I’m starting the New Year off with a Doctor Who Pop! Vinyl Giveaway!
The winner will be randomly drawn New Years Day at noon. You must be a Follower and have a US shipping address to get the prize.
I’m starting the New Year off with a Doctor Who Pop! Vinyl Giveaway!
The winner will be randomly drawn New Years Day at noon. You must be a Follower and have a US shipping address to get the prize.
I was all ready to open up another Kantai Collection Figma for this week’s Anime Saturday, but then I thought, “why not serve up a little variety and do something else.” How about some Pop! Vinyls! Yes, folks, while I don’t buy a whole lot of these, the truth is I’m still part of the problem, even if just marginally so. But at least I can still say I’m very choosy about the ones I buy, and those purchases are often targeted at franchises that haven’t been properly exploited in plastic. Apart from a couple Play Arts Kai figures, there’s a bewildering lack of merchandising around Cowboy Bebop. I don’t get this. I mean, seriously? Still no Figmas or Figuarts for the Bebop crew? I get that the love affair with this series has waned in recent years. As always, the more the Internet adores something, the more they will turn on it later on, and I feel that’s set in vis-a-vis Bebop. But to me, Cowboy Bebop belongs among the classic anime that it
steals borrows from. And, as usual, Funko has stepped in to fill the plastic void with some of their goddamn Pop!s.
Today I’m looking at all four of the current BePop! offerings, numbers 145 to #148 in the Pop! Animation Series if you’re keeping track. They originally showed off some concept art for Ein a while back, but I haven’t seen him actually make it to vinyl yet. As for the packaging, these all come in standard Pop! window boxes. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. There’s a pyramid of these things at the local Barnes & Noble. I think they have more Pop!s than books now. Anyway, let’s run through these, starting with Spike Spiegal.
This is a great likeness for a Pop!, and there’s no doubt about who he’s supposed to be. I love the way the head cocks to the side ever so slightly and they really nailed his Dylan-esque mop of hair. The body is not as lanky as it should be, but let’s face it, one doesn’t buy Pop!s looking for accurate proportions. They did a great job on his blue futuristic leisure suit, complete with yellow shirt and loose tie. He’s even got a cigarette burning in his right hand. The paint quality on this one is excellent, with pretty clean lines and not much slop to speak about. While he doesn’t really need it, Spike comes with a clear disc stand to help keep him from toppling over. Five out of five Woolongs.
Jet Black is also unmistakable to me in this Pop! form. Of course, his portrait is a lot more distinctive than Spike’s, thanks to his cyborg implant and unique choice of facial hair. They even sculpted in the scar that runs down the right side of his face. Unfortunately, they didn’t line up the break in his eyebrow paint to match it, but it doesn’t bother me that much. The rest of the paint is really good, especially the emblem printed on the back of his jacket. Jet is the only one in the lineup that doesn’t come with a stand, nor does he have peg holes in his feet, but he stands just fine on his own. Even if I take a little something away for the botched scar paint, he still gets four out of five servings of Bell Peppers and Beef. Tasty!
Faye Valentine is another very distinctive looking character that translates really well to Pop! form. With her purple hair and yellow hairband, I think I would probably know who this was even if you just handed me her head. The outfit is also created down to the last details of her mid-riff crossing suspenders and thigh-high stockings. I even like the way she’s standing with her hands on her hips and her weight shifted slightly to one side. The paint here is pretty damn good too! The yellow sure is flashy, and I like the mix of gloss and matte finishes. No complaints here, five out of five regurgitated poker chips.
And that brings us to Edward, and another direct hit for this series. Funko had a lot to work with here when it comes to the portrait. The blush on her cheeks is well executed, the hair is great, and the goggles that she wears up on her head actually feature translucent tinted green lenses. She has the simplest outfit among all of them, but it still hits all the right points. The plastic used for her skin tone is a little too shiny for my taste, but I’m not even going to take any points off for that. Five out of Five super-intelligent corgi pups. Arf!!!
What I really enjoy about this set of Pop! Vinyls is that it not only fills the Cowboy Bebop shaped void in my collection, but it’s an easy in and out. Funko may make more of these, we may eventually get that Ein or maybe a Vicious or a Julia, but I don’t need them, because the core of the show’s cast is right here and ready to go up on my shelf. And the beautiful thing about Pop!s is that I rarely ever have to pay full price for them. Someone is almost always doing some kind of deal to chip away at the piles of these on retail shelves. In this case, I got in on a BOGO, so these basically only set me back a fiver each. Not bad at all. And that’s it for today’s Anime Saturday. I think it’s time I blow this scene. Get everybody and the stuff together. Ok. 3. 2. 1. Let’s jam. dundundundundundundundun duuuuuuuuuuuun …
It’s another Transformers Thursday without any new Transformers. It’s also the day after I just pulled an all-nighter at work and I’m really tired and want to go to bed. But the show must go on, so let’s see what I have lying around here that I can do quick-and-dirty. Of course! Pop! Vinyls!!! Also, Doctor Who is back and I can’t even tell you how happy I am about it. While we’re only two episodes into Series 10, I’m really digging it so far and it made me want to get out some Doctor Who merchandise. Sadly, Character Option doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing with the license any longer and the Doctor Who action figure market has all but dried up. But if there’s one thing you can count on in this universe it’s Funko and never ending empire of Pop! Vinyls. I’ve already looked at the 11th and 12th Doctor Pop!s, so today I thought I’d round out the NuWho Doctors with a look at Nine and Ten.
