Firefly confirmed for Funko Legacy 6″ line (and ReAction as well)

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I’m still not willing to upgrade my expectations beyond “cautiously optimistic” for Funko’s super-articulated 6″ Legacy line, which has been described by Funko as “very much similar in style and accuracy and points of articulation as the Hasbro 6″ Black Series of Star Wars.” I’m cautious in my optimism because Funko has never made products of this degree of complexity, and are currently best known for bobbleheads and its POP figures (and those are often the subject of quality control complaints, particularly the paint work, which is obviously far simpler than what you get on a 6″ realistic-style action figure).

Nonetheless, I remain hopeful that the line is good, particularly since Funko just confirmed Firefly for the Legacy line in late 2014. I really, really want to put a Star Wars Black Han Solo next to a Mal Reynolds for reasons I can’t even articulate (despite my website’s title). Admittedly, it’s probably a long shot those figures will be commensurate in style and scale, even if the Legacy figures turn out great – very few 6″ figure lines have been genuinely compatible with one another.

Firefly will also get POP and ReAction (vintage Kenner SW-style) figures in the spring. Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be getting ReAction figures as well.

I’m curious to see how well the ReAction stuff ends up selling. As Nemo Eight mentioned to me over the weekend, a big part of the appeal of the Alien line is the novelty of the fact that they’re resurrected prototypes from the late 1970s. I’m not sure if that vintage style will have much appeal to collectors beyond that. My hunch is that it will, especially if Funko can work in some small vehicles or playsets, but we’ll just have to see.

 

Comments now closed (21)

  • For me the appeal and nostalgia of the Alien line wasn't that they were real '70s designs, just that they were a property I love, done in the Star Wars style. I also really like how these kind of figures can capture characters well without having to worry too much about actor likeness — for a lot of modern realistic figures it's the lousy likeness that puts me off, but these are so simple they avoid the issue.

    I guess it is a bit of a weird mix of past and present, kind of like MOTUC in reverse, but I'll be happy to finally put a bunch of Buffy figures on my shelf.

  • Whoever decided to make bad action figures and sell them to collectors as "vintage-styled" was a genius.

    Who has actually been successful with their first attempt at making 6" collector figures? The Bridge Direct with The Hobbit? Is there anyone else who hasn't been a major letdown?

    • Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure what you count as Mezco’s first 6″-ish line, but they hit it out of the park with their Hellboy movie line in ’04. I can’t remember anything before that from them except maybe Silent Screamers, and those were great too.

      Resaurus came out of nowhere with their Duke Nukem and Quake 2 figures, and I loved those.

      I think it can be done. So again – cautiously optimistic.

      • The Hellboy line was great. The rest you mention had decent sculpts but very basic articulation by today's standards so I think it's a difficult comparison, but I suppose they were right up there with the best available at the time. Funko is obviously aiming pretty high by mentioning Hasbro but I'm afraid it's more likely they're going to end up in Jazwares territory.

        • If they're all about the bottom line, like Jazwares, then yes, the figures will suck. But it would be weird to specifically point to SWB6" as an example of what you're shooting for if you're not really planning to shoot anywhere near it.

          On the other hand, Funko may not have run the production cost numbers yet. If so, they may be in for a rude awakening.

  • I dunno, Firefly is an odd license to pick it you're not serious about quality. I guess fans will buy them because they're desperate for anything so it's "safe" in that regard. I feel that if Funko's doing a collector's license like Firefly they'll try pretty hard.

  • Interesting. Once upon a time I would have been over the moon at the news of some decent Firefly action figures, but I lost interest a long time ago (probably around the time I briefly contemplated buying those terrible Serenity action figures).

    And although I remain a fan of Buffy, I have no interest in buying “retro” styled figures when I have DST’s pretty gosh darn awesome “deluxe” 6″ action figures in my collection.

    • I found myself wanting to buy that Diamond Select Mal Reynolds solely to give his pistol to SWB6" Han, but he's way too expensive on eBay to bother for such a petty reason.

  • Though not the main point of your post, seeing that scale comparison pic reminded me how infuriating it was that Mattel and the 4H decided to make MOTUC figures bigger than conventional 6" action figures because "the original He-Man figures were bigger than the other figures on the market." Then of course Bandai made their Thundercats classics figures even bigger, again, as was the style in the '80s.

    That is such pointless reasoning. Even in the '80s I wished my figures would be the same size, so that they could be more compatible. That's half the fun of collecting figures from various lines. But when He-Man's head is twice the size of DCUC Super-man's, an illusion of compatibility is lost.

    And don't get me started on McFarlane's decision to make it's Halo figures in a weird 5" scale, when they could have made them compatible with GI Joe figures…

    • While I agree with you, it's a shame we can't really point to any examples of commensurate scales actually aiding the sales of two different lines to show that it actually works. Hasbro's modern Star Wars figures are noticeably smaller than their G.I. Joe figures nowadays. Maybe Marvel Universe and G.I. Joe?

      Mattel was foolish to make Movie Masters out of scale with DCUC. That might have been a good example to point to otherwise.

