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Friday, January 06, 2006

More Than Meets the Eye

We have seen a lot of strange things on Brontëana, and a lot of fun gifts for Brontë fans. What I have come to talk about today is what might have been. This should have been an illustrated post but, what I have to describe here is so bizarre that I cannot go through with drawing it. I also have too much respect for the Brontës to- well, you'll see.

About two years ago, a friend of mine studying publishing at a university in the eastern US reportedly saw a very interesting presentation on marketting books to children. This presentation involved a showing of a full fledge proposal, including a commercial for a little something to stimulate interest in the Brontës. The target audience were young girls, and the product? Brontë sister action figures.

There was a commercial. The commercial went something like this: Girls are shown playing with the Brontë Sisters (patent pending). The set would also come with 'evil publishers.' The Sisters pay a visit to the Evil Publisher who cackles at them and says they are just women. So, the young girls put false moustaches on the action figures, and the Sisters return to Evil Publisher who now declares their works "Splendid!" Each sister then has her moustachio wiped off: "I am Emily Bronte! And I wrote Wuthering Heights!" "I am Charlotte Bronte! And I wrote Jane Eyre!" "I am Anne Bronte! And I wrote Agnes Grey!" Curses! The Evil Publisher summons his minions (who come down like ninjas on ropes...) and that's when... when... The Brontës form... a Brontësaurus. With rocket launchers.

That's all I have the courage to say. Now you can see why I could not go through with drawing this! In case you are inclined not to believe that such an idea is plausible, I will inform you that you can purchase (for only $8.95 US) the following action figures from Archie McPhee:

Jane Austen, Marie Antoinette, Leonardo Da Vinci, Jesus, Houdini, Bach, Mozart, Oscar Wilde, Ben Franklin, Charles Dickens, Casanova, Annie Oakley, Edgar Allen Poe, Anne Bonny, Blackbeard, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, Alexander the Great, and Wagner!

None come with rocket launchers. Some witty folks at the Jasper Fford Fforum had suggested we have the Bronte Sisters (patent pending) team up with "The Mighty Morphine Power Byrons" and that special sets could have a Branwell figure with a little beer stein.


mysticgypsy said...

OMG!! hahaahahaha
A Brontesaurus? Indeed!!! I beg of you to show us your version of it Bronteana!!! ;-)

ooo would the Bronte set include a Patrick Bronte one I wonder :P

Brontëana said...

I really don't know if I can do it. The thought of drawing rocket launchers on the Brontes is just... too scary. I don't even want to imagine what it would look like! And to think that there were real, actual Bronte action figures...

I would have to ask her if they had a Patrick one. ;) Not likely. Or maybe he could have a spring in his wrist so he could use his shillelagh like a fighting staff or something :D

Alice Oddcabinet said...

I've actually heard of a science fiction story, in which a brontasaurus is (quite cheekily) named "Emily". But this....?
Thank you for not actually drawing the rocket launchers.

Brontëana said...

I've glad I didn't too ;)

Anonymous said...

Man, googling "Bronte action figures" only brought me here. I can tell you that this commercial was a satirical ad made by the writing duo that just made "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," -- Chris Miller and Phil Lord -- but I can't find the commercial anywhere. (I just saw them present the film last night along with their earlier works, including the hilarioud brontesaurus ad)