Sunday, April 11, 2021


POP! Animation #831 - Thundarr the Barbarian's Ariel - ECCC Exc - Funko 2021

I find few genres as aesthetically pleasing as adventure cartoons from the late '60s thru early '80s. Filmation and Hanna-Barbera dominated this market at the time, but the newly-formed Ruby-Spears Productions ('77) had a few great contributions as well, my favorite being Thundarr the Barbarian ('80-81). Thundarr follows three nomadic heroes on a future Earth where the moon has been split in two causing massive climate change and the fall of civilization. Old magicks have replaced technology and the remnants of modern cities lie in ruin along the heroes' path as they help the civilians with evil wizards, werewolves, or monsters. It's like Conan meets A-Team meet Planet of the Apes. Also, it's hard not to see the influence to He-Man. The sandy page-boy haircut, furry clothes, and a power sword is all very familiar. And remember, this show pre-dated He-Man, Blackstar, and the Conan movies. Ariel is a young sorceress hero and has one of my favorite animation designs ever. Let's check her out!

Whenever I buy Funko Pops, I prefer to hunt them down in person to pick the one with the best QC. Unfortunately, convention exclusives often have to be ordered blindly. And there seems to be some correlation between convention exclusives and very sloppy paint (even moreso than normal Funko QC issues). Perhaps this is because they're rushed into production. Or perhaps the limited edition numbers means they have to use a smaller factory. Either way, I expected QC problems with Ariel and I sure got them.

1 & 2 - Scratches/Gouges in the hair exposing the fleshtone plastic underneath.
3 & 4 - Paint drips and smudges everywhere. The paint is steadfastly fused too.
5 & 6 - Bad paint masking. Her sleek hairline is a mess with gaps and smudges.

Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!

Here is Ariel with Ookla and Thundarr. The three were sold as a bundle, but came packaged separately.

Here are my Ariels together. From Left to Right: the Toynami 2003 Action figure, the 2021 Funko Pop, and the 2002 Adventure Superstars I-Men from Toynami.

Also, these last few pictures on this post feature an Ariel that I touched up. I used a Magic Eraser and scrubbed off the dripped paint. This took a lot time since the paint seems to be permanently fused to the plastic. I also touched up her entire hairline and filled in the hair gouges.

And the whole gang.


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