A Puzzling and Troubling Absence

This week, Funko announced POP! figures based on beloved 1990s sitcom Frasier.

A Funko POP! figure, for those three people whom I envy for having successfully avoided them for the past decade, is a vinyl figure of a pop-culture icon (celebrity, comic books, film, musician, etc.) that stands about 3 3/4″ tall, has a weirdly oversized head and vacant eyes, and is not articulated. It doesn’t do anything. It just sits there and stares at you. Some people take them out of the box, but most people I know leave them untouched in the box.

I have about four or five. I know people who have four or five hundred. I’ve been writing about them at work for over a decade. I would have thought the bubble on POP! figures would have — pardon the pun — popped six or seven years ago, but no, they’ve kept on going. I probably haven’t enjoying writing about them since 2015.

Anyway, Frasier. Beloved 90s sitcom, a long-time favorite of mine. A local television station used to run two hours of Frasier reruns five nights a week, and I loved that. (The station was sold and shut down a few years ago.) And, its cast of characters is joining the Funko POP! figure line…

Well, part of the cast. The Crane boys — Frasier, Martin, and Niles — but not Roz and Daphne. Even Eddie gets Funko-ized. But Daphne Moon? Roz Doyle? Nowhere to be seen.

Martin looks nice, and even in the Funko style is recognizably John Mahoney. Frasier is in his weird early seasons long-haired look. Niles doesn’t really look like David Hyde Pierce at all.

I don’t know what kind of market there is for Frasier collectibles out there, but I imagine it would be a small and dedicated market. We’re talking about a sitcom that ended almost twenty years ago, that aimed a bit higher in its humor. Its audience today is probably my age and older. Had Funko released the entire cast — Frasier, Niles, Martin, Daphne, and Roz — I think it’s a safe assumption that Frasier collectors would have bought all five. I think a boxed set of all five, with Martin in his chair, in a recreation of Frasier’s living room, may well have been the ideal way of releasing the Frasier cast as Funko POP!s. Instead, I think that collectors will always have a “hole” in the Frasier collection, because I struggle to see why Funko would release Daphne and Roz later on in a second wave. Unless they were to release a Frasier with shorter hair and Martin in his chair, I don’t see why there would be a second wave. I’m sorry, I can’t escape the idea that it’s pure misogyny on Funko’s part to exclude Roz and Daphne from a series of Frasier POP! figures.

Will I buy the three figures that are being released, though? I don’t know. As much as I love Frasier — it’s one of my favorite television series of all time — and as much as I love the cast, let’s be honest. POP! figures are a bit pointless and a waste of space. I don’t have anyplace for these, and in a year I’d wonder why I spent my money on them.

But! For those who are in the market for these, some of the cast of Frasier will be available from Funko later in the year.

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