So I picked this up at Target. This is one of a line of figures released around the time of The Peanuts Movie, although it’s not a movie license; now, it was 75% off its original price, bringing it down under $3. The Pop! line, for those who don’t know it, is a huge line of collectible figures that translates pop culture characters into having a uniform big-rectangular-head, round-eyed look.
I bought it mostly to reflect on it. Peanuts is cute, Pop is normally cute (we have a Batgirl around the house, and have looked happily at various other ones on sale at the local comic shop). But the Peanuts effect is delicate. One can reinterpret it, bring some other visual influences to it, and have it work, but when one tries to bring it into a pre-existing texture, with no room for the subtlety of what made Schulz’s efforts work, the effect is easily lost. For me at least, this is one of the cases where it didn’t work.
If you have a better reaction to it than I do, you can get most of them at a deep discount from Gamestop. Target still has their exclusive set of mini-versions of four of the figures online.
One note for Pop! collectors: If you look at the sites linked above, you’ll see images of the figures in packaging marked Pop! Animation (for those who aren’t in the know, Pop! has a number of sub-lines: Pop!: Movies is for characters from movies like Freddy Kreuger, for example, while Pop! Football is figures of real football players. No, I’m not making that up.) As you see in my picture, the released box does not say “Animation”, although the numbering is part of the Animation line (Linus is #50.) If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say they licensed Peanuts intending to make it part of their Animation line, but realized partway through the process (and after the pictures were produced) that they’d gotten the license to the strip Peanuts rather than to Peanuts animation, technically a separate license.