I’ve seen a lot of videogame merchandise in the past ten years of games reporting. Hell, I’ve bought a lot of games merchandise in the past ten years of reporting. I have boxes of convention swag in storage, a stack of promotional t-shirts in my closet, bookshelves with statues and limited edition knick knacks gathering dust, and an entire alcove of Fallout items on display.
I can be weird about collectible items. There’s something about their obscurity and limited accessibility (and my own issues with obsession) that makes the former poor kid in me say, “Gimme!”. And it’s not just videogames, either. I spend a lot of money each year chasing down special edition flavors of my favorite snacks and sodas, both American and Japanese, racking up shipping bills as expensive as the orders themselves on things like wasabi Doritos and birthday cake Cookie Crisp. I hide most of it in my underwear drawer and it takes me months to even eat it all, then I hoard all the boxes.
But despite both of these things I am now very perplexed by Funko’s line of limited edition nerd cereals. First of all, they’re like $8, which even for a special cereal is just too much. Second, there appear to be six different boxes (Cuphead, Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, Megaman, and Gollum from The Lord of the Rings), but the flavors aren’t listed. And the bright red, green and blue colors of each fruited loop tell me if I eat these, I’m gonna get a bathroom surprise. Third, I’m not going to buy two boxes just so I can keep one on display, and still get the figurine inside, but the temptation is there, which I resent, because I’m an adult and I have enough cereal boxes on my fridge as it is. Fourth, what, no marshmallows? And fifth, the Cuphead one is a Hot Topic exclusive, which means actually having to walk into a Hot Topic. I don’t know if I can do this.
Shit’s getting ridiculous. I used to feebly think that I, as the world’s greatest Fallout fan, would be able to keep up with all the special edition stuff that comes out in support of my favorite games. There was a time when that was reasonable. Then Bethesda cranked the engine on their merchandising and I realized it’s never going to happen. That apathy has now been extended to almost everything I love, and I have stopped trying; most of the little novelty items I get now are from family members who don’t know what else to get me for Christmas (helloooo Nuka Cola trucker cap). This is what I get for allowing the capitalist concept of consumer loyalty and cheap mass manufacturing to exploit the misguided sense of identity I’ve built around the things I love.
I am overwhelmed. I am too tired. The frivolities of life no longer amuse me. Eat Freddy Funko’s Multigrain Cereal as part of a complete breakfast.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer living in Seattle, WA. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.