Action figures sell, why not for USF?

Children look at action figures the same way a gambler looks at gambling tables in Las Vegas, lusting for them with grabbing hands. Despite this, it’s obvious that manufacturers have adults in mind when designing some action figures.

How else can one explain the librarian action figures manufactured by Archie McPhee and Co. that will hit stores in October?

Not to mention the George W. Bush Naval Aviator action figure, (poor public speaking abilities not included) aimed at patriotic Republican consumers. Meanwhile ,the insanity over Harry Potter movies and books has put a wide-range of wizard dolls on store shelves, most not sold to children but collectors.

And just last week, I caught myself in the toy department rummaging through Star Wars action figures like a soon-to-be bride at a wedding gown clearance sale.

My intentions in going to Wal-Mart at 2 a.m. (the store’s only suitable shopping time for its flea-market like crowds) were to buy only the groceries I needed. But I came home with R2-D2 and C-3P0 action figures, not to mention an impulse purchase of a Lego pod racer set.

With some company, I spent a good hour acquainting the robots and constructing pod racers. Stars Wars, by far one of the most popular movies among our generation, has no problem selling to its audience.

So maybe USF should market its own line of action figures to market to young adult students and faculty. And they could all be sold with their own storyline comic book as if they were a Marvel action figure. Just think of the possibilities.

There could be a Ronnie Banks, the story of an average college student that must learn to use the powers of his predecessor. How well he uses these powers will determine the fate of USF football in Conference USA. Banks would also be equipped with a push-button throwing-motion arm.

Meanwhile, a Jim Leavitt doll, that sweats profusely when you squeeze his stomach, will stop at nothing until the Bulls get a bowl berth. Included is a full playbook and Cingular head phones to communicate with players.

Or we could have USF President Judy Genshaft, with extreme Trading Spaces redecorating powers to revamp USF like never before. The Genshaft doll would, of course, also talk. When you pull her string she alternates between: “Touching lives, improving the world,” and “It’s a great time to be at USF.”

Of course, all Board of Trustees action figures would be programmed to say “USF is a Research I institute” at the push of a button, except chairman Dick Beard’s doll, which would come with a complete real estate transaction play-set.

And what USF collection would be complete without a thick-bearded Sami Al-Arian action doll. It would say “It’s all politics” and be bundled with thousands of hours of taped conversations cited as evidence in his case. His mission: to convince the FBI that he is innocent against a 151-count indictment.

Maybe you could even throw in an extension set that includes his brother-in-law Mazen Al-Najjar. His doll would come equipped with protesters and a soundtrack CD for a moody “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!” dance-remix background ambiance, as well as a jet fueled and ready to take him to an undisclosed location.

If action figures such as librarians (who come with amazing push-button shushing action) and Bush Aviator dolls sell, then these USF dolls should have no problem selling in Bulls Country.

Grace Agostin is a senior and an Associate Editor at The Oracle.