The latest bit of twisted coolness from Archie McPhee is their new series of Sideshow Playsets, featuring the Bearded Lady, the Strongman, Frog Girl & Lobster Boy, and the World’s Tallest Man & World’s Smallest Man. Recreate the long-ago days when a traveling carnival meant more than riding on unsafe rides, eating dangerous food, and having the scary one-eyed guy who runs the Tilt-a-Whirl hit on your girlfriend. You can have your own carnival right on your desktop, without feeling guilty about exploiting the sorrows of real, unfortunate examples of humanity.
To be honest, these little pseudo-action figures don’t really do much. They’re minimally posable, if at all, and the sculpting is somewhat less than state-of-the-art, but still, the concept is so twisted that it overwhelms the absent craftsmanship.
Each playset comes with a small plastic stage and a small square vinyl banner featuring an old-time sideshow banner. The figures are around four inches tall, give or take a few inches for various horizontally-affected characters. You can order them from Archie McPhee, which is a must-visit website for those of us who like to indulge in off-kilter gift-giving. Be warned, that at fourteen bucks a pop, these strange little hunks of plastic are ridiculously overpriced, but doesn’t it make you sleep better at night knowing that these cool toys exist?
Well, if not that, then isn’t it handy to know where you can get a really repulsive gift to give someone who’s way too polite to act horrified when they open the package?