Guest contributors Adam Reck and Shelby Wolf share which X-Men characters need to be turned into Funko Pops ASAP.
Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. But you know what? Here at AiPT!, we’ve got nothing but love for Marvel’s mighty mutants! To celebrate the long-awaited return of Uncanny X-Men, AiPT! Brings you UNCANNY X-MONTH: 30 days of original X-Men content. Hope you survive the experience…Since 2011, when Funko released its Wolverine Pop, the toy company has released a considerable number of X-Men figures in their Pop, Dorbz and Mystery Minis lines (a fairly complete list of X-related Funkos can be found at popvinyls.com). But seven years later, as there seems to be a near endless supply of Funko Pop figures from every imaginable franchise, there are still some head-scratching omissions from the X-Men universe that collectors are itching to get their hands on. Will Funko ever manufacture some of X-Fans’ all-time favorites?
In a special Uncanny X-Month Toys feature, guest contributors Shelby Wolf, a visual designer and creator of the X-Cuties enamel pins, and Adam Reck, co-host of the Battle of the Atom podcast discuss the X-Men Pops Funko needs to make ASAP!
Adam: I’m assuming you have a few X-Men Funkos? How did you start collecting?
Shelby: My first Funkos were actually Disney ones, I started collecting them when they made Belle and Beast and things just sort of spiraled out from there, I suppose. My collection is pretty much every Beauty and the Beast Funko ever made because I have no self control, and some Marvel Funkos.
Adam: I’m not a huge Funko collector, but all the ones I do have are X-Men-related. I stumbled onto an Archangel on sale in a Bed Bath & Beyond and somehow they just kept appearing in my office. How many/which X-Men Funkos do you currently have?
Shelby: Not as many as I would like, but that’s just because the line is so small! I have X-23, Storm, Psylocke and Emma Frost at the moment. Surprisingly, I have a lot more Avengers Funkos but that’s mostly because there’s enough of them out there to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Adam: Yeah, I guess if you go all out you could literally fill your house with Funko stuff. I own a bunch from the Archangel/Cable/Psylocke line, along with a handful of Dorbz. I got seriously obsessed with the Mystery Minis when they came out. Speaking of which, even if you don’t own it, what do you think is the coolest X-Men-related Funko they’ve made so far?
Shelby: I don’t have them, but the DORBZ with the little baby Beast and Storm in little baby Blackbirds are the most adorable things.
Adam: I love those! I actually have Logan riding his motorcycle, and it’s pretty sweet. Though I think the one I treasure the most is the limited edition Kitty Pryde & Lockheed Mystery Mini. I felt like I accomplished something when I unboxed that one.
Was there a certain figure or line of figures that you disliked or wondered why they even made it?
Shelby: Too much Deadpool! But in all seriousness, I suppose I often find myself wondering why they’ll often announce more X-Men Funkos but they end up being costume variants of characters they’ve already released. From a marketing standpoint, I get it (like the new Colossus and Cable Funkos that came out around the release of Deadpool 2) but it’s always a little disheartening, especially when there’s such a deep pool of characters to draw from. Also, I wished they balanced some of their female figures better so my Jessica Jones Funko can stop taking nose dives off my desk in the middle of the night.
Adam: Yeah, I am always baffled when they repeat a character there is already a Pop for. I am similarly confounded as to why my NYCC Kitty Pryde Pop can’t really stand up at 90 degrees. But the one that might make me the maddest is Quicksilver. Yes, he was on X-Factor, but of all the former X-Men, I really don’t think of him as essential. Anyway, I think we both agree that Funko has made some really bizarre omissions with the X-Men Pops over the years. So let’s go through some of what we think are the ESSENTIAL X-Men figurines fans are clamoring for!
Must-Have X-Men Heroes
Shelby: It’s been really fun seeing Funko branch out into more dynamic poses for their Pops as of late and I really think Kurt would be a great way to utilize an action pose. I kind of have this vision in my head of him popping out of a cloud of smoke which would act as the base and give him the illusion of being in mid-air. He should also come with a little Bamf. Because.
Adam: I’ve gotten heat over the last year and a half for an image I made of Jubilee holding up a sign that reads, “All the Best X-Men are Women.” And the NUMBER ONE X-Man that gets thrown in my face is Kurt “getting chased by German townsfolk with pitchforks” Wagner. He’s an essential piece of the Giant-Size, All-New, All-Different X-Men team and he’s been nowhere in sight!
