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Funko: Mortal Kombat X Action Figures

MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!

Come on now, how else can you start a feature of action figures based on that property without that classic opening? Well, that classic component helps with our lead in to what the crew at Funko has been cooking, because the release of this new “Savage World” style Mortal Kombat X, not only does the MK property get a shot in the arm with a new action figure release, but Funko is also unleashing a new/old style of collector figures that is sure to tickle all of those nostalgia feels for market of a certain age.

Did you grow in in the 1980s? Were the old Masters of the Universe and “tribute” lines of the same style (Remco’s Warrior Beasts, etc.) your bread and butter? MOTU is my personal favorite in terms of lines from my childhood, and I know I am not alone. Funko also knows this, and while the earlier 3.75-inch throwback lines have been popular for the last few years, just like in the ’80s, time is progressing, and it has progressed to that 5.5-inch scale that so many of us cut our teeth on for play and collecting. If the rumors are true, Mortal Kombat is just the tip of the iceberg when considering this format, and I can see a lot of properties fitting into this very well, so I am quite interested to see what, if anything, might be coming next.

Liu Kang, Kitana, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Raiden are leading this way, and now that I have these figures in hand, I have to say that many of their qualities met my expectations, but several points turned out to be quite different than what I was anticipating. I am pleased to report that the sum of all parts come together very well, and I think these figures, and this style overall, will catch many by surprise and will appeal even to some who would not normally be on board. Yes, these are styled to pluck at the nostalgia strings for many of us, but Funko was smart with this, and these are very much modern action figures at the same time.

The style and articulation scheme should feel familiar to you, and while these new figures pay tribute to the past, they are very much their own thing. Yes, these figures are nice and chunky, but if you are expecting them to feel just like your old Skeletor, they do not. These fit your grown up mitts the same way the old MOTU figures would have felt, but these are bigger and heavier, so they pay tribute, but give you that “hobbit holding a normal-sized object feeling” and that is kind of cool to me. Additionally, the five points of articulation are “just like you remember” in terms of scheme and location, but modern technology has definitely supplemented these, especially in posing the legs. What Funko has come up with is, again, a nice tribute, but the joints are so much better than the old o-rings, and those hips can actually hope a pose. Whoda thunk it?

Mortal Kombat is an interesting first property for this line since it did not exist when the style was at its apex, but it can go to show that even a property that might not lend itself to the aesthetic at first glance can work really well. MKX is the reference for the designs, and I have to say, there is actually a ton of detail here, and that is one of the spots I was pleasantly surprised by with the end product. I suppose I was expecting these to hold the same level of sculpted detail as lines from the 1980s, and not to take anything away from those, but the sculpts here are very nice and really detailed. Yes, they pay tribute to the days of yore, but since the costumes in MKX are some of the most intricate of the entire series, there is a lot going on with each figure, and everything from Sub-Zero’s gauntlets to the sculpted design work on Liu Kang’s gi is very clean.

That leads right to my assertion that I find these to be the highest quality figures that Funko has produced to date, at least in my experience. The Disney Afternoon stuff is very well done, but there is not a sloppy line or weak joint that I can even speak to with these. They all cut a very distinct silhouette, and while they are wonderfully chunky and fit into a prototype male or female shape, all of the details are retained to make everyone distinct. I mean, you can see the very apparent Teela influences in Kitana’s build, but she was not completely shoehorned into an aesthetic. I think when a tribute of style is often put forth at the design phase, character notes or innovation are often sacrificed. Funko has been able to avoid that while delivering high quality figures. I feel like I could drop these off the roof without fear of breaking. But I am not going to do that. I am also not suggesting you do it either. Be nice to your toys.

Each figure, except for Liu Kang, comes with character-appropriate accessories and weaponry as well, and much like their figure counterparts, those have been adapted into the chunky style as well. Kitana, of course, has her fans, and they are slightly oversized and blocky, but they still retain their signature details. This all holds true for Sub-Zero’s ice weapons, Scorpion’s swords, and the rest, so everything works together quite well. If I have one nitpick with these figures is that the plastic used for their hands is pretty rigid, so it can be a challenge to get them to hold their weapons, but once they are in there, they hold tight for sure.

Like most Funko lines, this series has its share of chase variants, and they come in the form of a “powered up” Raiden, an all-ice Sub-Zero, and a “revealed” Scorpion with flaming skull. These are all smart changes to existing bases, and while Raiden comes with additional lightning to wrap around his body, the biggest tooling change is the inclusion of Scorpion’s flaming skull head. Frankly, this makes him my favorite in terms of the chases because I love the head sculpt and the translucent plastic is a great touch. Sub-Zero was always my favorite classic MK character to play, so seeing him as a “cool” translucent figure is fun, too, and the color is really striking. I am not sure what the case ratio is for these chases, but I am betting it is less than one per case, so be on the lookout and don’t pass them up if you see them.

Funko’s love letter to the muscle bound figure lines of the 1980s has ended up being a successful execution. This style holds a lot more to me in terms of sentimentality than the ReAction stuff of before, but I have to say, I actually like that this line deviates from the source a bit more than the RA stuff. I love the feel of these figures in hand: they are solid, heavy, and wonderfully consistent from one to the next. However, they are also very detailed with paint and sculpt, and they are produced near-flawlessly. Doing a line like this is always a bit of a gamble, but I think Funko has caught the balance of nice tribute, but without some of the self-applied style and design limitations. I know that this won’t be for everyone, but if you like those chunky old figures, I definitely recommend giving at least one of these a shot. Raiden is probably my favorite standard figure, so you can start there, if you like.

Mortal Kombat as a property works surprisingly well with this style, and it definitely has me interested in what might come next. If ReAction is any indication, I have a feeling the properties will run the full gamut from the 1980s, all the way to modern day. With these hitting soon, hopefully we will be privy to what is up next in the not too distant future. I am definitely excited to see where this goes.

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