#TolkienCollection

Collectors Corner: LOTR Funkos

With all of the different books and merchandise out there it’s almost unavoidable for Tolkien fans, including us at Middle-earth News, to not have a collection of some kind. We thought it would be fun and interesting to create a new series called “Collectors Corner” where we’ll be highlighting certain items in our collections.

For our first Collectors Corner post, we’ll be talking about Funko’s new line of The Lord of the Rings vinyl figures! Funko first announced the line back in January and we didn’t get any more news until April, which is where we got a first look at the finished figures. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, these are the figures that were released:

Pop!

  • Frodo Baggins
  • Invisible Frodo Baggins (Barnes & Noble exclusive)
  • Frodo Baggins Chase Variant
  • Samwise Gamgee
  • Twilight Ringwraith (Hot Topic exclusive)
  • Nazgul
  • Saruman
  • Gandalf
  • Balrog
  • Aragorn & Arwen (SDCC/Summer Convention exclusive)

Mini Pop! Keychains

  • Frodo Baggins
  • Gandalf

Rock Candy

  • Arwen
  • Eowyn

Which ones were we able to collect? What do we think of them? Who are we hoping Funko will release in Pop form next? We share all of our thoughts!


Maria

Up until last year, I’ve had only 4 Funkos. Once in awhile, when I stumbled upon a favorite character in one of my favorite franchises, I’d buy one. However, when I read that a LOTR line would come out this year, I went a bit crazy and pre-ordered as many of them as possible (+ a bunch of other non-LOTR related Pops).

Currently, I’m owning 7 of the LOTR Funkos that were released this year. My dear friend Lily was so kind as to send me the Arwen and Aragorn convention exclusive for my upcoming birthday.

While I love The Hobbit movie trilogy, I’m not too fond of the Hobbit Funko line. Apart from Smaug and Thorin, all other Hobbit Funkos lacked detail. Gandalf, for example, looked to me more like Moses than like Gandalf. So when I saw the richly designed LOTR Funko line, I got excited and made up my mind to collect as many LOTR Funkos as possible. Myla briefly mentioned the issue of store exclusives and convention exclusives already, so I won’t repeat her points although I’m fully agreeing with them.

Personally, Gandalf and Saruman are my favorites. Especially Saruman’s robe is beautiful. Now, I do have some issues with Sam, though. I don’t know if it’s just my Sam Funko or not, but my Sam is very unstable and falls over very easily. Since I display all of my Funkos in a shelf, this instability increases the risk of a domino effect where Sam caused all other Funkos to fall over as well.   

As for future LOTR Funkos, my greatest desire is to have; at least, all 9 Fellowship members as Funkos. While I’m also a huge Harry Potter nerd, I’m somewhat upset that the Harry Potter franchise has already over 100 different Funkos while the first LOTR Funko line was released only this year. I don’t say that we need 100+ LOTR Funkos in the future, but I’d hope that at the very least all main characters and creature will get turned into a Funko eventually.


MYLA

We’ve been complaining about the lack of LOTR Pops for years, and it’s about time we got a whole line of them! (I love Funko’s Sauron but he just wasn’t enough.) I managed to buy all of the new items and while I have some minor issues with them, I’m incredibly happy to have them in my collection. So before I talk about what I didn’t like, let me tell you what I did like about them! I think the Twilight Ringwraith is one of Funko’s greatest Pops, hands down. It really does glow in the dark, so much so that I actually got scared when I was about to fall asleep and saw a bright blue shape glowing in the dark. The details show up beautifully in the light and the crown made it feel like I got my money’s worth–sometimes you get a Pop and the paint job isn’t that impressive, you know?

I can’t not mention the epic 6 inch Balrog! Who else thinks that the best Pops are usually the creepy, monster-like characters? I like how they treated the plastic differently for the flame on his head and his whip, it’s a nice touch. It also makes me smile that in every tweet or Instagram post that features Sam, everyone made sure to mention his little pots and pans because after all, it wouldn’t be Sam without a cooking weapon!

My other biggest complaint is about the store exclusives. The madness that surrounds them is extremely tiring and I live in the U.S.! It’s probably 100x more difficult for international fans to get a hold of them, but this complaint isn’t really specific to the LOTR line since it applies to Funko as a whole. I also need to point out that my Sam and Invisible Frodo can’t stand up unless I lean them on something.

I hope Funko releases another wave of LOTR pops because there obviously needs to be a Merry & Pippin 2-pack, right? And imagine pairing that with a 6-inch Treebeard! But most of all I need an old Bilbo with the Red Book of Westmarch.


VALDIS

I have managed to collect most of the LOTR and ‘Hobbit’ Funkos, both plush and Pop lines. I try to avoid looking at this pursuit objectively, since it is (let’s face it) somewhat mad to be obsessed with these little chunks of vinyl that often look alike, regardless of the character being depicted.

With a little help from my friends (shoutout to Myla Malinalda for snagging the Aragorn and Arwen duo and the keychains for me) and a couple forays on eBay, I have all of the new releases. I absolutely love the Eowyn and Arwen Rock Candy figures. They are just insanely adorable. My favorite of the new Pops is easily the Twilight Ringwraith. The figure is a somewhat mystifying mix of creepiness and cuteness that manages to capture the character well. And wow, does that thing ever glow in the dark! The Balrog is also pretty wonderful. I was impressed at how well Funko managed to render “shadow and flame” in plastic. I also really like Sam. Isn’t it about time we had a Sam? I love his teeny cooking pans (and my figure doesn’t seem to suffer from the stability issues noted above by Maria).

My biggest complaints aren’t related to the figures themselves, but rather to Funko’s marketing. I am a bit weary of Funko driving up the demand for the figures by having all their various “exclusives” at cons and partner stores. While I am glad that you can get the con exclusives in stores, that doesn’t help much when the nearest of those stores is at least 100 miles away. It must be maddening for fans who don’t live in the US.

In the future, I would like to see a lot more LOTR/Hobbit figures. Given the size of the franchise, there aren’t very many figures. At the top of my “must-have” list is Galadriel and Gimli. We need Galadriel because, well, it’s Galadriel, and while there are Legolas Funkos in both plush and Pop lines, there isn’t a Gimli. Certainly I’d love to have the whole Fellowship (including Bill the Pony, please) at some point. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait as long as we did for the latest LOTR releases!


Did you collect any of these Pops? Tell us in the comment section below!

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One Comment

  1. liza davydzenkava says:

    I collected all of the funkos even SDCC exclusive that I had to buy from Ebay. Im hoping they will have wave 2 cause we need Treebeard and Merry and Pippin