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Tuesday, January 17 2017 15:28

Toy Review: Funko POP! Vinyl Star Wars Cantina Aliens 3-Pack (Kenner-style)

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It was just a couple of weeks ago that I posted an announcement regarding Funko's plans to release POP! Vinyl Star Wars Cantina Aliens 3-Pack featuring Greedo, Hammerhead and Walrus Man, each presented in a color scheme matching their Kenner action figures from the late 1970s. Rumors of just such a pack had been circling for awhile, and with the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Celebration taking place this year, the time is right to bridge the gap between younger fans and old-schoolers like myself. Now, this 3-Pack is making its way out to retail as a Walmart Exclusive, and I got my hands on one right here at Rock Father HQ. Seeing the pictures online was one thing, but seeing these in-person is a complete flashback to my childhood... specifically, the 1978 Sears Cantina Adventure Set...

Funko Cantina Aliens POP! Vinyl Review

When Kenner (now part of Hasbro) began releasing Star Wars figures in 3.75" form, the colors often didn't match the character's on-screen counterparts (I still don't think it was ever explained why Luke Skywalker had a yellow lightsaber). In the case of the Cantina set, there was the infamous "Blue Snaggletooth" - a figure that was not only the wrong color, but also the wrong height. While early shipments of the set included the blue version, later supplies came packed with a short, red-suited alien in it's place. I had the Blue Snaggletooth, but like all of my figures from childhood, they were sold around 1988 (but I've since replaced a few). On the Funko note, they already paid tribute to the legend of Snaggletooth in their Smuggler's Bounty Cantina Box last year, with Snaggletooth being presented in both red and blue (chase) versions. As luck would have it, we got the blue.

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Quite simply, this Cantina 3-pack is fantastic. I still wish the Funko POP! Vinyl Star Wars items were actual figures and not bobbleheads (word is it's a licensing thing since Hasbro still holds the master license for 3.75" figures), but these are cool. The colors are spot-on, and simply having these around inspired me to get out my vintage Kenner replacement figures, and attempt to reproduce my old Cantina Adventure Set - which in reality was nothing more than a cardboard backdrop and floor. Originals are very expensive, so I made it work with 4 pages of 65pt cardstock, and my printer right here in the office. 

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These POP! Vinyl figures really take things back to a simpler time, when Ponda Baba was simply "Walrus Man," and Momaw Nadon was just "Hammerhead." This Rock Father-approved set should retail for around $24.86, but expect them to be scooped up quickly, just to wind up in that other "wretched hive of scum and villainy," the secondary market.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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