SEARCH      FEATURES    NEWSLETTER    EMAIL     HOME
White Space
Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
Review Header Bar
White Space

Review of The Rocketeer - Legacy action figure

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

Please share with your friends!

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Introduction

Back in the early to mid 90's, there was a bit of a resurgence around the style and icons of the 1930's and 1940's.  Part of this was due to fans of Indiana Jones looking for similar concepts of course, but there was a general renascence of the pulp style, with characters like The Phantom, Dick Tracy, The Shadow, and Zorro all getting back to the big screen.

What made all these very different from Indy was that they were actual pulp characters from that earlier period, not a new invention based on the older style. But in 1991, we were treated to a new character, someone born in the comics of the 80's, who (like Indy) took all the best features of the old serial style and made it even better. That was The Rocketeer.

The lead character was played by Billy Campbell, who has gone on to do many things (youngling nerds probably know him best from Helix), but nothing quite as good. Sadly, while the film has become a classic in many circles, at the time it didn't garner enough love to warrant a sequel.  I've often wondered when we'll see Hollywood go back to this story (as well as several of the other aforementioned pulp characters) and try a reboot.

Funko's Legacy Collection is a line of highly articulated 6" action figures, very different from their Pop! vinyl or their ReAction lines.  They've used this format with Game of Thrones, Magic the Gathering and recently Firefly, but collectors were generally quite surprised at Toy Fair this year to see them announce a one off with a figure of the lead character from The Rocketeer. The figure is now shipping, and you can pick him up for around $20 at most retailers, including your local Toys R Us.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Packaging - ***1/2
Funko uses the nifty hanging boxes, popularized by Hasbro with their Star Wars Black Collection, but also used by companies like NECA.  The boxes look great - I love the art deco style to the pattern and color - but they have fallen off slightly on the 'collector friendly' aspect. You can still get the figure out without too much trouble or damage, but they've added in two twisty ties (we saw this first with their Firefly figures), which are an annoyance. I assume it's for theft prevention on the shelf, but with a collectors line, it's still an annoyance. With the imaginative swaps and thefts I've seen over the years on the pegs, I'd also say it's pretty ineffectual compared to other packaging techniques. If you want to stop losers from stealing the figure or swapping in another and returning it, you have to give up the collector friendly aspect entirely - going half way only annoys collectors, and doesn't stop the problem.

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Sculpting - ***1/2
There are two heads included with this figure - the helmeted version of course, as well as an un-helmeted portrait. The helmet looks particularly good, and I'm betting it's the look most collectors will display. It matches up pretty well with the on screen look, including the rivets around the eyes, but I'm sure there will be debate. There always is with helmets, and it isn't helped by the fact that there are generally more than one used in a film (stunt, etc.), always with slight variations.

The human likeness isn't Billy Campbell, but it's close. They have the hair style working, and the nose, cheeks and jawline have that chiseled old school movie star quality. In hand, it will pass for the character.  I've heard some people talk about testing the quality of a sculpt by asking someone outside the normal fandom if they recognize them, but this test fails to prove much if you show them the entire figure.  Context provides too much information. The real test is if you hand them JUST the head, and they can recognize the character or the actor. Here, that wouldn't happen, but within the context of the suit it's a workable solution.

The body sculpt has plenty of nice details, like the buttons on the front of the jacket, or the bubble gum repair on the back of the tanks.  The rocket is not removable, but why would you want to do that?

The left hand is sculpted in a splayed pose, while the right is designed to hold the gun. Both work well with a number of poses, and are properly scaled.  This guy stands about 6" tall - remember, this is a 6" scale line, similar to many other current collector series. He'll fit in fine with the Firefly Malcolm Reynolds or the Star Wars Black series Han Solo.

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Paint - ***1/2
The overall paint job is solid work with very little slop or error.  The metallic gold on the helmet is a particularly tricky color to get consistent, but they've done a great job here.

Small details like the buttons on the coat are also quite clean, and there's just the right amount of wash on the pants to bring out the detail but not look sloppy. There's a good mix of finishes too, from matte to glossy, highlighting different features. While the eyebrows on the normal portrait are the usual funky over sized joke that seems to plague this scale, the black eyes on the helmet look fantastic.

If I had one nit to pick, it's that they didn't call out the bubble gum patch on the back of the left tank with any paint work. It's great they sculpted it on, but painting it silver hides the effort. (Of course, this may also be my eyes - pink and silver are close enough for my color blindness to kick in! I included a photo for you to judge for yourself.)

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Articulation - **1/2
Ah, here's the rub. With the very first shipments of the very first Legacy figures (Game of Thrones), Funko had all sorts of breakage issues.  They corrected it mid-way during that first release, and much of the trouble was blamed on the brittle plastic used in the pegs - which were clear.

