This Is Us

I Think I Have More Toys Than My Kids

Paul Fuhr
Human Parts
7 min readMar 25, 2019


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…