I Got a Henson Funko Pop for Christmas

I only have one friend who ever gives me Muppet-related presents: my best friend Julie (the newlywed), who gave me my Wembley Funko Pop for my birthday last year (by which I mean 2018 because I still haven’t made the mental adjustment). For Christmas 2019, she gave me the Jim Henson Funko Pop holding Kermit.

I’m usually not the type of person who leaves toys in the box as collector’s items, but I did debate it with myself this time. Just knowing that there was a chance that it might be worth something someday if I did, and that once I took it out of the box there was no going back, did give me pause. Ultimately, I decided that I would take it out of the box because otherwise I’d be tempted to treat it like a holy relic. It’s not my place to judge how other people feel about their Funko Pops, but I refuse to make an idol of mine.

However, when I took it out of the box, I regretted it almost immediately, not because it hurt the value but because I tried to stand it up on the table and it instantly fell over. Unlike my Wembley, whose wide feet and tail make him very stable, my Jim Henson Funko Pop is too top-heavy to stand up on his own two feet.

Ultimately, however, this did not turn out to be a big problem because I put him on the shelf with my other Muppet toys and propped him up against the back, and that’s sufficient to keep him upright.

However, it’s sort of weird to see him next to my Wembley and have them be the same size when, logically, Wembley should be the same size as the Kermit that Jim is holding. Wembley is actually slightly taller than Jim because of his hair, and that causes me some cognitive dissonance.

Speaking of the mini-Kermit that Jim is holding, it’s a cute idea in theory, but the execution leaves something to be desired. The pupils are too far up on Kermit’s eyes, so that he’s looking up into Jim’s beard. It sort of gives Kermit an expression of rapt adoration, which makes me wonder if it was deliberate, but when you look at Kermit straight on, it makes it hard to tell that he has pupils at all. Proportionately, Kermit looks more like a doll than a puppet that Jim could actually fit his hand inside, which doesn’t bother me that much, but it does bother me a little.

However, there is little to complain about regarding Pop!Jim himself. He’s wearing a simple outfit, so there’s not much in the way of detail, but what detailing is present is very impressive, especially in regard to Jim’s shoes (which I think might be wing-tips, but I don’t know very much about styles of men’s footwear). The crow’s feet around his eyes are present but much more subtle than in the concept art.

But Funko’s attention to detail really shows best in Jim’s hands. They are exquisite. There really seems to be some anatomy to them, with bones and knuckles very much in evidence. I’ve never seen a Funko Pop based on a human being up close and out of the box before, so I don’t know if they all have hands like that. I never thought about the hands before, but now I can’t stop looking at them.

When I opened the present and saw what was inside, it reminded me of something that happened at GalaxyCon. When we came back to Steve’s booth in the afternoon, there was a boxed Jim Henson Funko Pop (with Kermit) sitting on his table. I’d seen him sign Funko Pops for people in the morning, so at first I wondered if it was something that he was signing for someone. But then I thought that if that was the case, he would have signed it already. So I asked him if it was something that somebody gave him, and he said yes.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking autographs at a comic convention, as long as people are polite about it; that is, after all, kind of the point. But at the two conventions that I’ve been privileged to attend, it’s been inspiring and beautiful to see how many people wanted to give presents to Steve, often with no expectation of getting anything in return. 

3 thoughts on “I Got a Henson Funko Pop for Christmas

  1. I’ve never read such a fine tuned and well described review of anything, especially a toy collectible. You definitely made my day. I do not collect anything now, but used to collect John Deere Tractors and Farmalls. We purchased them at the John Deere store, and they were highly sought after models of the real ones, for they were a good size to display on the shelf, and still be able to see all the details. They were expensive, and not toys. See your Funko, I could only say ‘Wow’ !!!

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  2. Back (and I was confident this would be done Sunday night…oh well…)! It’s quite a read, so please take your time, and answer as convenient.

    First, thanks so much for your patience and reply relative to the “Hulk” post; it further attests to your very kind and considerate nature, how nice of you to want to let others join in on the “Cave-In” madness. Think I can relate as I myself haven’t decided yet what to say either, for my potential call(s), which is kind of the reason WHY I’ve not made an attempt in the first place (one day, though…I’ve since thought over a few ideas). With that, I can understand why you’d pass up the opportunity, but I have to say (no flattery, I promise,) that you’re one of my favorite callers to hear – you and Anne in particular, are easygoing, very polite, and you both know how to conduct a conversation maturely (*because of course, the three of us realize it’s a unique privilege), never mind that it’s between you and an obnoxious troll character. Plus, your chosen subjects are enlightening, such that, you’ve gotten him to behave for a few minutes – not that I don’t like the spontaneity of it all, rather, it’s occasionally nice to see his cultured side. Thanks for enabling him to bring that out, and please keep at it (lol)!