Fast forward to the latest releases, and the clear pegs are back.  And yes, the breakage is back too. And that's why this figure takes a hit in this category. If there were no breakage problems, he'd score a ***1/2 easy, maybe even a four.

That's because all the right joints are here, and they all have a good range of movement. The ball jointed neck allows for lots of tilt and lean action, while the ball (post/disc style) shoulders, and turning hinge (which I often call pin/post, since there's a pin through a disc on one piece, with a post going into the other) elbow and wrist allow for plenty of arm poses.  The waist works quite well, as does the double pin knees, ball hips, and ball rocker ankles. In fact, the ankles are my favorite joint here, with a ton of movement making even super deep stances easy to maintain.

The cut thighs are really the only restricted joint, and that's due to the poofy riding pants.  It's a minor nit though, and not one that would greatly reduce the score in this category. Other people might be more annoyed that you can't get a great flying pose because of the neck. The rest of the body, including the ankles, will allow for the perfect in-flight appearance, but the head simply can't tilt back far enough.  It's not a killer for me, but it's worth noting.

However, breakage is a real problem. I thought I was free and clear - all the leg joints were working smoothly, and even the tricky wrists seemed fine. That was until the right arm dropped off into my hands.  It didn't break when I was moving it - it was already broken, right in the package, sheered off on both sides of the peg that goes through the disc. This isn't as bad as some breaks, since the arm fits tightly on the disc (which is why it hadn't come loose in the package), and can maintain any pose. But breakage is still unacceptable, and now it seems that both the Firefly release and the Rocketeer are suffering again from a problem that was once solved.

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Accessories - ***1/2
While he's not loaded up, he does have a couple very cool extras.

I've already talked about the two heads, and which one is the standard and which one is the 'accessory' is up to you.  He actually comes sporting the un-helmeted head in the package, with the helmet off to the side. I'm expecting most people will stick with the helmet though, making the uncovered head the true accessory. Swapping heads was pretty easy, but the ball and post are the notorious clear plastic that seems so damn brittle. I was holding my breath every time I popped one head off and popped the other on.

The other accessory is the handgun, with a decent sculpt and paint job considering the scale. This is the Mauser that he uses toward the end of the film, taken from one of the Germans. It's easily recognizable, and the right hand is sculpted to hold it perfectly. In fact, he's holding it in the package without any ties or bands.

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Fun Factor - **1/2
This is the biggest disappointment here. This should be a really, REALLY fun figure. It has all the right elements, including terrific articulation. And yet it scores poorly, because of the breakage issues.  You can't have a lot of fun posing and re-posing if you're stressed out that any little move might be the last.

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Value - **1/2
Twenty bucks is the current going rate for any collector themed action figure series these days, so the price here is nothing out of the ordinary.  As regular readers know, a **1/2 star score here means that the value has no effect on my Overall, either up or down, because you're pretty much getting what you pay for. Assuming of course you don't end up with a broken toy.

Things to Watch Out For -
Joints, joints, joints!  Funko was making it clear a few months ago that the Legacy series in general is in trouble.  They had problems with the first shipments of Game of Thrones figures with joint breakage, but seemed to have it fixed with the later releases.  And yet, even with concerns about the survival of the line, they allowed the breakage problem to creep back into production. You'll want to take a lot of care, even when it seems like the joints are moving freely.

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Overall - ***
Take away the breakage issue, and this figure is an easy ***1/2 stars. When he's wearing the helmet, he looks just like he stepped off the screen.  Sure, you can't really get a great flying pose, but the articulation allows for almost everything else, and the sculpt and paint are terrific.  But if the figure could break on you at any time (and this brittle plastic used for the posts isn't going to get better with age), it sucks a lot of the fun out of it.

Funko has said in recent weeks that the fate of the Legacy style in general was in jeopardy. While pulling the line back from the edge of extinction might have been difficult, bringing back quality problems is not going to make the challenge easier. Fans of the style would like to see it get a fighting chance, and hopefully Funko fixes this issue - again - very quickly.

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

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Dividing Bar

Where to Buy 
If you have a Toys R Us handy, you should check there - I've seen them at the local store for around $20 plus tax. Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him for $20 on pre-order.

- Entertainment Earth is also at $20.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
There's never been a ton of Rocketeer product out there (no real surprise), but Sideshow did do a nice Premium Format statue about 5 years ago that's still prominently on display at my house.

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

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Please share with your friends!

Funko Legacy Rocketeer action figure

Back to Main Page
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

White Space
Review Bottom Edge
This page copyright 2000 - 2015, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!