Monday, February 29, 2016

Why I have these Funko Pops in my collection

People ask if I am going to pick up a lot of these Funko Pops. The answer is no. Am just set to about a maximum of 50. Well, that may sound like a lot, right? But unlike others who go for collector's items or variants, for me, nope. I just get the characters that I really like from my fave films, shows, bands, sports teams etc.

Here's a rundown on what I have and why I picked them up.

Mushu and Cricket -- My favorite characters from Mulan! Eddie Murphy gave life to Mushu who is one of my fave Disney characters! Just had to get this!)

Slave Leia -- Such an iconic "pose" for a great character. Carrie Fisher in that metal bikini was every young nerd's fantasy. Myself included.

Gogo Yubari - What a great character from the Kill Bill films. Chiaki Kuriyama is such a lovely creature.

Sting - I love James O'Barr's The Crow. Sting, whose use of make-up was inspired by the Crow, was one of my fave characters from the old WCW. And that baseball bat of his reminded me of the Baseball Furies from that classic film, The Warriors.

Peyton Manning - Huge fan of Peyton's from his time in Tennessee to Indianapolis to Denver. No brainer for me.

Manny Pacquiao -- It is such a thrill to have this Filipino icon have his own Pop. Had to get this. Not picking up the basketball version because, well, he isn't one.

Captain America - If I am to name my all-time best ten Marvel Comics characters, Cap would be right up there along with Daredevil (my absolute number one), Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Havoc, Rogue, and Spider-Man. Been a Cap fan since Jack Kirby's celebrated return to the title in 1975 (for the American Bicentennial) all the way to Mark Gruenwald to Mark Waid to Dan Jurgens to Ed Brubaker.

Daredevil - My all-time fave comics character. Been a fan from the Stan Lee and Gene Colan days. Both him and Nightcrawler are openly Catholic characters and I appreciate that. In fact, one reason why my eldest son's name is Matthew is because of DD's alter ego, Matthew Murdock (the other is it is the first Gospel of the New Testament). Hope to get the Yellow DD Pop, the Masked Vigilante, and the DD Netflix version! 

Deadpool's Chimichangas Truck - I have to admit that Deadpool isn't one of my fave characters. But he had this appeal as an anti-hero. I think I still have all those early comics from New Mutants to X-Force that featured this Merc with a Mouth. One of the coolest Pops if you ask me.

Wolverine - Yes, I know. What's Wolvie doing here? Used to love this character until Schism and his joining the Avengers. Since then I've hated him. Still needed to get this Pop.

The Flash - My favorite DC Comics hero. Love all the Flashes from Jay Garrick to Barry Allen to Wally West to Max Mercury, Johnny and Jessie Quick. The Speed Force IMHO is one of the coolest creations when DC was good. 

Super Grover - My fave character from Sesame Street! 

Rachel Green - Have had this eternal crush on Jennifer Aniston so this is a must.

Black Suit Spider-Man - Spidey is my second fave character after DD. While the red and blue costume is iconic, so is this black suit.

Wonder Woman from Dawn of Justice - Only read WW when George Perez was writing and drawing the character post Crisis. Picked up some odd issues here and there. While this is modelled after Gal Gadot from Dawn of Justice, for me, WW will always be Lynda Carter.

Godzilla - Gojira! I must have seen all the Godzilla films. I don't care how sappy some of them were, I enjoyed them! I even got the first Dark Horse comic of Godzilla (in black and white) and the Art Adams colored book.

Mr. Miyagi - Pat Morita! Loved the film, The Karate Kid featuring Ralph Macchio, and his mentor Mr. Miyagi. Wax in; wax out.

Michonne - One of the coolest indie comics characters ever. Was a fan from the comics and I think that Danai Gurira portrays her pretty well!

Emperor Zurg - Toy Story will go down as one of my fave films ever. While Woody and Buzz are my fave characters and since I don't have them yet, Zurg will do just fine. For now.

Patrick - From Sponge Bob, one of the craziest cartoon shows I have ever seen. Love this silly character!

Agent Carter - Anyone from Captain America's comics is a fave. Plus, the television show is really good.

Rocket Racoon - Love the make-over of Guardians of the Galaxy under Dan Abnett. Rocket and Groot have since been one of my fave Marvel characters.

Ant-Man and Ant-Thony - Another of the coolest Pops ever. This is what actually got me into Funko Pops! For real.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

(Funko) Pop goes the world with vinyl bobbleheads

(Funko) Pop goes the world with vinyl bobbleheads
by rick olivares

Vinyl is back.

No. Not those long playing music albums (although they too have made a comeback in this digital world). I am talking about those Funko Pop vinyl bobbleheads that have taken the pop culture world by storm.

