Monday, 28 March 2016

Pop Stop: Last and First Edition

I don't want to begin every post with something along the lines of "Boy, it's sure been a long time since I've updated the blog", but I can't help it.  Because, boy, it's sure been a long time since I've updated the blog!

Parenthood and workhood and various other 'hoods' have been taking up a lot of my time, but my love of toys is just as strong as ever!  Finding the time to share that love is another story...

Anyway, I like doing spotlights on the first and last toys I get each year, so this time I'm going to cover the last of 2015 and first of 2016 at the same time.  They're both from a toy line I've gotten into in a big way, even though I only really started back in November.  Pop! Vinyl figures, by Funko!

Before we begin, I feel like I should say I resisted buying any Pop! figures for a long time.  They're definitely cute, and I guess I held that against them.  I also didn't see them as true 'toys' - more like collectables, like bobbleheads, statues, etc.  I doesn't help that some Pop!s are also bobbleheads, but I'll cover that in another post.  

Any friends I've made through a shared love of toys have been met online.  While my friends in 'real life' may still have proper geeky interests I can get behind, I wouldn't say any of them are toy collectors.  And I think this is why I ended up getting into Pop!s as much as I have.  Everyone seems to like these guys!  I have friends, family, co-workers, etc that have some.  Heck, even my wife had a Pop! before I did!  I'm the one that got it for her, but still, she wanted it!  It's a toy line I get to talk about with people face to face, on a regular enough basis that there was no way I could keep resisting.  So I picked one up.  Then another.  Then...  Well, while this won't turn into a straight Pop! Vinyl blog, chances are good they'll pop up regularly from now on.

See what I did there?

Once I gave them a try, I actually did start to see them as true toys.  Plus, there are Pop!s of characters who have no other toys out there.  It's a nice way to get toys of these obscure characters or fan favorites.  There's really something for everyone!  Anyway, let's get on to the actual spotlights here.

I was pretty confident that my last toy of 2015 should be a Pop!  While it's admittedly not the most exciting one I could have chosen, James Gordon does speak to a specific moment of time in my life.  I had recently watched an episode of Gotham ('A Bitter Pill To Swallow') where Gordon and few others others are trapped at the top of a high-rise building, fending off wave after wave of mercenaries being sent to kill them.  Gotham has been all over the map in terms of episode quality.  Some are gritty with actual twists and suspense, while others are pure cheese.  This episode entertained me all of the way through, so much that I wasn't ready for it to be over when it ended.  Big Jim here kicked some serious ass.  It was still on my mind when it came time to choose my final toy of the year, so that's how Gordon took the final spot.

Don't let the simple, stylized faces fool you; some Pop!s can make for some pretty cool looking figures.  But the Pop!s of regular every-day-lookin' folk can sometimes be a little bland, and I know Gordon falls into that category.  If it hadn't been for that exciting episode still fresh in my mind, I can't say he would have really been on my radar.  On the other hand, he looks like the GCPD detective that he is.  He's just a regular guy trying to make a difference in a city going crazy, so I guess he should be a little bland.  And despite the simplistic style of Pop! Vinyls, they all typically look like who they're supposed to be, and that holds true here.

I do have a few complaints though.  The main one is that the paint where the head attaches to the neck was put on a bit thick, and it obviously hadn't dried by the time figure was put together.  The paint dried to Gordon's shoulder, so when you turn his head the paint stays on the shoulder and you're left with these ugly looking... spots.  You can't tell there's an issue when his head is facing forwards, and the spots are hidden underneath otherwise, but I still know they're there and I'd be lying if I said it didn't irk me.  

Also, his GCPD badge doesn't really have much form to it.  It's pretty much a shapeless chunk of metal.  It's not a big deal, but worth noting.

Now, I typically don't like to have my last toy of the year come from the same series as my first from the following year, but I skirted my 'rule' here.  They might both be Pop!s, but they're not technically from the same series.

Star Trek is one of those things were my interest ebbs and flows.  Sometimes I love it, but sometimes I'm indifferent.  I wouldn't say I ever stop liking it, but it's not something that's always on my radar.  I guess you could say I'm in an "ebb" state right now.  But one thing that never changes is that Geordi La Forge is my favorite Star Trek character ever.  Star Trek comes and goes, but Georgi is forever.

I think originally Geordi appealed to me simply because his VISOR looked cool.  Then I learned he was basically the everyman of the crew; the occasionally awkward Mr. Nice Guy who also has a totally boss VISOR.  What's not to love?

Like Jim Gordon, Geordi looks as he should.  That VISOR still looks awesome, maybe even more so in giant form.  My only real complaint is that his comm badge is just painted on.  Geordi shares the same body as Picard, Riker, and Data, meaning they all have the painted comm badge.  I don't understand how Funko apparently saved money by reusing the body four times, but opted to paint the comms on instead of sculpting them.  Also, the gold part of his comm isn't as symmetrical as it should be.

I was planning on sticking to Pop!s of characters that are special to me, like Jim and Geordi here.  Well, mostly Geordi.  And I have definitely picked up some of those.  As I've been getting more (and more!) I decided that at the very least, the Pop!s I get should be from movies or shows I've actually seen, or games I've played.  At this point, I'll get any Pop! if they're cool enough.  So like I said, chances are good I'll spotlight more of these things down the road.

Oh yeah!  I suppose I could have made this post part of my "Give Me Vinyl" series, but it turns out I hate that title.  So I guess that's done.

Anyway, it feels good to finally post something again.  See you in a few months!

Or sooner.  Hopefully.


  1. Ah man, Geordi was one of my favorites, back in the day. My friend and I had some visor like things that we used as Geordi visors all the time. His old Playmates figure was also one of my favorites - you could take the visor off and see his white eyes beneath.

    As for Pops: I hear you on Pops making some characters that have literally nothing else, in terms of toys. That's why we have the Steven Universe Pops, actually! Pretty much my only plastic representations of the figures so far. After that, though, we ended up getting more and more Pops. Once you get a favorite you think: "Well, I've got this guy, might as get this one. And this one. And this." and so on and so forth. So easy to collect!

  2. Yes, not the cheapest things to binge shop, but so easy! After I finished with Masters of the Universe Classics I went straight into Pops. If you had told me 2 years ago that Pops would end up replacing MOTUC for me, I would have said you're crazy. Flash forward to today and I'll still say you're crazy, but you'll also be right.

    1. Oh yeah, and my brothers and I used to use my mom's hairbands as Geordi VISORs, because we were cool like that.