Simpson creator Matt Groening went to Egypt to check out the pyramid and he foolishly ignored all the hieroglyphic warnings and trespassed into the forbidden zone when all of a sudden The Mummy appeared and cast a big curse on him. As karmic retribution for all his brazen merchandising and capitalist crimes, Mr. Groening was turned into a piece of merchandise himself, how ironic. Now he is no longer human, he is just a doll and can’t do human things anymore, rip.
OK but seriously now, for just fifty American dollars you can buy a toy version of the guy whose signature appears on all your other Simpsons toys. Here’s what the solicitation says:
Created by legendary “Life is Hell” cartoonist Matt Groening, THE SIMPSONS is celebrating its 500th episode in February 2012, and Kidrobot is honoring the father of primetime animation in the only way we know how – making him into a 6-inch vinyl toy! Complete with goatee and glasses, director’s jacket, and pad and pencil accessories, it is the first EVER Simpsons Matt Groening toy.
Essentially, if you cut out the middlemen, you can pay a guy money and he will give you a doll version of himself. This is so weird and messed up that I needed to lie down to fully contemplate the many levels of Meta this object encapsulates.
This toy thing is the latest example of Matt Groening injecting himself into Simpsons media. Over the past eight years, he’s made a couple guest appearances as himself, his face is on the spine of the Season 12 DVD, and there’s a whole level in a video game where you have to take him down. Becoming an action figure was the next logical step in his newfound quest to be part of his own creation, like the TV producer equivalent of a birth reenactment.
Not to toot my own horn, but I believe I was present when this quest formed in his head. I was at the Simpsons panel at Comic-Con in 2003, where I witnessed some guy from the Simpsons Collector Sector present Groening with a homemade toy version of himself, I guess as some sort of Simpsons dork offering to The One True Creator (PBUH). Little did I know that as soon as he received it, Groening secretly began plotting a way to bring it to market and make money off it. First, he would have to slowly introduce his Simpsonized likeness to the masses, hence the in-show appearances. Then he’d have to forge a partnership with a luxury toymaker (Kidrobot has been making Simpsons toys for a couple years now). Then, bam – a Matt Groening doll. It took him nearly nine years, but he did it. Now that’s dedication.
Maybe this is a sign of things to come. Once the merchandise-makers exhaust all the other characters (I’m still waiting for a Just Stamp The Ticket Guy figurine), the only natural course of action will be to start producing a line of all the other Simpsons writer-producers. Imagine the possibilities! Maybe the George Meyer doll could come with a little copy of Army Man, and the James L. Brooks doll could come with a Spanglish poster! You could re-enact the Simon/Groening feud with your officially licensed Sam Simon and Matt Groening dolls! You could finally get your revenge on Mike Scully by putting his toy surrogate in the microwave! You could have John Swartzwelder go on a playdate with the Ron Paul action figure! Heck, once you collect ’em all, you can gather up the whole gang and hold imaginary writer meetings in your Dream Gracie Films Bungalow! Someone please schedule me a pitch meeting with the toy company ASAP!!!!!