The Funkos Have Hooked Me (or Jeff Read This Before Buying Me A Present)

The genesis of this post came from two sources.  First, for reasons that are still unclear to me, I have found myself (like much of our culture) enthralled with these odd, bobbly-headed, blank-faced little characters.  Second, last Christmas Jeff surprised me with two of them (which two? you’ll have to read on to find out!).  He then told me I should do a post about them, a post I update from time to time, so if he (or any other family member or friend) wanted to get me one for my birthday or Christmas or something they’d know which I had and could surprise me without fear of duplication.  So, for a little light reading, let’s see if we can figure out why I’m hooked on these things.

Let’s start here.  I have my limits.  I would rather a chapter in my future memoir not detail how I ran myself into bankruptcy because I couldn’t stop buying round-headed versions of my favorite pop culture characters.  So I have a few rules when it comes to acquiring these things.  Rule Number One: you don’t talk about Fight Club.  Wait…okay, wrong rules.  Or…waitaminute…if I was in some sort of Fight Club where the first rule was you couldn’t talk about it saying I was giving the wrong rules would be the same as saying I was in said Fight Club.  So I’m not in any Fight Club okay?  Especially one you can’t talk about.  I don’t need Edward Norton and/or Brad Pitt knocking on my door to mess me up.  But, back to the matter at hand.  Rule Number One: I limit the types of lil characters I’ll collect.  Rule Number Two: I don’t buy them for myself (mostly).  I let them come as gifts (mostly) so as to be sure I don’t buy them all the time.

Thor 31It all started with Kalie.  In early 2015, she was working at Books-A-Million and surprised me one day with the adorable Funko version of Thor.  It was an out-of-the-blue gift!  She just came over and, poof, there it was.  Aww, what a lovely surprise.  While I was never one to get excited about bobble heads (in fact, I never owned a single one (unless you count the one that had a literal picture of my cousin Faith in its head (because for Christmas that year Uncle Dan and Aunt Raini gave all the cousins bobble head versions of each other (which was actually a cooler gift than this short parenthetical aside makes it sound (for real, it wasn’t creepy at all but totally fun (and I still have it!)))))), I couldn’t deny that I loved this little guy.  I have no idea what it is about him but he and all his little round-headed kin are freaking adorable.  So, for some time he sat with other little Thor-related guys atop the shelf I have in my living room that holds some of my DVDs.   For over a year, he was the only Funko living in my house and I think he was happy.  Did he wish he had other little Funko friends to hang out with?  Maybe.  (Yes, I know he’s technically an inanimate thing without hopes, dreams, and longings but I tend to anthropomorphize everything (more on that below). Then came last Christmas…

Funko 9Jeff (who’s always been a fun and creative gift-giver too) had managed to work the topic of Funkos into casual conversation a few times.  Ascertaining that I only had Thor living by his lonesome, he decided to rectify that issue.  He surprised me, along with some wonderful reading material, with the Scarlet Witch and Vision – rationalizing that if he was going to give me two, he might as well get them both as they’re a couple.  I whole-heartedly appreciated both his commitment to comic canon as well as making it nice for Wanda and Vis on the off chance that they actually come to life when I’m not around like they do in Toy Story (something which, if I’m being honest, I clearly wonder about from time to time given my tendency to anthropomorphize everything).  So they were a perfect couple calling back to classic Avengers comics but they were ALSO an actual couple that, should they come to life when I’m not around, would be able to enjoy each other’s company.  I like to think of Vision and Wanda enjoying little dates atop my coffee table when I’m at work.

