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Funko Legacy
The Rocketeer Review

“I think we’re gonna need a helmet.” – Cliff Secord, The Rocketeer.

We live in strange times. It used to be that if you didn’t get a toy from a particular movie just before the movie came out, tough luck. And if the toys were bad, tough luck. There was no going back to the well; full speed ahead. Well… things have changed.

Now, there is something to be said about our recent obsession with going back to the well in the toy world. There’s a lengthy & friendly debate we could have over new properties vs old, our own open-mindedness to new things, etc. Luckily, we’re not going to have that today. We’re just going to go with nostalgic glee. Growing up, some of my favorite movies were set in the years leading up to World War II – Indiana Jones, The Shadow, The Phantom, Dick Tracy, & The Rocketeer.

And I had toys for very few of them. I was too young for Indy toys and I somehow missed Phantom toys. I did have some awesome Shadow toys – Ambush Shadow is still a personal favorite. And I did have all the Dick Tracy toys except the Blank, but I don’t want to talk about it. The Rocketeer? Much like, Back to the Future & Ghostbusters (movie!), it got basically nothing. I think there’s a bendy figure. Boy, isn’t that great for bendy enthusiasts?

Part of it is probably because the Rocketeer just didn’t set a ton of folks on fire back in that balmy summer of ’91. I love the movie, but to be fair, it doesn’t help that the last thirty minutes are batshit ridiculous. Everything is engaging, going fine, and then they suddenly remembered there were supposed to be Nazis in the movie and they threw in a gazillion of them to make up for it. They even tossed in a rare, post-Hindenburg, WW2 Zeppelin! And did I mention the movie takes place in Los Angeles? That’s stealthy.

But the beginning? The beginning is awesome. Billy Campbell was great in the Indiana Jones archetype. Locke from Lost does a fun, more spirited take on Howard Hughes. Jennifer Connelly was on top of her game. And Timothy Dalton as an evil movie star James Bond? That part was all fantastic. Joe Johnston nailed the 1940s feel (which he would do again later in Captain America: The First Avenger). That part is all amazing, but virtually undone by the ending. When I was a kid, I didn’t care much. I just loved it. It’s the adult viewings that get ya though. Sometimes you just can’t go back.

I can’t credit the movie for the Rocketeer visual though. That springs directly from the comics; created by Dave Stevens in 1982. I haven’t read a lot of those – the early 80s Indie comics weren’t as organized as they are today and Rocketeer’s adventures appeared in various places. To its credit, and to Dave Stevens, it made its way from those humble beginnings to the big screen. I really need to grab some collected editions and read up on those old stories.

If the Rocketeer figure does one thing perfectly, it’s getting those aesthetics right. The figure looks like it walked off the screen. The sculpt is amazing. I don’t think they could’ve done much better. The helmet looks fantastic and it seems like the costume details are spot on from head to toe. We’ve even got the gum stuck to the back of rocket pack! The sculpt is so good, that my only thought looking at it is that I need every other figure I want done to match him. The only knock on the sculpt is probably the Cliff Secord head sculpt. It’s serviceable, but a Billy Campbell likeness just isn’t there. Also of note, this figure is about 6” tall and fits in with other Funko releases and is closer to Star Wars Black than many of the other 6” lines that have slowly crept up in size over the years. Continue to Page 2…

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13 comments to Funko Legacy
The Rocketeer Review

  • Dailey

    Funko seems to have really bad QC issues. I haven’t picked one up since my two Magic the Gathering figures broke the moment I pulled them out of the box. Which honestly really sucks because their toys look fantastic, but I’m just too worried about breaking them to pick up another.

  • Excellent review. Sweet-looking figure. That said: Oh dear.

    The Rocketeer is one of my favourite movies, mainly because of the abundance of Art Deco design. This figure looks amazing (apart from the lack of proper looking-up articulation). I’ve just ordered one from BBTS. But the news of these things breaking like twigs? Not heartening. I’m not planning on rough-and-tumble play with the thing, but if it’s likely to break just from falling over or off a shelf, maybe I should cancel . . . ?

    • Rich

      Mine too! “What’s your favourite movie?” “The Rocketeer!” “I beg your pardon…?”

      I’m very much looking forward to getting this figure, but it’s just not out in Canada yet.

      I was thinking of getting two, one for an extra helmet to try customizing the AIM soldier, but that was because I wasn’t sure I’d love the sculpt or the joints of the funko figure. If they’re prone to breakage, however… hmmm… how many does one fan need? 3? 5?

