Jarrod Fairclough – In 2012 we were delighted to learn that popular toy brand Funko would be making a line of their popular Pop! vinyl figures in the form of some of our favorite Muppet characters, including Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and more. In 2014 Funko announced the debut of another line of Pop! figures, this time dedicated to the lovable citizens from Sesame Street. In the first wave we were given figures of Ernie, Bert, Oscar, Cookie Monster and Super Grover (who was originally given out at New York Comic Con), with the promise of a regular Grover, Elmo and The Count to come. Also announced were two 6-inch figures of Big Bird and Snuffy, and those at Comic Con this year were fortunate enough to be able to purchase a special flocked edition him.
Grover is a delightful little figure, and while a little darker than the blue in the image above, he’s colorful and made with impeccable detail in the fur. The big black eyes work well with the design, and even though the head size is disproportionate to the body (a standard in all Pop! toys) it really works.
Ernie (along with Rubber Ducky) is great, but it suffers from a few problems. Firstly, the shape of his head is just too square for my liking. While it’s difficult to get his head shape right, in a product where the head is made to be big I feel like this needed to be a little more ‘truer’ to the character. My second issue is the hair. It’s very short and gives Ernie a bit of a Macklemore look (with the shaved sides). The sides needed to go a little further down to his ears and the direction of it needed to be a little more random. The figure itself is still amazing, and I proudly have it displayed, but it’s not perfect.
On the flip side, I think Bert looks fantastic. The head shape, if a little bit flat, works well. I would have loved to have seen an angry variant of the character. Bert is also the only released character who didn’t have a little extra something, and while that’s a disappointment, it’s not a deal breaker. (I consider Super Grover’s whole outfit to be a little extra something)
I’m in two minds when it comes to the Oscar figure. On the one hand, I love the design of the trash can, with Slimey down the bottom and the ‘scram’ sign displayed proudly. I love the green they used, and the slight smirk they have Oscar works well. The trash can lid hat is a nice touch. However the eyebrow looks a bit off, and I think it’s due to the flatness of the curvature as the ‘two eyebrows’ meet. Also, the head is very square, and while that is a standard with a lot of the Pop! figures, it would have worked better had they gone with a more spherical look like they did with Cookie Monster, as you’ll see below.
Cookie Monster is my favorite of the bunch, because everything works perfectly. Funko haven’t tried to make the big black eye thing work for Cookie because they knew it wouldn’t work. Instead we get the big googly eyes that are the staple of the character. The head is a nice rounded shape, and the design of the fur is perfectly straggly and randomized, meaning that he doesn’t suffer from uniformity. The design of the cookies is perfectly cartoony, as is the big grin on Cookie’s face. The blue is bright and appealing, and while a little different to the blue of the puppet, the change works well.
All in all it’s a no brainer to buy these products. Even with the problems I may have with a couple of them, it doesn’t stop them from being some of the best Sesame Street merchandise that we’ve had in recent years. I can’t wait to get my hands on the remaining characters.