June 15, 2006

FLAP JACK

Last decade, a fellow named Mike Becker created a company that he aptly named Funko. He started by selling vinyl figures of the Shoney's Big Boy out of his garage, and went on to peddle millions of 'bobble head' versions of some of the century's greatest pop culture icons, inspiring a resurgence in 'head nodder' collecting (and fun) across the globe.


I was thrilled when I started seeing his "Wacky Wobblers" in the novelty shops. I was shocked to see dear, forgotten characters like Rat Fink, Frankenberry, Sea Monkeys and Bazooka Joe available in the modern marketplace. And they were done right.. everything from the design, to the colors, to the packaging. I knew that whoever was behind them was "in love" with the subject matter. I followed Funko closely and looked forward to their latest offerings.

While my friends and I were filming Flip I decided that once it was complete, I would send a copy to Funko because I knew that they would appreciate it. Imagine my surprise when I saw an email in my inbox from "Chairman of Fun," Mike Becker.. before I contacted them. He had discovered the Secret Fun Spot and wanted to chat about our similar interests. Naturally, we had a lot to discuss, and a friendship rapidly developed.

So months later when Mike told me he was considering "early retirement" I was surprised at first, but on second thought I realized how attractive such a notion is to most everyone. Next thing I knew he had sold Funko. But as I had suspected it wasn't long before he realized how much he missed creating the fun. It seemed like every time we talked he had new ideas for characters and packaging. Soon the ideas turned into prototypes, and before I knew it he was heading up a new company.

I'm sharing all of this now because the time has come for the official world wide unveiling of Mike's new outlet for fun stuff.. Flap Jack Toys. You can check out their hot, buttery web site here.

To my delight, Mike's products are now spookier than ever. He turned to Rat Fink, Weird-Oh's, Groovie Goolies, and Marvin Glass for inspiration and the new stuff is frightfully fun. Flap Jack kicks off with two different lines of goodies. The Spooky Kookys are a group of skeletons with distinct personalities, and the Symptoms are scary personifications of various ailments that are packaged in giant pill bottles!

I was happy to make a small contribution to the Flap Jack legacy in the form of a pointless little animation. You can find it on their site under the "Coffee Break" section on the "Spooky Kookys" doughnut. Or it might just be easier to watch it here.

It sure is great to see retro-influenced, frightening plastic on the market. Flap Jack, I wish you all the gloomy best!

2 comments:

Flamen Dialis said...

Very cool! I urge anyone and everyone reading this to check out the Flapjack's site. More great stuff from one of the true innovators of the toy industry! Check out their "About" section - Man, that pretty much says it all!
It warms to ol' ticker to see this type of stuff being produced today, and, more importantly, Mr. Becker keeps it affordable so that nearly everyone can get a little piece of weirdo toy heaven sitting on their bookshelf.Yup.

2complx said...

I went grest site. It's so spooky Fun