Star Trek has a new and fun(ko) licensee who will be releasing Trek items designed to bring a smile to your face. A new line of Star Trek bobble heads and vinyl figures from venerable company Funko are on their way in April and May of 2009. Trekmovie.com provides details about the line and the company that makes these "60s Trek meets 2000s kitsch" items.
Funko is a company started in 1998 with the belief that not all toys needed to be electronic in order to be fun, and the company has grown to include licensees for Marvel Comics, South Park, Star Wars, and other popular franchises. Funko’s Star Trek license covers both classic Trek and the new Star Trek movie. Right now they are starting off with two lines from classic Trek which they hope to be out before the new Star Trek movie in May.
Star Trek Wacky Wobblers
The first Funko Star Trek line is something which Funko is most known which is bobble heads or "Wacky Wobblers." The first line of bobble heads will include Kirk, Spock, an Andorian, and the Gorn. These will also be "talking bobble heads" which means they will include voice and sound effects.
There aren’t images of the new bobble heads available yet, but Funko has released design sketches for their first four Star Trek Wacky Wobblers.
To give you an idea what the final product will look like, here is one of the Wacky Wobblers from Funko’s Star Wars line.
Funko’s Darth Vader Wacky Wobbler
Star Trek Goes Urban
The second Funko line is a Kirk, Spock, and Orion Slave Girl set of urban vinyl figures. These figures are very stylized and about 5 inches and have moveable arms. The label "urban vinyl" was invented to describe stylized vinyl action figures originally designed by DJs and graffiti artists during the 1990s. The Funko versions are the first ever licensed Star Trek urban vinyl figures.
Again there aren’t final product images, but Funko does have design sketches for the vinyl figures.
Sketches of Funko’s Trek vinyl figures
The Star Trek Urban Vinyl figures will actually be part of Funko’s first ever figures of this type. However these type of figures, sometimes called ‘super deformed’ are growing in popularity and made by other companies. Here is an example of a Star Wars Super Deformed Vinyl figure.
Star Wars Vinyl Figure
Available for pre-order now + in retail stores in 2009
Funko’s products appeal mostly to a niche audience, yet unlike most specialty lines, Funko items are found at a great many retailers. Because they have licensees from incredibly popular lines such as Marvel and Star Wars (and now Star Trek joins this crowd), Funko products are available at many major retail and grocery stores such as Jewel Osco. This means that Star Trek should continue to be added to more and more stores during the next few months as it continues the return to mainstream attention.
However all seven new Star Trek Funko can be pre-ordered now at Entertainment Earth.
The Funko line is also good news in that it is similar to the Pez Star Trek product, a kind of collectible that could cross promote Star Trek. There are collectors of Pez, and the urban vinyl figures and Wacky Wobblers, who might be purchasing their first ever Star Trek products because they collect these specialty lines. Plus, urban vinyl figures and Wacky Wobbles appeal to younger fans, an audience that frankly Star Trek has ignored for far too many years. All of this only helps to promote the idea that Star Trek is back and to teach the world what we already know, that Star Trek is cool.
[UPDATED] COLLECTIBLE TRIVIA ALERT: Past Trek Bobbleheads
Collectors might remember ‘big head’ figures released by a company called Headliners in 2000 which featured Quark, Gowron, and a Talosian. However, the heads on these figures (pictured below) did not ‘bobbble.’ In 2004 Star Trek The Experience did do a set of Kirk, Spock and McCoy resin bobble heads (no pics available…but send us one if you have it).
Headliners Bobbleheads from 2000
The new Funko Star Trek items will actually not be their first Trek items. They produced a limited run of two Star Trek-themed Peanuts exclusives for the 2007 San Diego Comic Con.
Funko 2007 Peanuts / Trek Comic Con Exclusives
Also, for fans of William Shatner, there has been both a 2002 Shatner Priceline and a talking Denny Crane bobblehead (available from ABC).
For more on Funko visit funko.net (NOTE: They have not yet put up their Star Trek section, but you can take a look at their other products)