  • Brainlock

    I came across two today. I brought one home.
    I had my choice of “young Steve Buscemi” with a few minor/barely noticeable paint issues or the one missing paint on his forelock and had a *gold* streak of paint on the inside of his plastic window. nowhere near the head. I bought Buscemi.
    (and Firefly’s Wash and Zoe and Kaylee! tempted to grab Brienne and “Mhysa” Dany….)

    I thought it odd his hand was shaped for a gun, but neither had one that I could see. It wasn’t until I read Crawford’s review earlier that I shook the box and it came tumbling out from the bottom where it had fallen. huzzah?

    Only other issue with mine is what appears to be two right feet? I only pulled the tray out to give him a closer look and try to fit the gun back into the hand. (which lasted all of three seconds.) That’s when I noticed the feet. not a biggie, but….

    Being a “one off” figure, I’ll probably leave him in the box for now.
    or at least until I run across another one and double check the feet.

    I do like the details like the gold painted glove rivets(?) and pink gum on the rocket.
    I hope we get a Jennifer Connelly, Eddie Jones (L&C’s Jonathan Kent!), and/or a 6″ Tim Dalton, Bond/Rassilon/Remington Steele/whatever. heck, we already have DS9’s Rom (Grodenchik) and Terry O’Quinn from Lost! not sure about Polito, Sanderson, and an Adult Clint Howard? (his TOS character got one, but he was a boy.)

    of course,I remember Billy more from 4400….
    (Maher Ali was on House of Cards, any chance of those figures??)

  • I really, really want this figure but the numerous QC issues definitely have caused me to play the wait and see game. I actually had that bendable Rocketeer figure as a kid and loved it! Not sure where I got it as I never saw the movie when I was younger (I watched it for the first time last year and LOVED IT!) but the figure just resonated with me. After a month or so if I see more positive reviewed with no breakage versus negative reviews with breakage, I’l pick him up.

  • Glad to have him…even if I’m handling him pretty gingerly.

  • sgf1974

    I was interested in him. However, I do not like brittle toys. It is the reason I quit buying NECA. I have a graveyard NECA figures with missing limbs. I have not had that problem with FUNKO. Although, most of my Magic figures are still in the box from where I recently bought them on clearance. I guess I will be extra careful when I extract them.

  • Mark

    It’s cool Funko are taking a chance making figures from movies and TV shows that didn’t get proper figures. I just wish they could release figures from a movie or TV show I was really interested in. Avatar comes to mind.

  • Battle Catman

    My Rocketeer has become little more than a statue with upper body articulation. I mentioned in the comments of the Ultron review that I tore off his legs while trying to turn the thigh swivel, and now his hips have become horribly loose. I have him propped up on a Tamashii stand, and that’s probably where he’ll spend the rest of his days.

    If I come across a second one I’ll probably pick it up, but I’ll be opening that sucker in the parking lot and testing all the joints before I drive off.

  • Celticsfan

    I ordered one off eBay and it arrived this past Monday. I love it! I’ve been waiting since 1991 when I was 12 years old for a decent Rocketeer figure, and this one doesn’t disappoint. And I also had that bendy figure. I remember they had candy that came in the Rocketeer helmet, too.

    And I guess I got lucky with mine. It seems durable enough, the gun fits perfectly in his hand, none of the joints were frozen and it doesn’t seem like it would break to me just by posing it or anything. That being said, I still don’t want him to take a header off the bookshelf.

  • Prince Bubblegum

    I still haven’t found The Rocketeer, but I have purchased 5 of the 6 Firefly figures (including the Previews exclusive Jayne), and I’ve had no issues with mine. They remind me of the type and quality of figures that Diamond Select was releasing in the mid to late 00’s. Mine had to be handled delicately, especially when freeing frozen joints, and while I certainly would prefer more durable figures, I’ve found them to be perfectly adequate. Granted, I realize that I’m one of the lucky few, but like Noisy, I too can attest that not all Funko Legacy figures break :p

    I’m still intent on buying The Rocketeer, and I like the idea of Funko producing one-offs from cult franchises, compared to full waves. I don’t trust Funko’s QC enough to commit to a full wave again, like I did with Firefly. Hell, I love Firefly enough that I still would have purchased the figures even if someone like Jazwares had made them, lol !

  • Vito

    Grabbed 1 Firefly no issues, Rocketeer is in the pile of loot, really hoping they do a Legacy Big Trouble Little China wave or 2…thats the dream for me.