RON BURGUNDY (2014)
I’ve been a loyal Saturday Night Live fan since I was about 12 years old. I started watching it when the regular cast consisted of Mike Myers, Chris Rock, David Spade, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and Phil Hartman just to name a few. To me those will always be the glory days of the show and it would seem pretty hard to argue that point with a cast like that. I’ve stuck with it through every incarnation since and I continue to watch it every weekend (Did you see the James Franco episode last week? Pretty funny stuff).
The show has had its ups and down and I’m really not sure it would have survived past the 90s if not for Will Ferrell carrying it for a few years. It wasn’t like the old days where everyone was on the verge of making it big; Will was clearly the star of the show for several years with the others serving to support him. Every year I worried he’d bail for Hollywood because his profile was growing with each hilarious supporting role he threw himself into (Zoolander, The Ladies’ Man, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, etc.). Ferrell did eventually leave SNL in 2002 after his 7 year stint and he quickly solidified his status as Hollywood’s reigning funny man with his role of Frank “the tank” in Old School.
Will has starred in a bunch of funny movies since (and his fair share of duds as well) but in my mind he attained comedic perfection with 2005’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
I have watched Anchorman so many goddamn times. It’s probably the movie I’ve watched the most as an adult. Not since I was a little kid watching Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Young Guns on a weekly basis have I devoted so many hours to a film.
When Anchorman came out I was living with my best friend at the time, Matt Merrick. My year living with Matt was the only time in my life I’ve lived with a roommate who wasn’t my girlfriend. The result of spending so much time with a dude with a similar sense of humour was that we developed our own short-hand way of speaking to each other. Movie quotes became our language and no movie was more quotable than Anchorman. Generally, I don’t care to watch movies over and over again but Matt always wanted to watch it and I never objected. It was Seinfeldian in that no matter how many times I watched it I still laughed. The DVD was packed with so much bonus material as well that we were eventually quoting deleted scenes and nobody knew what the hell we were talking about.
Thank goodness there was no Anchorman merchandise available back then as I feel we would have spent a fortune buying up every stupid thing. We essentially fed off of each other’s love of the film. Once Matt and I parted ways and I didn’t watch the movie for a while the quoting ceased (mostly) and the fanaticism subsided.
I do still love the movie though and I was pretty stoked to see Anchorman action figures finally hitting the shelves to coincide with the release of 2013’s sequel. I had planned to buy the 13” talking Ron doll but when I actually saw the thing in stores I was disappointed. One of his eyes was missing, replaced with a twinkling golden light. The package referred to it as “Whiskey Vision” and I believe it was supposed to be an homage to the Six-Million Dollar Man doll from the 70s with bionic eye. I thought it just looked stupid and the inclusion of a pair of sunglasses wasn’t enough to salvage it.
So instead I bought this 8” Ron Burgundy doll designed in the style of the classic Mego figures. This doll is labelled “Battle Ready Ron” and it features him in the blue suit he wore during the classic News-team street fight scene from the first movie. The outfit is accurate to the scene but I would have preferred a Ron figure in his trademark maroon suit, as was featured on the Whiskey Vision version. Another thing I prefer about the 13” version is the more neutral expression on his face. The fact that this Ron is sculpted in mid battle cry is appropriate but, like the blue suit, it’s a little too scene specific for my liking. My final gripe is the lack of socks. I’m not sure if he had socks on in the movie but nothing looks douchier than a guy in a suit with bare ankles and white loafers.
Having said all that, this is a really cool figure. The likeness to Will Ferrell is spot on. There’s some nice sculpting in the immaculately blow-dried hair. The two-toned paint job of the hair and the fine detail of the eyes really bring him to life.
The body construction feels to be about the same as any doll in this scale. There’s plenty of articulation so he can be displayed in many “battle ready” poses. One hand is clenched into a fist while the other is open so that he can hold his included weapon, a table leg. Ha.
His suit consists of slacks, a dress shirt, a film-accurate tie, and a jacket. I assume it’s all removable but I haven’t attempted to undress him. The front of his jacket has a single button which looks to hold it closed but it’s actually held shut with Velcro which can be easily opened. The suit fits him pretty well but the collar of the shirt seems a little wonky. The material is quite thin though and in certain light you can see his flesh tone through his pants.
This isn’t the perfect Anchorman figure but it’s a pretty good one. And best of all, the rest of the news team is available in this scale as well. Presently Ron is slugging it out with Brick Tamlen on my desk at work surrounded by a crowd of POP! figurines. I hope to eventually pick up Brian and Champ but until I do I can make do with stand-ins. 7 out of 10.