You gotta love these crazy modern times we're living in. I mean, at what other point in human history has it ever been okay for a 36 year-old adult male to collect and play with action figures and, at the same time, be married to a real live woman?!? Remarkable these non-judgmental, forgiving modern times we're witnessing, I tell ya.
Of course, not all is perfect in this age of iPods, the Internet and security pat-downs. For the legions of toys made available to men-children for conspicuous consumption, there are those action figures that have yet to see the inside of a blister card.
Here are five action figures that I wish would see the officially licensed light of day:
1. The Flaming C
After an forced eight month hiatus from network television, Conan O'Brien returned to the boob tube reinvigorated and ready to capitalize (masterfully, I might add) on his wounded underdog status. One advantage of being on cable TV is, of course, the liberal use of swear words. Another is sharing a studio with Warner Bros. and having legendary Batman The Animated Series artist Bruce Timm draw you in DC superhero form. Thus The Flaming C was born. Coco's alter ego is fuckin' hilarious: steaming oven mitt, jai li glove, sock garters over fishnets, pot leaf belt buckle, loafers with tassels... Who needs super powers when you have a clusterfuck of accessories? The above JLA-style action figure was produced by expert customizer Paul Pape, but Mattel or DC Direct really need to get going on making this figure a reality.
2. Fumbles/Trouser Snake
Ever wondered how the Joe's got their awesome code names? Well, as this skit from Robot Chicken illustrates, it's a committee-based process based on the immediate action or pratfalls a new recruit makes on his or her first day. But yolk a master marksman with a PhD and a high-powered rifle with an embarrassing code name, and the results can be deadly ...and hilarious. Do a web search of Cobra's most competent employee here and you'll find a smattering of Fumbles custom-made figures like this one pictured to the right. If that doesn't prove to Hasbro how popular a seller this figure can potentially be for them, perhaps begging will help: Please, Hasbro. Please make this Fumbles action figure a legit reality. Pretty please! "No, you live with it."
3. Mr. Bananagrabber
The shit they got away with on Arrested Development. I mean, Mr. Bananagrabber?!? C'mon! There needs to be an action figure of one of Gob's actual good ideas. It could come with Segway (with interchangeable "(P)resident" handlebar bag) and a pull-string feature that allows him to recite his famously whistled line, "Look! A seagull! A-GOMP!" Just don't give up animation rights. (On a related note, is it just me, or when you see someone riding one of these Segway contraptions, does your mind instantly go to how hilariously ridiculous Gob looked behind the, er, handles of one of these things?) Man, I miss this show. When is the movie coming out again?
4. Mr Dinner With Andre Action Figure Set
Am I alone here, or did anyone else want the My Dinner With Andre action figure set from Waiting For Guffman, as well? ("Oh you. You can always get a reservation.") Granted, I've never actually seen My Dinner With Andre - a 2-hour film about two men sitting down to a meal and having frank, philosophical discussions - but that wouldn't stop me from playing with these figures - rendered in Mego form, of course. Perhaps they can go to a restaurant, like the one from Big Night, and enjoy the timpono, quarts of Chianti and wait for Louis Prima to never show up. Or they could just sit there and discuss the positive attributes of infidelity. Hey, go nuts!
5. Community Claymation Christmas Set
In what has become one of the "more colorful" network's saving grace sitcoms (and, to be honest, there ain't a lot of 'em), Community is one of the funniest, smartest and entertaining shows on television right now. It's self-referential, clever, satirical, inventive, and rewarding to watch (this season's paintball-heavy season finale was ingenious and inspired). This past season of Community gave us the claymation Christmas special, wherein Abed imagined the study group as Christmas-themes toys in a snowy winter wonderland. I want those toys! They're fuckin' adorable!!! And they seem tailor made for the toy aisle. Also, it would be nice to finally have an Alison Brie action figure. Oh, who am I fooling? I really mean John Oliver action figure. (Sigh!)