By Jarrett Kruse

I honestly can say that I never thought I would be sucked into the world of POP! VINYLS from FUNKO. The company has absolutely been killing it the last couple of years and their showing at last month's Toy Fair '16 was stellar. It seems like the entire toy collecting world has gone POP! crazy! Because of my Back to the Future obsession, I was pulled into the Vinyl figure world and I wound up buying two, Marty McFly & Doc Brown. Then I heard about POP! RIDES and had to buy the BTTF DeLorean. Then their was a FUN.com Exclusive Marty McFly so I had to buy that. And so on and so on and now I am enmeshed in FUNKO-Kulture as I like to call it POP-ifying everything I see that hasn't been POP-ified yet. Its a sickness I tell you!


As if that were not bad enough, the whole monthly subscription box was something that started and rapidly picked up speed. The first one that I had personally heard of was LOOT CRATE with a different theme each month for a set amount. I absolutely loved the idea as it was clever, gave the opportunity for an Exclusive item to be included which Junkies love, and it was affordable. Soon their were subscription boxes popping up everywhere, and not just in the pop culture arena. No, no, they are everywhere. Food, men's grooming products, flowers, coffee, etc. If there's a product or hobby you can think of, their is a monthly subscription box plan out there for you.

I immediately signed up for FUNKO's MARVEL COLLECTORS CORPS and figured that there was going to be a DC one coming up fast, especially with the pending release of Warner Bros. tentpole film Batman VS. Superman: Dawn of Justice hitting theaters next week. Enter FUNKO's DC LEGION OF COLLECTORS subscription box which just arrived a few days ago here at AFJ headquarters. Just like the MARVEL box, the DC LOC box offers two subscription options, the "Vigilante" or the "Sidekick" packages. The DC "Vigilante" package offers not one but six boxes at $150 plus a free gift while the "Sidekick" package is just for one and prices at just $25 mirroring the "Hero" & "Collector" boxes from the MARVEL program. Also keep in mind that taxes and shipping & handling charges are tacked onto the total cost.


The above question absolutely plagues the AFJ Facebook page but here, it really is appropriate because much like Forrest Gump's chocolates, you never you know what you gonna get. First thing that I like about FUNKO's subscription boxes is that the box they ship is absolutely perfect. I know that sounds silly but it is seriously the perfect box to ship a bunch of different things in. Personally, I immediately first go for the t-shirt because most of the other stuff somehow usually gets leaked online before the box arrives at your door. So the first t-shirt for LEGION members is a powder blue garment featuring an old-style boxing graphic of a program featuring Batman versus Superman. I like it and its a nice t-shirt and will look cool when I'm rocking a nice summer tan but overall it really is not much of a "special" t-shirt that I feel is one I cannot wait to wear and show off. I have to add that I buy an average of five "24-hour tees" per month by using the website FEISTEES where every night at either midnight or 1 AM, depending on where you live, a couple of new prints by independent artists pop up for you to purchase on the cheap. I think I have close to 40 that I have not even worn yet and they are much nicer than this one. I get that DC wanted to go with a Batman VS Superman tee but for one, besides the names of the characters, the rest of the writing on the shirt (and there's A LOT of writing) is all in Spanish. Despite taking three years of Spanish in High School and only remembering a few random words, I honestly don't know what the t-shirt says unless I Google it. Yes, I can make out the basics but outside of, "Julio, detencion esta tarde" ("Julio", my name in Spanish class back in the 90's. And "dentencion, esta tarde" which means "detention, this afternoon". Unfortunately, I was a bit of a smart ass back in the day. Final verdict, not so thrilled with the t-shirt.

The t-shirt...in Espanol!

The t-shirt...in Espanol!

Second up is something that I really to be honest do not get because it is not 1985 and not a lot of people are wearing denim jean jackets. It was a fad that lasted from the greasers from the 50's well into the 90's but in 2016, you just do not see a lot of denim coats out there with teenagers. So when I get a Wonder Woman patch and a Superman pin, I seriously have no place to put them. The MARVEL ones I have collected since the COLLECTORS CORPS' inception are literally just sitting here in a pile. I have no place to pin the pins and my grandmother has unfortunately passed on so I don't know anyone that can sew any of these patches onto something. Even if she were alive, I don't know where the heck I would have her sew the patch on anyway! So the patch and the pins that I have accrued will probably be given away at some point in an AFJ giveaway. I know it is FUNKO's go-to on the big two DC & MARVEL boxes but I am really hoping that they can mix it up in future boxes with something else. I have some ideas brewing like maybe the blind bag of Mini's that seem to be gaining steam in popularity.










Next up is an Exclusive two-pack of DORBZ, the line from FUNKO that seems to be the baby brother of POP! VINYLS. I like the DORBZ and their cute smiling faces and I do have a few in my collection and I actually would have loved this set if not for one glaring reason. While normally I am the biggest fan of a "Variant" out there, it just DOES NOT WORK in this 2-pack that includes Superman & Aquaman (the movie versions) in green & turquoise/blue, respectively. I would have much rather had a regular set of the two characters in their recognizable uniforms but maybe battle-damaged or making a different face. But lime green and turquoise blue? No one is going to know who the heck is on my shelf unless they closely inspect the pieces by taking them and looking super closely. I've grown to genuinely like DORBZ and as stated they are adorable or "tots adorbs" as Tweens are saying but here, I don't even think Siegel & Shuster would have an idea who is looking back at them in Kryptonite green.


Finally, we get to the melodramatic finish, and I say that because this is the reason that I really went all in and bought the DC LEGION OF COLLECTORS box to begin with. The best part of the box is the part that was no surprise at all. Yes, it is the Armored Batman POP! VINYLS figure from the upcoming movie. It looks really terrific and has the EXCLUSIVE DC COMIC LEGION OF COLLECTORS sticker right there in front of the window-box in blue. Surely, the POP! alone is fetching more than the cost of the entire box already on eBay as of this posting. I like that its a POP! you cannot get in stores but the luster of that special feeling of exclusivity washed away pretty quick as I surveyed what my $28 really got me. Overall, the debut box for the DC LEGION OF COLLECTORS is a total pass unless you absolutely have to have the Armored Batman POP! Vinyls figure. The rest I will be giving away to one of my friends kids. I hope that the next box, which has a DC TV theme (think FLASH & ARROW), will mix it up and maybe instead of patches & pins, have some of the increasingly popular Mystery Mini Blind Boxes. I am really rooting for FUNKO so I guess we'll have to wait and see...


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