May 10, 2005
Review: Funny Club
The Funny Club is a highly-articulated mini-sized designer toy created by Taiwanese designer b.b. birdy. Several editions exist including the DIY Versions (Black and Whilte), Jack (Skull design -- Silver or Glow-in-the-Dark), Misfits of Nakanari. This mini-review is based on the brown "Nari" figure which is one-half of the "Mistfits of Nakanari" series featuring designs by Tony "Naknanari". The other being the cute blue "Naka". The Funny clubs are not as well known as many other popular mini-figures but I think most of this is due to comparably little exposure state-side.
The FC figures stand about 3 and a 1/4 inches tall. I'm not sure what the SRP is, but I purchased "Nari" for $15 online which considering the tremendous articulation and high production values, seems like a reasonable price. They have a large round head, a segmented cylindrical body, large curved arms, and short legs with oversized feet. The main body swivels at the midway point which allows for some funky action poses and perhaps a variant on the "Exorcist" swiveled-head look! The "Nari" figure has a cool paint job -- the face has spikey blond hair and looks to be sporting a sort of stylish visor over his eyes. The overall shape of the Funny Club platform has a clean design and an undeniable sense of cuteness and playfulness. The quality seems to be quite high. The paint job is quite nice with very few (if any) rough spots or blemishes. The detail on Nari's face seems very very slightly fuzzy but it's a very minor issue in my book. The overall quality is definitely on par to what I would expect from a $15 toy. I should mention that the ball-pin joints used in this figure do seem to have some angles in which the limbs lose tension and feel a little limp --however this seems like a small tradeoff for the articulation acheived through this arrangment. After a few minutes of play, it becomes really clear that beyond the cool design elements, the key feature of this toy is the tremendous articulation acheived through a simple pin-based ball joint.
The head, arms, and legs are all connected in such a manner which allows for a VERY wide range of motion. Also these articulated pieces move quite readily, unlike the arms and head on more static pieces like Dunnys and Qees. Additionally these pieces can be easily removed and if desired, mixed and matched with components from other figures in the Funny Club line which all share the same basic platform. The high-degree of articulation allows one to pose the figure in lots of evocative poses which I think allows a greater "connection" to the toy -- change the pose from day to day to fit your mood if you like. In fact, in many ways the FC's are a nice blend of designer toy and action figure. They lend themelves to both delicious eye candy on a shelf or in a nice glass case but also to more active forms of play. As you can see, from the shots below, I had lots of fun with "Nari"!
So we've talked about the figure and it's great articulation. What about the packaging? The FC
figures come in a very attractive orange and frosted white (clear) plastic box which reminds me of vellum paper only much thicker. Hmm, pictures really are worth a thousand words. Here ya go.
What about stability? That is, how readily does a toy stand on its own. The FC's stand quite easily thanks in part to both their tremendous posability and their large flat feet. This is in contrast to some figures that are shaky balance-wise and tip over rather easily (though often this is much more a problem with larger figures).
Also you might have noticed in the side-profile above, that the pictured figure has a silver design on the back. I took Nari with me to the Funny Club opening at Munky King and Nakanari graciously signed the back in a very artful way:
I should mention the DIY figures that I briefly mentioned at the start. These figures come in solid black or white and also include several additional parts to customize the look including two tails (the standard long one, and a bushy bunny tail "dot") and three sets of ears! If you look down the page you'll see what bb. birdy and Nakanari were able to do with two of these DIY figures. Also, the tremendous variety of designs produced by the artists participating in the travelling Funny Club show is a testament to the potential of the toy as an artists' "canvas".
This is supposedly a "review" so you're probably expecting some sort of grade or rating. Since this is the first one of these I've done, I'm going to sum things up by saying if you're looking for something fresh and different for your collection, "Nari" and the other FC's would make a great buy. Additionally, if you're looking for more articulation and poseability out of your collectable mini figures then the FC's are tailor made for you.
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