I started this column 1,000 entries ago with a Funko item I brought home from Comic-Con, and as luck worked out I've got another great one to talk about! This Freddy Funko (Creature from the Black Lagoon) was distributed in very small numbers at a Funko event in San Diego, which I can best describe as a cross between some sort of religious tent revival and a live taping of The Price Is Right. It had a DJ, light show, dinner, drinks, toys, and screaming - screaming so loud, it drowned out the DJ whose speakers I was sitting near. I can say, without hyperbole, that this event was the best way to see why Funko has its fervent following. The amount of toys, goodwill, smiles, and sugary snacks in circulation was nothing short of utter madness - and this followed short films, behind-the-scenes videos, and announcements of new toys to come in 2014 and 2015. I've never seen anything like it and I doubt any other collector company has done or ever will do anything quite this spectacular. And I mean it - this was a spectacle, there's no other way to put it. I wish you were there with me. You'd have loved it.
This figure was the first available Hikari body of the Creature from the Black Lagoon - other versions are coming, and brother, are they amazing. As far as I know none of this piece has gone up for sale, which probably means if you want one you'll be waiting out others on eBay for quite some time. Mine is taking up residence in my living room as a work of art. The figure is a hair over 8-inches tall at the crown, and feels like the greatest toy from the late 1970s you never got - and someone stuck a little boy's head on it, for some reason. It's pretty killer stuff.
The figure has 3 points of articulation and is cast in hollow vinyl. The arms rotate and the head turns, but the figure's real charm comes from the deco. The body is green with a muddy brown was, bringing out the scaley detail in the arms. The claws are metallic gold, and other metallic green highlights are on the scales.
Freddy Funko's head has a metallic green finish over some gold. It can only be described as candy-like - it feels like some exotic, astonishing treat you were never allowed to have while also looking like a very expensive car. This kind of paint job is very rare on mass-produced toys, although you'll see it in the vinyl/kaiju scene from time to time at very high prices with low runs. To say the least, it's impressive - in person it feels like whatever it costs, it was worth it. As it was not for sale, it really kind of is priceless.
The Hikari figures are pretty stunning in person - the concept seemed like a tough sell, but the $50-$80 figures regularly pre-sell out in a few hours every Friday when Funko launches a new one. Due to the price (and availability) it may be difficult to collect them all, but there's no doubt in my mind that these are some of the most stunning pieces of the year. It's a fascinating alternative to mini-busts, high-end 1:6 scale figures, and polystone collectibles. It's not the most expensive "cheap" vinyl toy you can buy, but it's up there. With the amazing paint job it's hard to deny that it's worth it. The left hand is also sized to hold a pencil, but to use it for such a purpose is probably b.shtmlhemous. I'd suggest getting a cheap glass case at IKEA and stuffing it with these guys and a nice lighting rig. You won't be sorry! Hungry, maybe, but these things really light up a room. If they ever make jumbo ones in the 25-inch range I'll probably cave in quickly. If one comes up for sale, get Freddy - and if it doesn't, get one of the regular guys.
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