I love The Rocketeer. The pulpy comic book by Dave Stevens has always been a blast, and Disney’s 1990 movie remains one of the singular best comic book adaptations ever, in my opinion. The Rocketeer has always channeled an awesomely retro vibe, so it’s kind of perfect that after all these years, our first major release Rocketeer action figure would come as part of Funko’s exciting new ReAction collection.
The concept behind the ReAction line isn’t for everyone– these figures are simple by design, a throwback to the look and feel of the classic Kenner toys from the 80s and early 90s– but it completely works for this figure… Had we ever received the Rocketeer toy so many kids like me were hoping for back in ’90, he probably would have looked a lot like this, which adds a whole new layer to the nostalgic feel of this guy.
Our hero, Cliff Secord, is depicted in his traditional Rocketeer costume, complete with breasted flight jacket, aviator pants, his removable rocket pack and a wonderful removable helmet. The figure features five points of articulation– a swivel neck, cut shoulders and t-crotch hips, but while this limits his posing options, it ensures the Rocketeer keeps the vintage aesthetic the ReAction line is going for.
The figure is well painted, with a nice matte finish, which offsets nicely with the shiny gold helmet and silver jet pack. The pack plugs into the figure’s back on two pegs, so while he looks a little silly without the accessory in place, I can’t see many occasions where he won’t be wearing it, in my collection.
The headgear, on the other hand, is a much more fun feature to change up the figure’s look. Cliff Secord’s head sculpt maintains a great sense of proportion to the body on its own, while also not leaving the helmet looking too big. It may be simple, but the head works incredibly well to convey the retro style, with a soft likeness to movie actor Billy Campbell that really feels like the middle ground between generic and actor specific that Kenner always churned out back in the day. I really love the look, and it’s great to be able to pose Cliff unmasked, with his helmet in hand by his side.
As for the rocket pack, it’s another great addition, sporting a sculpt that appears stylized and simplistic, while still including some great details like the rivets that hold it together… and that infamous wad of gum plugging up a leak in one of the tanks. It’s such a nice touch! Cliff already gets two more accessories than many of the ReAction figures, although I can’t help but wish he had included a Luger as well, to complete his most iconic look. I think I’ll have to dig through my Indiana Jones drawer to find one and finish this guy off.
While I don’t usually comment too much on packaging, I have to point out what a great job Funko has done developing card art and packaging style to match the retro feel of these figures. Rocketeer gets his own unique card art, based on the hyper stylized, painterly imaging from the movie posters, on a grey backdrop. It shows off the figure in his coffin-style bubble very nicely. The back of the card has a familiar, Kenner Star Wars-esque layout, which completes the vintage vibe of the piece. The packaging is so nice, I wish Funko had developed something resealable, instead. I’d love to be able to toggle back and forth between loose and carded for a figure that taps into this very stylized, retro aesthetic. Either way, I’m saving this cardback forever!
I find the current retro style figures, be they Mego- or Kenner-based to be lots of fun. When a figure comes together as well as The Rocketeer, it’s easy to give in to the charm of this design choice, even when we’re all too aware this character has never received a more modern, highly detail figure (outside of Medicom, anyway, but who can afford that?). The Rocketeer is available now, and will be shipping in the first big batch of ReAction figures, which will also include the cast of Firefly, Snake Plissken from Escape from New York and more.
Thanks to Funko for giving us the chance to get an early look at this awesome retro Rocketeer figure!