As the whole world (or England at least) goes absolutely Goddamn batshit and falls to pieces in front of my eyes, it’s time to declare an age-old addage, cast forth historically from some of the greatest minds of human history…
“And now for something completely different.”
Socio-cultural insurrection is a lot like merchandise collecting. It frequent leads to anger, there’s like looting… and like… okay, so it’s not. But aren’t we all glad of that?! I don’t really want to use this column as some kind of soap-box, other than to push the dirty evils of capitalism and commodity acquisition of course, but for God’s sake, we’re all essentially the same bags of bones and gristle. Can’t we all just get along?
Anyway, since what we all need on this side of the Atlantic is a little escapism, and maybe a superhero or two, this week’s column features merch picks inspired by both. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but mostly you’ll wish you had remortgaged your home enough times to afford everything.
1. Batman Lego
There are certain things that, had I an inexhaustible amount of money, I would buy several times over for the pleasure of acquiring it each time afresh. I would then cast them aside, never to be looked at again as I frolicked in a pile of my stinking wealth. Not really, I could never throw away any merch (broken does not mean disposable).
One such merchandise area that invariably pricks that level of desire is the Lego tie-in market – not necessarily the video games (though I do love them heartily), but rather the glorious little blocks themselves. And the pinnacle of that entire market is the relatively small series of Batman Lego releases that came out between 2006 and 2008, which were based on the comic, TV and film versions of the infamous cowled crusader. Boxed and mint, you’re looking at a hefty price-tag on all of them, if you can actually find them, but if you can and you have that sort of money (between $500 and $1000 in some cases), grab on tight. It’ll all be worth twice as much within a year, and regardless of value, it’s probably the greatest line of Lego ever released.
2. DC Comics: The Number Ones: Comic Cover Portfolio Set: The Full Collection
At some point, we’re all going to have to accept that DC is a legitimate film studio and not just a comic book company playing with the big boys while it all lasts, and I’m going to start that entire change of attitude right here by drawing everyone’s attention to these beautiful posters. What with every comic property resetting to number #1 (that’s 52 of them if we’re counting), there is a huge opportunity to pick up something commemorative at a reasonable price, in the full knowledge that it will be both incredible immediately, and likely to increase exponentially in value – like those comics themselves.
These posters are the perfect answer, carrying the Holy Grail Limited Edition tag, and produced by some of the bona fide superstars of the industry – they’re going to be a serious high-point in recent comic book merch, and they deserve to be bought up frantically within minutes of release, so get in line. Behind me.
Not available until October 5th, but you can watch out for further developments here.
3. Tauntaun Sleeping Bag
What with the Star Wars blu-ray collection soon to arrive, every discerning merch hunter across the globe should be seeking out original, boxed action figures, or even, God-willing, some memorabilia from any of the six films. But not me. Strangely, my love of Star Wars merch at the minute has swerved in all together more off-kilter territory, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to revisit this frankly awesome Tauntaun sleeping bag from ThinkGeek Labs.
Originally conceived as one of the site’s traditional April Fool’s Day faux-products, this $99.99 wonder came onto the market after huge public outcry to make the joke real, and it stands firmly astride the space between adorable and genuine geek credentials. And don’t be fooled, it’s not for kids: the inside is printed with intestines after all, and there is something gleefully unifying about the joy of recreating one of the most iconic scenes of the entire Star Wars franchise. And in your jammies no less!
My favorite touch? The plush lightsaber zipper pull. Brilliant, and the workmanship is very impressive.
Buy one here.
T-Shirt of the Week
Futurama‘s back – and wouldn’t you know it, it doesn’t actually suck – so what better a way to celebrate than by strutting around with Bender’s Face on your chest? I see no reason not to – and if you disagree perhaps you can bite my shiny metal ass.
Buy one here.
Satisfy your needs without looting and read more Merch Hunter