The PopCult Toybox

It’s hard to believe, but SpongeBob Squarepants has been around for twenty years. That’s two decades, with over 250 half-hour shows (and counting) plus two movies (with a third on the way) and 86 issues of a comic book. Even with the passing of the show’s creator, Steven Hillenburg, last year, the SpongeBob juggernaut continues.

Millions of fans tune in to enjoy the exploits of our fry cook hero, SpongeBob Squrepants, and the folks who live under the sea in the town of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob Squarepants is a classic animated cartoon, created by cartoonists instead of “writers,” just like the beloved Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons of the Golden age of animation.

Nickleodeon is celebrating the beloved sponge and his Bikini Bottom pals with a series of special programming events all summer long. We’ll tell you more about those as their airdates approach. Nickelodeon has also teamed up with Alpha Products to produce some terrific collectibles and toys, and we’re going to look at a few of those today, and a few more in the coming weeks.

First, we have the SpongeBob Squarepants Mini-plush. These are cute soft six-inch plush figues of SpongeBob and his friends. They’re available at Target for under eight bucks (and at Hot Topic for a bit more) and they’re great little souvenirs of the show. These are on-model representations, so they look as close as possible to the characters as shown on the cartoon. Just look at ’em.

The small size makes them appropriate as office decorations, and they’re soft enough for kids to find them quite cuddly. You can find a couple of different versions of SpongeBob himself, plus his pals Sandy, Patrick, Squidward, and even the evil Plankton. These are cool, fun items, and they won’t break your budget.

Next up is the incredibly fun and ridiculous SpongeHeads. These are inflatable headgear shaped like your favorite SpongeBob Squarepants characters. When inflated they measure over 20 inches, and then you put them on your head., like in the photo below.

You can become the human host for SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward or Plankton, and reenact your favorite scenes from the show. My suggestion is that you get these to wear to work, but when people ask you about them, act like you have no idea what they’re talking about.

Made to fit most kid and adult heads, SpongeHeads can be found at Target and Amazon now, and should cost just under thirteen bucks. It’s a small price to be for the absolute finest in inflatable cartoon haberdashery.

Our last entry today is a pretty spectacular series of collectibles. Masterpiece Memes are eight-inch tall collectible vinyl figures that depict some of the images from SpongeBob Squarepants that have gained notoriety and infamy on the internet.

Figures include Mocking SpongeBob (left), Imaginaaation SpongeBob, Surprised Patrick, Spongegar (below) and Handsome Squidward. The detail is amazing on these, with first-rate sculpting and paint detail that you don’t usually see in the mass market.

These are terrific as office decor, home accents or just really cool vinyl toys to put on a shelf and admire. What makes these stand out among things like Funko Pops is that they are ON MODEL. That means they look exactly like the SpongeBob cartoon. Funko Pops are cute, but they don’t really look great when they try to adapt animated cartoons into their house style of super-cuteness with no pupils. Those are making cartoons of cartoons, and they lose a lot of the charm of the original cartoons.

Masterpiece Memes don’t fall into that trap. These figures not only look exactly like the cartoons, they’re also more than twice as tall as most Funko Pops. They’re much better for die-hard fans of the show. You can find them for just under twenty bucks at Target and Amazon.

That’s not all of the SpongeBob goodies coming your way this year. In a couple of weeks PopCult will undertake our first unboxing video as we crack open some SpongeBob Slimeez Figures. These are cool three-inch blindbox figures that come in a plastic crate filled with Nickelodeon Slime. You’ll get one of six figures (including a rare golden SpongeBob as seen at right), and you can load each one with slime that will ooze through them, popping out in all sorts of fun orifices. There are six different figures available now at Target stores, and seven more will be due out in the Fall.

For under seven bucks you’ll get a collectible figure, 2 ounces of Nickelodeon Slime and a collectible cube. It’s the ultimate blind package experience for fans of SpongeBob, and you’ll get to see Mrs. PopCulteer, Mel Larch (who also happens to be our resident SpongeBob expert) open some of these sometime in the next week or two.

As Plankton might say, 2019 will be the year of TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION for SpongeBob Squarepants and his crew.