Designer vinyl figure have been around in one form or another since the 1990s. Often of limited editions with prices to match, and encompassing a wide variety of designs and sizes, their popularity is still very widespread. Enter Funko in 1998. First producing bobbleheads, in the mid-2000s they began their Pop! vinyl line to produce designer-style vinyl figures of character from popular culture. The line now includes dozens of licences from films, movies and other media. Amongst the comic book figures is 2000 AD’s Judge Dredd.
Ruthless and answering only to the word of law, Joseph Dredd is a grim, rock-jawed senior judge in the post-apocalyptic world of Mega City One. Created by Pat Mills and John Wagner back in 1976, he is arguably the most iconic 2000AD character ever. Dredd has also appeared in a limited number of DC titles, and more recently has joined the IDW stable. He has been the subject of hundreds of comic books, games, movies, and figures over the years, and of course, also gets the Pop! treatment.
All of the figures in the range come in the same sturdy collector-friendly box, with the figure secured by a re-usable plastic insert. The box has a large window allowing you to see the figure clearly (this is important as we will see below). Each box sports a character specific logo alongside the number of the figure within the range (Judge Dredd is number 48). As this figure is based on one of Dredd’s comic book incarnations, a piece of suitable comic art adorns the back of the box.
All Pop! figures are just under 4″ tall and follow the same basic design – a large head and a small body, similar in style to Japanese chibi characters. The sculpt details are relatively basic, but include all the elements you’d expect to see to make the character instantly recognizable. You can’t miss this being judge Dredd with his large helmet, eagle shoulder pad, chained badge, green pads and boots.
One of the biggest issues with these figures has to do with the paint applications. These can vary considerably from figure to figure, so if possible, have a good look before buying (I told you that window would be important). I got mine online, so got stuck with a particularly bad one. There is a lot of helmet overspray on the face, and a number of smudges and paint spots mar the finish. The green of the uniform details is very messy with slop on the blue and a few specks of the darker green trim colour on the gloves. The gold helmet badge has also got a few scrapes, and the dark blue of the helmet is somewhat inconsistent. It looks okay on display, but really should be a lot better.
Accessories & Articulation
There are no accessories with these figures, and aside from a tiny amount of head movement, no articulation.
These are really fun figures and make great display items. You can pick and choose from a massive range – Game of Thrones, Ghostbusters, Muppets, Thundercats, Star Wars, Plants vs Zombies, you name it – just watch that paint finish. The range is incredibly popular and widely available even here in South Africa through different online dealers and local comic and gaming stores. I’ve heard you can even buy them in petrol stations in the States. Even with his paint issues, I dig my Dredd. Can’t wait for my Army of Darkness Ash Williams to arrive later this year.