Homeless in Vancouver: Is this a girl toy or a boy toy?

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      This is Roberta, or rather a toy figure based on a fictional character named Roberta from a movie.

      I didn’t know that at first. I just knew that a friend of mine had found two unusual little Lego-ish toy figures in a dumpster some time ago.

      She called them her “Lego hookers”. Unfortunately she lost the companion figure and I only had the opportunity to see this one.

      It’s the right size for a Lego person: two inches high and it has the right holes (in its feet, dummy!) to snap onto the bricks.

      But otherwise it’s way too, ah, slutty for Legoland—if a little plastic thing can even be that.

      No, it’s not from Tomb Raider, I tried that

      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Putting aside the toy’s gender-identification issues (eyeliner and lipstick equals female…really?), the “why” of it took a bit of digging to figure out.

      It’s a “Minimate” put out by U.S.-based Diamond Select Toys (DST). Specifically the “Roberta” figure from the Desperately Seeking Susan Minimates two-pack. The set originally sold for under $10 but unfortunately its out of stock now.

      Desperately Seeking Susan was a 1985 film comedy staring Rosanna Arquette as Roberta and singer Madonna as Susan. The DST set consists of Minimate facsimiles of the two stars and, as DST puts it, “includes the ultimate 80's fashion styles and the film’s signature skull hatbox!”

      DST creates action figures of characters from film, TV, and comic books for the collector market—the obsessed fanboy/otaku crowd.

      I knew it had to be something like that when I saw the wonderfully unhealthy attention to detail and the build quality of the toy—"each two-inch Minimate features 14 points of articulation and a world of possibilities!”

      A giveaway was the effort made to reproduce the design on the back of the jacket worn by Arquette in the film: the Great Seal of the United States with the Latin motto: “Novus ordo seclorum” (I think it means “New Order forever!”).

      That and the fact that the jacket was designed to come off helped tell me it was meant to be a collectible toy.

      However, the blouse and the pants do not come off, strongly suggesting the toy wasn’t made in Japan.

      I remember that this sort of plastic look was considered quite sexy in the 1980s.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer.


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      May 8, 2014 at 3:33pm

      Theres even illuminati lego! Wow

      Martin Dunphy

      May 8, 2014 at 4:30pm

      A quick search shows that the two figures together (and in the original packaging) have sold for up to $100 on ebay.