we’re seeing a figure in a plain medieval style ensemble. Ned wears a quilted tunic, which is extremely well crafted in soft plastic so as not to interfere with the leg articulation. Beyond that we’re just looking at a long sleeve shirt, trousers, and high boots. Ned has his Hand of the King pin affixed to the breast of his tunic. There’s nothing flashy or even terribly exciting about this figure. I can’t point to any particularly wonderful paintwork or outstanding attention to detail, but there’s nothing wrong with him either. I dig it because of its simplicity. He just looks like a Feudal Baron, which seems appropriate for the rather spartan stylings of The North.

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While the outfit is beautifully done, the portrait on this figure is easily the weakest of these figures that I own. I suppose I can sort of see Sean Bean in there… somewhere, but it is by no means a slam dunk portrait. The hair is rather bland and looks like clay and the paintwork on the face is pretty poor, particularly the beard. It just looks like a mess. I will say that the sculpt looks better from certain angles and it most definitely looks better in person than under the close scrutiny of a zoom lens.

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Once again, I scored a figure without any articulation issues. Ned had no stuck joints or anything like that. The points here are all good and serviceable. The arms have ball jointed shoulders and elbows with both hinges and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs, and both swivels and hinges in the ankles. There’s a bit of a swivel in the waist and the head is on a ball joint… so you can easily pop it off. See what I did there? I do wish there was a little more play in the elbow joints, as he can’t really hold his larger sword with both hands.

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And speaking of swords, Ned comes with two. He has a regular sword that fits into the scabbard on his belt. The sword slides in easily and so far the scabbard hasn’t torn off like the one did with my Hound figure. This sword has a pretty simple cruciform style hilt with a brown wrapped grip and copper colored pommel and crossguard. The larger sword is Ice and it’s fairly similar to the smaller one, but big enough for two handed use. I have to say I really love the swords that come with these figures. They look great and the blades are stout enough so they don’t warp like crazy. Plus, I dig functional scabbards on my action figures as much as I love functional holsters… and we all know how much that is! Lots!

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All in all, I’m happy with Eddard here. The portrait could have been better, but overall the figure is quite nice and I’m very pleased that I haven’t been encountering any of QC horrors on the last two figures I bought. There are still two more figures in this first wave, and I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to be a completist or just wait for some more of the characters I really want like Bronn, Baelish, The Onion Knight, Stannis, Jamie, and Breanne. Either way, you can bet I’ll be coming back with more features from this line eventually. I’m also getting really excited to see Funko’s Legacy Collection expand to some of those other licenses they promised. *cough* Firefly! *cough*

Game of Thrones Legacy Collection: Tyrion Lannister by Funko

The last time I looked at Funko’s Game of Thrones figures, I was left with what could best be called satisfied apprehension. The Hound and Jon Snow are both great looking figures that required a lot more care and tinkering than mass market releases should warrant. Nonetheless, I promised I would press on and try a couple more and to that end a box from Amazon arrived last week with the next two figures for my collection. Today we’re checking out Tyrion Lannister, a fantastic character in the books and one that I think has been elevated to even further greatness by the wonderful performance of Peter Dinklage.

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The figure comes in a splendid window box, which is also designed to hang on a peg. The deco is simple, clean and attractive. There’s a faint linen-like deco to the box and the front has the name of the figure as well as his House’s sigil. The back of the package has a shot of Tyrion from the show and a list of other figures available in this wave. Obviously, Tyrion is a little person and that certainly comes across from all the vacant space in the package. Everything here is collector friendly and as with the previous two figures, when I opened Tyrion I was confronted with a smell that has doubtfully ever been equaled in the annals of action figure marketing. Holy hell, I don’t know what kind of noxious plastic Funko is using, but it really reeks something fierce.

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This figure is based on Tyrion in his battle armor from when he was attached to the Vanguard of the Lannister army. While it’s a very specific, not to mention atypical, version of the character, these are action figures, and so I think it makes sense to go with the more action orientated Tyrion as opposed to drunk, whoring, court Tyrion. Gentle Giant is behind the sculpting on this line and it certainly shows. Tyrion sports not only a great likeness and great proportions, but he’s brimming with little details.

