Who said only superheroes can have their own action figures?
The Karens of the world can rejoice as their hard-to-digest persona now comes in the form of toys.
The K name has been co-opted to invoke many a “white-lady-with-a-bone-to-pluck” sociocultural faux pas online, encouraging slangy put-downs like “Calm down, Karen.”
Karens often demands to “talk to the manager” and act outside the scope of what is normal.
Pennsylvania-based toy company Namespace has unveiled plans to produce 3¾-inch ironic action figures portraying the world’s troubled Karens.
In addition, the action figure is sold along with an overworked “Joe the Manager” figure for the bob-cut action figure to throw insults at.
“We are looking for fun, even in uncertain times like these,” said Matt Jacquot, Namespace Sales Manager. “And with these two characters, we want to encourage positive change and nurture even a little more tolerance.”
The company enlisted the help of freelance Ukrainian designer, Denys Samboval, to bring the much-despised persona to life.
“I take inspiration from the everyday,” Samboval said of the project, adding, “We’ve all seen Karens or Joes in the news or in our daily lives, so this project was easy to relate to.”
Namespace hopes to raise $30,000 on fundraising platform Kickstarter to secure funding for the production of the action figures, which will sell for $18 a pop.
So far, just over $200 has been raised.
“Ultimately, for us, these two figures embody qualities that we can all be guilty of, and so they can help us control our inner Karens and Joes,” Namespace said in a statement.
“We are all equal, and instead of yelling that the rules don’t apply to us, or sighing when people treat us like doormats, we can all have some fun while being more patient, accepting and tolerant of each other.”
“Karen” has become shorthand on social media, referring to a middle-aged white woman who makes a big fuss and isn’t so blissfully ignorant.
The most infamous “Karen” of late is Amy Cooper, a white woman who called the police on black birder Christian Cooper when the two ended up at odds in Central Park’s Ramble while she was walking her dog. She “pulled the pin on the racing grenade,” said Christian Cooper.
When Mr. Cooper asked her to leash her dog, “Karen” promptly told authorities that an “African American man is threatening my life” as she appeared to accidentally strangle her dog.
After the video garnered millions of views, “Dog Park Karen” was fired from her job at an investment company, temporarily forced to relinquish her dog, and was charged with falsely reporting a third-degree incident. The viral clip also spawned new hate crime legislation.