I’m a sucker for Funko’s ReAction series, which — for the three of you who don’t know — collects characters from movies and television and turns them into endearingly simplistic action figures.
Since they’re so comparable to Kenner’s old Star Wars figures, I was born to love them. Still, most of my adoration has been from afar, sheerly as a matter of self-preservation: I buy enough goofy crap as it is, and my wallet just can’t handle adding another never-ending collection of ten dollar action figures to the mix.
Of course, I’m willing to make exceptions in cases of extreme awesomeness, and I think a set of GREMLINS ReAction figures is just such a case.
…so I went nuts and bought a ton of them, all at once. Shown above are six of the seven available figures, and the only reason I didn’t buy the seventh is because stupid Toys “R” Us didn’t have it.
TRU charged over eleven dollars per figure, which I admit to being a little “too much” for these. I expect a markup on toys aimed at adult collectors — after all, the mere idea that we can find figures like these in brick-and-mortar stores is worth the premium — but in ReAction’s case, that markup can feel a bit severe. The good news is that several chains seem to be recognizing this, and it’s no longer uncommon to find them on sale.
This time, I couldn’t be patient. Had this Gremlins set been around when I was a kid, they would’ve been my very favorite action figures. Even now, when I’m old enough to cradle seven ounces’ worth of plastic and wonder how many bills it could’ve paid, I’m so in love. These are great!
First up is the Gizmo with Barney two-pack. To my knowledge, this is the only time Billy Peltzer’s dog has been immortalized as an action figure. If I ran the news, everyone would hear about this.
Gizmo has five points of articulation, and comes with two movie-accurate accessories: A candy cane, and a little horn. (You may remember the adorable scene wherein Gizmo passionately blew the horn while using the candy cane as a surrogate drumstick. Forget the Rambo headband: That was the cutest thing Gizmo ever did.)
Next is Mogwai Stripe, which comes with what’s assuredly one of the best action figure accessories ever: A Coleco tabletop arcade game!
In the film, Stripe bogarts Billy’s Donkey Kong machine, mostly to assert dominance over his fellow Mogwais. The ReAction version is a bit bare, but I can’t blame Funko for wanting to avoid licensing fees just for one little accessory.
Then we have the Bandit Gremlin, a neat inclusion that even NECA hasn’t tackled yet. You may remember him from the bar scene, where a panicked Kate Beringer desperately tried to keep dozens of Gremlins happy with a mix of draught beer and complimentary popcorn.
Bandit comes with a legit pistol, which is strange to see in an era when so many toymakers strive to make their guns look as unrealistic as possible. Once it’s safely established that you’re marketing to adults, I guess you can get away with a wee bit more.
Strictly in terms of this one action figure set, Cinema Gremlin seems to be the fan favorite. (He was one of the Gremlins momentarily distracted by Snow White near the end of the film.)
The 3D glasses are sadly irremovable, or perhaps not so sadly if you’re the type of collector who loses everything. The popcorn tub admittedly looks more like an out-of-scale container of cottage cheese, but the thing about ReAction is that you either gotta embrace the crudeness, or find something else to collect. Budget determines limits, but I still think that there’s stylistic merit, here.
Gremlin Stripe may be my favorite figure in the set. If nothing else, it’s the one that really makes me wish I had these toys when I was six. Imagine working him into your G.I. Joe adventures! The Laserbeak to Cobra Commander’s Megatron?
With the appropriate shock of hair and the appropriate motherfucking chainsaw, Stripe is both posable and perfectly painted. If you’re going to stick with just one figure from this series, Stripe gets my vote.
Last but not least, the world’s first Billy Peltzer figure. Yes! Kudos to Funko for nailing Zach Galligan’s hair. Billy comes with a removable schoolbag. Hopefully they’re saving Rand Peltzer’s Bathroom Buddy for the next wave.
Also: If you wanna use action figures to stage a sequel to E.T., Billy would double nicely as Teen Elliot.
Are they worth buying? Well yes, duh. I see no need to wait if you’re only after one or two figures, but if you’re looking for the whole set, I’d hold out for a sale. (Outside con exclusives, I could count on one hand the number of ReAction figures that ended up being considered “scarce.” More typically, even the popular figures ultimately become pegwarmers.)
On the other hand, maybe you should buy all of them now. Supporting this line helps to ensure its survival, and while Vegas odds favor the Gremlins ReAction set ending here, I’d really love to see what Funko could come up with for Gremlins 2. A 3 ¾” scale Brain Gremlin? I’d faint.
Note #1: There was also supposed to be a Kate Beringer figure, until it was reportedly kiboshed by Phoebe Cates herself. Such a shame. When the Kate figure was originally announced, fans went wild.
Note #2: Featured here are six of the line’s seven figures. The seventh is another Gizmo — this time in a Santa hat — packaged with a suitable facsimile of a Casio keyboard.