Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Accoutrements / Archie McPhee Action Figures

Accoutrements ("outfitters of popular culture") is a toy and novelty catalog business begun in the 1970s by Mark Pahlow. In 1983, a store was opened in Seattle, Washington, called Archie McPhee. What makes them a fun addition to this blog is their line of action figures, which include such luminaries as Oscar Wilde and the Barista (with interchangeable heads!).

So far, the only one of their figures I have is the Deluxe Librarian (modeled after Nancy Pearl, a for-real librarian, bibliophile and author), but I have no intention of letting her be the only one for long! In addition to the Librarian (2005), the full* list includes:

Marie Antoinette (with Ejector Head Action!)
Jane Austen (2005)
Barista (2002)
Anne Bonny
Crazy Cat Lady
Librarian (regular carded version, different outfit) 
Librarian, Deluxe (boxed, 2005) Reviewed!
Lunch Lady
Annie Oakley (2004)
Rosie the Riveter

Albino Bowler
Alexander the Great
Johann Sebastian Bach
Ludwig von Beethoven
Bigfoot (2004)
Blackbeard (2004)
Charles Dickens
Albert Einstein
Benjamin Franklin
Sigmund Freud
Fuzz (Hipster, with 3 interchangeable heads!)
Seth Godin
Sherlock Holmes
Harry Houdini
Pope Innocent III
Jesus (regular carded version) (2001)
Jesus, Deluxe (boxed)
Carl Jung
Li'l Tubby
Male Nurse
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
J. P. Patches
Edgar Allan Poe
William Shakespeare
Super Fan
Vincent Van Gogh
Leonardo da Vinci
Richard Wagner
Oscar Wilde
Zombie (remote control!)

Alas, once again I have to point out that even with the historical/novelty action figures, the ladies are under-represented. Where is a Marie Curie to go with Albert Einstein, a Mary Shelly to go with Poe, a Mother Theresa to go with Pope Innocent III, Frida Kahlo to go with Van Gogh, Miss Marple with Holmes? While I love Crazy Cat Lady for its fun pop cultural reference, I wish that Accoutrements had a more extensive showing of historical figures for women. I'm excited about Rosie the Riveter, and can't wait to get my hands on one (Rosie being a particularly evocative symbol for me), but I'd also love to see Queen Elizabeth I, Joan of Arc and Jane Goodall!

* I am including a list of all their figures (male and female) because I think the line is exceptionally cool. I love that Harry Houdini and Benjamin Franklin have action figures, and even though this blog focuses on female heroes, that doesn't mean excluding male heroes is useful. Huge kudos to Accoutrements for immortalizing intellectuals and historical figures! Now, how 'bout a Richard Feynman for my husband? That would make an awesome present!


Brillist said...

Was not sure how else to contact you, so am posting here! Wanted to alert you to a new action figure you might enjoy: a 10-armed warrior goddess action figure, based on Hindu mythology. She rides a lion, fights demons, shatters stereotypes, and saves the world. More on the project: - hope you enjoy!

Wendy Whipple said...

That's really very cool indeed - thank you for bringing it to my attention!