I've written about Kidrobot before, but today I'm giving you something a little different from the Mad Villain figure. You see, recently Kidrobot teamed up with a graphic artist by the name of Frank Kozik, known for a great many things, including the creation of the Labbit vinyl figure, to create a series of blind-boxed mini busts of former world leaders with a twist. The result is the Goon Squad; The Gipper (Ronald Reagan), The Havana Slammer (Fidel Castro), The Pyong Yang Player (Kim Jong-il), DJ Aya-Holla (Ayatollah Khomeini) and Lil' Illych (Lenin). It is at this point that I would like to note that I'm not even going to try touch on the political statements (whatever they may be, if they may be) of this series, I just find things like Castro in a double-beer helmet and Reagan with a safety pin earring amusing, cool? Cool.
In my travels last week, I came across a store that had a case of the Goon Squad blind boxes, so I grabbed a Gipper, completely intending to give it to Black Zarak's good friend, Syd Lexia next time I saw him as he's a bit of a Reaganophile and I thought he'd get a kick out of it, despite the whole "Dictator" mention on the box. Well, the best laid plans and all that... You see, The Goon Squad members come blind boxed because there are five different color ways; blue, pink, yellow, white and the coveted (by me at least) black. When I bought The Gipper, I told myself I would give him to Syd as long as he was any color other than black.
Sorry Syd. Oh well, let's make the most of it and review a punk rock Reagan, shall we?
First, let's touch on the packaging for a moment. The boxes are nice, charcoal gray with single color portraits of the squad members in the available colors with the title of the series and a "Kozik X Kidrobot" logo along the sides and the portrait and name of the particular goon in the box along with a "collect them all" style blurb mentioning the five busts and multiple colors available on the top flap. Despite being nice enough to tell you which goon you're getting, they REALLY don't want you peeking to see which color he is; the box flap is sealed with a sticker, then glued shut and the bust itself is then bagged within an opaque silver sleeve.
The actual mini bust is pretty cool. At about four inches tall, it's a very well sculpted hunk of vinyl. It looks eerily like the real Reagan with the immaculate suit and tie, but the 80's visor sunglasses, anarchy lapel pin, X-carved forehead and safety pin earring make his easy going smile seem a bit unbalanced. As I mentioned, this is essentially punk-rock/anarchist Reagan which is an interesting cross of political and cultural trends of the time.
There's not too much more to say about this guy, rather you should just look at the pictures and imagine how awesome it would have been to have seen Ronald Reagan dressed just like this in the middle of a mosh pit back in the early 80's, throwing elbows and throwing jelly beans.
The Goon Squad was just recently released, so if you know where to look, they're not hard to find. Kidrobot's web store has them available as singles or as a set and select retail outlets received stock of them as well, I found mine at Newbury Comics for ten bucks which seems to be the standard asking price. At first, this series just gave me a chuckle and I was fully ready to live my life without ever owning any of them. But after looking The Gipper over personally, I'm still chuckling but also rather impressed with the sculpting and execution. I may very well add The Pyong Yang Player and The Havana Slammer to my collection if I come across more of them in my travels.
And oh yeah, get another Gipper for Syd...