Are you tired of Funko Pops? Tired of hearing about them, tired of them overcrowding toy shelves everywhere? Well you’re in luck. In today’s pop culture update, I am going to look at five toy lines that I think are better than Funko Pops. When making my list, I wanted to focus on toys with personality. Although there is nothing wrong with a shelf full of rigid looking action men, it’s 2019! And nothing brings more joy than our favourite characters brought to life in wacky and wonderful ways. So strap in, change your PayPal password and get ready to discover some great new toys!
Hasbro – Legends
If you’re a completionist who enjoys the hunt, then this one is for you! Hasbro Legends, are truly for the hard-core collectors, but they reward their dedication with a prize like no other. What makes Legend’s toy so unique, is when you buy one, you’re not just buying that figure. In fact you are buying that figure, plus one part of another figure, and by buying all of the parts, you can then complete an exclusive figure, only available to those who have ever part. Pretty amazing right? What other toy company rewards you for spending hundreds of dollars on toys, by giving you something unique, something that CAN’T be purchased separately?
Before you have a heart attack, you aren’t up for buying twenty or thirty figures to get the pay of. Each set of Legends characters always consists of six to eight figures. So, you can find the set you like, and with a couple of hundred dollars own it. In addition, you’ll have something special to show your friends that they won’t have seen anywhere else. One of my favourite sets from this franchisee is the new Avengers End Game wave 3 set. With a strong list of characters including Iron-man, Captain America, Vision and Iron Patriot, Heimdall and Valkyrie. You aren’t getting too many B listers, the best thing about this set though? The figure you build is Fat Thor! It’s absolutely glorious and if you’re looking for a place to start out, I recommend here.
Jada Toys – Metals
Started twenty years ago, Jada Toys is definitely one for the boys. An American company that embodies the roots of American Big Muscle. When Jack and May Li launched Jada Toys in 1999 their focus was on Hot Rods and muscle cars. Today though their catalogue is extensive, with everything from Fast & Furious, right the to Disney’s Cars. Not only that, but they all now have a massive line of Diecast figures, with properties like Disney, Marvel & DC there is no shortage of things to collect. Jada isn’t just about the big boys in town though, these are definitely toys made by collectors, for collectors. If you’re looking for some lessen known properties, some of the noticeable ones here are Halo, Scarface, the Godfather and the Soprano’s.
What makes Jada Toys metals so great, is just that. They’re metal! These toys are just magic to hold in your hands, and they take you back to a time before plastic, when toys could be thrown at walls, and you were more worried about the wall breaking. Even their Nano Figures, are great to hold, and won’t fall over if you bump the desk or shelf. The best thing about these though, is their unique look. While plastic toys tend to have a matte finish. Jada have gone all out, and all the figures are painted with gloss paints, similar to what is used on Hot Rods. This gives them such a unique finish, with bold and vibrant colours, they are sure to stand out on even the busiest shelf.
Hot Toys – Cos Baby
If you’ve done any sort of toy collecting in your life, you’ve probably heard of Hot Toys, and unless you have very, and I mean very deep pockets, heard of them is all you’ve done. Hot Toys is a company based in Hong Kong who specialise in highly detailed, highly sort after collectibles, with a price tag to match. They are especially renowned for their 1/6 scale figures, with a likeness to their source material that most manufactures can only dream of achieving. Just see the sculpt of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman below if you don’t believe me.
However, if you don’t have deep pockets, and have hundreds of dollars to fork over per figure, you’re in luck. Hot Toys has a lesser known property, perfect for casual collectors looking for something fun. Cosbaby’s! Cosbaby’s are adorable 4” figures that are more about being cute, than they are about being true to life. They have a child like charm to them, and will always bring a smile to your face, if you’re having a hard day.
That being said, the figures can be a bit hit and miss, depending on the franchise you’re hoping to get. I personally love the Toy Story collection, and the cute nature of Cosbaby’s works perfectly to capture the magic Pixar made us feel all those years ago. However, Captain America looking all cute and fun, just loses the essence of Marvel’s blockbuster, and leaves tight fisted with my money firmly planted in my pocket.
Banpresto – Qposket
If there is a special princess in your life you want to spoil. Or maybe you are a princess, and you’re looking for a toy that captures your elegance and grace. Then QPosket’s are for you! With a focus on female protagonist, namely Disney princess’s QPosket’s are detailed and charming. Unlike the other figures on this list, QPosket’s focus heavily on the female form. They work hard to capture not only the emotion of the face, but also lean heavily of body language for a deeper level of story telling. Just looking at the figures below you can see curiosity, vanity and ever wonder captured beautifully.
Those worried about this company running out of steam (sculpts), fear not! Banpresto was recently acquired by Bandai Spirits, a well know Japanese toy company. As a result, this opens the brand up to a much larger licensing pool, and also to new ideas. Since being acquired in February we’ve already seen a flood of new models come to market. For all those GIRL POWER warriors out there, the boys have invaded.
Straying from their original roots, the new Harry Potter set includes sculpts of all the big male characters. If you dive deep enough into the catalogue you will also find Aladdin, and a new sculpt for Suicide Squad’s, The Joker. Also evident is the Japanese influence being pushed into this brand. Whilst the earlier Disney sculpts stay very true to their source material. The newer Harry Potter sculpts have a very strong Anime vibe to their look and feel.
Funko – 5 Star
Launching in mid-2018 Funko’s 5 Star vinyl figures were a refreshing, and much needed boost for the company. With three points of articulation, and each figure coming with its own unique accessory. Funko has finally been able to capture some of the wonderful and personality that is sorely missing from their Pop Vinyl figures. Buying a set of figures, allows for a small world to be created on your desk or shelf that is truly magical. While Funko Pops tend to look like an army of colour slowly marching toward you, Funko’s new 5 Star figures really deliver on capturing the characters we have come to love so much.
The best thing about Funko’s 5 Star vinyls is, there is no shortage of figures to choose from. Funko has definitely leveraged its licencing power, and it’s really looking for something to breathe new life into the brand as the endless barrage of variants, and re-releases wear fans down. 5 Star’s already include some great licenses like Harry Potter, Stranger Things, as well as some classic Disney and Pixar favourites. However, Funko aren’t just playing it safe with this new line, and have some great pieces for the more hardcore among us. Featuring other licenses such as Naruto, Kingdom Hearts, and more niche interests like Hellboy and Nightmare Before Christmas. If you’re a fan of any of these franchises, these are a must for your collection.
How Did We Do?
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed a deeper dive into the wacky world of collectibles, and you’ve been inspired to make you wallet lighter and your face happier. Join the conversation below and let us know what you think. Did we inspire you to start collecting a new line of toys? Did your favourite make the cut? Maybe there is something we missed that you think should be on the list. Let us know below, and as always HAPPY HUNTING!
Why not pop over to my Instagram to check out everything going on with my personal collection – https://www.instagram.com/scottythetoyhunta/