NASA astronauts are finally crossing into "Pop" culture.
Funko, the collectibles company best known for its line of Pop! brand vinyl figures, has revealed its first product depicting a NASA astronaut. Part of Funko's popular Soda line, the new spacesuit-clad toy is due out this fall.
"The newest selection of Funko Soda figures has arrived!" the company stated on its website earlier this week. "This line of Funko Soda figures includes ... a NASA astronaut."
First introduced two years ago, each Funko Soda features a 4.25-inch-tall (10.8 centimeters) vinyl figure and collectible disc packaged inside what looks like an aluminum soda can (but without the carbonated beverage inside). There are now hundreds of Funko Soda figures spanning many genres, from cartoons and anime to comic book and movie characters to advertising icons and television personalities.
The new Funko Soda vinyl NASA astronaut is modeled in a white with red stripes extravehicular mobility unit (EMU), or spacesuit, like the type that was developed for the space shuttle and is still in use today by crew members on the International Space Station. The figure includes the NASA insignia on its chest-mounted display and control module and is posed holding an American flag on a pole.
There is an alternate "chase" version of the astronaut, too. One in six cans will include the variant, which is modeled after the bright orange Orion Crew Survival System (OCCS) pressure suit that crew members will wear aboard NASA's new Artemis capsule on missions to the moon. The suit is a modified version of the advanced crew escape suit (ACES) that space shuttle astronauts wore for launch and landings.
The normal and chase versions of the Funko Soda vinyl figures are limited to a total of 10,000 in the United States and 7,000 outside the country. The domestic and international versions feature the same figures but can be told apart by the design of their cans. The U.S. packaging has a red border at its bottom, while the overseas version has a blue border and the Funko crown and globe icon.
Although Funko has previously released space-related figures, including Pop! vinyls of Astronaut Snoopy, Dr. Frank Poole from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "The Big Bang Theory's" Howard Wolowitz in his Russian Sokol pressure suit, this is the first time the company has depicted a real astronaut and used the NASA logo for any of its collectible product lines.
The Funko Soda NASA astronaut is expected to ship in late September and retail for $14.99 each. Some Funko retailers are taking pre-orders now.