Well, this is random. Only it’s not. Funko PoPs are an insanely popular – like, all the rage – line by Funko covering prett much every license ever. The premise is, “What if everything was drawn in the style of Hello Kitty?”, producing extremely super-deformed characters with beady little eyes – seriously, that’s the source of the aesthetic. Each figure is vinyl, part hollow and part solid, with articulation only in the neck (and sometimes not with that). PoPs made from Marvel or Star Wars are actually bobbleheads, but that’s due to licensing issues with Hasbro. There’s your intro. On to the meat of the review, I’ve got seven. These are not Mystery Minis, and in fact tower over them – they range in size from four-ish inches (both Doctors, Killer Croc, the Glowing One) to five-ish (Cthulhu) to seven-ish (Big Daddy, Songbird). The two big guys are actually labeled as such, and come in larger packaging. If you look hard enough, you can find a Wampa or an Attack on Titan Titan in that scale, too – but most are “average” size. Anyway, why don’t we look at the figures? There are hundreds of these things, so just picking a few from the crowd is pretty much the best idea for now (until I snag more, and do the same).
SONGBIRD (Bioshock Infinite)
Starting big, we’ve got… well, the biggest PoP I have ever seen. Songbird is a character from Bioshock Infinite, a practically Kaiju-sized mechanical bird-monster. You never actually fight it because you can’t. Period. When Songbird attacks, you have as much chance as a squirrel against a hawk. It is Elizabeth’s “Protector,” acually her jailer, and they have a surprisingly complex relationship – Songbird’s death just might leave you a little sad. This figure has no articulation, but it’s amazing, easily ranscending what a PoP is. Fantastic figure, and pretty solid, as well – you can bludgeon a man to death with it, which gives it a dual use!
BIG DADDY (Bioshock)
From Bioshock again we’ve got their headlining monster, the Big Daddy (I forgot to pick up a Little Sister). It’s shorter than Songbird, but just as bully and intimidating. There is an insane amount of steampunk deail on this fellow, and they especially did the facial cage right. Once again, you can use the Big Daddy to bludgeon your friends and enemies to death!
THE FOURTH DOCTOR (Doctor Who)
We’ve shrunken back down to normal size now. While this PoP doesnot reflect Tom Baker’s crazy eyes or craggy face, it is certainly instantly recognizable as him. PoPs often have that going on – aking characters recognizable despite the virtually-identical faces. Good for them.
THE TWELFTH DOCTOR (Doctor Who)
Speaking of seemingly-normal dudes, Funko really had to work on subtle details for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor – and they did! The figure can’t have his sunken eyes, but they got his crazy curly owl hair (read: my Dad’s hair), and even that stage magician jacket (this isn’t in his rocker garb, hence the pipe organ). It’s a great example of how PoPs do normal humans, too.
KILLER CROC (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
It’s Cannibal Muppet Babies! Killer Croc is a little more detailed than most PoPs, especially in the face, but he does fit. Te texturing really makes the figure, as do those chains – his collar is kind o thick, but it does have to fit his head like that! He’s also one of the heavier PoPs in “normal” size.
CTHULHU (The Call of Cthulhu)
You’e seen this guy before, but he’s worth another look – Cthulhu in one of two paint variants (the other has red eyes and glows in the dark) is bigger and chunkier than most PoPs, standing somewhere between the regular humans and the massive ones. He’s another one sith surprising detail, especially those fish scales – and note how much he differs from the Mystery Mini.
THE GLOWING ONE (Fallout)
In Fallout, Glowing Ones are special ghouls, irradiated so much that they glow. And obviously, they are not safe to be around. This is another paint variant – the normal Ghoul is very fleshy and bloody, whereas this one is a Gamestop exclusive that glows in the dark. It looks a lot like a traditional redneck-abducting alien, but when you look closely, you can see a surprising amount of zombie detail as well! He glows very brightly, but has trouble showing up on camera – however, he’s also translucent enough that with an LED or two you can make a totally different toy out of him!
And now you have a better idea of what PoPs are. Sure, they’re “trendy,” and the marker may eventually get oversaturated, but for now? Enjoy the ability to own practically anything as a super-deformed vinyl child-monster. Anything. And even within the stylistic limitations, you have figures like Songbird who are genuine works of art.