Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Toasted Monkey Balls

One of my goals this year was to top the paltry number of blog posts that I did last year. I only did four of them, which shouldn't be too hard to top. Of course, it's November now and I've only done one, so I guess I should get my ass in gear...

Now, I don't want to to make my first post in almost 8 months be about the same thing it was last time, but I'm a rebel. Your mom warned you about guys like me.

And to be fair, Funko's Pop vinyl figures have become my MAIN line over this past year. I'm not sure what the exact date was when I truly became hooked, but I know it was sometime in late November, so I wanted to do an anniversary post of sorts.

Technically, my first Pop ever was this Peter Pan. He came with the Blu Ray version of the movie, and he's smaller than a regular Pop figure.

For a while, that was it. My wife had her Daenerys and I had my li'l Petey. Petey's neat, but he wouldn't really be enough to hook me on anything (except for maybe pixie dust - that stuff's hardcore). It would be another figure that would finally crack open my brain and force Pops to fully invade my thoughts.

Last year I decided to finally give Breaking Bad a try, and I tore that show UP. We just ripped through it, and ex-cop/hitman/enforcer/fixer/private investigator Mike Ehrmantraut was easily my favorite character. I had more or less forgotten Pops at this point and came across Mike's figure by happy accident, and instantly I knew I'd have to buy him. I actually hummed and hawed on him for a few weeks, but it was only a matter time till I caved.

I expected to love Mike's Pop - he's Mike! But I was still impressed by how much personality there is in what could be a plain figure. Everything from his tired, surly expression to the band-aid where a bullet ripped through the tip of his ear - sure Pops are cute, but they still perfectly represent the characters they're meant to be. I knew I was going to want more. I was quickly becoming hooked on Pops like they were blue, 99% pure crystal meth (that's a Breaking Bad reference, kids. Drugs are bad.)

Another Pop that appealed to me early on was this version of Orphan Black's Rachel Duncan with a pencil in her eye. It's nasty! And it became another thing that I love about Pop vinyls: they introduce to me to new things. There's a lot of Pops that appeal to me nostalgically, or whatever I'm into at the moment, but if Rachel here never caught my eye *cough cough* then I wouldn't have given Orphan Black a try. Now I love Orphan Black! And even though I knew it was coming, seeing Rachel get the pencil to the eye was still pretty gross.

I owe Fallout to Pop vinyls as well. It's become quite common for Pops of unknown characters to appeal to me, and then I want to learn more about them, and then BOOM! New interest! I never played any Fallout games until I got a few Fallout Pops and tried Fallout 4. My mind was blown, and one obsession fed another.

Originally, I told myself I would only get Pops of characters from things I've seen (or played). But then I figured I'd miss out on discovering new things if I wasn't open to the other stuff. This next Pop doesn't fall into that category. This is the Hot Topic exclusive sparkly version of Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. Now, I will admit to seeing the first three Twilight movies. My wife loved the books, and tried to love the movies. She watches LOTS of my movies, so when she wanted to see these I went with her. She's no longer a fan, and I can see why. That being said, I have a soft spot for sparkly figures. I think it started with the Mecha Baltan figure I picked up in Japan. When I heard they were doing a sparkly version of Edward, I secretly admitted to myself that I needed one. I ended up getting him for myself on my birthday, and I actually like him a lot! 

The sparkles don't stand out as much as I would have hoped, but I still like him enough that I'm not even that ashamed to admit I have him! He's been standing on my mantle since I got him in late October, and I'm still not ready to put him away.

Speaking of sparkles, look at this guy! He's got crusty sparkles, but they're still sparkles!

There's a dark side to Pop vinyls, and it's not that occasionally characters outside my range of interests (like Edward Cullen) will appeal to me. It's that some of them are *choke* bobble heads. I hate bobble heads!

No, that doesn't do it justice.

I HATE bobble heads!

I guess that'll do.

And it kills me because ALL Marvel and Star Wars Pops are bobble heads. AAAARGH!!!

Even though Pops only move at the necks, it's still fun to hold them and play around with them. Bobble heads feel much less play worthy. If the head turns too much it's hard to get it back to its original angle and still have it look normal. Bobble heads don't feel like real toys to me. They're more like cheesy statues. You could probably say all Pops are cheesy statues, but the non-bobble ones still feel like tried and true toys to me. Anyway, I love Star Wars and Marvel, and there have been times where I've had to just bite the bullet and and get some bobbly Pops.

Take Kaecilius in the last two pics. At the time of this writing I still haven't seen the Doctor Strange movie that he's from, but whether I end up liking it or not (and I've heard nothing but good things), I know that I LOVE the Doctor Strange Pops. The details that Funko puts into each figure keep getting better and better, and bobble head or not, Kaecilius is probably one of my favorite Pops yet. The sparkles around the eyes are just the icing on the cake. The crusty, crusty cake.

