THE WALL DISPLAY (w/ TYRION LANNISTER)
GAME OF THRONES (FUNKO)
Oh no! It’s Friday AND it’s Day 13 of the post-Christmas reviews. Someone’s probably gonna die. Well, as long as I review something safe and—Game of Thrones you say? Someone’s *definitely* gonna die!
Yes dear readers, Winter has officially arrived here, and I’m taking a look at yet another Game of Thrones item. But this time, it’s something slightly different. I’ve looked at two figures from Funko’s new Game of Thrones line and had a so-so reaction to them. However, the cornerstone of this new line isn’t the figures, but rather Funko’s ability to take advantage of the line’s smaller scale to provide some playsets—sorry, displays— to go with the figures. The first series of figures were all based around The Wall, so it’s not a huge surprise that the first large scale display is the aforementioned Wall, which I’ll be looking at today!
THE PLAYSET ITSELF
The Wall hit stores a couple of months after the first series of smaller-scale Game of Thrones figures. It was initially supposed to hit at the same time, but had a few delays, which pushed it back to mid-November. The Wall comes disassembled in the package, but when put together, it’s about 15 inches tall, 11 1/2 inches wide, and is about 10 inches deep. Right off the bat, I need to note that, while you are expected to assemble this set yourself, there are no instructions included. Usually, this isn’t an issue, but there’s a very specific order to how the structure at the top goes together, which meant I had to assemble, take apart, and re-assemble it several times before getting it right. And even then, the stability of the structure is a little iffy, which can definitely lead to some doubts about whether you assembled it correctly. For what it’s worth, you want to place the two beam sets closest to the outside wall first, with the straight beam to the back. Then place the rafters in, followed by the reverse beam sets, one side at a time. Then, once everything is properly popped into place, slide in the floors, and you should be could to go. Be careful if you move the set, though, as the beams have a tendency to pop out of place, and they’re a real pain to get popped back the right way. Assembly aside, how is the actual set? Well, clearly it’s not the entire Wall, just a chunk of it. It’s not really a direct match for any particular section of the Wall either, but more of an approximation of several elements. It’s also filtered through a sort of an ‘80s playset sort of style, which sort of matches with the style of the smaller figures, but is definitely an acquired taste. The front of the Wall is designed to offer little ledges to stand figures on. There are eight leveled off spots, each with their own foot peg. The effect isn’t awful, and the rock/ice detailing on the Wall helps the ledges blend in a bit. There are another 11 pegs on the base of the wall, which are a bit more obvious, and also quite a bit more randomly placed. In an effort to camouflage them a bit, Funko’s added several arrows and a pair of swords buried in the snow. It’s definitely a nice touch, and one that adds a little bit of extra pizzaz to the set. There are another six foot pegs up at the top of the Wall on the wooden floors, which brings the total count of foot pegs up to 25 (the back of the package states “displays up to 25 3 3/4” action figures!,” but it’s really just referring to how many pegs there are; you’d have quite a bit of difficulty getting a figure on every one of those pegs). The wood sections have some nice grain and texturing, though, as noted above, still passed through that ‘80s playset filter, so nothing hyper-realistic. The actual wooden structure feels a bit under-scaled; while Tyrion looks fine standing up there, Tormund and Ygritte’s heads get cut off by the top. Not a big deal, but slightly frustrating. The back of the Wall is hollowed out, and if I’m totally honest, this feels like a big missed opportunity. About half of the space taken up by this set is completely unused. If they were just going for a vague approximation of the Wall anyway, it would have been cool to get a scaled down version of the elevator or even a small section of Castle Black. That would have given this set a lot more play value. On the plus side, the clear blue plastic and slight misting of white paint over it makes for an interesting looking set, and approximates ice very well. The Wall includes three barrels, which are nice little set pieces, as well as…
…Tyrion! Tyrion is this set’s exclusive figure. He’s sort of an odd choice, since Tyrion didn’t spend a whole lot of time at Castle Black, and even less time on the Wall. There would probably be a number of other more appropriate characters, but, let’s be honest, Funko’s counting on Tyrion to help move this set, and he’s a big enough character that if the line continues we’re sure to see him again. The figure stands 3 1/2 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation. He’s based on Tyrion’s Season 1 appearance, which is sensible, since that’s when he visited the Wall. Tyrion is easily the best sculpted of the three figures I’ve gotten from this line. He’s still a little goofy, but there’s a definite resemblance to Peter Dinklage on the head, and the body’s a fair bit better proportioned than Tormund and Ygritte. The cape is removable; pop the figure’s head off and is slides right off, revealing a pretty standard Season 1/Season 2 Tyrion, which is certainly much appreciated. Tyrion’s paintwork is passable; nothing amazing, but it’s a bit more lively than the other two. The gold leafing on his shoulders is a very nice touch, especially since it’s completely covered by the straps of the cloak. Despite being essentially an accessory himself, Tyrion includes his own extra; a goblet. This was easily the most glaring omission from his larger figure, so it’s nice to finally have a Tyrion who can drink and know things.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this set from my parents. It’s certainly the largest item I received (as evidenced by the non-standard backdrop). I won’t lie, there’s a lot that this set could have done better. It’s really not much more than a glorified figure stand. The audience for this set is pretty much limited to people like me who enjoy both fun, goofy toys and Game of Thrones, which is, admittedly, not the largest audience. Like the rest of this line, it’s hard to tell who this set is aiming to please. That being said, I can’t help but enjoy it. There’s a sort of Kenner-style flare to it that makes me all nostalgic, and if I’m completely honest, I’m just happy to get a playset in this day and age.