      • Probably the closest we could get would be from the '80s, when a bunch of lesser toylines (e.g. Warlord) were made in the same scale as MOTU, as well as The CORPS and GI Joe.

    • And don't get me started on McFarlane's decision to make it's Halo figures in a weird 5" scale, when they could have made them compatible with GI Joe figures…

      Instead of the lone Warthog or Ghost we could have had figure-compatible Hornets, Pelicans, Scorpions, Wraiths, Banshees…

  • I'm both surprised and not surprised about the Re-Action stuff. Honestly, I think that Funko is WAY over estimating the appeal of those figures based on the huge response ALIEN got. I think it's a big mistake to do anything from after 1992 in the style, especially at the beginning of that range ESPECIALLY when you have the accurate 6" figures coming 6-8 months later. FIREFLY Legacy and POP make a hell of a lot of sense, and it's great property to lead off Legacy with, but seriously… is anyone (at least in any real volume) going to get the Re-Action versions?

    Re-Action is a very clever new range, but to be successful it really needs to grab its audience and pull them in on nostalgia and 'the childhood that never was.' Think I'm wrong – just look at how much more successful DST's TOS Trek megos were versus the TNG megos. I'm certainly open to Re-Action but psychologically they need to hook the audience on wish fullfillment for properties we've grew up with and never had (or never had "proper") toys from – ALIEN, Back to the Future, Goonies, Escape From New York, etc. Those are movies OF that era. Firefly and Buffy… those are 90s properties and don't make a whole lot of sense going backwards in nostalgia.

    • I think the distinction I would make is that the nostalgia is focused on the property, not the "vintage Star Wars figure" style. I think that Funko's idea is that the figures' style shouldn't be viewed as "vintage SW style as opposed to modern figures" but rather its own "retro style."

      Put another way, the target audience for ReAction isn't (or shouldn't be) modern action figure collectors or even nostalgic fans of vintage action figures, but rather hipster-ish fans of the properties. ReAction, in my opinion, should be marketed like POP or Mighty Muggs or Mattel's recent MOTU Minis – novelty items, not collector-oriented action figure lines.

      But as you point out, that approach doesn't seem to have worked with the TNG Megos. However, I think there might be some other causes there. For one, I think the Mego style lacks appeal to your average consumer (the average fan of Firefly might be significantly more likely to pick up an action figure of Jayne that looks like a vintage Star Wars figure than one that looks like a doll). Also, more people are aware of and remember TOS than TNG these days. Sadly, TNG seems to be fading from pop culture memory even as TOS has been rejuvenated by the new movies.

      • You're not wrong, but by the same token I just think they are way estimating the very niche market, especially by rolling out so many categories at once. They're risking cannibalizing their own sales as a result – another case in point is the HOBBIT figures, the two lines competed with each other for buyers dollars and ultimately killed the toy line for the entire franchise.

        I'm also very curious to see how they handle the releases of the Legacy figures. Is this going to be one figure at a time a la Mattycollector, a couple figures from different properties in a wave a la Movie Maniacs, a couple characters at a time a la NECA, a full line of figures a la Marvel Legends.

        I'm even more curious as to what the plan is – will they do the entire crew in either line or just 2 to 5 of the most popular? I really, really want them to complete the Nostromo crew in the ALIEN line but they've said that they're done with ALIEN and moving on to ALIENS for the next series.

        • Honestly I think they're being smart by moving on from ALIEN. I suspect the only way Legacy or ReAction can be as profitable as Funko wants it to be is if they stick primarily to heavy hitters from one license and then move on to the next one.

          And that model is more or less what NECA does now. NECA used to put all their figures under an umbrella line, like Reel Toys or Now Playing, but nowadays they just release figures from different properties, a la Evil Dead II, Gears of War, etc. If a property proves particularly successful, they might linger on it a bit longer and go a bit deeper into the roster. I suspect Funko will do the same with Legacy.

          My prediction for Funko Legacy is: license-specific waves of 2-4 characters, all heavy hitters, with additional waves IF the license is popular enough. Based on that prediction, I'd guess 3-4 (possibly more) for Game of Thrones; 1-2 waves for Firefly, and 1-2 waves for X-Files.

          Of course, all of these predictions assume the figures are of decent quality. If they're not, I suspect GoT will still make it through 2-3 waves, while Firefly will end after one and there may not be an X-Files wave. Unlike with ReAction, Funko can't count on very many casual fans (as opposed to action figure collectors) buying Legacy figures, with the possible exception of GoT.

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  • My prediction:

    The toys will be fantastic, but we are only going to get one (incomplete) series.

    A few years later, they will advertise the remaining few figures as a Con exclusive, but it will be disappointing and sad.

  • Realistic, 6 inch Firefly figures, and retro, 3 3/4 inch figures? Sounds like the best of both worlds.

    As a general rule, I’m more interested in properties from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s being done in a retro, Kenner-style than I am in anything modern, but retro Firefly figures seem like they would go great alongside vintage Star Wars figures.

    Even though I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though, I don’t really see myself wanting those in that style. I guess I’ll just have to wait and judge these things on a case-by-case basis.

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