Funko’s Star Wars Smuggler’s Bounty Isn’t Quite the Subscription Box We Were Looking For
Following on the heels of Funko's Marvel Collector Corps subscription box, the collectible company slid comfortably over to Disney's other big pop culture phenomenon, Star Wars, for its latest venture. The Smuggler's Bounty adheres to the formula established by the MCC, and gives those who subscribe a handful of exclusive items, including shirts, pins, patches, and a few coveted, limited Pop figures. With so much hype and hoopla surrounding the arrival of a new Star Wars movie for the first time in 10 years, Funko positioned itself well to capitalize on all the excitement.
However, despite the promise the Smuggler's Bounty held, the First Order box, based on the villains of The Force Awakens, it lacks the significant punch of its Marvel brethren. In fact, were it not for the inclusion of the first fully-chromed out Captain Phasma, the Smuggler's Bounty would have been a great disappointment.
Funko's already done a great deal of the Pop figures for the upcoming film. At least as far as Disney and Lucasfilm are allowing, anyway. There have also been some exclusive variants released to this point already as well. That means the potential selection for the exclusive figures included with the Smuggler's Bounty was pretty slim. The chrome Phasma is a terrific take on the character, and as one of the few collectibles of the character to be captured in the shiny metal armor, it's certainly a welcome addition. There's still plenty of detail present, and the reflective Stormtrooper suit makes her pop (unintended, mostly) immediately on any shelf.
The second Pop included spotlights the First Order TIE Pilot, and there are two versions being dropped in the Bounty boxes. We got the Special Forces version with the additional red racing stripe helmet, but a normal, all-black pilot is also out there. There's nothing wrong with the TIE pilot at all. The splash of red on the helmet makes him a bit more interesting visually, but TIE pilots aren't exactly characters I'd go above and beyond to obtain action figures of normally. As one of the few remaining First Order soldiers to not get a Pop figure, the inclusion makes sense, but it's still a tiny bit disappointing. A snowy variant of Kylo Ren might have been more appealing, but Funko didn't really have many options based on the merchandise being allowed out before The Force Awakens hits theaters.
The other inclusions this time around include a patch of the TIE pilot and a pin of Kylo Ren, both which feature the words "Smuggler's Bounty" in Aurebesh. They're nice and well made, and will look nice alongside the numerous Marvel Collector Corps patches and pins you've accumulated so far if you are subscribed to both. There's also a lanyard with a First Order Stormtrooper Pop pictured throughout. Whoever is out there collecting lanyards, this will probably make you happy? I can't really speak to the rationale of collecting lanyards. They really serve next to no purpose in day-to-day life, and they certainly don't look like much in any kind of display.
The Captain Phasma Pop t-shirt is a simple design, but one that looks sharp. It takes a particular kind of dedicated fan to appreciate a shirt that embraces the two fandoms, but if you're subscribing to Smuggler's Bounty, that's exactly what you're looking for. Unlike some of the Marvel shirts, this one fits in much better with the Funko aesthetic. Plus it's not very loud, which is a big plus. When shirt art starts bleeding up towards the shoulders or around the back, it can be a bit obnoxious. Funko's placement and sizing is on point, and that's not really an issue at all.
As a first box in an ongoing series, The First Order Smuggler's Bounty isn't bad. It's not that great either though. With the Resistance getting the second box early next year, and the movie coming out between now and then, there's a better chance the sophomore effort will have more going for it. How much enjoyment you'll get from the contents of this box really relies on how into Captain Phasma you are at this point. Based on how hard it's been to find Phasma merch at retail, there's a good chance many of you are really into her. The other items included just don't have the same impact as some earlier efforts from Funko.
You can subscribe Funko Smuggler's Bounty from the official website for $25 per box. This box was provided for review.
Check Out More Star Wars Awesomeness in These Videos