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Review of Firefly action figures - Zoe, Hoban and Kaylee

Funko
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Introduction

Funko's Legacy line has had some rocky times, and Firefly fans feared that their beloved characters might not see the light of day in the planned series. Fortunately, that's not the case, and I'm wrapping up my look at the first wave with a review of Kaylee, Zoe and Hoban tonight. The jury is still out on whether we'll get a second series, but fans have their fingers and toes crossed tightly. This is the perfect license for just one more wave - give us a Reaver, along with Simon, Inera, Shepard, and River, and that would be enough to feel complete.

These have just started to ship, and will run you around $20 each. With a little work, you can get closer to $18 at some retailers.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Packaging - ***1/2
I really like these hanging boxes, and their popularity with companies is pretty apparent. Hasbro has employed them with their Star Wars Black 6" series, NECA has used them for their classic Planet of the Apes 6" series, and Funko has used them for all the Legacy lines. They work great for MIBers, since you can easily see the figure without opening it up, they stack and store easily, and there's a nice visual consistency across the line. They also sport a decent amount of character personalization, and USUALLY they are completely collector friendly.

I say 'usually', because that's the one area where this wave falls short. I'm not sure why, but they've regressed in this area, adding in two rather unnecessary twisty ties on every figure, even though the plastic tray is designed to hold them tightly.  Sadly, the tray is not designed to hold the majority of the accessories the same way, and they have used sticky plastic wrap to hold them in place.  The only two accessories that are actually placed deeply enough into the tray to remain there without the tape are Hoban's dinosaurs. That's an unfortunate step backward overall.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Sculpting - ***
Keep in mind that this is a 6" series - use the Lifesizer feature above to get a better idea of what that means in hand. Macro photos will always show off the worst - and best - at these smaller scales.

These portraits of Kaylee, Hoban and Zoe are all solid work, considering the small size. I think all three are accurate - you certainly will recognize them immediately - but I think Kaylee is the weakest from a technical perspective. That's probably not surprising, since the sculptor has the least to work with.  Zoe is a beautiful woman, but her wide set eyes and luscious lips make her instantly recognizable. Hoban has a pretty goofy look, complete with wild hair and smart ass grin. In fact, they may have gone slightly too far with his character, making it more like a Tudyk caricature. On the other hand, Kaylee is very pretty, but in a very text book way, and very pretty can be tough to nail down without any easily distinguishable characteristics. They did manage to get that wry smile in there, which I think sells it.

They've included some very nice sculpt details as well, like the necklace on Zoe, or the necklace on Kaylee. They could have simply painted something so thin and small, but instead these are raised, sculpted details, which adds depth to the overall appearance.

Some of the sculpting is soft however, like the stranding in the hair or the details of the costumes. Pockets, buttons, straps, etc, have soft edges and lack definition. And like Mal and Jayne, there's some downright ugly articulation designs that really interfere with the aesthetics of the sculpt. Take Zoe's elbows for example - wow, they are really obvious and ugly. Or look at the oddly long forearms and wrist articulation on Kaylee, which hurts the overall appeal.

It's worth noting that the hands have been sculpted to interact specifically with the accessories, and it works pretty well.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Paint - Kaylee, Zoe ***; Hoban ***1/2
There's none of the truly glaring issues with these three that I had with Mal (oh man, that coat and shirt), but there's still room for improvement.

Of the three, I think Hoban has the best overall paint job. They managed to get the look of the tropical shirt just right, and his eyes, hairline, and skin tone are all quite good.  They eyebrows are a little wonky, and there's a little gloppiness to the paint on the hands, but overall it's above average work.

Kaylee ended up on the short end, largely because she's cross eyed. The rest of the work on her face is good - her eyebrows are at least straight - and the work on the cute patterns and graphics on her coveralls is good. The wash on the legs is a bit heavy, but she's a mechanic, so dirt is an expectation.

Zoe falls in the middle. The work on the face is great, with straight eyes, clean lips, proper eyebrows and even skin tone.  However, there are issues around the joints, like the elbows and knees, where paint is rubbing off already or was bad right out of the package. I'm not a fan of the clear pegs in her legs for the knee joint, and there's a couple annoying nicks in the paint on the torso, but overall she's a solid B.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Articulation - ***1/2
Unlike Mal and Jayne, I had zero issues with stuck joints or anything that felt like it could break or tear. I'd still be very careful - I may have just gotten lucky this time.

The joints might not look very attractive, but they do allow for a great range of movement and choice of pose. While the neck joint on Zoe and Kaylee is restricted by the soft hair, you can get a little tilt and turn out of them.  The ankle rockers are perhaps the best of the design, allowing for all kinds of foot positioning, and hurting the aesthetic the least.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Accessories - Kaylee **1/2; Hoban, Zoe ***1/2
Poor Kaylee - she gets shorted again. As the ship's mechanic, there's no end to what they could have provided her with, and yet all she gets is...a wrench. Sure, with a wrench she could probably fix Justin Bieber's career, but another tool or two couldn't hurt.  Her right hand is sculpted to work with the wrench perfectly.

Zoe gets just what Zoe needs - two trademark guns that she used regularly on the show.  The sawed off lever action rifle fits in the holster on her hip, and the handgun can be held in her left hand as well. The sculpts and paints on these are great, and really add to the overall appeal of the figure.

Hoban has the most amusing extras, and they fit the character's most amusing personality. He comes with two dinosaurs, which he had with him on the ship, and which he would 'play' with at times. Again, the sculpts and paints are great, and he can manage to hold both of them in his gripping hands in a couple different ways. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
While these figures have some issues, they are still solid toys with great play value.  With less fear around the articulation and joints, they score better here, and fans will have a great time posing and re-posing them. As will your co-workers, when you're not at your desk.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Value - **1/2
Twenty bucks is pretty much the going rate for 6" scale figures designed for the collector/fan and market right now.  These have a reasonable number of accessories (except for poor Kaylee), and the quality isn't far off from other lines from other manufacturers, leaving these in that average value ball park.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Things to Watch Out For -
While I didn't have any joint problems, I might have just gotten lucky. Take your time when first freeing up the various joints and don't go all crazy forcing anything. And if you're picking these up off the shelf, look for the very best paint jobs possible, as I suspect there's going to be a lot of variation in quality.

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Overall - Kaylee, Zoe ***; Hoban ***1/2
If you're surprised that my favorite figure in the entire series is Hoban, then join the club. I'm shocked, and I have to say that if I look at it emotionally, it's really Zoe that's my favorite. Had they avoided those awful, ugly elbows, and just managed to get the paint a smidge cleaner, she would have gotten that extra half star as well.

Don't get me wrong - Hoban is still the winner quantitatively. He has the cleaner paint and solid (if slightly cartoony) sculpt, with very useful yet less ugly articulation. Add in the fun accessories, and you have a winner.

Kaylee falls behind these two, although I still like her better than Mal, who sadly is my least favorite of the overall wave. She's cute, and fans of the character should be pretty pleased, but she's B work at best.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - Kaylee, Zoe ***; Hoban ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Kaylee **1/2; Zoe, Hoban ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - Kaylee, Zoe ***; Hoban ***1/2

Legacy Firefly action figures by Funko

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- comes in at $18 each.

- has them for $20 each.

- Entertainment Earth is at $20 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I covered the other two figures in this wave, Malcolm Reynolds and Jayne Cobb, last week. Other stuff includes the less than outstanding mini-bust, the truly awful action figures from DST, and the truly outstanding prop replica Reynold's gun from Qmx.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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