Let’s all be honest for a second.  Everyone spends at least a little time wondering if toys really come to life.  Right?  C’mon, of course we do.  It starts when you’re little and we never really shake it.  If you say “no” I’m going to wonder whether you’re trying to lie to me or to yourself.  Granted, I don’t spend even a fraction of the time thinking about whether or not toys come to life (and what sort of life they live if they do) as I spend imagining how great my life would be if I had actual Wolverine claws.  For real, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve thought about having Wolverine claws (not to mention the less-frequent-but-still-occurring miming of popping and waving the claws around) I could be writing this from the vacation home I owned in the South of France or the Caribbean…or both.  Sadly, I’ve yet to find anyone who would pay me to imagine I have Wolverine claws and my Kickstarter didn’t take off.  Nor, do people pay me for thinking about toys coming to life (which I maintain is a universal experience).  Anyway

The Funko for Christmas thing ended up being a trend!  Mom and Dad went the Ghostbuster route, as you can see below.  You’ll note, I happily have the new and old teams mixed together.  Despite what some critics and fans said, I thought Ghostbusters: Answer The Call was a lot of fun!  Sure, it wasn’t a perfect movie but I loved it and I still hold out hope for a sequel, unlikely as that may be.  So, in my world, my Ghostbusters hang out together and bust ghosts together too.  My original lineup is sooooo close to being complete, with Peter joining the team on my birthday this year.  However my beloved Egon continues to prove more difficult to track down.  C’este la vie.  Some day…

Funko 10.jpg

Kalie matched the Thor she got me (who’s always been my second favorite superhero) with a Spider-Man (who’s always been my favorite superhero).  Yay!  There was also some Iron Man and Black Widow greatness brought to the table too so, with the addition of a Luke Cage you have my current lineup of Avengers.  Now, as I googled “Funko Pops Marvel” for the featured image of this post I learned there are Funko-fied versions of Ms. Marvel, Thor (but the Jane Foster version!), and Squirrel Girl too!!!  Nuts.  I guess I have to find those stupid ones now as well.  See??  Do you see how quickly this can hook me?  I don’t need to lose my house and car in the name of big headed superheroes.  Control!  Control!  I must learn control.  Okay Michael…deep breath…you can do this.  Alright, I’m good.  Let’s move on.

Funko 8

Along with the Avengers, I’ve also allowed myself to start working on some X-Men because, c’mon, the X-Men are pretty cool too!  However, I’ve far fewer of them than I do of the other guys.  (Jeff?  Are you still with me?  I’ve seen a cool Psylocke and Archangel out there.  I’m just sayin’…X-Men are needed and welcome too.)  How could I not have Wolverine?  And then there’s eighties mohawk Storm!  Weirdly, I haven’t seen any Cyclops around.  Has poor Scott been neglected?!  I know he went crazy in the comics but c’mon!  No Cyclops is like having no Captain America or Leonardo.  You need to have the leader of the X-Men.  But I’ve digressed again.

Funko 7

Last but certainly not least, there’s the Guardians of the Galaxy!  How can I love the Guardians as much as I do without having them hanging out on my shelf?  The very idea seems to fly in the face of all that’s right and just with the universe.  Thankfully Mom and Dad saw the hole and surprised me with them for my birthday this year.  Personally, I think they might be the most adorable of the lot.  There’s no Groot here (yet) but I’ll keep my eyes open.  I don’t know whether to hunt a baby Groot or an adult Groot.  Well, given how popular a character he is, maybe I’ll leave it to chance and enjoy whichever one I happen to find first.  I just love, love, love having Peter Quill and co. in the family!

Funko 11

As you can see, I’ve limited myself to a few teams in the world of pop culture and I’m drawing the line there.  I can’t get hooked on everything they offer because, well, Funko offers everything.  Yes, I enjoy perusing them everywhere I go but if I start trying to collect all of them for everything then soon I’ll be selling my house and living in a cardboard box somewhere with a pile of Funko characters.  Given the people I’ve proved wrong by not ending up in that lifestyle with a degree in Religious Studies, I’d hate to inadvertainly prove them right due to these round-headed, soulless eyed versions of comic book characters.  So the Avengers, the Ghostbusters, the X-Men, and the Guardians of the Galaxy – that’s it.  Right?  I should be able to hold it at those four groups…right?  I think I can…

