Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Year With Marvel: Merchandise

I hate owning things. I’m not sentimental and I feel little to no collector’s instinct1. I want stuff on my walls because the nicest house in the world looks like shit with bare walls, and I’ll concede the need for furniture and kitchen utensils and all that, but gods spare me from random crap.

Well, mostly.

Y’all may have noticed I like Marvel, and Marvel produces a lot of merchandise. They sell useful stuff like wallets and bedding and kitchenware, and they produce (admittedly cool-looking) clutter like foam Mjolnirs and lifesize Iron Man’s head night lights and fully-articulated Spider-Man figures with six different sets of hands.

Some of it’s pretty great, but I don’t need to own it because it ain’t practical. Maybe I could get some use out of a Thor pint glass, but what the hell am I gonna do with a foam Mjolnir? A Hawkeye wallet could be pretty sweet (especially if it features Kate Bishop instead of Clint Barton), but a foot-tall porcelain Deadpool statue would probably just scare me in the long term.

So I resist.

Or resisted, I should say, since I met Barnes & Noble's Funko Pop! department on my last trip to the States and, well, shit happened.

A picture of Tiny Deadpool, a small bobblehead dressed in a red and black outfit that covers every inch of his body. His overlarge head features round, solid white eyes set within elongated black triangles. He brandishes a small black gun and a small silver katana with more weapons strapped onto his costume.

This is Tiny Deadpool. He’s four inches tall. His head bobbles. He’s got two tiny guns and a tiny katana.

He’s really frickin’ cute.

It would’ve been wrong to leave him in Barnes & Noble, seeing as how I had a gift card that covered most of his purchase price, so I decided to make an exception to the I Hate Owning Things rule.

Tiny Deadpool stands in a pile of tortilla chips. In front of him, two taco stands hold seared catfish tacos topped with jalapenos, cilantro, and pale remoulade.

And hey! He likes Mexican food! We have much in common, Tiny Deadpool and I.

I love him a lot.

Also, he’s promised not to terrify me at random intervals, as a foot-tall porcelain Deadpool statue might have done. Thanks, Tiny Deadpool!

A picture of Tiny Hawkguy, a bobbleheaded white guy with pale brown hair that sticks straight up in front. He wears a purple and black leather outfit consisting of a longer jacket, pants, and boots with straps. He brandishes a tiny black bow in his right hand.

This is Tiny Hawkguy. He’s four and a quarter inches tall on account of his hair. His head bobbles to a much greater extent than does Tiny Deadpool’s. He has a tiny bow and a tiny quiver strapped to his back and tiny, strappy boots.

I tried not to buy him because he’s Cinematic Hawkeye and Cinematic Hawkeye doesn't do a whole lot, but he does look remarkably like Comics Hawkguy and Comics Hawkguy is very important to me.

Comics Hawkguy is the sort of dude who tries to save a murderous ninja mere minutes after said murderous ninja did their level best to assassinate him, because hell if anybody’s gonna die on his watch. I think about that a lot.

So I let him follow me home.

Tiny Deadpool and Tiny Hawkeye stand side by side.

Tiny Hawkguy and Tiny Deadpool have formed an uneasy alliance despite their differences. Awwwww.

I shall endeavor not to buy more adorable Marvel merchandise (see: no collector's instinct), but one never knows. If Funko comes out with Tiny Kate Bishop, Tiny Pizza Dog, or Tiny Nova, I may add a little more clutter to my life.

And to be perfectly honest, I was looking for a Tiny Dancing Groot when I found Tiny Deadpool, so... yeah.

Maybe my collectors' years aren't as far behind me as I thought.

  1. This wasn't always the case. I used to collect about a million different things, but somewhere along the line I decided I was no longer interested in amassing large quantities of impractical objects. I promptly rounded up my collectibles and sold 'em. I wrote a longish digression about that process when I first sat down to draft this post, but perhaps it belongs elsewhere. I'll trot it out the next time I put My Year With Marvel on hiatus for a week or two.


  1. Oh God those are adorable. I have instituted a very strict no bric-a-brac policy for my life, which I enforce by -- whenever I encounter adorable bric-a-brac, which is like, OFTEN -- asking myself in a stern voice "Would you rather have this thing? Or would you rather have the bookshelf space you will use to store it?" And I'd nearly always rather have the space.

    But goddamn, those tiny Marvel guys are adorable.

    1. I always ask myself if I need to look at it ALL THE TIME or if I'm okay with just looking at it whenever I happen to see it in a store. Most of the time, it's the latter.

      My bookshelves are pretty tall, so sometimes I can fit things on top of the books. I've got Tiny Deadpool and Tiny Hawkeye atop my Michelle West library, while there's a Tiny Dalek perched on my Mercedes Lackey collection and a couple other things on top of my few hardcovers.

  2. Nothing wrong with owning things that make you happy! They are really cute.

    1. Just so long as the things that make me happy don't overwhelm the rest of my life. ;)

  3. Funkos are awesome. Unfortunately, in Brazil they're expensive =/
    But even with the big prices, I still got a Mary Poppins and a Stormtrooper bobblehead.

    1. They're generally $12-15 here in Canada, so I can well imagine how expensive they are outside North America. :( (I bought these two in the US, so they were $9 each.) They're such a fun way to commemorate favourite characters, though!

    2. Here, we can get it on ebay for $20~25, if we keep looking for sales and sellers that doesn't charge too much for the shipping. BUT, there's always the risk of it being taxed, and that means +80% on the value. =/
      To make things worse, now $1 is R$3, so buying anything in dollar can be a problem

    3. Ugh. Customs fees and exchange rates can make collecting such a hassle, not to mention super-duper expensive.