Southern Thing Column

Look, guys, we know ‘collectible action figures’ are really just toys

Following is an excerpt from this week’s column on The link at the bottom takes you to the full column.

Sweetums knows I would never publicly ridicule him. I only write about him as a sort of research exercise – you know, to gauge by reader response how normal he is…n’t.

This column, however, broaches a touchy subject, one we women lament about on girls’ night and social media: Men and their toys. I’m not talking about motorcycles or throwing axes or things considered to be “grown-up toys.” I mean real-for-sure, ages-eight-and-up-choking-hazard toys.

It would have been difficult for me to miss Sweetums’ devotion to toys before we married – mainly because the shelves of the game-loft-slash-man-cave are lined with action figures of varying types, Bigfoot, “Sons of Anarchy,” “The Simpsons,” GI Joe, even a Slimer from “Ghostbusters.” Sweetums refers to them as “collectibles,” which is a Latin word meaning “grown men trying to cover up the fact that they play with toys.”

They aren’t fooling anyone, y’all. And they aren’t even nice about it. Once, when I asked Sweetums if I could play with his Charlie Hunnam doll (the nummy buns who played Jax Teller on “Sons of Anarchy”), he wouldn’t sharewith me. That’s, like, the first rule of toys.

Sometimes I worry Sweetums has gotten a little out of hand with his play pretties, as my grandmother used to call them. For example, two weeks before Christmas we were in a discount store that had display tables stacked with games, Barbie dolls and animatronic dinosaurs. I stopped to look at a box with a Play-Doh factory inside and sighed. “I miss buying toys,” I said to Sweetums.

“We can buy some Play-Doh if you want it,” he said.

“No, silly. I miss buying toys for kids. You know, when I had a legitimate excuse to spend hours in the toy aisle asking the Magic 8 Ball questions, or making Lego indentations in the Silly Putty.”

He didn’t seem to hear. His attention was drawn to a lower shelf where he’d spotted a Ghostbusters logo. I mean it was way down near the floor. Sweetums is six-foot-seven. It was like he could smell it, y’all. Like catnip. He picked up a box containing an action figure of Peter Venkman from the “Ghostbusters” movie and held it up, a big grin on his face.

“You’re going to buy that, aren’t you?” I asked, just wasting perfectly good words. Because of course he was. Click here to read the full column on



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