Funko 5Well, maybe not exactly just those teams.  You see, 2015 didn’t bring just the Thor Funko.  For Christmas that year, two of my students surprised me with Threepio from The Force Awakens.  It was so nice of them!  Really, I was so touched.  I wasn’t expecting it at all and more Star Wars stuff is ALWAYS welcome.  Now, he wasn’t living at home on the DVD shelf with Thor because a) mixing Star Wars and Marvel like that would seem like anarchy to my OCD mind and b) as it was a present from some of my students I have it proudly displayed on my desk at work.  Then, this year for Christmas, Matthew bought Hannah and I each our own General Leia Funkos too, in honor of both Carrie Fischer and our Star Wars nerdiness.  Naturally, Leia lives at work with Threepio.  So this brings us back to Funkos I need to acquire.  I feel like I really need a Luke Skywalker (and it has to be the older Luke from The Force Awakens because I can’t have young Luke with older Leia because that would be anarchy once more) to hang out with his sister.  Why?  Well that should be obvious by now.  On the off chance these things come alive when I’m not around that would mean Leia only had Threepio to talk to.  I mean, I love Threepio and all but I wouldn’t want anyone to have to deal with him being their only companion.  (So Jeff a Luke from The Force Awakens would be cool too.)  Also, I just kind of like the idea of Anakin’s kids hanging out and being awesome together on my desk or filing cabinet you know?

Despite my growing collection, I have NO IDEA why I love these little guys like I do.  But I do!  Is it the blank faces?  Is it their adorable proportions?  Is it the fact that they represent cartoony versions of characters I already love?  Is it the cultural conditioning for needless consumption that’s taken hold in my subconscious and told me I need these things?  (Okay, realistically, that is absolutely a huge part of it.  Damn you capitalist conditioning!  But they are cute nonetheless.)  No matter what it is, I’m digging these little guys.  Weirdly, I have no desire whatsoever to read the Funko-fied issues of IDW’s Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics.  When I saw those comics my first reaction was, “Seriously?  Who would ever want to read a weird, cartoony version of these comics featuring characters with oversized heads?”  However, I once thought that about the little toys too and we see where that’s gotten me…

So while much of the reason for this post being written was to help Future Jeff buy Future Michael surprises, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings about these things all the same dear reader.  If you have any guesses as to why I can’t seem to stop wanting more of them (or if you’d like to psychoanalyze me based on the DVDs I own) you’re welcome to share.  And if you really, really enjoy these adorable little things, feel free to check back on this post a few times a year to see who’s joined the club!

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11 thoughts on “The Funkos Have Hooked Me (or Jeff Read This Before Buying Me A Present)

  1. You have some great ones. I have a couple but damn I want more. There are ones that belong to sets I have no business collecting but they look so cool that I want them. But alas, I stop myself almost everyday. They are so cheap but there are so many……ugh….now I got the itch to cruise around online looking at them. Thanks alot!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha, my pleasure. Every time I watch ‘My Side Of The Laundry Room: LIVE’ I think about how cool your classic Batman one is. He’s so badass! And you’re right, the sets can be brutal but still SO awesome. I appreciate that you share my joy/pain with these little guys though :). Having company always makes the pangs of wanting more of them easier to bear.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does. Utter madness is always good to share with friends.
        That’s awesome. I didn’t know you (or anyone) looked or pay attention to the background. That makes me so happy. I was gonna redo it but told myself no one would care. Now I’m definitely doing it. Want to every month…little pass that deadline lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I LOVE looking at all the cool stuff that you have on your shelf! I love trying to see all the books, action figures, and DVDs you have there. I love the mix of superheroes, Ninja Turtles, Disney stuff, He-Man, and all that. For real, I geek-out over your collection all the time. I’m excited to think about potential new arrangements in the future!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Funko Pop Vinyls so much! I only have four at the moment and three of them were gifts! I have Naruto, Bernie Sanders, Bellatrix and Captain Marvel! I really don’t understand my infatuation with this bobble headed versions of my favorite characters either but I just love ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, I am totally impressed by how diverse your collection is! You’re hitting a lot of areas of pop culture in your four. (I’ve wondered if I need Captain Marvel to join my own little collection of Avengers…hmm.) I take great joy in knowing you share my love of these little guys AND you also have no idea why you love them. At least we all know they’re fun…even if we don’t know why. Yay!

      Liked by 1 person

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