Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Sucker Punch

In the Appall-O-Meter section of the September 15 issue of In These Times, Dave Mulcahey makes fun of the stupid GWB action figure (no, not this one) as have so many other clever folks, but then decides to push his luck and writes,
I shudder to think what today's 12-inch action figure enthusiasts might do with this thing in their homes. They're a rather strange bunch. The Associated Press reports that a 1963 G.I.Joe sold for $200,000, and the sucker who bought it thinks he got a deal. "I remember playing with G.I. Joe when I was a kid, and who'd have thought some 40 years later I would be buying the actual prototype for this action figure," said the sucker in question, a comic book distributor. "It's just a great coup for me."
You know, I'm not sure Mulcahey is any sort of real reporter (apparently he used to write for The Baffler so he must fancy himself some sort of literary guy), but you'd think the guy would do a little teeny bit of research before he stuck out his metaphorical tongue. Steve Geppi isn't just "a comic book distributor," he's the comic book distributor, a very shrewd and wealthy businessman who's described variously in glowing terms and ruthless ones, and he could probably buy and sell the likes of Mulcahey ten times over. Geppi is many things to many people, but a "sucker" ain't one of them. And by the way yeah, an item that sells for $200,000 after the minimum bid was cut from $600,000 to $250,000 at auction can be considered a relative bargain. Of course, if Mulcahey actually followed and understood these types of markets, whatever would he find at which to sneer dismissively?

It doesn't take much to make fun of dolls. Here, I'll show you. I got my Carol Wright catalog yesterday, and side by side on page 18 were the Musical Soldier and the Mr. Wonderful dolls. The online ads don't do them justice compared to the print ads, particularly for the latter, "the perfect man who says the words you long to hear!", phrases that women would never hear coming out of Real Men's mouths, like-- "I love you."! Creepy. I'd sooner have an action figure of Battle Nun Guinevere, thanks all the same.