My desk, even in the era of at-home working, is constantly cluttered with quite an assortment of collectibles — figures, pins, plush, etc. — which I’m sure most pop culture fanatics can say. But those collectibles generally tend to serve a fairly singular purpose, making me smile when I see them, and reminding me of the shows, books, and movies that I love. But not Blown Ups! No, this new line of 6-inch figures from Jabberwocky Toys are made to be fiddled with, and I am a fan.
These figures get their name because they take inspiration from bop bags, those inflatable toys with a weighted bottom that you might remember punching, kicking, and generally beating the crap out of as a kid. While these figures are not actually inflated, but rather made of hard vinyl, they offer a slightly more grown-up version of that bopping action.
The figure’s round, weighted bottom means you can tap, push, or spin it to send it wobbling, but it will always return to its upright position (unless you push a bit too hard for a knock-out punch).
Let me tell you, this is very fun and highly addicting. As I sat with a Blown Up! next to me on my desk for a week, I often found myself playing with it whenever I had a free moment, testing how hard I could tap my Blown Up! without knocking it down, or just enjoying the almost hypnotic feeling of watching the figure spin in slower and slower circles.
In addition to its Weebles wobble-esque interactive element, the figure’s arms are also articulated! It’s not something they needed to do with these figures, but I like having this additional option to fidget with and customize.
The premise is simple, but I really commend Jabberwocky Toys for the execution, especially on the sculpt. The figures have little touches that really make them seem inflated, from a fake air valve on the back to little wrinkles in the mold that resemble the imperfect surface of an inflated toy. The printing on the two samples I got was also pretty good, especially considering the $14.99 price point.
Right now, Blown Ups! are available in a decent variety of styles — 15 in all. On the unlicensed side, there are generic Luchadores; crash test dummies; and three “Mylar” designs that are monochromatic with a shiny chrome effect.
There are also three characters inspired by Saturday AM manga series: Isao Akia from Bully Eater, Daedalus Bonn from Massively Multiplayer World of Ghosts, and Sano Tamashii from Apple Black. (If you aren’t familiar with Saturday AM, learn more about this diverse manga publisher here!) There are also “Icons of Rock” figures, which include the four current members of KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, and AC/DC’s Angus Young.
All of these styles are available to preorder now, exclusively from jabberwockytoys.com, and they are expected to ship in November. While this line is still in its earliest stages, I can’t wait to see what additional characters end up getting the Blown Ups! treatment.