King Kong is one of the great cinematic monsters, arguably equal in stature to Godzilla. His appearances on film have tended to play it a lot straighter than his reptilian counterpart, but he’s still become a larger than life cliché unto himself.
Back in the bad old days of the early 90s, when we only had a handful of channels on free-to-air TV, the ABC would often play classic films late at night or early in the morning. And when I say “classic”, you should read “old and tedious” because most of them were obscure British period trash. Occasionally, though, they’d play a really good one – the original 1930s King Kong was one. As a kid who was fascinated by special effects, it was amazing viewing, and I became an instant fan of the character.
But I’ve been a bad fan over the years. I’ve never watched the 1976 or 2004 film (though I’m told I’m doing myself a favour on both counts) and I probably haven’t seen the original since I was a little kid. Nonetheless, news of a King Kong Funko POP meant that I had another must-buy on my list, and my wife was kind enough to pick it up for Valentine’s Day* this year.
This is based on Kong’s design from the new film, Kong: Skull Island, which I’m sure will be entertaining enough but probably take itself far too seriously and give us too much focus on the human characters. Still, the cast looks okay – and if nothing else it’s given us the tentative promise of a King Kong vs Godzilla movie in 2020, which should be tremendous fun.
As to the POP itself, given that Funko only recently made a giant gorilla, I’m surprised there isn’t a ton of reuse on display here. Molds aren’t cheap, after all. But the only thing that appears to be shared is the feet and even with them I’m not 100% certain.
Though only out for a few weeks, it seems to have been selling quite steadily. I’ll wager that very little of this has to do with the new movie coming out; rather, it’s probably just the fact that you can actually get a King Kong POP. I assume we’ll probably see it in a few different colourwaves, just as happened with Godzilla. As always, a glow in the dark one would be pretty fantastic, but I’m not even sure how they would try and justify that from an in-universe perspective. Maybe radiation made him grow, like Godzilla? Who knows -- I could see myself buying it anyway.
At any rate, the final product looks pretty rad. Paint is fuzzy (shock!) but being able to have a giant gorilla crushing a helicopter in its hand makes this an essential purchase, even if you’ve never cared about King Kong in your life before. Overall? Fantastic addition to just about any POP collection, and a good jumping-on point if you don't have any.