By Nat Mingo
November has been eventful already. The Midwest has plunged into its January temperatures and I am wearing my winter jacket a lot. I’ve got several work related projects to complete. I was really looking forward to the annual DD calendar launch, which frequently occurs at the end of November as well. Therefore, I was elated to hear an “official” announcement that the Funko POP Company is releasing a Duran Duran set. It’s two of my favorite things being combined into an awesome, new creation like Ben & Jerry’s
cookie dough ice cream or Starbucks holiday egg nog latte. Who doesn’t love a good mashup?
Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal with these Funko POP figurines?” Please let me explain. My brother-in-law (BIL) introduced me to these toys. He has been collecting the POP figures for years. He even gifted his groomsmen with them. Now when I visit my sister and BIL, I have the opportunity to spend time with his massive collection. Part of the appeal is that the Funko Company has now obtained the licensing rights for many POP culture entities. I highly recommend watching the first half of the documentary, “Making Fun-the Story of Funko” to view the company’s origins. There are sport Funko POPs, movie Funko POPs, music Funko POPs, television Funko POPs. I recently saw that they have a new historical American moments Funko POPs (oh, be still, my history- loving heart). Thanks to BIL, I regularly traverse the toy aisles to view the latest figures. I spent a year, amassing the full Marvel Avengers figurines and several Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” figures. I had the Avenger POPs in my classroom for a spell which delighted my students. But alas, the kids and I were distracted by these items and I brought them home. I have since vowedto limit my POP purchases to special purchases. The upcoming Duran Duran figures certainly qualify.
I’m excited about the Duran POPs because they are well designed. The Funko POP figurines have a distinctive style. Unfortunately, some figures look a little generic. The face doesn’t closely resemble the person so the clothing has to compensate. The facial shape is part of the product’s allure; you know a Funko POP when you
see one. When you examine the Duran figures, I LOVE that each band member is distinct. The hairstyles are the best I’ve seen on a Funko figure. You can almost imagine running your fingers through the hair of the John, Nick and Simon figures. The clothing choices are impeccable because they are so detailed. In real life, most of the band members are dark haired and dark eyed so a poorly designed POP would make the figures identical. This didn’t happen. Also, the poses are substantial. I have bought some female POP characters which had very narrow feet. The figures don’t stand up well. The Duran POPs look like they will be “standable”.
As mentioned earlier, part of the Funko POP’s appeal is nostalgia. The Duran set captured the early days of the band. This was a wise choice. The era of the band’s history does include Andy; I appreciate being able to purchase his POP toy. Andy played an important role in the band’s early career. When I saw the Duran figures, I immediately starting thinking about my Duran Duran artifacts from that period. Hopefully, if this set sells well, there is the potential for future Duran sets. My BIL bought my sister several versions of Michael Jackson
and Prince POPs. I would purchase a “Reflex” or “Save A Prayer” set of figures, a “Notorious” or “All You Need Is Now” set of figures or set based on the Scavullo posters from the Sing Blue Silver period. The possibilities are numerous.
I hope I’ve explained the Funko POP phenomenon appropriately. I suspect the Duran set will make it onto several people’s holiday wish lists. The Funko POPs are limited editions; they make so many figures now that once they are sold, they are gone. EBay is full of inflated, “retired” POPs. So let’s RUN and purchase the Duran Duran figures. They are scheduled to be released on December 15th . I’m already plotting where I will place these valuable items and perhaps I will blog on this topic again…
Nathalie is a daughter, sister, Auntie, educator, reader, dreamer, Christian, Midwestern, Sci-Fi & Superhero Nerdette whose favorite band is Duran Duran. She owns multiple copies of most DD albums. She collects band t-shirts and proudly wears them in her everyday life.