This Is Us

I Think I Have More Toys Than My Kids

Paul Fuhr
Human Parts

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Boxes of Funko Pop figurines on shelves.
Photo: Paul Butterfield/Getty Images

“Oh, that’s so cute,” a co-worker says, pointing over my shoulder.

“What’s that?” I absently ask, finishing up an email or a spreadsheet or something equally unimportant.

“That little blue alien guy,” she says. “Did one of your kids give you that? A gift for Daddy?”

I spin around in my chair to follow the gesture. Instant dread. Behind me, poised on a shelf is a neon-blue Tron action figure, all white-veined and ready for combat on The Grid. Battle disc and all. I’m not even that huge of a fan of the movie Tron. But there he is anyway.

“No,” I deflate. “That’s mine. I bought it.”

I can see the respect die in her eyes, though she recovers well.

“It’s cute.”

It’s actually not. But it’s not like I didn’t put the figure there. It’s also not like I didn’t originally enjoy having it on a display but, recently, I’ve come to realize that I’m a fortysomething male whose life is surrounded with playthings. Mind you, I have three small children — 11, eight, and three years old — so I’m used to the myriad Nerf bullets scattered throughout our house like spent bullet casings after an intense firefight. (I seriously find those bullets everywhere.) I’m not talking about their toys, though. Their toys occupy at least 31% of everything in our house, inside and out. I’m talking about mine.

The sharp pain of stepping, barefoot in the dark, on a LEGO block is absolutely no match for the exquisite pain of someone calling me out on the fact that I might have more toys than my children.

My desk is festooned with so many figurines and cars and trinkets that it’s no wonder some people probably wonder if an 11-year-old has become a corporate communications manager. There’s the Back to the Future DeLorean (2015 hover-conversion model), the “Wet Nellie” submarine Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me (with a conspicuous red “007” on the hood), and a Fantastic Mr. Fox whackbat pin. Home is no different. It’s crowded with Die Hard figures, vintage James Bond board games, a LEGO Aston Martin, and even a custom-made Funko Pop! Vinyl figure from the obscure TV show Halt and Catch Fire. (Yes, I even managed to cartoonize an adult series set in the…

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Paul Fuhr
Human Parts

Cannot write a grocery list under 5,000 words. Portfolio: clippings.me/paulfuhr