When I first heard that Funko was going to release a wave of Pops in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the X-Men film franchise - and this was well before any images of them were available - I simply knew I had to have them.
Those who know me, know that I am a huge Marvel nut and that in particular my favourite hero is the God of Thunder, Thor Odinson. However, my love for Thor and Asgard only took shape after the first MCU Thor film in 2011. That movie inspired me to go back and read hundreds of Thor comics and he has now become my favourite Marvel hero. But his are not the Marvel stories that I grew up on… I grew up with the X-Men.
It was Fall in 1992 and I was 7 years old when the X-Men animated series debuted on the Fox Kids Network and from the very first time I saw the intro sequence, I was hooked. These brightly coloured superheroes with incredible superpowers, distinct personalities and depth to their characters really stood out to me in contrast to the other media I was consuming at the time. But it was the messaging underneath the show… that of acceptance, tolerance, compassion and that being different was okay… that would really begin to shape my core values. I had all the action figures; I watched the cartoon each week and it got me hooked on Marvel comics. I could not get enough.
Fast forward to 2000 and the release of the first X-Men film. I remember being at the movie theatre for opening night and for three straight nights to follow. I saw the film 4 times in the first week and probably 8 or 9 in total. It was not the greatest movie of all-time, but it was the first time I was able to see the beloved X-Men in live action on the big screen. From the cage-fight at the beginning of the film where they introduce Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine to the Sabretooth vs Wolverine fight on the Statue of Liberty, this movie was certified cool in my books.
If you had told me then that I would be able to look forward to a total of 12 X-Men films across the next two decades, I would not have believed you, but here we are (if you include the currently unreleased The New Mutants, it makes a total of 13). There have been some outstanding entries to the franchise, namely, Logan, Deadpool 1 & 2 and Days of Future Past, along with a few that just flopped hard, such as The Last Stand and the first Wolverine spin-off, but all in all, it's been a tremendous ride and I am eager to see what will happen with these beloved mutants next now that Disney and Kevin Feige have retained the film rights.
But, before we look ahead, let us first look back and dive into these newly announced X-Men 20th Anniversary Funko Pops and try to match them with the film they are connected to:
X-Men (2000): Logan, Professor X, Magneto, Mystique
X2: X-Men United (2003): Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Rogue
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006): Jean Grey, Storm, Beast
All 11 of these Funko Pops are currently available for Pre-Order on the kdogandfish.com - no really, click the image above for any of the Pops and it will direct you to their Pre-Order page!
Funko has also announced that there will be a Target Exclusive Metallic Mystique and a Walmart Exclusive Magneto:
Strangely, the Walmart Magneto seems to depict Michael Fassbender’s Magneto (from the X-Men: Days of Future Past film), which has us wondering if there will be an additional wave in the future with more pops from the ‘younger’ version of the characters that featured in First Class, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix.
It would be GREAT to finally see an Apocalypse Funko Pop, though the 90’s animated series Apocalypse is still the definitive aesthetic for the character in my mind. What do you think, who could still use the Funko treatment from the X-Men films who did not appear in this first wave? Who would you like to see?
Stay funky, San Diego