Monday, May 5, 2014

Toy Review – Game of Thrones Legacy Collection White Walker from Funko

I was totally surprised to see the Game of Thrones figures in Toys R Us today (which would be Thursday). They had two Tyrions, two White Walkers, a Ned, a Daenerys, and the Hound. I almost bought Daenerys and the Hound just in case something falls through with the ones I sent back to Funko, but I decided to have faith in them.

I feel like the second series should be hitting soon, but I have no idea what the release schedule is. It’s probably for the best that they haven’t come out yet, considering that I still haven’t finished reviewing the first series.

This White Walker was the one figure from the first series I was going to pass on. I guess ice zombies are cool and all (HA!), but so far the only thing on the show less exciting than them has been Brandon Stark.

Seriously – is it just me? Am I the only one that could not possibly care less about Bran and the Westeros Goonies? 
The Walkers have had a presence on the show, but aside from the occasional artistic arrangement of disembodied human limbs they’ve just been this sort of vague menace. Maybe I don’t know enough about them to be interested? Don’t get me wrong – they look awesome and the effects used to create them are phenomenal. I think it’s just been too long since I watched the first season in its entirety and other threats have become more prominent. Which I guess is kind of the point.

But all of that changed last Sunday night (I haven’t seen last night’s yet because it’s Thursday right now, but if anything truly wacky happens I might come back and edit this).
Right at the tail end of the show we got a more intimate look at the Walkers than we have ever seen.

***Spoiler Alert***

One of the dickhead knights that is currently making a living by raping the inbred children of a dead man left a baby out in the middle of the woods because Burn Gorman (who I somehow hadn’t even realized was playing Tanner) yelled at him and is fucking crazy. We finally see what’s been happening to all those babies that were getting left in the woods.
A White Walker takes it and rides out into the middle of fucking nowhere where there’s a convocation of… something… doing a cover of the uRu song from The Dark Crystal. The White Walker hands the baby off to one of these beings, who takes it to the middle of a huge circle of crystals and then touches its cheek. The baby’s eyes turn crystalline and its skin starts to whiten. So I suppose this is how White Walkers are made, which is the first suggestion we’ve had that they actually are related to humans. Also, we get a look at the face of the being that turned the baby. It doesn’t look quite like a White Walker. It kind of looks like Darth Maul painted white.

Side Note: I have only watched this episode once and could be wrong about the uRu song. But I feel like I remember them going, “Oooohhhhhmmmmm” or something. Also, the baby toucher might have just been a Walker with spiky things on its head, but I felt like it looked different.

Anyway, all of that reinvigorated my interest in the White Walkers, so I thought it would be a good time to review this figure, which I think is the one that Samwell killed with the dragonglass.

NO. Not that Samwell.

This figure is very tall and very detailed. It almost looks like something from a Jim Henson production. It just has that fantastic and ancient vibe to it. While it was still in the box I thought it was kind of boring, but once I unpacked it I realized it was actually very dynamic and exciting to look at.

While I think these fancy boxes are overdoing it, they are definitely my favorite type of packaging; if only for the fact that you can open them unassisted and put the figures right back in if you want to.

There’s something about seeing the HBO logo on these boxes that seems special. Maybe one day we’ll get figures from The Sopranos or Oz. Or – dare I hope – Dream On.

This is one lanky, creepy, reanimated carcass.
Or I guess it’s reanimated. I dunno. Whether or not it’s actually a zombie, this is the best zombie figure I own.
The head is distinctly “not quite human”, which is a theme that carries throughout the figure. The upper portion of the face is sort of your standard sunken, desiccated zombie face. The lower portion is a broad, strong jaw – something you don’t typically attribute to corpses. The sculpted detail of the flesh on this face is amazing. I had to sit and look at it for a while just to appreciate all of the wrinkles and folds. I love how the eyes are set far back into the skull but are still clearly eyeballs. The hair is a little odd, as it had to be long but also accommodate movement of the head while hanging down the back. The actual sculpt of the hair is well done, but the shape is a little funky. I can’t think of a better way to accomplish the look needed for this guy, though.
The torso reflects the shape of the face. It’s overly long and broad at the bottom. I love how the abdominal joint is incorporated into the bottom of the rib cage. In most cases this would be to conceal the joint, but here I think it was done to accentuate that area and make the rib cage more distinctive. The skin over this area is just as detailed as what’s on the face and highlights the bone structure beneath.
The arms are long and spindly and contrast the broadness of the torso and face nicely. I love the big, knobby joints and how uniform the texture and color of the skin is across the figure. The joints are all either blended in well or used to accentuate anatomical differences. The Walker’s bracers look fantastic. They’re slightly asymmetrical and the edges look worn and old – no clean lines. The laces are well defined and don’t mush out onto the bracers like these things sometimes do. The clawed hands are sculpted as open fists that could hold various things. They look fine empty or grasping the included spear.
The Walker’s skirt is one piece that appears to be separate strips of leather. It’s made of a soft plastic that does not interfere with leg movement. The belt is sculpted on and – like the bracer laces – looks separate and has definition. The little beads on it almost look like they could swing around. I love the wear on and the different lengths of the strips.
The legs aren’t quite as knobby and spindly as the arms, but I think that’s to accommodate the articulation. They still look quite good and the leather greaves on the calves match the bracers on the arms. The clawed feet are thick and sturdy and the figure has no trouble balancing in many different poses.
Overall this figure has a fantastic profile. But when you add in the amount of sculpted detail put into the flesh and anatomy you’ve got what is truly one of the most impressive looking 6” scale figures I’ve seen. Funko did not cut any corners with this one.
The White Walker comes with a spear with a shard of ice at the end. I’m not normally one to get too excited about spears, but this thing looks fantastic
It starts with the fact that the head is translucent plastic that has been treated to look like ice. The fringe beneath that is actually two separate pieces, which is why it looks good and hangs so well. The rest of the weapon is covered with texture and paint that give it so much more personality than you would expect from the most basic of weapons.
The figure can hold the spear with either or both hands. It can be a little tough to slide the spear into place, but both it and the figure are durable. They can handle just a bit of force.
This figure feels very brittle. Given my experiences with the Hound and Daenerys I was positive it was going to break, but as I worked the joints and took photos I moved it around a bit more forcefully and it is actually quite sturdy. I’m not going to be throwing it against the wall or anything, but it held up to casual posing quite well.
The White Walker probably has the most meaningful articulation of any of the Game of Thrones figures so far. That’s because he’s pretty much naked and doesn’t have a bunch of robes, cloaks, or armor getting in the way of movement.
Head – ball joint
Shoulders – ball joints
Elbows – swivel/pivots
Wrists – swivel/pivots
Abdomen – ball joint
Hips – ball joints
Thighs - swivels
Knees – double pivots
Ankles – pivots with swivel pegs
All of the joints work very well, but some of them did require some careful loosening up. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I had to put this guy in the freezer for one of those joints.
I had a blast playing with this figure. It poses well, looks cool, and has great balance.
This is a figure that might transcend the line a bit. It’s a great zombie and a very good example of what Funko can do with an unadorned buck. Lots of functional joints and an absolutely beautiful sculpt. It’s one that I could see any toy collector picking up just for being a fine example of a 6” scale action figure. Which is something I forgot to mention – it is quite a bit taller than any other Game of Thrones figures, maintaining the excellent attention to scale that the company has displayed thus far. I’m thrilled to own this one and definitely recommend it.
5 out of 5

This is such a well done figure that it got me excited about the idea of more White Walkers even before I watched last week’s episode. I particularly want one on a horse, which I would imagine would make a fantastic first box set for Funko to try out. I’ll buy it.

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