Is it ironic for a sociologist to create action figures of academics?
Very few universities have had realistic “action figures” made of their faculties and staff. One exception is the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas, where Dr. Jesse Weiss (Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies) has produced a collection of them.
The professor hatched the idea via his hobby of customizing action figure models from manufacturer Jakks Pacific. Classics so far include Ozarks President Dr. Rick Niece [pictured below], along with Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Sean Coleman, and Assistant Professor of English Dr. Brian Hardman.
“All it takes is a dremel tool, model paint, and Sculpey modeling compound for the hair, beards, glasses – and time,” explains the artist. (Unfortunately Jakks Pacific no longer make the requisite base figures, but the professor has a large plastic bin and drawers filled with spare parts.)
Does the action figure come with a small explanation of the cultural importance of action figures along with commentary on the gender stereotypes such figures promote? (Check out the muscles on those academics!)
Another thought: what are the most common curios academics keep on their desk or in their offices?