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March 10, 2010

Wacky Comic Wednesday: Popples #2

Popples #2

Popples were a part of the cultural phenomenon that was synonymous with the numerous toy crazes of the eighties. If you didn’t own one, you knew someone who did. My older sister had a Popple that I wasn’t allowed to play with, and my Dad was quick to discourage any interest I had in owning one. So, I never had the pleasure of actually playing with a Popple, but I can only assume that the Popples’ comic book counter parts are more interesting than the actual plush dolls themselves. The comic introduces the Popples as “a playful pack of puffy pals who positively love to pop out of their pouches and plant a perfect grin on your face.” This intro may sound like a tagline for a furry fetish site, but I assume that the writer’s intentions are innocent. Or maybe my mind has simply been jaded by seeing things that can’t be unseen. But I digress.

Popples # 2 tells the story of Bonnie, Billy, Tina Terrific, and a group of highly marketable plush creatures. The tale starts on a sad note, with Billy losing the quarterback position on his school’s football team and his sister Bonnie being demoted from head of the cheerleading squad. When the Popples realize what has happened, they try to lighten the mood by playing dress up, tickling Bonnie, and doing a ventriloquist act for Billy. I must admit, the Popples’ obliviously cheerful behavior is a little disturbing in comparison to the siblings’ somber faces throughout these scenes. Once Bonnie and Billy turn down some cookies and milk, the gang realizes that the situation is serious. Soon after, they decide to make a trip to the school’s football field, and from this point on, things get a little weird. Upon arriving at the school, the Popples realize that Bonnie and Billy have both been replaced by a girl nicknamed Tina Terrific. She’s now the team’s new head cheerleader and quarterback.

Indecent exposure

To break the ice, PC (Pretty Cool) Popple pulls a phallic cannon out of his pouch and shoots a football at Tina‘s face. As a result, Tina is knocked to the ground by PC’s high velocity pig-skin mortar round. In retaliation, she juggles the Popples like a circus clown, and shoots then into a basketball goal Harlem Globetrotter-style. After practice is over, the Popples spy on Tina through a window while she’s changing in the locker room. This situation raises a couple of questions. First, does Tina use the boy’s or girl’s locker room, and secondly, what kind of school has uncovered windows in a facility where children are changing and showering? Puzzle Popple is overwhelmed by his mirthful Popple-like urges when he sees her crying. So, he opens the unlocked window and jumps into her gym bag. After he’s discovered, he attempts to cheer her up, and is rewarded by being kidnapped (Popple-napped?).

Peeping Popples

It’s not long before the other Popples are hot on her trail, chasing her while hopping in their pouches like speed-freaks in potato sacks. When Tina begins to outrun them due to her superior athletic prowess, the Popples pull out all the stops, reaching into their pouches and pulling out various items. PC whips out a magical unicycle, while the others pull out stilts, a hot air balloon, an airplane, a rocket ship, a telescope, and a bloodhound. All their efforts soon fail as they try to outdo each other and realize that attempting to be the best at what you do simply takes all the fun out of things (obviously a thinly veiled moral). Subsequently, when Popples aren’t having fun, their magic doesn’t work. So, all the airborne Popples violently crash, the dog runs away, and the unicycle stops working. However, for the sake of a cheap gag, Potato Chip Popple’s telescope still works, but he thinks it’s broken due to the fact that he’s looking into the wrong end (this comic is full of knee slappers like this one). In the meantime Puzzle has Tina warmed up to him by walking on his ears, and making her laugh hysterically.

By this time, the rest of the Popples have caught up to Tina, and she is covering her mouth because she thinks “laughing is stupid.” She storms off and crashes into Billy and Bonnie who have outfitted themselves in roller-skates in the midst of the pursuit. They invite her to a party, and when she arrives, all the children in attendance are wearing Tina Terrific T-shirts. After this, Tina assimilates and all is well in the land of the Popple. Later that night, while lying on his sister’s bed, Billy informs the Popples that he’s no longer worried about losing his position on the football team because he’s joining the cheerleading squad. This is how the comic ends (now I understand my father’s concerns).

Recently I attempted to buy my girlfriend a Popple online, with disastrous results. I posted the pictures of this monstrosity on my Facebook page here and here. Needless to say it’s one of a kind. As a consequence, I have still never so much as touched a Popple. Dad would be proud.

Josh Jones



  1. Wendy

    You really wanna hug a Popple don’t you? Hah! I’m pretty sure Popples are what made me want to be a cheerleader, too.

  2. DecapitatedDan

    Oh man! I remember being a kid and we had the live action Popples movie recorded off the tv and me and my sister watched the shit out of it. It was scary too! 10 little monsters that hide in their own stomach pouches all living inside a giant cardboard box. Now that’s a horror movie.

  3. infinite speech

    some things about the 80s I was able to successfully block from my memory lol

  4. LOL i Me and my sister had some popples. the awesomeness i guess was in the imagination department, like most toys. they only can be measured by the creativity of a child, i think . 😛

  5. Kristin

    I had a popple (they’re really cute), but I never knew about the comic book.

  6. billy

    I’ve never heard of these things…or else, like Speech, I mentally blocked them out. lol

  7. These…things look terrifying. If I ever saw one, I’d whip out my pistol and blow them all back to the hells from which they spawned from.

  8. God this comics is so wrong on so many levels

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