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The portrait is every bit a great likeness of Peter Dinklage. I especially like the sculpting of the hair and the pensive expression on his face. The paintwork here is quite good, from the work on his eyes to the unshaven stubble, and even the painted skin tone.  I should point out that the paint used on his lips stands out far less in person than it does in pictures.

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The armor is an equally impressive combination of sculpted detail and excellent paintwork. The cuirass has a very realistic coppery finish to it with sculpted straps and rivets and an embossed lion just under the collar. The gold chain is neatly painted as are the fixtures on the retaining straps. You get carefully painted laces on the insides of his arm bracers and shoulder armor has more embossed and painted lion heads. The skirt and shoulder armor are all made from very soft and pliable plastic so as not to impede the hip or shoulder articulation.

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Uh-oh, what about that articulation? The biggest issue with The Hound and Jon Snow were the stuck joints. Well, I’m happy to report that all the joints on my Tyrion are absolutely perfect. Nothing had to be boiled, baked, frozen, or worked and he was fully poseable right out of the box. Tyrion features a ball joint in the neck that allows for a generous amount of movement. The arms have ball joints in the shoulders and elbows and swivels and hinges in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and knees and have swivels and hinges in the ankles. He can also swivel at the waist. All the joints feel nice and solid.

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Tyrion comes with one accessory… his trusty axe. It too is a carefully crafted piece with beautiful detailed paintwork on the handle and a little battle damage sculpted into one of the axeheads. Tyrion’s hands are designed so he can hold the axe in either hand or both.

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I really am pleased to say that everything about this figure is excellent. In fact, the only room for nitpicking here might be the price. Tyrion sure uses a lot less plastic than The Hound and yet both figures cost the same. Clegane even came with two swords, while little Tyrion only comes with the axe. Funko could have probably found something else to throw in there to sweeten the deal a bit. Maybe a Tyrion and Joffrey two-pack? Ah, but that doesn’t mean I regret buying this figure at all. He’s a superb piece of action figure craftsmanship and well worth the money to me. The paint, the sculpting, everything just comes together splendidly, making me quite excited to see what else this line has in store for us. And hopefully we will still be getting that drinking, whoring, version of King’s Landing Tyrion, because I’d certainly buy that one too! And Bronn… Bronn is a must!

Game of Thrones Legacy Collection: Jon Snow by Funko

Last week’s first dip into Funko’s new Legacy Collection was a rather mixed bag. We got a figure that featured a great sculpt, solid paintwork and accessories, but had some serious problems with stuck joints and a breaking part. In the end I was still glad to have picked up The Hound and today we’re going to see if Jon Snow fares any better. As mentioned last time, Clegane and Snow are the only two figures I picked up so far and whether I go any further with this line will depend on these two.

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The figure comes in a window box that is, deco aside, lifted almost directly from Hasbro’s Star Wars Black 6-inch line. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that as the box shows the figure off nicely and is totally collector friendly. Jon Snow comes packaged beside his sword and the box art features the House of Stark’s sigil, The Dire Wolf! The sigil is printed again on the side panel of the box. Beware upon opening this figure, it is going to stink worse than a White Walker, which I presume smell pretty bad. This is some industrial grade plastic stink.

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The back of the box has a photo of the character from the TV series and a list of other figures available in this wave. I’ll confess that Jon Snow’s story has not been my favorite aspect of A Song of Fire and Ice. I like the character well enough and it’s interesting to see his story arc, but I much preferred the characters and intrigue going on south of The Wall. Most of the time when the books or TV series switches to Snow’s story in the North I found myself growing restless and longing for a return to the political intrigue, backstabbing, and far more colorful sets and characters. Nonetheless, Jon Snow was on sale for a couple of bucks off and the figure looked nice, so I tossed him in my basket when I bought The Hound.

