Okay, so I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a crazed, drunk martian when it comes to Funko Pops! Not because I’m a mad collector who stacks his shelves with a padlocked mountain of All-American Comics but because – somewhere deep, ducked in the crevice of my superpowers – I can turn molded vinyl into a palpable muse.
I first started collecting Pops! back in 2012. I wasn’t an enthusiast back then. To be honest, I had no bloody idea what they actually were (nor of their soon-to-be-skyrocketing value). I needed some décor for my new music studio; something relatable and relevant that had both significance and creative zest at the same time. In the beginning, I started with the rara avis of Peter Pan, The Notorious B.I.G, Michael Jackson and Batman.
I now have a collection that’s creeping up to 100 (I’m talking everything from the Hanna-Barbera collection, Jax Teller and the Dragon Ball series to Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, a contingent of Disney Pops! And a dedicated DC and Marvel superheroes shelf).
You see, I may be an adult (and a pretty good one at that!) but I’m by no means a grown-up. I don’t like that term much, anyway.
“Whether it’s Huckleberry Hound, the Incredible Hulk or The Big Bang Theory‘s Howard Wolowitz, the average Pop figure adheres to the same template: It stands 3.75 inches tall in a neutral pose. It has a square-shaped head with rounded edges — one large enough to account for half the piece’s height. It should have pupil-free, button-like black eyes, a small nose and no mouth. Most importantly, it should be adorable.”
My point isn’t to gloat – it’s quite the opposite, actually. Pops! helped me to discover an innovative world of imagination. Through these vinyl figurines, I unearthed the truth behind pop culture: that there was so much more tied emotionally to characters on a screen or a page or a song than meets the eye and/or ear. Well-written characters, colourful characters that embody a fantasy-doppelganger of who we’d rather be (even if it’s just on a Sunday afternoon in front of a fireplace) posses an unquantifiable magnetism that ties back to both nostalgia and novelty.
Whenever I’m sapped for creative juice, I turn to my right. Staring back at me are a gang of carefully-selected 3.75 inch tall figurines, each of them a idiosyncratic manifestation of the characters and colours that have dominated my imagination since before I could speak. I use them to brainstorm, I use them to contemplate, I use them to motivate but most of all, I use them to create.
So whatever you’re into creatively, find yourself an accessible stimulus. Find your source of creative hidden power and link it to your own unorthodox journey. For we do not walk alone in the abyss of our own minds – right behind us are avatars of the very things that transcended us to that very abyss in the first place.