Found this little guy on clearance at the local Target the other day. In case you’re curious, it’s an Andy Kaufman Limited Edition WWE action figure. I’m not exactly sure what the “action” is, maybe sniveling and wrestling women.
Of course I bought it. (Sometimes, I feel sorry for my wife, who has to put up with these kinds of purchases more often than not.)
This got me thinking: Is this the oddest action figure I own? What’s it take to be an action figure these days? And how is an Andy Kaufman action figure different than the two (yes … 2) Jerry Garcia stuffed figures? What’s the connotation between a plastic figure and a stuffed “teddy bear” type?
Obviously, I had a lot of time to think about these things in the toy section of Target, so here are some answers:
This is not the oddest figure I own. Off the top of my head, I think the oddest one is the Dennis Miller talking figure may be a bit weirder … that and the Bubbe Ho-Tep Elvis.
All it takes to be an action figure these days is money I guess. Just type in “custom action figure” into google and see what happens. Or look here. And you have to realize, that an action figure is a totally different animal than a bobble-head doll, which are pretty much a dime a dozen these days. There’s a difference. Really.
Which brings me to Jerry. How does a counter-cultural hide-your-daughters-and-lock-away-your-sons figure become a stuffed doll (complete with four and a half fingers on his strumming hand)? This is akin to going to the corner of Haight-Ashbury and seeing a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop across the street from a chain clothing store.
But, honestly: Andy Kaufman? Andy KAUFMAN? This is how he is remembered. Not really a comedian. Not really a television star. But a minor wrestler in a niche collection. That and some guy that Jim Carrey played.
Oh popular culture … Oh how we love you despite what you do …
Here’s a little context for Andy Kaufman wrestling. There’s more on youtube.