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First off, I’ve got to give major props for the sculpting here. Jon comes smartly clad in his Night Watch outfit, which is reproduced here brilliantly. Granted, this outfit doesn’t offer as many areas to shine as Clegane’s armor, but Gentle Giant did a wonderful job with what they had to work with. The straps that criss-cross Jon’s chest are sculpted separately from his buck, as is the detailed belt. The soft plastic cloak features nice texture work in not only the fur collar but the cloak itself too. It also hangs comfortably off the figure without curtailing the articulation too badly. While there isn’t a lot of opportunity for paintwork here, Funko did what they could. The tiny silver buckles are all painted neatly and there’s some nice white dry brushing to indicate snow.

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The portrait here is quite good. I think they got the hair perfectly and the likeness is pretty close to the actor in the series. He wears that stern and joyless expression that he has on his mug most of the time. The paintwork on the head holds up pretty well at casual inspection. When I get in really close and scrutinize it then I could pick some fault in the beard, but when he’s posed on the shelf I think the paint here is overall rock solid.

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Ok, so let’s sing a song of articulation and quality control. On second thought, let’s just talk about it. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, swivels and hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs have ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and hinges and rockers in the ankles. There is a ball joint in the torso and again in the neck. This figure has far less QC issues than The Hound did. I still had to be really gentle when getting him off the tray and several of his joints were stuck and need some friendly persuasion. No boiling water was required and eventually almost everything became unstock. The only thing left are the swivels in the thighs, and I just don’t want to mess with them for fear of twisting them off.

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In terms of extras, Jon seems rather light on the accessories, especially when compared to the two swords and helmet that came with The Hound. Nonetheless, you do get his sword, Longclaw, which is pretty nicely done for this scale. The blade is etched and the sword fits comfortably into the detailed scabbard on Jon’s belt. I haven’t had any issues with the scabbard pulling off, like I did with The Hound, but it doesn’t look like it would take much for it to happen. Jon can hold the sword in either hand, but I did have to razor the connection between thumb and fingers on his right hand to get it in there.

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So, after checking out The Hound, I was still totally on the fence over whether to keep pursuing this line. I was hoping that Snow would push me over one way or the other, so that I could either abandon this line or just get the rest of them. Ultimately, my experience with Snow gave me a slight nudge and convinced me to try just a couple more. Snow is not as exciting a figure as Clegane, but he is a totally solid effort with a really good likeness. The quality still feels a little precarious in a few areas and it would be nice if I had access to those thigh swivels, but overall I’m still quite happy with the purchase. I think I’ll buy Tyrion and Ned Stark next.

Game of Thrones Legacy Collection: The Hound by Funko

When I was a wee lad, fantasy fiction and I were inseparable. I re-read Tolkein until my paperbacks fell apart, I poured over issues of Dragon magazine, and I spent a ridiculous amount of time crafting binders with maps and modules for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, many of which would never be played. Somewhere along the way, I left a lot of this sort of thing behind me; or rather it evolved into my study of ancient and medieval history. When George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” came along, I found myself rekindling that old love and when HBO’s treatment followed, I was equally entranced. Was there ever any doubt that I would be interested in action figures based on this franchise? Hardly! Funko’s figure line seemed to come out of nowhere. They were up for sale shortly after their existence was revealed, and horror stories of their poor QC quickly followed. I had originally planned on buying the entire assortment in one shot, but better judgment prevailed and I decided to just pick up a couple to see if they were a worthwhile investment. We’re starting with one of my favorite characters in the books and TV series: Sandor Clegane, better known as The Hound!

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Hound comes in a window box quite similar to Hasbro’s Star Wars Black 6-inch line. Funko is, of course, the company responsible for drowning the world in an endless sea of those pop culture vinyl figures. They’re infamous for being able to secure seemingly any and every license known to man and now that might just pay off because Game of Thrones is only the first in their “Legacy” series of 6-inch action figures, which is eventually planned to span wide range of franchises. The window box is attractive and it shows the figure off very well. The back has a photo of the character from the show and the side panel shows the banner of the family that the character belongs to. The package is totally collector friendly, and… gosh, I think there’s something else I’m missing. Oh yeah. The figure stinks! I mean it smells really bad. It’s not that glorious plastic smell that you get when breaking the seal on a NECA or MOTUC figure. No, this smells pretty vile.