Pop vinyls may be the main line I collect right now, but Star Wars has held that title many times over the years, and I have no shortage of figures to make me happy. I didn't need to get any Star Wars Pops, ESPECIALLY since they're also bobble heads. But what can I say? I'm weak. The more Pops I got, the more I wanted to have Star Wars represented in this collection as well. It's just too important to me. And that was a while before they added my all-time favorite Star Wars character to the line: Zuckuss! I try to get all things Zuckuss, and his Pop turned out amazingly well. Like Kaecilius, I don't even care that he's a bobble head, he's one of my favorite Pops regardless. And even better, the tubes that go from his face around to his back restrict the bobbling, so he's barely a bobble head!

The Star Wars Pops are also the only ones with these black stands, and they were another thing that was keeping me away from Pops. They made the Star Wars Pops seem that much more like statues. But once I realized they were removable, they became a non-issue. The fuzzy freak shown above is Bistan from Rogue One. So far, you can only get a figure of him either as a Pop or a Lego minifigure. I'm sure that'll change, but right now it's another win for Pops!

Funko is starting to play outside of their usual Pop norms with battle poses, different kinds of stands, and non-humanoid characters. This Boba Fett is from the Smuggler's Bounty collector's box subscription. Every other month you can look forward to exclusive Pops, shirts, mugs, etc. I don't get to inspect these Pops before I buy them (which is why this Boba Fett has some glop on his visor), but so far I've only gotten one that I didn't want to keep. So I guess the odds have been in my favor.

Dory from Finding Nemo is good example of a Pop that isn't the typical humanoid style. I loved Finding Nemo, but I wouldn't say Dory as a character is anything special to me. But her Pop is just so WEIRD, it's another one that appealed to me very early into my addiction. She was just really hard to find, and I had all but given up when a slight repaint came out for Finding Dory. I think most collectors were upset because the only difference from the last one was the pattern on her back going from grey to black, but it's more accurate this way so I'm happy with how it all played out.

She feels different than other Pops too. She's just a hollow chunk of plastic. I guess she's basically just a Pop head without a body. I'm glad I finally got her though!

As much as I like weird or crazy looking characters, I'll always have a soft spot for normal looking human Pops. I think the regular people just have a certain charm that sets them apart from the aliens, droids, etc. The Ferris Bueller Pop made me go and re-watch that movie and they both gave me a nice punch in the nostalgia. Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite is just funny, and Scott Pilgrim needed a figure in some form or another. Are there other, non-Pop Scott Pilgrim figures? I don't know. Anyway, this Scott Pop is from a funny part in the movie, but I would have rather had one with his sword, or at least his winter jacket. Either way, it's always nice to have more Canadians in the line!

And speaking of regular human Pops, the majority of my 'wish list' for series that I want Funko to make just happen to be 'regular humans'. Home Alone is at the absolute top of my list, and I'd also love to get Pops from Seinfeld, Frasier, Snatch, and Get Smart.

I'll wrap this up with my most recent Pop, which is firmly back in the weirdo department. Even though I have a soft spot for regular human Pops, I have a hard spot for the weirdos. That sounded dirtier than it was intended. Anyway, I just got this thing today: the Toasted Monkey Bomb from Call of Duty. Although, every time I glance at the package, I see "Toasted Monkey Balls."

Had to get pretty far into this post for the title to make sense, didn't ya? Well, we're here now.

I love it when I walk into a store and see something that I haven't seen online first. It's rare to be surprised in these days of the interweb. I thought the regular Monkey Bomb was supposed to be a Game Stop/EB Games exclusive. I've never seen a toasted one!

Anyway, I never really got into the Call of Duty games, but I love their Pops! The first series was good (especially the non-mud splattered ones), but this second series hits it out of the park! It covers both my love of cool looking action dudes and it's got a hefty dose of weird.

And in the end, I think that's the main reason I've gotten into Pop vinyls as much as I have. As a single toy line, it just hits so many targets for me. Throughout all its various sub-series, it checks off nostalgia, current loves, stylized vinyl figures, the weird that I like, the normal that I like, obscure characters, and it gets me into new things I wouldn't have tried otherwise. It just keeps on getting bigger and better and I can't wait to see what next year brings - especially if it can top Toasted Monkey Balls!


  1. Man, Kaecilius needs to have them eyes checked! They're...lookin' a little infected. Seriously though: I have seen the movie, and the Pop looks pretty dang good!

    And Dory looks like some sort of ice cream treat. Like, put a stick in her and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from the Pop and a pictures on the side of an ice cream truck.

    That toasted monkey bomb, though! Great band name, weird-ass Pop, and all around great monkey. He lent me 20 bucks once, and never asked me to pay him back. Real stand up toasted monkey bomb if I do say so myself.

  2. I saw that money bomb in the mall the other day and I loved him too. But I do only stick to the ones from properties I already know and love. Like Power Rangers, or Naruto!
    Speaking of, my giant Kurama Pop figure is easily one of my favourites. I didn't see any giant ones in this blog. Do you have any? Do you even like them?

    1. I have two big ones so far, and I'm sure they'll get on here eventually. I do tend to be a little pickier with them, since they take up more space on my Pop shelves. So far I have angry Stay Puft and Mag the Mighty from Game of Thrones

  3. Oh wow ! These are lovely, totally loving the little miniatures. But i am sure my little brother would go bonkers if i showed this post to him. Love it.