JAY & SILENT BOB from DIAMOND SELECT
By Jarrett Kruse
GRADE: A for Both!
As a born and raised Jersey boy, well at least since I was five, there are certain people that become ingrained in your mind as iconic Garden State dwellers. Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Tony Soprano and of course, Kevin Smith. Auteur, writer and shameless self-promoter that I use AFJ as a template for, the director is the consummate Jersey boy made good. He has parlayed his 1994 success CLERKS and turned it into a cottage industry. His Red Bank shrine to all things Askew, “Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash” is the ultimate tourist trap for those have travelled to see the origin of their heroes. Smith is the ultimate showman, Barnum-esque in his tribute to the world that he has created here in my slice of NJ. And its an honor to be just 15 minutes away from the capital of all things Smith.
So when good old Zach from DIAMOND SELECT sent me the new Jay & Silent Bob figures to review as one of the first original pieces on AFJ, I was psyched and ready to do my fellow Jerseyite proud. I was skeptical but I gotta say, these are some of the most authentic and well executed figures from a movie I have seen to date. While I would have loved to have gotten a Brodie Bruce from MALLRATS, my favorite ode to malling in NJ of all time, Jay & Silent Bob are the face of the Kevin Smith franchise world. So it is fitting that these gems from DIAMOND SELECT are the figures that are sure to launch a whole lot more View Askewniverse merchandise. One thing Kevin Smith is good at and that is selling his brand. I am happy to report that the new Jay & Silent Bob figures are the closest thing to Jersey you will get on the toy market.
Right down to the likenesses of Smith and cohort Jason Mewes, these deluxe figures from DST hit it out of the proverbial park. Or at least the parking lot of your own Quick Stop. One thing DIAMOND never chintzes out on with their figures and that is the packaging. While not ideal for shipping, I have to say that I love their whole bigger is better attitude. When everyone else is economizing to save the trees, DST still goes the extra mile giving you more bang for your hard earned buck. Everything about the packaging is big matching director Smith’s whole outlook on Jersey living. Forget the Marvel Legends mini-boxes, no, DST still goes all out with their wide body cardboard packaging. Some may say its overkill but I like that they are sticking to their packaging guns. Bigger can still mean better and it just works for Jay & Silent Bob. Plus, I love the accoutrements that Select figures come with. If you want to display the RST Video diorama, you gotta get both figures and there is something charming about that because you WANT to get both figures. They complement each other and like Batman & Robin, what is one without the other?
The sculpts are nothing short of brilliant. These figures are Smith and Mewes in all their glory. Not happy with the head on yours? No problem because Diamond has you covered with alternate heads on both characters. Mixing and matching the heads is one of my favorite bonuses that Diamond offers and they really make the collecting part that much more fun. Interchange the heads and your whole display looks different week to week—I love that! Throw in the interchangeable hands with lit cigarettes and you have the Garden State’s illest mannered duo in all their glory. For those cinephiles, this will take you back to ’94’s CLERKS but also catch you up to the JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK feature. It is the perfect culmination of action figure awesomeness along with old school toy kitsch with one of the 90’s most recognizable pair of characters that redefined low budget cinema and started a trailblazing fire for anyone with a video camera and a dream.
All in all, I am duly impressed with these entries into the View Askewniverse. To be a part of Smith’s world, even if you are not a die hard fan, is a privilege to be a part of any Junkies collection. It is the instant recognizability of the famous duo that make for a great conversation starter for any burgeoning collection. It is a necessity to have these guys in your growing collection of plastic crack. Displaying the mis-en-scene that is the RST Video Store diorama is money and is the answer to the CLERKS obsessed fan that has been waiting for these snootchie bootchie bad boys to be memorialized in 7-inch form. Worth the wait and a must for you Junkies that see things just a bit Askew.
Big thanks to Zach @ DST for hooking the Junkies up with these babies! Snoogins!