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Out of the package, and The Hound looks fantastic. The package tells us that Funko collaborated with Gentle Giant for the sculpts in this line and it certainly shows, particularly in the detailed armor. From the hauberk to the riveted plates to the chain mail underneath, the sculptors didn’t miss a trick on this guy. There are even dents on the shoulder armor from where he took some blows. The shoulder and elbow guards are made out of a really thin, soft plastic, which allows it to work with the articulation. There isn’t a huge variety of paint on this figure’s body, but what’s here is certainly good. The metal finish on the armor is certainly convincing and the buckles and fixtures on the belts and straps are all carefully painted.

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The portrait here is pretty solid too, although there isn’t nearly as much burn damage visible on the face as there should be. I suppose you could argue that the way the hair is sculpted, it’s covering most of it. The truth is someone without any knowledge of the show or character could probably look at this head sculpt and not realize that he’s half burned at all. Even with that being the case, I’m still pretty happy with the way the head turned out. The likeness is certainly there and the paintwork isn’t bad at all, although I’m not entirely sure whether that stuff on his neck is supposed to be crooked beard, burn marks, or chocolate pudding.

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To discuss this figure’s articulation requires a trip to the stove for a pot of boiling water, but first let’s list the points that are here. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, have swivels in the lower biceps, ball joints in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. There is no waist or chest articulation and the head is set on a ball joint. Out of the package, my figure had frozen joints in the ankles and the right elbow, and both thigh swivels were stuck. Now keep in mind, that’s after spending a lot of time very gingerly working all the joints to avoid breakage. If I didn’t have a heads up about the QC, I likely would have snapped all the limbs off this guy in a couple of minutes. I was also very careful about getting him out of the tray.

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So after boiling up some water and chuckling to myself about the irony of having to burn my Sandor Clegane figure, I set about to doing what I could. The ankle joints came unstuck fairly easily. It was the elbow that took some doing. Even after I was able to get the balljoint to bend, I couldn’t get it to rotate. Why the designers saw the need to put bicep swivels so close to a rotating ball joint in the elbow is beyond me, but it greatly complicated getting the swivel in the elbow unstuck. If the elbow hadn’t frozen in an unnatural position I would have left it alone. But after a few dunks into the boiling water, and some gentle coaxing, the elbow got unstuck too. Right now I’m not going to bother with the thigh swivels, because there’s really no way to tell whether the joint is beginning to turn or the post is twisting off. I’ve had that happen a couple of times on DC Universe Classics figures, so it isn’t worth it. There’s a little bit of swivel play in the hip joints to help him stand. Also worth mentioning, the hip ball joints are crazy loose. The Hound will sometimes collapse into the splits or the leg will come off entirely. But that’s easily fixed.

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The Hound comes with two swords and they are both beautiful pieces. The blades are about the same length but one has a two handed grip and fits into the scabbard on his back. The other comes in another scabbard, which gets passed through the loops on his belt… and then tears the loops off the figure. Yep, I did that as carefully as I could and it still tore off. That was an easy fix with some gorilla glue and it should be a lot stronger now. He also comes with his signature helmet. The helmet is superbly sculpted to resemble its on screen counterpart. It’s very soft plastic and fits snugly over the head. The visor is also hinged!

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So, obviously this figure has problems. And even after all this bother, I have to consider that I’m one of the lucky ones, because in the end I still have a viable figure and not a jumble of broken limbs. As crazy as that sounds, what’s even crazier is that I’m still glad I picked up this figure because he looks absolutely fantastic on the shelf. Still, I wouldn’t go around recommending him to people. Twenty bucks is a lot to spend on a figure that is this flawed and while future collectors may take comfort in the fact that Funko is aware of the problem and addressing it on future product, unless they mark the packaging on the improved figures, buyers are still as likely to get stuck with a bad figure. I’ll end on a bright note, at least Funko is getting the kinks out and future Legacy lines should be free of these problems… and hopefully will be by the time they get around to Firefly figures. Next week, we’ll check out Jon Snow.