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#StarWarsSmugglersBounty Review: November 2016

November's Star Wars/Funko Smuggler's Bounty sub box is ready for a ROGUE ONE rebellion!

Review by Matt Cummings

The first year of the Star Wars/Funko alliance (no pun intended) is about to be completed, but not without its many exciting reveals mixed with some heavy disappointments. Overall, this sub box has fared very well against others like Marvel Collector Corps and DC's Legion of Collectors. September's DEATH STAR gave us one of the best boxes of the year, which was a welcomed 180-degree from July's hugely disappointing JABBA'S PALACE. And with the imminent arrival of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY, it was time for some more cross-promotion. Luckily, I can report another success for Funko, sporting a fantastic shirt, two Pops, and a visit from a familiar (and formidable) enemy.

Before diving in, let's review the details:
  • 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 choose the Smuggler membership (yearly), you are promised an additional gift on your anniversary. Guess which one we chose.

  • Again, this month's theme is ROGUE ONE, previewing the characters and situations that between Episodes III and IV. On a personal note, this film had better be as good as the three trailers, or I'm likely to toss a Battle Droid of out an airlock! In the meantime, check out our unboxing below and we'll meet you on the back end to share some thoughts:

    Winners
    Although the very narrow shape of the box worried me - a sign that pickings can be slim - this box rose to the occasion in several familiar ways. For the most part, everything here screams high quality and its excellent timing with the film is appreciated. As always, we start with the pin/patch set, which includes the security robot K-2SO and Cassian Andor. The pin of K-2SO is impressive, while the Cassian patch is passable. Something about the color scheme and high profile angle of the face somehow bothers me. I can't put my finger on it, only to suggest that the quality is rather...well...Funko. If that's the case, then I get it, as the primary-ish colors remind me of the figurines. While the pin/patch have become one of my favorite portions of the boxes, it's the shirts that have really stood out. This month, we get perhaps the best one yet, a collection of Pop-themed Rogue One characters including Jyn Erso herself. And with Darth Vader himself and the Death Star lurking in the rear, it's a mix of 90's Sci-Fi art and cool 21st Century styling.

    September's Funko duo of Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader were some of the best from the line, but I have to amend that for November, because Jyn Eerso and the Death Trooper are actually better! Erso looks great here, from the cool helmet goggles to her utility belt of goodies. No lightsaber here, but the attention to detail is fabulous. Among the most interesting (and ballsy) choices of this box is the inclusion of the Death Trooper Pop. Looking absolutely bad ass here, we can see fine detail in its helmet including as well-made breathing mask coupled with a sinister look via the old-school Ralph McQuarrie-esque styling. Quite simply, these are exquisite; and with the 'exclusive' labeling on the package it's an absolute must-have set.

    Losers
    Let' see: an awesome shirt and two amazing Pop! figurines. I suppose anything else in the box would be considered a push at the worst. That's just how I felt about a mini-Darth Vader figurine, and it's the only problem I have with the box. We need another off-brand mini-fig like I need another Dorbz or Hikari of a character we got in the last box. Gimme someone else from the film - or perhaps a miniature AT-AT - and I would have thanked you for the creativity. Instead, I'm looking at an eBay post that will be up before this review is done. Sure, Vader comes in one of five colors, but having a pink version doesn't do much except increase its value on the secondary market. When that's all it has, then you have to mark it as a disappointment to the larger product. I do wish there had been a variant-cover comic of RO, only because I think some people are still asking what this movie is all about. A comic might have helped a few to better understand where it lies in the Star Wars cinematic universe.

    A Terrific Introduction to the Movie
    Delivering on its promise of TIMING and QUALITY, Smuggler's Bounty gets us ready for Rogue One the movie in high style, complete with two great Pops! as well as THE BEST SHIRT from its freshman year. If DEATH STAR was the best Funko box ever, ROGUE ONE only suffers from a repeated figure that isn't all that impressive. This year ends Smuggler's Bounty on a high note, sporting a back-to-back lightsaber hack that's impressive to say the least. January 2017 promises to be just as good, with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK offering itself as the next theme. Based on the pictures we've seen of the figure, it might already be worth the entire cost of the box. Until then, it's break time for this line as we reflect on a year filled with the incredible and the incredibly bad.

    Want to read our other sub box reviews? We've got them all listed below:
    MARVEL COLLECTOR CORPS
    May
    June
    August
    October
    December
    February
    April
    June

    DC LEGION REVIEWS
    May
    July
    September

    SMUGGLER'S BOUNTY
    January
    March
    May
    June
    July
    September

    Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.

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