THE ROCKETEER (2014)
It took me a little while to get on board but eventually I was won over by the cuteness of the cutesy Pop! figurines produced by Funko. Well now Funko has a new brand, ReAction, that’s perhaps even more appealing. Under the ReAction banner Funko is releasing late 70s/early 80s inspired action figures from a vast array of beloved properties. The first property they tackled last year was ALIEN. They produced a series of 5 figures based on the classic 1979 film; each sculpted in the vintage 5-points of articulation style. They looked like the simple figures I played with as a kid, like Kenner’s Star Wars toys and Fisher Price’s Adventure People. To some it may seem like a step backwards after years of improvement in the sculpting and articulation of action figures but I don’t think so. I certainly wouldn’t want all action figures to revert to this type of construction but it is neat that such an option is available to nostalgic collectors like me.
From the ALIEN series I bought the Alien, and truth be told I’m not even a big fan of that franchise. I was maybe just a little too young to appreciate it because I was too busy being terrified. Had I been a bigger fan of the film I may have bought the whole series, but as a casual fan the Alien xenomorph was plenty. It may have freaked me out, but even as a kid I appreciated the bizarre creature design by H.R. Giger (R.I.P.). Half of the appeal of the simplified ReAction figure was the retro packaging. It had a great 80s vibe to it; from the shape of the card, to the movie image and even the fonts and boarders. It looked fantastic. I’m not usually one to keep my toys in their packages but in the case of the Alien I tacked it to my wall as a display piece.
Not long after the ALIEN series of figures came out Funko announced that they would be releasing about 70 more ReAction figures in the coming months based on dozens of properties like A Nightmare Before Christmas, Pulp Fiction, Back to the Future, and a couple of my favorite movies: The Crow and the Rocketeer. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some poorly sculpted, bad actor-likeness, limited movement, action figures based on my favorite comic book flicks.
Well as of a couple weeks ago the wait was over, at least for my retro Rocketeer (still waiting on my Crow). My local comic shop, Strange Adventures, received their shipment of Rocketeers and he was available at a much more reasonable price than the $20 ALIEN figures were. If the price point stays close to $10 bucks on these ReAction figures you’d be foolish not to buy them; they’re just so damn charming.
The Rocketeer is well sculpted in that simple kind of way. All of the color choices are true to the character’s comic and movie appearance. He’s wearing his signature flight jacket, boots, and pants. Perhaps the coolest aspect of this figure is that it’s my first Rocketeer figure (I have 3 others) that has a removable helmet. Even my super detailed, very expensive, Rocketeer couldn’t take his helmet off. This is the first time Cliff Secord gets to flash his mischievous smile in plastic form. The helmet and jet pack are both removable and sitting in a separate bubble on the blister card. They both look good on their own. I can’t tell you exactly how they look on the figure because I’ve decided to keep this one sealed too but there is a nice shot of him fully geared up on the back of the package. Speaking of the package the card art is just stellar. It features promotional art from the film’s theatrical release. It’s an image I’ve always loved and have wanted a copy for my wall for years. I’m actually tempted to buy a second one of these to open so I can keep the beautifully packaged one on my wall and still have one to sit on my desk. It’s a great figure. 8 out of 10.