Toy Review: Rarity, and Discord vinyl figures
Over the last decade, Funko has proven themselves to be a worthy creator of many vinyl-themed items, across numerous pop-cultural properties. While their exaggerated Funko Pop figures gives us exaggerated likenesses of many famous properties, I have grown to love the quality and effort they have put into their vinyl figures based on the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic line.
Though they have extended the line to miniatures in blind box packaging, they have not forsaken those of us who collect their 5 1/2-inch vinyl figures. Unlike the brushable ponies one would find at Toys R Us from Hasbro, Funko’s figures cater more to older collectors who would rather display their favorite ponies. There have been three new releases as of August 19, 2014, with figures of Rarity, Daring Do, and Discord. Of these three, I am going to be reviewing Rarity and Discord for this posting.
Out of all the “Mane 6” cast members, it was Rarity that I took some time to warm up to. Many of her early episodes made her out to be a little too prissy, and even demanding at times. However, once I saw more of her character (and became enthralled by voice actress Tabitha St Germain’s vocals), she became a little more intriguing to me.
With her recent release, Rarity completes the main cast of ponies for the show. A pony that stands out with her porcelain white coloration, and curly purple hair, the figure definitely captures the refined look of Ponyville’s resident fashion designer. Using the same stock body that almost all the ponies have, Funko has sculpted a new head with the unicorn horn on it. Some may assume it’s the same as the head for Twilight Sparkle, but that one did not have a complete horn, as the outer portion was attached to the overhanging hair piece on Twilight.
Much like Fluttershy, Rarity’s hair curls and curves in so many different directions. One has to figure she was pushed back from release by Funko, as they worked on trying to interpret the two-dimensional vector stylings into three dimensions. In the show, Rarity’s mane gradates in the inner part of her curls, and it has made me curious what someone with good airbrush skills could bring to this part of the figure.
Sadly, the hair is what makes my figure suffer in several areas. There are several gouges in the vinyl portions, and some sloppy adhesive marks where the hair meets Rarity’s neck and head. Fluttershy’s hair wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t notice this many abnormalities in the overall product.
One area one might also want to look closely at through the packaging window, is her body coloration. There are some light smudges between her eyes on the one I purchased. It’s often something one has to check regarding some figures with all-white tones.
For those looking to complete their “Mane 6” collection, Rarity will be a must-buy. But caution to those of you looking to buy her: examine those in-store at Hot Topic before purchase. Maybe in some later releases, the moldings will get a little better. After all, there were some issues with the early releases of ponies like Rainbow Dash, and Derpy Hooves.
FINAL GRADE: B
It’s often amazing how much Star Trek has permeated into the corners of my life. It seems every other person I’ve ever met has been a Trekkie in some form, and yet, it seems I cannot escape it even on television.
It was the mention of John DeLancie (or Q, for those Star Trek: The Next Generation fans) in the Season 2 opener of Friendship is Magic that got many hyped up…and his portrayal of a Q-like Draconequus named Discord, soon won him a new legion of fans.
Discord’s features certainly fit with his chaotic personality,containing features such as a pony head, a dragon’s tail, and a lion’s paw. His plans in the Season 2 opener to turn the Mane 6 into the opposite of their true selves and make Ponyville “The Chaos Capital of the World,” was definitely an episode that helped cement me as a fan of the show.
While many had high hopes for a figure release, I felt that Hasbro would not be the one to make the first figure of Discord. After all, what normal little girl wants a figure that’s a mythological mish-mash (and has no flowing hair to comb)? I figured Funko would be the ones to deliver him to us (even mentioned my hope in my last Funko/MLP review!)…and they have, in a sculpt that I’m sure will cause many of these figures to appear in numerous collections out there!
The figure is set in a standard ‘devious’ pose, but it works so well, as it seems Discord is almost always up to something.
The sculpting and painting on the figure are simple enough that the detail stays true to the character. Naturally, the antler on Discord’s head is dulled down to avoid unwanted impalings (and lawsuits). However, there are a few vinyl abnormalities here and there. There is a strange vinyl “wart” on the underside of his lion’s paw. I checked through 3-4 different figures, and they all seemed to have this. As well, the texture on his right leg goes from smooth to slightly rough. It also looks like his left clawed hand should fit snugly into some grooves inside of the lion’s paw. This may have been some molding error that didn’t line up properly with the final product here. There are a few other areas that have some vinyl abnormalities, but unlike most on Rarity, they aren’t in many noticeable places.
Since the earliest release pictures for this figure, many have been wondering just how tall Discord is compared to the other pony figures. While the regular pony figures measure 5 1/2 inches tall on average, Discord clocks in at 8 1/2 inches. This puts him 2 inches taller than the previous record-holder, Big McIntosh (who measured 6 1/2 inches high).
Size has often been a hard thing to get down regarding Discord, since he often changes shape and form throughout the series, and is rarely ever in a static position. Some have said his figure’s size is too small for the regular-sized line, but seems to be almost to-scale with the blind box ponies Funko is releasing.
This was one figure that I was looking forward to the most upon its announcement, and much like the Applejack figure in my previous review, Discord comes through with flying colors. Even with small abnormalities here and there, the overall product triumphs over the Rarity release in so many ways.
FINAL GRADE: A
The new pony releases to Hot Topic go for $18.50, with Discord running a little more, at $24.50. If you’re trying to watch your budget, keep in mind that Hot Topic usually has little sales here and there. I was incredibly lucky when I walked into the nearest one, and they were having a “Buy 1 item, get a 2nd item for 50% off” sale, helping remove the sting of a super-pricey afternoon purchase!
Like previous releases, Funko has released clear-plastic variants of Rarity, Daring Do, and Discord. Keep in mind that these are exclusive variants, and are packaged at a ratio of 1 to every 24 of a figure.
Now that Funko has released all of the “Mane 6” cast (as seen above), one can easily let their imagination fly on what future releases we may see next, and beyond. The release of Discord definitely feels like the beginnings for production of larger characters from the show, which is something many fans would like to see. Below is a rudimentary Top 10 list of the characters I could see Funko eventually putting out after their recent releases:
Some of the characters like Princess Celestia and Queen Chrysalis have been made by Hasbro, but I’m sure many would like to see what Funko could do with these figures using their methods. Given packaging sizes, I could see a 4-pack of Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Spike.
It’s been a given that usually after a new release, someone on the internet manages to leak prototype pictures of Funko’s next releases. So very soon, we should know what will be coming out in the next few months from one of my favorite toy and collectible makers. Keep em’ coming, guys!