September 04, 2006


Ubergeeks like myself understand that sometimes it's not enough to merely collect stuff. Sometimes you must spend otherwise-useful time wishing that "they" would have made different, better stuff for you to collect. Because the "they" who are behind all existing toys somehow neglected to make the best possible ones. Therefore creative collectors are forced to usher these untapped ideas into reality. Now then, there are already fantasy PEZ dispensers, custom Mego Action Figures and "What if" Aurora models to name a few, but I would like to hatch an all new sub-genre of imaginary playthings.. Would-be Weebles.

Why Weebles? Well, for reasons unknown my parents seemed to prefer them over the Fischer-Price little people, therefore playtime for me usually meant Weeble-time. But my fondness for the egg-shaped beings goes far deeper than that. I'm only slightly ashamed to reveal that the Weeble's Treasure Island set was my final reward for successful completion of toilet training. ahem. So yeah.. when your brain associates a particular toy with the sense of victory that can only come with the achievement of personal continence, well.. you can understand why I dig Weebles.

As much as I loved the ones I had, I've never been satisfied with the existing selection of Weebles. Throughout childhood I dictated a number of letters to Romper Room regarding my thoughts on new and better Weeble products. My mom recorded these ideas and actually mailed them in. My list included: the cast of Peter Pan, Casper, Sesame Street (which were eventually made), Popeye, Mickey Mouse (which were also produced later on) Scooby-Doo, Land of the Lost, Mighty Mouse, Groovie Goolies, and Star Wars.

Anyway, it recently dawned on me that with the magik of PhotoShop at my disposal, I can finally see what some of my dream Weebles might look like. Only now my wish list has changed dramatically. So I present you with the first in an ongoing series of Would-be Weebles.. Hugo, the Man of a Thousand Faces...

It's Hugo with his familiar blue lace up shirt, trademark bald head, pronounced cheek bones and icy stare.

Turn him around to reveal Hugo incognito- bearing a tourniquet, scary eye, scar and goatee.

For those unfamiliar, Hugo is a disguisable puppet that was produced by Kenner in 1975. He came with an assortment of hair, scars, glasses and facial prosthetics that you could apply with a glue stick. You may have seen my somewhat primitive "Virtual Hugo" on the Secret Fun Spot...

Hugo is just about my favorite piece of plastic ever, and a natural choice as my first fictitious Weeble rendering.
So now you've had your first look into the way things could have been.. and nothing will ever be the same. Only time will reveal additional members of this fantastic new army of imaginary Weebles.


Todd Franklin said...

That’s brilliant! Two classic toys become one! I never had Weebles when I was a kid since I got FP toys instead. Wasn’t there a cool Weebles Haunted House set? I love that you used the Hugo toy as your first Weeble. Well done! Hugo was such a quirky, but cool toy. I’m not sure if you you’ve seen this or not, but here’ s a link to a Ookla the Mok music video about Hugo vs. Mr. Potato Head.

nemo434 said...

That's brilliant! I envy you your PhotoShop prowess.

The Weeble Haunted House was just about my favorite toy when I was little (16 is 'little' right?) All that remains of it today is a battered Weeble Witch who actually sits here beside my computer.

I've always wanted a Godzilla Weeble, if you're taking requests. : )

Das Brick said...

Right there with you, my brother. Weebles got left out to dry, and the Weebles Haunted House was about the only truly awesome toy my folks bought for us, so I have all kinds of love for the Weeble nation. I know of the secret room behind the stairs.

My vote: weebles Doop ( from X-Statix, who has the correct physiognomy for Weeblification.

Herva said...

VIVA WEEBLES! Love it, the Hugo weeble is the perfect match of uber-unique (Hugo) and total mass pop-culture nostalgia (Weeble.) You need a hearty handclasp.... or a racking.

Kirk D. said...

I'm glad to see there's so much Weeble Haunted House love out there. That was one of the first things I ever bought from ebay (in 1998) and I see that it deserves it's own post.

Todd-You've blown my mind with that video! unbelievable. I can't imagine how you found it. (I can't say that I agree with the outcome though.)

thanks nemo, I will indeed file your request.
Godzilla would be a good one.

Yours too Das, before I looked at the image I thought you were talking about the lead singer of that band Static X. "What a bizarre request" I thought.
Doop does make for an easy translation. (And you wouldn't have to change much to make it into a Slimer.)
Yes, the secret room behind the stairs. ha ha!

herv- glad the concept is H.A. (herva approved) However you can keep your special "trophy."

chuckbaris said...

Kirk D and Hugo.
I can honestly say that there isn't a single one of my wives/girlfriends who hasn't cursed you for introducing me to Hugo. He is also, by far, my favorite piece of plastic and his "icy stare" has made for many a creepy moment for various significant others when stragicially placed in random places throughout the house.
Hugo remains one of the strangest and creepiest loves of my life and I often find it hard to explain to other people who literally can't stand to even look at him. But I can look at him for hours. And many times I have. It some how feels wonderful to know that only a select few 'special' people can know true bliss while viewing something so obviously bizarre. Just the other night I held a private viewing of what I call the shark sandwich music video "hugo vs chester campbell" for my wife and one of her friends. They were truelly frightened by my un-explained laughter of hugo and chesters Mr. T taunting. They adorned the video with a simple two word review S!@# Sandwich.

Your photo shop weeble looks great, very realistic detail on the plastic outer casing of the weeble. His icy stare is even more convincing staring out through his plastic encased prison.

Might I suggest a Master Woo weeble.

Todd Franklin said...

Hey Kirk I think you need to establish an official Hugo Holiday! I can see it now people would be walking around saying Happy Hugo and we could wear Hugo like disguises!

Kirk D. said...

Chuck-I am happy to have introduced Hugo into your life which is to say I have introduced intrigue, mystery, suspense, drama, and uneasyness. "The Hugo is an absolute good. The Hugo is life."

Hmmm. Master Woo. I've brought him to life in the form of an action figure, but a nare a weeble. not yet anyway.

Now, go back to looking at Hugo.

Todd- Great idea. I've actually been planning on being Hugo the next time some big Halloween party takes place.
Would be fun to let party guests disguise me.

I can't confirm this, but another Hugo enthusiast once told me that Pixar had considered putting Hugo in the movie Toy Story. That would have killed his cult status, but imagine driving through Burger King and getting a miniature Hugo with your meal.

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

I loved Hugo when I was a kid. He might still be hanging around in my parents attic. I gotta get over there and look. Sadly, I never had any Weebles as a youth.


Kirk D. said...

Erick- Hugo is worth digging out for sure. Cool blog by the way!

TulsaTV said...

Kirk, you should see the best movie ever to use a Weeble to make a critical plot point: "Primer". This is a science fiction movie comparable to "2001" in awe factor, yet made for about $7K!

Kirk D. said...

tulsatv- hey Mike. I have seen Primer and I really enjoyed it. (I also enjoyed going online afterward in an attempt to understand exactly what happened.) I had forgotten that they used a Weeble. Further proof that they were great filmmakers!