The packaging here is pretty standard Pop! Vinyl fare. If you’ve bought one of these (DON’T LIE TO ME, YOU OWN AT LEAST ONE!) then you know what to expect. The adorable little figures come in window boxes branded with the series and number of the figure. These are #221 and #294, which shows that a lot of Television Pop!s have come between these two releases. Yup, it’s kind of odd that Ten comes before Nine in their numbering, but don’t worry about it, it’s all just Timey-Whimey. The boxes are collector friendly, but you can still sort of enjoy your Pop! without taking it out of the box. Indeed, this is one of the few lines of collectibles where I always keep the boxes. They’re not much bigger than the figure itself, and when they’re in the box you can stack them. Why the hell do these say Age 14+ on the boxes? These are practically chew toys, so I’m not sure how they can be dangerous. Eh, who knows? Let’s go in order and start with Nine.
To me, The 9th Doctor has one of the least distinctive looks out of all of the Time Lords’ incarnations, and yet I have to admit, I’d know who this is even if you handed it to me without the box and covered up the Sonic Screwdriver in his hand. Being able to recognize the character is the biggest compliment that I can pay one of these ridiculous things and since I don’t really find Nine’s outfit all iconic, this Pop! is doubly successful. The head isn’t bad either. I think they actually gave him bigger ears too!
Pop! Nine also has some of the best paint I’ve seen on any of my shamefully large collection of these stupid things. Granted, he’s wearing a black jacket, black trousers, and black shoes, but the jacket and shoes are glossy and the trousers are matte, so you still get a little variety in there. I really like the purple paint they used for his shirt, and the paint apps on the screwdriver are especially good. Apart from a little chipping to the flesh tone on his right hand, this is as close to an immaculate Pop! as I have ever seen. One might even say… FANTASTIC! Moving on to Ten…
The 10th Doctor is a total slam dunk, largely in part to his very iconic costume, and also to the really wonderful job the Wizards of Pop! did on this figure. I swear, I think I could probably recognize him just by the head alone, thanks to the tufted wave of hair at the front and those glorious sideburns. But if that doesn’t give it away, the brown jacket, blue suit, and red and white “sand shoes” definitely drive the point home. And, of course, he also has his trusty Sonic Screwdriver in his right hand.
And today lighting is striking twice because the paint on this one is just as good as what we just saw on Nine. Sure, there’s a little slop on the shoes, but when you buy Pop! Vinyls sight unseen like I do, you run the risk of some nightmarish paint. It’s always great to see a pair of beautiful pieces like these.
I know I don’t spend a lot of time here showcasing my Pop! Vinyls, probably because I’m ashamed to admit I own so many. Still, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to sneak some more in here and there. If nothing else, it makes for an easy day for me, because… well, how much can you really ever say about these things? Maybe I’ll try to get through all the Doctor Who ones, while Series Ten is running. It’s worth noting that there are a number of variants for some of The Doctors, but I’m not that crazy yet to pick up all of those. Some of them? Yeah, but not all of them. And so Nine and Ten here complete my NuWho Doctors nicely. Wait, what’s that? They did a Pop! Vinyl War Doctor? Oh, for heaven sakes, I guess I have to get that one too.
It’s hard to believe that I haven’t looked any Funko Pop!s since the very beginning of the year. Especially considering how many of these damn things I have stacked around the place. I swear, they multiply like Tribbles or Gremlins or some other fictional critter that breeds out of control. Anyway, I thought I should check some more of these things out before the end of the year, and what better occasion to look at some Fairy Tail Pop!s than on a lazy Anime Saturday! It’s also a convenient excuse to look at something pretty quickly because I’m heading off to the Medieval Fair today!
