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Review of Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Cobb
Firefly Legacy Collection action figures

Funko
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 2.75 out of 4

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Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Introduction

Firefly fans have long gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to collectibles based on the property.  It's not that a few attempts haven't been made - DST did figures and mini-busts - but for the most part, these have best been forgotten. The one shining star has been the Qmx prop replica gun (both the stunt version and the metal version), which were equally outstanding.

Funko picked up the license this year, but started things out with their ReAction figures. Suffice to say I'm not a fan of the concept, and I saved us all by not doing a review. But when they announced they were adding them to their Legacy Collection, which was already the banner under which they were producing some very nice Game of Thrones and World of Warcraft figures, I was all in.

The first series is just now shipping, and includes 5 characters - Captain Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Cobb (both reviewed tonight), Zoe Washburne, Kaylee Frye, and Hoban Washburne. I'll be hitting up the last three by next week.

Like most of the Legacy collection, these will run you around $20 each at most retailers. There's a Previews exclusive version of Jayne with his knit hat as well, still available for pre-order.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Packaging - ***1/2
These boxes have become quite popular with the 6" scale 'collector' style action figure lines currently out there. Obviously, Funko uses them for all their Legacy lines, but Hasbro also uses them for the Star Wars Black series, and NECA has incorporated them for lines like the classic Planet of the Apes.

I'm generally a big fan for a number of reasons. They tend to show the figure off well on the peg, they are usually quite collector friendly, and they are easy to store and display for the MIBer. Funko also adds a lot of character personalization to each one, which is a big plus in my book.

They did lose a bit this time around though for cutting back on the collector friendly aspect.  There's a couple twist ties around each figure that you'll need to cut (trust me, any true toy collector has a pair of small wire snips handy when opening new figures), and some plastic tape holding the accessories in place.  You can toss the tape of course, but they didn't put the smaller accessories deep enough into the plastic tray for them to remain in place without it.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Sculpting - ***
This was a tough call for me, because there's a real difference from the neck up and the neck down, particularly on these two figures.

Both head sculpts are quite good for this scale. Remember, these are only about 6" tall, and in hand, you'll recognize both characters immediately, even if the head is not on the body. There's some very nice detailing in the hair, including Jayne's beard, and both portraits have the subtle nuances that reflect the actor's key features. You will notice in the macro photos something a little weird going on with the end of Malcolm's nose, but that's actually a paint issue. For a good comparison, check out this photo of Malcolm, shrink its window down, and place it next to the photo below.

From the neck down, I'm not quite sure what's going on.  Both figures are about the same height, which is clearly not accurate. I can live with it - perfect scale is rare in any line - but that's not where the body issues end.

What in God's name is going on with those elbows? It's not quite as bad on Malcolm, where the sculpted sleeves cover up the elbow discs a bit better, but still...ugh. I tried spinning the forearms around in different directions to no avail - the discs stick out oddly no matter what. I'm all for articulation, and don't mind when it effects the sculpt...to some degree. But this is too much, and I don't think I've ever seen an elbow design this ugly.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Paint - Jayne ***; Malcolm **
I almost bumped Jayne down another half star due to a couple issues, but because you have to pay pretty close attention to notice them (especially in hand), I'm cutting him some slack.

I really like the work on his hair and hairline, and the skin tone is even and realistic.  There's some weird bare spots in the beard though, and the eyes aren't quite lined up. The work on the body is a solid B, with a few sloppy edges here and there but overall a reasonable job.  The tampo on the front of the shirt is straight and even as well.

I'm not affording Malcolm the same break. His eyes are clean and straight, but he has those damn funky eyebrows that look like a middle aged woman from 1955. Add in a weird smudge on the end of his nose - perhaps the package pressed against it while it was still wet - and you have a disappointing face application.

The problems don't stop with the face though, and the coat and shirt are awful. They tried to go for a brown suede look with some staining and dirt, but missed the mark. By throwing a lot of various shades of brown and black at it and covering it with a sticky gloss, they created a mess. When you add in the fact that the shirt and coat are not supposed to be the exact same color, you have another nail in the coffin.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Articulation - **1/2
When it comes to those ugly elbows, it's quite possible that something isn't quite bending or moving the way it was supposed to - I say that because it's true with other joints.