    Second, I’ll delve right into it – FINALLY assessing your review of Pop! Jim w/Kermit – remember how I said this write-up is of great significance to me? Well…it’s not just because the exact same Pop! figure sits at my right as I type this, rather, I can also actually better analyze some of the details you observed on yours. In my case, I got Jim w/Kermit as a birthday present the past Fall, along with a copy of “Jim Henson : The Biography”. Prior, I was also able to get ahold of a Jim w/Ernie Pop, which, I was initially in no rush to collect…but then did so as a certain Muppet fansite that I won’t name claimed that the latter figure was becoming harder to find – with it being a ‘Target Exclusive’ Pop, I’d say it was one of the only few times I got excited to go to Target – so naturally, since I had Ernie Jim, it only felt right to complete the pair with the Kermit variant. Aside, I admit, I’m actually one of those guilty of keeping Pops in their boxes, matter of fact, I rarely even look at them anymore, Kermit Jim was taken out especially for this comment (out of the package box, that is); I mean-like you, I don’t treat them as objects of worship or relics, (*though in the same vein, I’d take them over jewels any day,) it’s more so that when I do unbox/unbag and hold their Pop boxes, I worry about disturbing the presentation (and as you’ve noted, Pop Jim w/Kermit isn’t very steady on his own) – however, I might go forth and take them out altogether, eventually…(how much longer will they collect dust, lol?)

    Moreover, my thoughts, if you will, following your analyses are – for one, I agree that there are a few flaws (?, for lack of a better word) with respect to the little Kermit; I too, think that he looks somewhat more like a plush than an actual puppet character. Perhaps he should have been slightly larger, to in a way, give the illusion that toy Jim COULD fit his hand inside, or, better yet, I would’ve designed him such that, Jim, wearing his monitor headband/microphone, held the frog above his head, performing him (*critics might disagree, saying even then that, it’d “ruin the magic”, but I’d see it as showing the man behind the Muppets as he truly was). Another configuration (partially plausible in theory,) could’ve had Kermit perched on Jim’s shoulder, or behind his back like on the classic “Think Different” Apple poster (https://postergroup.com/products/apple-think-different-jim-henson-13186), the full figure in black-and-white, though in color would suffice the same. In continuation, you couldn’t have said it better about the frog’s pupils – not only is the orientation off that the eyes unnaturally face up towards Jim, they also don’t match his (forward-facing) eyes/pupils on the box/concept art (…Funko had ONE job!) – with that, (disregarding minor scratches/paint defects,) maybe I’m under a dim light, but his signature collar doesn’t appear that prominently, either, practically blending into his chest…it could be a tinge lighter, but the room’s dullness might very well be throwing me off.

    As for Jim himself, I originally wouldn’t have noticed the realistic depressions in his hands, or the naturalistic differentiation in length between the fingers, so I’d say you’re masterfully eagle-eyed (*wish I had such detail-oriented sense and patience to carry out a proper examination). His hair and beard show off an amalgamation of browns and light and dark grays that seems just right. It actually reminds me of how Jim looked in his late 40’s/early 50’s (if that’s what Funko was going for, think the “Labyrinth”-era). I concur that (in a good way,) he looks basic clothing-wise, although I wouldn’t mind if the plain, solid black shirt was swapped out for a uniquely patterned “80’s sweater”, one with deep, rich, and warm autumnal tones…quite reminiscent to me of “Henson Hour” host Jim. Further, most Pops I’ve seen, typically likenesses of real people, are expressionless, but it’s almost as if there’s a hint of emotion on toy Jim’s face – the familiar, yet serious “deep in thought” look.

    Onward, you briefly emphasize above how uplifting it’s been to see people at Comic Cons bring gifts for SW. Indeed, it sounds very moving – to me so much that, I hope to give something myself one day (*I may have conveyed the feeling before, though reiterated differently), purely for the sake of giving – I expect nothing back – or, if I’m unable to present a physical object, my hope is to at least do some sort of favor for him…so far, I’ve just written both him and Jim a birthday tribute poem, if it means anything, and even then it doesn’t feel like enough . Speaking of giving, your thorough Pop! study came to mind again, as did a question Anne asked a while ago on the “Cave-In” Discord – you may/may not have seen it (Anne, if/when you’re reading this, thank you (!), you covered what I’d long been contemplating, hope you don’t mind if I re-share it here,) – it regarded the possibility of there being a Funko counterpart of the ‘IT Guy’. I mean, I suppose it IS possible, I don’t see why not – I’d like to think that the series’ growing popularity and fanbase devotion/support warrants a Pop! figure (heck, his look alone should be enough of a reason, IMO), however, peculiar as he is, he’s still relatively fresh as a character, his overall show concept is too, so it may be a while before this shared wish becomes a reality. Shall it ever, on the other hand, I’d love to gift SW one (mainly to see his reaction) – just imagine all the variants, Weldon w/laptop, the “(Worldwide) Trollin’, Trollin’ ” Cowboy, the Dark Crystal spoof’s ‘Selfling’, etc. (*yes, I acknowledge I’m being overenthusiastic about this, lol!)

    To wrap up, sincerest apologies for the delay as well as inadvertently turning this into a lengthy essay — versus quick response, as initially intended, though I wholeheartedly took pleasure in reading and reflecting on the review. Endless thanks for continuing to spread your word and inviting us here to indulge in insights Muppets and beyond – my strong support remains. Meanwhile, I’m still looking out for any news/updates post-“Great Con-Junction” – will make sure to let you know if I find anything (*so far, if you like, the FB page for Elstree Studios and another called ‘The Crystal Shard’ have some cool event photos). Other than that, I’ll see you (guys) Friday night (lol, you know why) – a bit earlier than I expected (*forgetting it’s a leap year, I was ready to wait ’til the very end of the month!), but at least it’s closer. For now, profound happiness and best wishes!

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