TOP OF THE POPS 2016
Yesterday I posted my annual “best action figures of the year” list. In past years I’ve included Funko POPs on that list. This year I left them off because I simply got too many cool POPS in 2016 that they could have potentially taken over the entire list and lets’s face it, they’re not really action figures. Therefore I’ve decided to post a separate list naming the TOP 16 POPS of 2016. Since there were hundreds of these things released this year I cheated a bit and lumped a few of them together.
16. ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK-I’ve always had a thing for Elvira. The whole macabre mistress thing just has an appeal I can’t explain. My buddy Miguel got me her autograph in Vegas a few years back and I later met her myself when she came to Halifax for a speaking engagement. She was very sweet and she still looked great. I’ve never owned any Elvira merchandise before other than some of her horrible movies so I was stoked to get this figure. Unfortunately the hair isn’t big enough and she doesn’t stand on her own very well. The standing would have been forgivable had Funko included a stand but they did not.
15. FIRESTORM-I know next to nothing about this DC character. I think he’s two guys living in the same body or something. I don’t really care but this figure was too cute to pass up. His translucent fire hair is pretty awesome.
14. GERARD WAY- This is the lead singer of My Chemical Romance as he looked during their Black Parade phase. They were one of my favorite bands and that was a great album. The gothic look of the Black Parade makes for a great looking figure. Funko also produced a “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” era Way which I passed on but I’m hoping for a Killjoys version in the future.
13. CAMMY-I was more of a Virtua Fighter guy but who doesn’t love Street Fighter? Cammy was one of my go-to characters whenever I played. Her military-thong was definitely a unique look that appealed to me for some reason. The blue eyes on this figure really make it stand out from the pack and I dig the braids.
12. SCARLET SPIDER-The clone of Spider-Man. This guy is a controversial character who has just returned to Spidey comics after his supposed death 20 years ago. I’m happy to have him back because I was always a fan even though the comics were a bit of a mess at the time he was introduced. The costume, a full body red unitard with a sleeveless blue hoodie overtop, is horrible even by super hero standards and yet I can’t help but love it. This POP was a Walgreens exclusive that I found while vacationing in Chicago a couple weeks ago. I normally don’t buy Marvel POPs because I don’t like their bobble heads but I couldn’t pass this guy up. Hopefully this doesn’t open the floodgates…
11. ALEX DELARGE-This character from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was a must have for me. Alex is an iconic film character with an interesting look and, most importantly, he is played by Malcolm McDowell. I’ve been a Malcolm fan ever since Tank Girl in ’95 (Why isn’t there a Tank Girl POP?!) This is a decent figure but the walking stick is a little long which makes him a little topsy turvy.
10. CONAN & RED SONJA-I’m not a die-hard Conan fan but I saw the Schwarzenegger movies when I was a kid and I owned one black and white Conan comic book magazine. Even though my exposure to the character was minimal I thought he was the epitome of being a bad ass. I also enjoyed the spin-off Red Sonja movie as a kid, partly because I thought Brigitte Nielson was hot back then.
I always wanted to dive deeper into their comic books but there are so damn many of them that it’s hard to know where to start. Multiple versions of these guys were released as POPs this year. I went with War Paint Conan because I thought it made him stand out of the shelf better. With Sonja my choices were bloody or not bloody. I went with the first one I found (not bloody) because I was really excited to finally add these characters to my collection for the first time. They look great.
9. BATMAN-One of the very first POPs I got was a Batman. I thought it was so cute that it convinced me to buy a few more POPs and now look at me. I’ve started a collection within a collection when it comes to Batman because I’ve been collecting all the interesting variations of him. This year I got Dark Knight armour, BvS trench coat, Rainbow, and 3 villain imposter versions (Penguin, Riddler, and Harley Quinn). Why so many? I don’t know. I have a problem. Each of these Batmen are lovable in their own way, even the trench cost version from that awful awful movie.
8. CONOR MCGREGOR & ANDERSON SILVA-You might assume I’m not a sports guy because I have a blog about action figures. You’d be mostly right but I do love UFC. I’ve been watching for many years and these two are a couple of my favourite fighters. Silva is a soft spoken and noble warrior while McGregor is a cocky trash talking prick but they’re both a lot of fun to watch. I love how McGregor’s tattoos look on this little body.
7. STAR TREK CREW– After seeing Star Trek Beyond I developed a bit of a crush on the new alien character named Jaylah so I bought her POP figure. Then I though I should buy Chekov to display with her as a sort of tribute to Anton Yelchin (R.I.P.). The next thing I knew I had bought the whole damn crew. They look great together and even though they don’t have any facial features I can see the individual actors in each of them. For example, I can’t look at the Kirk and see William Shatner, just Chris Pine, even though a Shanter Kirk POP would be practically the exact same. Weird.
6. NEGAN-This is another POP that doesn’t stand up on his own very well which is annoying because it’s such a great figure otherwise. The fact that this figure has a moustache and goatee gives him more of a complete face than most POPs have and allow the sculptors to more realistically capture the actor’s likeness. It really looks like Jeffrey Dean Morgan who plays Negan on the Walking Dead. I love all the little details in this figure, especially the barb wire baseball bat and the 5 o’clock shadow. Never has such a disturbing character been so adorable.
5. BILL & TED– I watched the shit out of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure when I was a kid. Seriously, I watched it so many times. My brother and I could quote the whole thing and we often still do. It’s so awesome to finally have figures of these guys in my collection. I don’t think I ever would’ve bough lifelike action figures of these guys but there’s something about the POP format that makes everybody fun to own.
4. VOLTRON– This is probably the most detailed POP in my collection. I didn’t expect it to look this good when I heard it was coming out but it looks fantastic. It would be easy to forget that this even is a POP figure and not a standard action figure because it looks so good.All the bright colours and elaborate detailing really makes this figure stand out on the shelf.
3. B.A. BARACUS-I grew up watching the A-Team and B.A. as played by Mr. T was my favourite character. You may have noticed that I have a picture of my vintage B.A. action figure on the banner of this very blog. I missed out on the Clubber Lang from Rocky Mr. T so I’m stoked that I got this one. This look is far more iconic as this crazy getup is what Mr. T seemed to wear even when he wasn’t playing B.A.
2. WILLY WONKA-Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a fantastic movie and I loved it when I was a kid. Gene Wilder was magical as Willy Wonka but I didn’t realize just how special he was until I saw Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the character many years later. yeesh. Losing Gene this year made tracking this figure down that much more important to me. From the hat and the curls to the cane and the vest this figure is fantastic.
1. JARETH THE GOBLIN KING-This is another bitter sweet action figure. I loved Labyrinth as a kid. I saw it multiple times and replayed it over and over again via reusable stickers and background that came in Shreddies boxes back in the day. The film introduced me to David Bowie and he was captivating as Jareth. I’d always wanted an action figure of him so this was a must-buy even before Bowie’s death earlier this year.