These bobbleheads, produced by Washington, D.C.-based company, Funko, of sports, comic book, cartoon, as well as film and television characters stand 3.75 inches tall and have those huge anime eyes with no mouths. In short, they are some cute and adorable figurines that have become massive hits all over the world.

Nowadays, you aren’t anybody unless you’ve got your own Funko Pop. Our very own Manny Pacquiao has not one but two — the Pacman boxer and the Pacman basketball player! Even the folklorish Aswang has its own (and is available in several variants too). Even Pope Francis I has his own bobblehead (although it isn’t manufactured by Funko).

In Greenhills Shopping Center alone, no less than 15 shops sell Funko Pops and other related merchandise including the new collectibles, Dorbz and Nendoroids. 

We spoke with three Funko Pop Collectors — business analyst J.A. Lukban and journalists Earl Maghirang and Meg Siasoco -- and asked about their addiction to this new phenomenon. 

JA Lukban and his Pops
Why and how did you get into collecting Funko Pops? What is it about them that you liked?

JA Lukban: "It started with my love for comics. And I saw a spider-man funko pop in Previews from a local comic store. And at that time i thought it would be a good addition to my comic related collection. Then came the Batman line and it just kicked off from there.”

Earl Maghirang: "I got into Funko Pops because they carried a lot of characters I care about and love like Wolverine and Iron Man. It’s the wide choices for the line that got to me like I could have an action figure of the Little Mermaid and be pleased about it."

Meg Siasoco: "I learned about Funko Pop from an officemate last year. I found out that my favorite character from 'The Walking Dead,' Daryl Dixon, has a Pop version. So I searched for it and so glad to find one. After that, I joined different Facebook groups and learned that there are lots of other characters made by Funko! So I began to collect everything that appealed to me. But after a few months, I decided to stick to one line - 'Star Wars.' I love all the movies and I am a super fan. I also collect 'Game of Thrones' dragons and some other selected characters from time to time." 

"What I like about Funko Pop is that it gives me a comforting feeling to be one with the iconic characters that I like. It is very fulfilling to see them and appreciate the detail of the Pop. This iconic big head and wide-eyed toy is really appealing to all."

Meg Siasoco & her Daryl Dixon
If you’re a comic book fan, does collecting Pops compete for your budget?

JA: "At that time i did not have budget for statues and Funko Pops was the alternative for me. My comic budget is set with my pull list. Funko is just 2nd to it. Comics for me is much more enjoyable. You can read it over and over again. Funko is good for display and reminds me of my love for comics."

Earl: “Nowadays, yes. Pops are cheap but the rare ones can cost a lot of cash. It happens that i have to remove titles just to accomodate the rare Funko pop."

Meg: "Aside from Funko Pop, I also collect Tomica Tsum Tsum and Nendoroids. Disney's Tsum Tsum line have been getting a lot of attention lately because of their application that is very simple to play with. They are really cute Disney characters are available in different collectible lines but I chose Tomica cars since they are fun to play with." 

"Nendoroid made by Good Smile Company is also fun to collect since the parts can be changed. I collect the Anime series Fate Stay line."

Is it a must for you to get those limited edition Pops?

JA: "Nope. There are limited edition Pops that I want to get but if it exceeds my budget, I'll be happy just to get a normal one over it. Some limited edition ones are ridiculously expensive and I dont think they're worth it.” 

Earl: "It depends from one collector to another. But personally, I’m ok with the regular releases."

Meg: "I am focused on getting the exclusive releases of Star Wars Funko Pops as compared to others. Before, I reached more than 120 Pops. But now, I only have about 60 which is really limited to the Pops that I will surely keep for my collection."

Earl Maghirang and some of his Pops.

How many Funko Pops do you have to date? And what are your faves?

JA: "I have around 70 of them now and it is still growing but i limit it to certain lines. My favorites are my Batman set from the Dark Knight rises (Batman, Bane, Catwoman) my second purchase, my pair of Woody and Buzz Lightyear from ‘Toy Story' (my girlfriend's gift to me), and then there's the a yellow Daredevil."

Earl: "I have 16 Pops and my favorite would have to be the Phasing Vision they sold during Toycon. The Aswang is a close second because its scary and very Pinoy."

Meg: "My most favorite Pop is my very first one, Daryl Dixon. Having a favorite one or a ‘grail' does not have to mean it should be expensive or so. It has to have a meaning for you. Actually, I really like Daryl Dixon that I recently got a nine-inch Funko Pop version of him! Hahaha!"

What would be the ultimate Funko Pop for you? One that hasn’t been produced yet?

JA: "The ultimate pop? I just looked at my comics and I'd love to see a Black Cat Funko Pop."

Earl: "If they make a Freddie Funko with Agent Venom or that Kurama pop from Naruto would be good for a start at the moment."

Meg: "I would like Funko to produce Pacific Rim characters. It would be nice to have a six or nine-inch Kaiju Pop!"


