I sense the beginning of an obsession

I sense the beginning of an obsession

By: Misty Fritz

I haven’t been this obsessed with a toy (or anything other than books, for that matter) since the Beanie Baby craze of my early teen years.

Chances are, you’ve seen the objects of my affection, especially if you know any people who describe themselves as nerds, dorks, or geeks. They’ve been popping up all over nerd-dom for more than a decade now, for nearly every movie, television show, or comic book of note. With their small bodies and large heads, a lot of them have a tendency to topple over with the slightest breeze if they’re not positioned carefully. I’m talking about Funko Pop! vinyl figurines.

Over the last few years, especially, it seems as if you lose a little bit of nerd cred if you don’t own at least one (or three dozen) of these adorable figurines. I had personally resisted their siren call, not because I didn’t want them or because they were too expensive — most are affordable, though there are some limited edition ones that cost a pretty penny — but because I knew, given the chance to get even one, I’d get sucked into their vortex.

And then it happened. A group of my friends does a secret Santa exchange every year, and this year my Santa (who turned out to be my friend Brian) asked me if I owned any of the Funko bobbleheads. I told him no, but that I would like to. From the moment I sent my response, I fully anticipated that whoever my Santa was would send me at least one, because my friends are exactly the kind of nerds who wouldn’t let that stand. And so, when my secret Santa package arrived in the mail, I was not at all surprised to see that two of the boxes inside were vaguely the size and shape of Funko bobblehead boxes, though only one of them ended up actually being a Funko Pop! vinyl. Specifically, it was the Bucky Barnes vinyl from the Infinity War collection — a great choice, given that Bucky is one of my absolute favorite fictional characters and definitely one of my favorite Marvel characters.

The floodgates had officially opened. The next time I went to Springfield, just a few days later, my first stop was at Best Buy to pick up a Captain America vinyl, also from the Infinity War collection, because there’s zero point to having the “sidekick” without also having the hero/his best friend.

I’ve since spent a little bit of time combing the Funko website to see what other ones I want. Several more Marvel ones, of course — Thor, Valkyrie, Agent Carter, and Black Widow, for sure, as well as maybe a few others; I might end up getting multiple iterations of the same characters eventually, but for now I’ll limit myself to one. I’ll definitely have to get some Harry Potter ones, though probably not Harry himself; I’m leaning more toward Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger and who knows who else. Two Doctor Who ones are on my list, as well: Ten and Thirteen, because they are my favorites (Ten, played by David Tennant, was “my doctor” until Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteen stole the show). That’s just the ones I can name off the top of my head; I’m sure there will be many, many more I want to get over time.