Funko Smuggler’s Bounty Anniversary Gift Review

Funko Smuggler's Bounty Anniversary Gift Review
  • The Sculpt
  • Quality
  • Timing
2.8
The Star Wars/Funko Smuggler’s Bounty Anniversary gift Force chokes us with DARTH VADER, but is it a hit?

Review by Matt Cummings

As the first year of the Star Wars/Funko alliance known as Smuggler’s Bounty wrapped up, it was clear that 2016 had shown the sub box line a series of hard lessons, mixing big disappointments with galaxy-sized successes.  But as every box appeared on our doorstep, a lingering question remained: what would the anniversary gift reveal to SB’s loyal fans?  That question was answered this week when Funko began shipping said item, but that initial wave of euphoria was quickly tempered.  Given the lukewarm reception in their Marvel Collector Corps Captain America statue and the DC Legion Batman anniversary gifts, it was unclear what SB could do to sway the decidedly mixed public opinion.  And while their DARTH VADER-themed gift is as shiny as the other lines and a true Funko sculpt, it lacks that impressive Force choke we were hoping for.

Before diving in, let’s review the details of Funko’s Smuggler’s Bounty box:

  • The cost for a Month to Month is $25 (plus S/H), or $150 (plus S/H) for a one-year subscription.
  • You get one box every other month, with SB promising $50 in value and no fluff.
  • If you chose the Smuggler membership (yearly), you are promised an additional gift, which just happens to be the subject of this review.  Lucky you.

Again, this review will focus on the DARTH VADER gift which came as part of that yearly commitment. He’s the ultimate bad guy, made even more so in 2016’s brilliant ROGUE ONE, but upon looking at the images below, it’s unclear if they quite hit the mark.  As always, we use QUALITY and TIMING to base our reviews, so let’s see how this anniversary statue stacks up.

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The Delivery
Unlike MCC’s Captain America and DC Legion’s Batman, this Smuggler’s Bounty statue is a true Funko sculpt. But that doesn’t do much to persuade us of its value, as it looks like a combination of Stewie from FAMILY GUY and Darkhelmet from SPACEBALLS. If Cap was missing something (the over-sized head and classic sculpt), Vader looks like a cartoon character, dare I say a….Funko figure?? Perhaps that was the point all along, but considering the alternatives, I don’t think Funk-styled figures look very good in shiny plating. Mine also arrived a tad damaged, as every time I move it I can hear a rattling sound, as if something is loose inside the structure.

And let’s talk about that odd design behind the figure. It isn’t part of The Empire’s branding, so it looks like something they pulled from one of those awards you get for humanitarian efforts. Very cheesy and not at all what I would have expected. To be honest, a golden statue of a big-headed toy doesn’t look right, and if Funko moves forward with these gifts, I hope they will choose more traditional designs. Granted, it is Funko-themed, but that no longer seems to be the right move.

Timing, which completes our evaluation, is better here, given the imminent release of ROGUE ONE to Blu-ray. And choosing Darth Vader as your first SB anniversary gift is probably as good as one could hope for.

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THE BOTTOM LINE
Funko’s release of the Smuggler’s Bounty Anniversary Gift is a disappointment. From the failure of the sculpt to that odd rattling sound, the entire package feels fairly cheap and comes across as a total misfire. While I appreciate the idea of using Darth Vader to open this gift line, the final result just doesn’t cut it. Should Funko decide to maintain the shiny plating, I do think they need to release these and the other anniversary gifts with more traditional sculpts.  This won’t change my mind about re-upping my subscription for a second year, as the box on a whole is still a great value (I have one word: Tauntaun). But I hope that Funko will reconsider their decision and employ a more traditional sculpt next time.

About the author

Besides being an ardent burrito eater and an exceptional sleeper, Matt shares in your passion for all things movies and Blu-ray. He also loves special editions and is known to triple-dip on command.