Around this time last year I received a one-of-a-kind birthday present...from myself. I commissioned a custom Charles Fazzino piece of pop art to symbolize my love and childhood of television. It was a great experience not only because I got to collaborate with a world renowned artist of whom I have been in awe and admiration for years but also because I finally got something that I wanted for a long, long time. And if it wasn't out there already, I was determined to put it out there, even if just for me.
Well, it's a year later, and I figure I can't really top that gift for this year's (slightly less milestone-y) birthday anyway. But I still wanted to get myself something cool; something I was told was coming three years ago but then for whatever reason never did. So I began scouring the internet for Supernatural action figures.
It's okay; you can call me a dork; I won't be offended. But considering the fact that after the LOST finale I went on eBay for a mini Hurley and Sawyer, and I barely even watched that show, I figured I needed to represent and get a smaller scale Dean Winchester to go with my model Impala. That thing gets lonely just sitting on my desk, not allowed to roam the open road...
Anywhoo, perhaps surprisingly, I found a couple of prospects. No action figure company (like McFarlane, who made the LOST ones for the first two seasons of that supernatural show) had made any mass market ones, but there were "recipes" online for how to make one of your own if you're crafty. I'm not. I learned as much when I worked on a craft show for the DIY network and had trouble with glue guns and sewing machines alike. Scrapbooking might be my limit, and even that is something I don't have patience for all of the time.
Another girl in the UK said she made customs, but she wanted approximately $150 U.S. per figure. I only wanted two: Dean and Castiel, but I figured I'd keep looking before I committed my Examiner salary to something site unseen.
So I tried eBay. Oh eBay. You and I have had such a tumultuous relationship. I relied on you a lot in high school, making money by selling celebrity photographs from soap opera events I attended. I did pretty well at it, too, but spent most of my earnings on other memorabilia I found in your "store." But then I went off to college and something changed. You opened the site up to Paypal before you were really ready for such a big step, and my account got hacked. You shut it down and didn't make me pay for the things the hacker attempted to buy, but you wouldn't let me open a new account with the same email address or credit card, and I have had the same information since college. So now I borrow a friend's account from time to time-- not often because it's really easy for me to get caught up in the competition aspect of eBay and bid high on things I don't need just for the thrill of winning. And of getting packages in the mail. Call me old-fashioned, but I still really like snail mail. And I miss the "care packages" of college.
This weekend I was on eBay a lot. First to ensure I won the National Doodle Day doodle I had my eye on (it's the story of my life!!), and then to look for those LOST figurines. So naturally I turned there again to see about Supernatural ones. And that's where I found someone who has been making action figures from the Joss Whedon universe for years. Looking at some of them in a fan forum, the detail was impeccable, and the faces looked much more like the actual actors than my Saved by the Bell Barbie dolls ever did! And the deal was six action figures-- one a month that I design for six months-- for just about $200! So I "Bought It Now."
Do I need six? No, but at that price, the wheels were set in motion for which ones I could get. The cool thing is, every month we will email back and forth with my selection-- not just the character, but the specific episode and even scene I want them to be outfitted in in order to get the maximum uniqueness and the maximum detail. I already know most of the ones I want, but I will keep them a surprise in case I manage to change my mind. And because at least one of them will be used in a very special capacity on this site...
But I can tell you that if you assumed I would lead with Dean Winchester, you'd be wrong! The first figure I ordered? Castiel! And I wanted him to look how he did when the Winchester boys themselves-- and we as an audience in turn-- first met him in "Lazarus Rising," loosened tie, iconic trenchcoat and all!
With each passing holiday-- from my birthday last year and that custom Fazzino to Christmas last year and my custom "day" bracelet-- I have managed to find amazing items that can be mine and mine alone, and miraculously, I am finding ways to spend a little less on them as time passes. Which, in itself, is something unique and miraculous!
This is surely one unique way to get through hell-atus, huh?? How are you spending it? Sound off in the comments!