This is one of those situations where there's plenty of joints, but they simply don't work as well as they should. Poor design makes them less useful than they could be.

The ball jointed necks are a little restricted, particularly Jayne's (thanks to that thick neck of his). The shoulders on both work well, as do the elbows, but man, those elbows are ugly. The pin and post wrists are one area where you'll want to be extra careful - I'm betting that snapping them is going to be a big issue.  Remember my complaints about the paint? The paint hurts this category too, because many of the joints are painted tight.  The wrists are one, as are the cut thighs, rocker ankles, and knees, at least for my figure. That means that getting any of these joints to move takes some care and effort.  I found that if I pushed and pulled the joint (pretend you are going to remove the hand, but don't pull quite that hard!) before I tried to turn it, I was able to break it free. You can also try the old freezer trick, and put the figure in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. That might shrink the paint enough to allow you to break the joint free. In any event, TAKE YOUR TIME!

The leg articulation was fine on Jayne once I freed it up, but the right knee on Malcolm was always loose, barely able to keep him upright. And while the ab-crunch on Malcolm worked great, I couldn't get it to budge the slightest on Jayne.

The hips worked well on both figures, although the butt is sculpted low enough to restrict any backward movement. The one shining star out of all these joints was the rocker ankle. Once you have it freed up, it allows for deeper stances, and you can keep both feet flat on the ground.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Accessories - ***
Both figures sport several weapons, and the sculpts and paint work is solid.

Jayne has his small knife, which slips into the sheath on his left side. He also has a handgun, which fits perfectly in the holster on his right.  Finally, he has a large rifle, pretty specific to the show.  The sculpted hands hold the guns great, but the knife handle is a little small to fit in either grip effectively.

Malcolm has two guns - his trademark pistol, which fits in the holster on his right, and a lever action rifle. Again, the sculpted hands work perfectly with these weapons, and you should have no trouble finding great ways to use them in poses.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Fun Factor - **1/2
While I like the accessories - and the ability for the figures to hold them - the issues with the articulation and potential for breakage take away a lot of the fun. Funko had similar issues with their very first Game of Thrones figures, but fixed it quickly. I'm pretty shocked to see the problems return at this point in the game.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Value - **1/2
We've come to expect figures in this scale and style to run around $20, and you can actually pick these guys up for a few bucks cheaper at some retailers.  While I want to see the quality improve overall, I'm fine with the price they are charging.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Things to Watch Out For -
Obviously you'll be watching for paint issues if you pick these out on the shelf at your local Barnes and Noble. Take care working the joints as well, since breaking a wrist or a knee seems highly probable.

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Overall - Malcolm **1/2; Jayne ***
I really, really want to love this line. I really do. Unfortunately, I'm seeing an awful lot of issues I didn't expect.

Jayne is the better of the two, with a solid likeness, good accessories, and fewer paint issues. But those ugly elbows and wonky articulation kept him from anything higher. Take that away, and he's a ***1/2 star figure.

The likeness on Mal is solid as well - if they could do as well with the rest of the line as they did on the portraits for these two, I'd be perfectly happy. But add up the awful paint job on the coat and shirt and the problems with the articulation, and it comes out a disappointment for me. Again, fix all the paint problems and the articulation issues, and he's an easy ***1/2.

These are by far the best action figures we've gotten for the license, but honestly - that's not a particularly high bar. I'm hoping the other three aren't as issue prone as these two, and I'm really hoping that there's enough sales with this first five to get a second series. Firefly is somewhat unique in that we really don't need 10 waves of figures to be happy - produce just one more wave that includes Simon, Inera, Shepard, River, and a generic Reaver, and fans would be happy with the level of completeness.

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

Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- comes in at just $18 each.

- is at $19 each.

- has them for $20 each.

- Entertainment Earth is also at $20 each.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
We haven't seen a ton of Firefly product over the years, but there's been a few things. There was 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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Malcolm Reynolds, Jayne Firefly action figures by Funko

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

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