Adam: There are plenty of X-Fans out there whose archetypal X-Team is still the ’90s Jim Lee/Animated Series designs. So it’s baffling that Funko hasn’t gifted us with the sugah we all need in our lives with Rogue in her bodysuit/leather jacket get-up. It’s especially egregious that Nightcrawler and Rogue don’t have Pops when their Mom, Mystique, has been made into a Pop, a Dorbz, a Mystery Mini and a Rock Candy!
Shelby: I’m partial to the ’90s costume and all of its giant hair glory, but I would also love to see the ’80s look as well. It’s so strange to me that so many of the Animated Series lineup has yet to be Pop’d (for lack of a better word). Maybe with Kotobukiya doing Animated Series figures we’ll see Funko follow suit.
Shelby: Have I revealed myself to the internet as a huge Gambit fan yet? Oh. Well. Hi, internet. I’m a huge Gambit fan and approximately 95% of my complaining about wanting more X-Men Funkos is because I very selfishly really really want a Gambit Funko. This is me in complete fan mode but I really do think he would be such a fun Pop, the brightly colored costume (tievin’ on hard mode, you see), charged cards, and his bo staff would be super fun! Also I’ve been dying to know how they’d render his eyes.
Adam: For those Mr. and Mrs. X shippers who would never stand for a Rogue without her beau LeBeau, a Gambit is a must, complete with his silly costume, his staff, and a few playing cards ready for charging! Pair Remy with your Storm Funko for double the lock pickin’ fun!
Adam: The heart and soul of the ’90s X-Men, who recently experienced a renaissance of sorts thanks to Christina Strain’s amazing Generation X run–Jubilation Lee absolutely needs her own Pop. Give her the classic yellow jacket, shorts and shades, and top it off with a bubblegum bubble and some roller blades.
Shelby: I know I keep saying this but it amazes me we don’t have these Pops yet! Everyone knows and loves this little firecracker and her costume is so fun and so ’90s that the Funko X-line just kind of feels like a dim place without her.
Adam: I know there’s a camp out there who think Bishop is irredeemable after he spent a good chunk of continuity trying to kill baby Hope. But if Charles Soule believes in Lucas Bishop enough to hit the reset button in Astonishing X-Men, and Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson and Matthew Rosenberg think he’s fit to be a major player in the Uncanny X-Men relaunch, it’s time to give Bishop the Pop treatment in his classic yellow and blue.
Shelby: We may never get that New Mutants movie but we should get a Magik Funko! There’s already at least two Colossus Funkos, we need the youngest Rasputin too. Personally, I think she’d go great with the Kitty Pryde Pop.
Must-Have X-Men Villains
Shelby: We have a Magneto, Juggernaut and Sabertooth Pop but what we really need is a Sinister Pop in all his glam rock glory.
Adam: It is surprising how few X-Villains have made it into the Funko lines! But Mister Sinister is by far the villain I’d most like to see in Pop form. I have no idea how they’d mold the cape, but figure it out, Funko! We need our favorite demented geneticist/system to torment the rest of our collections!
Shelby: Spiral would make such a fun Pop that would easily dance her way into our hearts. I really like the idea of toying with what can often be a basic silhouette for these Pops and pushing the capabilities of the line in fun, new ways and she would be really fun to see.
Adam: Hey, if Funko can make a six-armed Spider-Man Pop, this should be 100% doable. I can also see using the Rock Candy format for Spiral.
Adam: If we’re sending Sinister out to mess with the team, we might as well have Lord En Sabah Nur ready to winnow out the weak from the strong in service of his very complicated and perhaps contradictory evil plans!
Shelby: Madelyne Pryor certainly cemented her own identity when she unleashed Inferno upon New York. A Goblin Queen Pop could be fun, complete with little tiny goblin accessories!
Adam: Agreed! I’d love to see Maddie too (sans underboob, please) as she chews up the scenery. This is another one that would look great as a Rock Candy figurine.
Shelby: This actually reminds me that I would love a line of Legion Pops based around the show (Aubrey Plaza, anyone?). I’ll admit to not knowing what angle I want them to take for this but it would be super freaky and kind of cool if they went with the giant amorphous ball of darkness and teeth. So many teeth.
