Video Game Merch Makes Me Sick
Wednesday November 1, 2023
So much of it is pure garbage. I will admit that I have more video game merch than the average video game enjoyer. I still like to think I have standards (debatable) and that I don’t just mindlessly purchase surface level “geek”, dollar store quality trash that is destined to end up in a landfill. Go into any Gamestop, Box Lunch, or Hot Topic and there is an endless supply of cheap toys for adults. It is definitely for adults and not kids, because what kid wants a stupid little replica of a Lilo and Stitch VHS tape box with a Funko Pop pin inside? Gamestop is 95% nostalgia bait, 5% Fortnite V-Bucks gift cards.
The Gamestop employees might think I’m an asshole when I’m cracking up laughing over the Pokemon slow cooker. Or the Limited Edition Christmas themed Five Nights at Freddy’s Golden Bonnie giant Funko Pop (part of a set). Of course Gamestop has anything that is even slightly “nerd” adjacent, so they also have a Star Wars baby Yoda waffle maker. Who in the fucking world is buying this stuff? Floor to ceiling the shelves are stocked with plastic wrapped in plastic. Oh yeah, Gamestop sells games too. I forgot.
Where did this massive wave of nerd consumerism come from? If I really knew I’d love to talk about it here; however I am dumb as shit. I can make assumptions, but if there was actually research done on the rise of these manchildren, link it to me in the comments. I’d assume that a lot of people are trying to fill a void and desperately wish they were kids again. Why those people feel that way is probably caused by many different things, so I won’t make a blanket statement like “they spent too much time on Reddit” even though it’s fun to say that as a joke. Buying stuff can be used as a coping mechanism, and this stuff being so readily available and so cheap makes it easier than ever to get your next hit of dopamine at your frontdoor with 2 day delivery.
I’m guilty of buying a good amount of merch as well, but recently I’ve been trying to ask myself if I will actually appreciate the thing I’m interested in buying. It’s not about a product being “worth the money” because I feel like I have so much god damn money that it doesn’t even matter half the time. If I buy something and it just collects dust on a shelf, and every time I look at it I feel nothing, it was a stupid purchase and I need to learn from that mistake.
Stuff I don’t regret
- A Cammy tapestry from Japan. I have never seen another one for sale. You can see it in this post. It has since been ironed and looks way better. The Cammy drawing was done by Kinu Nishimura, my favorite Capcom artist.
- Kirby socks. Obviously not the highest quality socks, but I wear the shit out of them. I like asking my girlfriend to guess which Kirby socks I’m wearing before I leave for work in the morning.
- A few Street Fighter shirts. I have the first 4 shown.
- Morrigan and Lilith drinking glasses. Not official products, just a really nice pair of glasses with Morrigan and Lilith etched into them.
- A Princess Peach Vans backpack. This has been my trusty Wii transportation vessel for 8 years.
Stuff I regret
- Way too much Kirby shit. There is just so much god damn Kirby merch out there. So much of it made me think “she would love that” and then I impulse bought it for my girlfriend. The regret is hitting me because now we live together and it feels like there’s Kirby stuff everywhere.
- Way too much Peach shit. I like Princess Peach more than most adult males. My friends have been dunking on me for it since highschool. I’ve majorly chilled out, but the total amount of stickers, keychains, plushes, amiibos, and whatever else over the years is just entirely too much. The exception is the backpack. Everything else can go.
- Kirby glasses. What I thought was an incredible purchase ended up being a flop because of how THIN AND SHITTY they are. I’ve broken 4 so far and I fully expect to one day have none left.
I guess I sound like a huge hypocrite. I’m basically saying: “The stuff I like is cool and interesting. The stuff you like is lame and gay.” I think it’s time to sell some stuff on eBay or Mercari. My new rule should be if it won’t bring me as much joy as the Peach backpack, don’t buy it. You can kind of view this post as a continuation of my post about cutting out shitty habits. That plan has been going pretty well, by the way.