Friday, February 26, 2016

My Funko Pop collection.

My Funko Pop collection! Mushu and Cricket (Mulan), Slave Leia (Star Wars), Gogo Yubari (Kill Bill), Sting (WCW/WWE), Peyton Manning (NFL), Manny Pacquiao, Captain America, Daredevil, Deadpool's Chimichangas Truck, Wolverine, the Flash, Super Grover, Rachel Green (Friends), Black Suit Spider-Man, Wonder Woman (Dawn of Justice), Godzilla, Mr. Miyagi (Karate Kid), Michonne (The Walking Dead), Emperor Zurg, Patrick (Sponge Bob), Agent Carter, Rocket Racoon, Ant-Man and Ant-Thony.


Black Suit Spider-Man, Wolverine, Mushu & Cricket, Wonder Woman and a Dorbz Groot.

Not in the pictures are my Pops of Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), BB8, and Groot.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Talking points from the Walking Dead Season 6 "No Way Out"

Believe it or not, the Walking Dead midseason premier is the calm before the storm
by rick olivares

The Walking Dead, both the comic and the television series is an exercise in self-flagelation (and it isn’t even Holy Week yet). You are emotionally invested in the characters and the storyline knowing fully well that someone you like is going to be zombie kill at some point. If not, murdered by someone who has lost his mind in the zombie apocalypse. 

And the mid-season premier literally starts out with a bang with massive ramifications for the show.

Here are points to take from the mid-season premier titled, “No Way Out.”

The walker siege of Alexandria provides a moment of clarity for many characters.
Sasha has been dealing with post traumatic stress disorder. Fr. Gabriel is tormented and borderline wacko. Morgan thinks his pacifist ways will tame this wild wild zombie apocalypse. Eugene is a coward.

The Alexandrians have been living an incredibly foolish idyllic life thinking no one would dare destroy what they have created. And that naiveness or stupidity costs them. It is that naivety that divides them with many believing that Rick Grimes and his crew have brought on destruction to Alexandria. The arrival of Morgan who allies himself with the Alexandrians after adopting a rather irrational pacifist way in the middle of a brutal zombie apocalypse that tilts everything towards a “civil” war. However, it was only a matter of time before their quiet life attracted predators of the living and undead kind.

Case in point, it is Aaron’s flyer to recruit well-meaning survivors to Alexandria that brought on the Wolves, those gang of brigands and murderers whose attack also attracted the attention of the herd.

Just when all seemed lost and in an unlikely manner, Rick, who previously battled PTSD following the death of his wife, Lori, nearly losses it again after Carl is shot in the face by a vengeful Ron. His recklessness and desire to save Alexandria galvanizes the townsfolk including all the spineless denizens to beating back the herd of walkers. That snaps Sasha, Fr. Gabriel, Morgan, and Eugene among many others back to reality that life isn’t what it once was and it will never be the same again.

The entire cast is back.
Just like the events leading up to the Terminus, everyone is back in one setting.

Rick, Carl, Judith, Michonne, Daryl, Glenn, Maggie, Carol, Sasha, and Tara (the remnants of the battle with the Governor); plus Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, (from the battle with the Terminus cannibals) plus Father Gabriel and Morgan. And there are the Alexandria folks — Pete, Denise, Aaron, Eric, Enid, Heath, Olivia, and others.

Who was lost in the last two episodes? Deanna, Jessie, Sam, and Ron are gone.

What I liked about “No Way Out” was some characters were pushed forward — Rosita, Denise, Gabriel, and Eugene.

The large cast makes it difficult to juggle everyone’s face time much less character development. So every bit is good. But to make way for some characters to step into the limelight, the eventual culling will happen. For now that the Walker siege of Alexandria is over, Negan is on deck.

If you thought the Governor was bad, wait ’til you get a load of Negan.
Daryl blows apart that hunting party of Saviors at the start of the show with a RPG. And really, it is satisfying to see them blown to kingdom come. But you know that Negan, who has been Tweeted and mentioned ad infinitum in social media by those like me who follow the comics, will not take that lightly and will demand more than a pound of flesh.

Thus far, the Governor has been the one major foe who last for quite a while. The Terminus cannibals and the Wolves were threats but to a lesser extent. Negan… is going to be BAD for the survivors of Alexandria (if the television script writers follow the comic book storyline and every indication is he will be even more brutal) and he will cause massive disruption. And you know the Whisperers are yet to come.

While those who read the comic book know that the arrival of Negan foreshadows the ugly, brutal, and disheartening death of Glenn, I think that it is a red herring and someone else will fall pray to Negan and Lucille. 

I figure the next episode will show Rick Grimes and crew rebuild what is left of their town. It will be the calm before a Hurricane called Negan. 

I shudder to think where "The Walking Dead" is going.