Adam: I can’t say I really want to own the Shadow King in Amal Farouk form or otherwise, but I’ll use this opportunity to implore them not to make anything out of the terrifying Legion Season 1 Mojo-lookin’ yellow dude that is still giving me nightmares.
Adam: Sometimes I look over at my X-Men Funkos and I yearn for a talking mad scientist pterodactyl in jorts to be there, if only so he can ramble about how he doesn’t want to cure cancer, he just wants to turn everyone into a dinosaur.
Ideas for Chase Variants, Con Exclusives, Mystery Minis, etc.
Shelby: I know I said I would want to see a Magik Pop earlier, and that also means I would love to see a Darkchylde Pop! There’s so many routes they could go for this but I am partial to Adam Gorham’s design from the recent New Mutants: Dead Souls book.
Adam: There are a few variants you could do with Magik if the Bachalo design was the main figure, including her New Mutants look, a Darkchylde demon look, and maybe even Sorcerer Supreme Magik?
Shelby: As mentioned earlier, while the ’90s costume would no doubt be the standard, I think her ’80s costume could make for a super fun chase variant or con exclusive!
Adam: I am a big fan of Rogue’s various ’80s looks, which are all basically jazzercise active-wear, so I am on board with this one. This is another one where you could do a variety of looks based on the eras.
Adam: This one is going to be a little controversial, since it should probably be the other way around, but as long as we’re making a Jubilee Pop, let’s make a Boom-Boom variant. Preferably in her big-bowed Fallen Angel style or her gonzo Capullo pink & yellow costume.
Shelby: How big can Funko feasibly make a Pop? 6 inches? A giant Sentinel you could pose your X-Pops around to fight for the glory of your display case is such a neat visual.
Adam: I’m surprised this hasn’t been made already given the number of Wolverine Pops there are. I mean, what is Colossus supposed to cannonball special Logan into anyway? Give me something to throw him at!
Shelby: It could be Mystery Minis or Dorbz but I want an Animated Series pack with cute small versions of the entire lineup. Make it happen for me, Funko!
Adam: Since some of the existing Mystery Minis are the Jim Lee designs, I’d love a series 2 that filled in the cast with different eras of classic costumes. And PLEASE no more Wolverine Variants!
Adam: This is a no-brainer. If you’re going to do a Funko 3-Pack, it should be everyone’s favorite side-splitting (get it?) pal, Jamie Madrox. Sometimes the 3-Packs confound me since they’re just 3 color variations of Superman or something, but this would legitimately make sense.
Shelby: I’m sure that’s someone’s cup of tea but I think its always more fun when it makes sense for the character and property. Madrox would be so cool and wouldn’t require different paint jobs, just the same figure in triplicate. Free production-cost-saving ideas in this article, Funko. You’re welcome.
Adam: Likewise, maybe the best addition to The Gifted deserve their own 3-Pack. Bonus points if Funko gives Celeste, Mindee and Phoebe their individual looks from the Bendis-Immonen Uncanny X-Men era.
Shelby: I would love a Cuckoos 3-pack! The individual looks could make a great con exclusive or chase variant too! Speaking of which…
Adam: Take that Cable mold you’ve already got and coat it in sharp metal and blades. Give it the same shine as a Colossus chase variant, and the Liefeld groupies will line up around the block to get their hands in this evil clone.
Shelby: This Pop should come with a warning label so you don’t accidentally stab yourself.
Artie & Leech Dorbz
Adam: I think this idea speaks for itself, but lest I need to elaborate: Artie and Leech are adorable. I realize they’re much more associated with Fantastic Four these days, but they’ll always be X-Men in our hearts.
Shelby: Once an X-Man, always an X-Man. Also they’re precious and they deserve the world.
Phew! I think we just plotted out at least a few years of production for the folks at Funko, all of which would be immediate cash cows courtesy of obsessed X-Fans across the country. Who knows, maybe they’re already hard at work on some of these fantastic ideas. But until then, we’ll be saving space on our shelves for some of our favorite characters so we can complete our teams!
Adam Reck is the co-host of Battle of the Atom and the writer/artist of Bish & Jubez. You can follow him on Twitter @arthurstacy and read his work at adamreck.tumblr.com Shelby Wolf is a visual designer. Follow her on on twitter at @shelbynwolf and see her work at www.shelbywolf.com/