In this decidedly non-alliterative edition of Figure Friday I’ve been tasked with writing about action figures of The King. Now, while I’m personally more of a Beatles fan and I’ve yet to see the allegedly not good Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic I suppose I can rustle up some enthusiasm for the subject matter for one of the biggest artists to ever co-opt Black music (don’t go too far, Beatles) and…
Oh, I’m being told that I’m supposed to be writing about Stephen King. Moving swiftly on…
The Simpsons Greatest Guest Stars: Stephen King
Honestly, I could populate an entire article with nothing but Pennywise figures of both Tim Curry and the other guy but that would be phoning it in and I really try to limit that to a few article a year. Or month.
One of the first places my mind went to when the editorial edict was handed down that we were to pay tribute to the author during his 75th birthday week was this action figure from The Simpsons. Stephen King has had an undeniable cultural impact over the last four-plus decades, not only through his work but also as a pop culture icon in his own right.
Listen, I don’t know the guy personally, but I have long gotten the sense that he’s having a blast and not taking himself too seriously, which is why his appearance on The Simpsons was so funny. It was all done in good fun and it was nice to see he wasn’t afraid of taking the piss out of his perceived public persona a bit.
Creepshow: Jordy Verrill
Now this is something I could have sworn was really produced by a major toy company, but I may claim it’s the Mandela Effect or whatever BS excuse people use when they don’t want to admit they’re wrong about something.
At any rate, one of my earliest memories was when King popped up in 1982’s Creepshow in “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” segment. When I saw the movie it was most certainly as an afternoon “creature double feature” on one of Detroit’s UHF stations back in the late ’80s, and I definitely didn’t know that it was King at the time, but I later had it pointed out to me and my mind was summarily blown.
In preparation for this portion of the column I googled all permutations of “Stephen King Jordy Verrill figure” and came up with a few custom figures, and this entry listed on MonstersInMotion.com ,which appears to be one of a limited edition of just sixty. Truth be told, once I finish this article I’m going back into the depth of Google to see if I can uncover the toy that I was imagining.
Stephen King Pop! Vinyl
I have a lot of feelings about Funko’s Pop! Vinyl figures and almost none of them are good. In fact, just earlier today I was at a local wholesaler and they were selling a literal gross of Donald Duck and Daisy Duck Christmas decorated Pops! for next to nothing. These things are like a rash that keeps spreading and you cannot get rid of. Sure, I’ve purchased my share of Pops! but it’s okay when I do it because I am doing so ironically.
Had Andy Warhol survived into the 21st century I’m sure he would have had some cutting remark about how everyone will one day have their own vinyl homunculus staring back at you, dead-eyed and hydrocephalic. Truly terrifying stuff and also very much on-brand for King.
I’m aware of Stephen King’s vinyl avatar specifically because of writing for this site since EiC, #1 King fan, and guy who totally hasn’t thought of Kathy Bates-ing an imprisoned King’s ankles, Andy Burns tasked me with obtaining one or two of the Funko exclusives. Apparently, Canada is not quite the utopia most Americans have been lead to believe since the majority of exclusive toys don’t even make it up there. I’ve been thinking of updating my LinkedIn page to list “Toy Mule” as one of my skills.
There you go! Happy 75th Mr. King! Enjoy your immortality in plastic!