Love me. Hug me. Destroy your other toys.
How’s everybody today? November is rolling right along and you know what that means besides Thanksgiving on 28 Nov, right?
Last year’s event was really rad with Springfields across the globe being covered by snow. Among the buildings, decorations and characters available for Santa Coins, Donuts and game currency were 3 items you’ve probably seen while visiting a neighborino or two. That’s right, the Funzos!
During Christmas, these three walking decorations/toys were available for Santa Coins for two (Purple 750 SCs, Pink 1000 SCs) and one (Blue) for 50 donuts. After the snow melted, these guys stuck around but converted to all premium. Blue kept its original price, Purple transferred to 60 Donuts and Pink went to 70 Donuts.
A lot of TSTO bloggers, myself included, have whined about the purchase of these little guys so I’ll spare you from that. Once upon a time, I loved them and I think in that spirit, I wanted to let you know why. It was mainly because of the main episode they come from which is yet another super dope one.
Season 11, Episode 9: Grift of the Magi
So who do we blame for the Funzos? Bart for breaking his butt? Fat Tony for swindling Springfield Elementary with handicap ramps made of breadsticks? Kid First Industries? Lisa for naming the things? Gary Coleman? EA? Does it matter?
“Let’s just agree that the commercialization of Christmas is at best a mixed blessing.” ~ Lisa
Springfield Elementary ends up closing down due to a lack of money. Before all the kids can celebrate too much though, the school is saved by Kid First Industries. At first, school seems great with no homework or math and share and tell including bringing your favorite toy to school but Lisa discovers that the whole set-up is just a ploy to do market research for a toy company.
Unknowingly, Lisa ends up naming the new toy by giving these options including the word “fun”: Fungus, Funzo, Atilla the Fun. When Lisa discovers the secret room the Kid First folks are using for all this, she happens upon a scary robot (now this Funzo I would love year round in my town!)
Although she doesn’t get the chance to prove her findings to the adults, she realizes the entire experiment was for a new Christmas toy when she see a commercial for Funzos. It includes a lot of the suggestions from the Springfield Elementary children AND the name SHE came up with.
Lisa drags Bart to the secret HQ of Kid First Industries (in full view with a blinking sign no less) where they not only witness mass production of the toy and learn that Funzo is supposed to compete with Furby and Tick-Me Elmo, but also discover Gary Coleman is the security guard for the company and may be a bit mad (like the Alice in Wonderland kind, not the other kinds).
The executives give Bart and Lisa a free Funzo for being screwed over which they take home only to learn that not only does Funzo have a ton of accessories, say cute things and dance like a darling little monkey but is also programmed to destroy other toys.
Bart and Lisa try to keep the citizens of Springfield from buying the toy but fail. Instead they team up with Homer to steal all the town’s Funzos. The kids sing Christmas Carols while Homer (dressed as Santa) steals the toys.
They take the toys to the Springfield Tire Fire where they burn all of them. For any one with buyer’s remorse from these little guys… this scene is very cathartic.
“Writhing funzos… in my sack… makes me happy… makes me hurt my back.”
Gary Coleman returns to stop them but instead they all have a night long conversation about Christmas and Gary saves them all by defeating one last Funzo that escaped the burning.
The episode ends with the family eating dinner with Gary Coleman, Burns, Smithers and Moe in a little spoof of A Christmas Carol.
“What you talking bout everyone.”
Bart and Lisa may have attempted to get rid of all the Funzos but obviously failed because the little guys keep popping up in future episodes. In Season 13, Episode 10: Half-Decent Proposal, Homer uses a purple Funzo and a dinosaur to reenact a kiss he witnessed between Artie Ziff and Marge. The one they had previously was pink so where’d this guy come from?
In Season 19, Episode 5 aka Treehouse of Horror XVIII (E.T. Go Home), Funzo makes an appearance on Bart’s toy shelf. Bart shows off his stuff to Kodos the Destroyer… (if you want to know more about this episode segment, Bunny wrote a great article about it). This time it’s a blue Funzo.
“So… this is my Krusty Doll, Funzo, Linguo, Iraq War Sergeant Activity with Insufficient Armor, Phonic Frog, Cat Skull, Jim Holterman Bobble Head…”
Funzos keep popping up over and over. In Season 21, Episode 13: The Color Yellow, Lisa rummages through the attic of the house and amongst all the other little easter egg nods to other episodes, we see a blue Funzo. Pink, Purple and Blue Funzos all accounted for in regular canon episodes? Check. I probably should stop here but you know how I get when I’m going good.
The Simpson’s Attic was also quickly shown (like less than a second) in Season 24, Episode 18: Pulpit Friction. At the beginning of this episode, the family goes skydiving and crashes through their house ultimately destroying their iconic couch. I freeze framed this episode and found that Mr. Blue was still chilling up in the attic.
Last mention I’ll give is from Season 24, Episode 6: A Tree Grows in Springfield. The end of this episode has a very random,scene with a Happy Little Elf trying to woo Malibu Stacy away from the Brawny Man. They live in a town made of advertisements from an uber collection of Simpsons references. Enter the blue Funzo as a King Kong-esque character. The Elf defeats Funzo by removing its batteries and lives Happily Ever After with Stacy. Brawny gets his girl in the form of a trucker’s mudflap.
Well, that’s quite a few appearances by the little toys people love to hate. Based on all the appearances, I’d guess the blue one is the writers’ favorite. Maybe also why he is the least expensive? It is ultimately up to every tapper whether you want them but I seriously hope they at least become available for Santa Coins (or whatever they call the Christmas currency) this holiday season instead of donuts. Maybe they’ll even offer different colors?
Tapperino: Why can’t we pick our own colors?
EA: No way, no way. Tried it once, doesn’t work. You got four guys all fighting over who’s gonna be Mr. Black Funzo, but they don’t know each other, so nobody wants to back down. No way. I pick. You’re Mr. Pink Funzo. Be thankful you’re not Mr. Yellow Funzo.
Y’all stay classy… Wookiee out!