Thursday, September 30, 2010

Literary Action Figures to the Rescue!

by Stephen J. Gertz

"Dost thou desire a figurine of a man with sublime intellect
and sharp wit? Forsooth, thy dreams have taken shape!
'Tis a 5¼" (13.3 cm) tall, hard vinyl William Shakespeare
Action Figure with removable book and quill pen."

It's been a long, grueling day. Q: How can one take the edge off without intoxicants? A: Get in the playpen with these toys designed with the rare book lover in mind.
First Folio (in left hand) not included.
As accompaniment to the above, want to learn how to lose friends and salivate at the same time? Look no further than:
"Each set includes seven 1" (2.5 cm) tall boxes that look like miniature
Shakespeare volumes. Inside each box you'll find two fruit flavored gum
balls and an eloquent Shakespearean insult printed on the inside.
Sure to offend the intellectuals and confuse the dimwitted!"

"Thou art like a toad; ugly and venemous."

"You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian!
I'll tickle your catastrophe!"

"Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool,
thou whores on obscene greasy tallow-catch!"

"You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat's-tongue,
you bull's-pizzle, you stock-fish."

Of course, when it comes to rapier-wit and the devastating put-down, no one cut deeper than Oscar Wilde.

"Oscar Wilde was a writer and lecturer of great accomplishment,
but he is most famous for his comedic plays, quick wit and eccentric dress.
This 5-1/4" (13.3 cm) tall, hard vinyl action figure is dressed for a party
where Wilde will quickly cut all those around him to pieces
with barbed witticisms. Removable cane included!"

The Wilde One.
Beware the removable cane!

Say hello to the G.I. Joe of 19th century English literature:

"The novels of Charles Dickens captured the essence of Victorian society
so well that the entire period is often described as Dickensian.
To this day, none of his novels have ever gone out of print in England.
This 5-1/2" (14 cm) tall, hard vinyl action figure
comes with a quill pen and a removable hat!"

What appears to be a codpiece is not. Included.
The Case of the Unintentional Codpiece is one best left to the master of literary detection himself:

"Created by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes has become an icon of crime
detection and deductive reasoning. This 5-1/4" (13.3 cm) tall, hard vinyl action
figure comes with a removable magnifying glass and deerstalker hat. He even
has a pipe which fits snugly into his mouth to help him concentrate when
working on a particularly difficult case."
 Hypodermic needle and vial of .07% solution of cocaine not included.

Watson! I said magnifying glass, not tennis racket!
Jane Austen didn't get much action during her life. Time to make up for lost time with plenty of action now!

"Jane Austen was one of the greatest English novelists in history.
Despite a rather sheltered life, she was able to capture the subtleties
of human interaction so perfectly that her novels continue to be
 immensely popular to this day. This 5-1/4" (13.3 cm) tall, hard
vinyl action figure comes with a book (Pride & Prejudice) and
a writing desk with removable quill pen!" Zombies not included.
I'm hungry for zombies.
"Wreak havoc on your sister's precious diorama with this
Flesh Eating Zombie Play Set! Each set includes nine
1" (2.5 cm) to 3-1/4" (8.3 cm) tall, hard vinyl zombies,
 complete with blank stares, gaping mouths, open wounds
and missing limbs! Turn off the lights and they glow!
Fantastic undead fun for the whole family!
What collection of literary action figures would be complete without representation by the profession that so often leads us into literature?

"If you just can't get enough of the Dewey decimals or if you
go bananas for books, chances are you have a Librarian Action Figure.
Nancy Pearl's likeness made history as the best selling Librarian Action
Figure of all time, but the true collector needs this Deluxe Edition.
Each 5" (12.7 cm) tall, hard vinyl figure is dressed in a stylish burgundy
outfit and comes in a library diorama with a reference desk, computer,
book cart, multiple book stacks and some loose books. Press the button
on her back for the infamous 'amazing shushing action!'"
"Amazing Shushing Action" or simply "Aren't I cute"pose?
Why would adults want to own literary action figure toys, however literary their action figures into play? Ask the litterateur-analyst:
"Each 5" (12.7 cm) tall, hard vinyl action figure captures Freud
in a pensive pose, holding a distinctly phallic cigar. Put him on
your desk or nightstand to inspire you to explore the depths of
your unconscious and embrace the symbolism of your dreams."
Couch not included.
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

I'm a grown man so I'm finally throwing out my pail and shovel and moving up to these toys.

"The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground."
G. K. Chesterton

"Play is the exultation of the possible"
Martin Buber

"To live is to play at the meaning of life...The upshot of this . . . is that it teaches us once and for all that childlike foolishness is the calling of mature men."
Ernest Becker - The Denial of Death

"We don't stop playing because we turn old, but turn old because we stop playing"
attributed to Satchel Paige

"Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time."
-T. S. Elliot

"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness."
- Mary Satton

All  toys, quoted product text, and images from Accoutrements.

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