If you’ve seen one boxed Pop! than you’ve more or less seen them all. Natsu and Lucy hail from the Pop! Animation line, one of the approximately two billion categories of these adorable little plastic figures. Indeed, I would not be surprised to learn they have an entire line of Hungarian Cabinet Maker Pop!s. While a lot of my Pop! buying comes from impulse buys, I actually sought these two out, because Fairy Tail is awesome and sadly there just ain’t a lot of merchandising around these characters. Let’s start with Natsu
Natsu Dragneel is immediately recognizable to me thanks to his hot pink spiked hair and his somewhat iconic outfit, which has been faithfully recreated on his tiny little body, from his white checker-patterned scarf and little belt buckle to his sandals. He even has a ball of Fire Dragon Slayer Magic boiling in his right hand. The paint on this one is fair by Funko Pop! standards. To be honest, every time I buy one of these, it’s like rolling dice. I’ve had ones with near perfect paint and others where they look like they were painted by blind hamsters. Here, the orange striping on the outfit is pretty good, but there’s some rubbing on the brown sandal straps. On the downside, this one is a bitch to keep standing. I actually had to put a spot of tape on his foot to keep him from falling over for these snaps. Considering Natsu has a problem with motion sickness, we’ll just call this an action feature. Moving on to Lucy…
Lucy Heartfilia isn’t quite as instantly recognizable to me, but in fairness she changes up her outfit in the series quite frequently and her Pop! form loses some of her womanly features. Here, the best details to identify her with are her whip, coiled on her belt and complete with the little heart finial at the end, and the keys on her belt that she uses for her Celestial Spirit Magic. She also has one of the keys in her left hand and her Fairy Tail Guild stamp on the back of her right hand. Knowing who she is brings the head into a more recognizable light, but this is one Pop! where you really need to know the character pretty well to recognize her outside of her box. Like Natsu, the paint on this one has its highs and lows. There’s some chipping on her boots and her right bracelet, but otherwise nothing too bad. I actually really dig the colors on her. The bright yellow, blue, and white look great together. Ironically, Lucy comes with a stand to keep her upright. Natsu could have used one of these.
So, Fairy Tail Pop!s are a thing and now I do indeed have a pair of them on my shelf. There are three figures in this little series, with the third being Happy. I haven’t picked him up yet, but I probably will at some point just to complete the set. I doubt I’d review him alone, so if I do wind up getting him, I’ll just tack him on here in an Edit. As for Lucy and Natsu, these are actually a decent pair of Pop!s and I’m glad I picked them up, but they don’t quite scratch my itch for owning some actual figures or statues from the Fairy Tail anime. Nonetheless, I guess they’ll have to do for now.
It’s a geek overload weekend, between Toy Fair and the Deadpool movie opening to great box office takings. I’m probably going to go see Deadpool on Tuesday when the crowds die down and I’m not obsessing over Toy Fair coverage. So, while I’m chilling at home never far from my Twitter Feed and taking in all the new plastic news, I thought I’d grab another Pop! Vinyl off my stack and take a look. Deadpool seemed appropriate.
Granted, Funko have released well over a dozen different Deadpools in their addictive Pop! Vinyl format. The one I’m looking at is #20 in the Marvel Series and also their first release of the character. Although this particular figure was released in a whopping nine different variations, so if you’re a dedicated ‘Pool fan, then have fun tracking all of those down. This is Inception level character milking of the first degree that few companies other than Funko could pull off. Anyway, the box is standard fare for the Pop! series and it is naturally collector friendly. While I’m ashamed to say my Pop! collection has been growing rather quickly, I still keep them boxed. Hopefully I have the wherewithal to stop myself before I have a closet of Totes full of loose Pop!s.
As a Marvel licensed Pop!, Deadpool is an actual Bobblehead with a spring inside his giant noggin that makes it jiggle all over the place like a jonesing crack addict. I much prefer the regular fixed head Pop!s, but due to licensing issues with Hasbro, Funko is forced to make all their Star Wars and Marvel Pop!s in this manner. It’s not a big enough issue for me to get me to boycott them, but it does make me be extra choosy when deciding whether or not to buy a Star Wars or Marvel Pop!.
Deadpool dons his classic red and black outfit with plenty of pouches and wields a machine pistol and katana in his hands. It’s an instantly recognizable rendition and loaded with ‘Pool personality. The paint on mine is a little rough, though. There’s some fading on the brown belt across his strap where the red plastic is showing through and a spot of black paint on his left foot. On the other hand, the tampos on his giant face is crisp and they did a nice job painting his little belt buckle. These are mass produced items of the highest order, so unfortunately some paint flubs are inevitable.
I like the little sculpted tip of his hood that hangs off the back of his head. From the back you can also see lots more pouches on his belts and a little silver painted pistol in his holster. If I had one complaint it would be that both his scabbards are empty and yet he’s only holding one sword. Hey, Deadpool, where’d your other sword go? Yeah, I know, it wouldn’t have worked with the giant head. I’m still going to be picky about it.
If you want a little snapshot of Pop! Vinyl economics, despite being about three years old and the first release of the character in this format, this Deadpool is still readily available and not terribly expensive. Sure, even at $15 he’s going for one and a half times the original retail, but my point is if you’re hunting him, it won’t break the bank. Some of the variants, on the other hand, tend to get a lot pricier. I’m disappointed in myself enough already for picking picking up these Pop!s as impulse buys, if I ever catch myself paying a premium for one, I hope someone out there loves me enough to do an intervention.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.