Toy Fair 2015: Funko Gives Us Some Vinyl Sugar
Over the past few years, the Funko booth at Toy Fair has exploded in size. It makes sense, as so has the popularity of Funko's fan-friendly (and budget-friendly) vinyl collectibles. This year's booth stretched on seemingly forever, with rows upon rows of the familiar caricatures that make up the Pop line. Funko had some new stylized collectibles to show off as well, and the Vinyl Sugar line might give Pop a run for its money.
Debuting at Toy Fair this year, Vinyl Sugar is the latest addition to Funko's ever evolving portfolio. Last year we were first introduced to the Legacy series, which has plenty of strong offerings in the works, but it's the Vinyl Sugar designs that appear as a more natural extension of Funko's brand. The designer vinyl figures expand beyond the instantly recognizable Pop pose, and offer a more boutique style, but without a boutique price to match.
The two standouts in the expansion, Dorbz and Vinyl Idolz, cater to different audiences, but both bring eye-catching style. Like Pop, the Dorbz all share a similar silhouette, but feature unique design aspects to make each shine on its own. They're reminiscent of Fisher Price's old Little People toys, but with more detailed paint apps and sculpts to bring characters like Ghost Rider and Poison Ivy to life.
Vinyl Idolz, on the other hand, are a treat of a different sort. As part of a partnership with Evil Corp, a U.K.-based animation company, Funko is bringing some of the most iconic film and television characters to your desks and shelves in a whole new way. Think along the lines of what would happen if Aardman Animations got its hands on Back to the Future or Seinfeld, and you've got Vinyl Idolz. It's wildly different from everything else Funko is doing with its catalog, but that's a good thing. Besides, anybody that's willing to give us a White Goodman figure is a-okay in our book.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Funko booth without loads of Pop collectibles to fawn over. In addition to new lines based on Harry Potter, Bravest Warriors, Orphan Black and more Marvel and DC figures than you can imagine, Pop will also be expanding into new areas like kitchenware. Spider-Man salt and pepper shakers? Yep. A big ol' Hulk head mug? You betcha.
New Fabrikations were also on show off, but Funko's new Mopeez are going to be a problem. In a good way, mind you. The smaller stuffed characters have weighted bottoms and frowny expressions so they'll be permanently moping around (get it?). Both Marvel and DC will have their own lines of Mopeez to start, and the 4.5" size puts them right in that wheelhouse of being perfect for both kids and the discerning collector's office space.
If you're worried Funko is overloading the cuteness, the upcoming Mystery Mini Garbage Pail Kids should help even the slate. The sculpts look terrific and terrifying all at once.
Funko's partnership with Super7 continues to grow with new figures in the ReAction line. Regardless of what you think of the line, it's certainly bringing plenty of figures out for characters and licenses that have never had the opportunity. While the company has so far concentrated on films or shows that are a bit dated, CW's The Flash and Arrow will be the first to get ReAction figures while still on the air. Karate Kid and Gremlins join the bunch, too, as does Jaws, Bruce and all.
The Legacy series gets bit additions in 2015, with The Rocketeer and Firefly bolstering the current line-up of Magic: The Gathering and Game of Thrones. Evolve, Turtle Rock Studios' recently released video game, also has some articulated 6" figures on the way, but as nice as the sculpts look, they just can't compare to the potential excitement of Malcolm Reynolds and Cliff Secord getting their own figures. Based on the prototypes on the show floor, fans will be very, very happy.
Funko's growth over the last few years has been tremendous to watch, and the company shows no signs of slowing down in 2015. With a strong line-up in its traditional Pop line, and intriguing new designs coming from Vinyl Sugar and Legacy, there are a lot of reasons to hope Funko continues on its current path of success.