Is your name Karen? Perhaps you have been called ‘Karen.’ Or maybe you actually are indeed a ‘Karen’? You know, THAT Karen. With all of the controversy surrounding the name, a Pennsylvania toy company thought it was high time for the Karens of the world to have their own action figure, all 3 and 3/4 inches of it.
Toy company Namespace announced its plans to create the Karen action figure, and intends to acquire funding via a Kickstarter campaign, seeking $30,000 to get the project underway. Accompanying Karen will be Manager Joe, her beleaguered counterpart in the tête-à-tête dance that the whole shop, supermarket, or restaurant is forced to hear.
In case you have been living under a rock, the name ‘Karen’ has been used as a pejorative to describe an entitled and difficult white woman who makes a beeline to the manager of whichever establishment she happens to be in to complain about something seemingly minor and makes a huge production while doing so that everyone in the vicinity is forced to listen and watch, albeit often gleefully.
As The New York Post reports, Namespace has hired a freelance designer to come up with the action figure prototypes, and he is excited to take on the project:
“I take inspiration from the everyday,” [Denys] Samboval said of the project, adding, “We’ve all seen Karens or Joes in the news or in our daily lives, so this project was easy to relate to.”
In its statement, Namespace insists that the project is tongue-in-cheek and should not be taken seriously. In addition, the company said that ‘Karens” and “Manager Joes” form part of all of us, so far be it for anyone to cast aspersions against these two modern-day archetypes:
“Ultimately, for us these two figures embody qualities we can all be guilty of, and so they can help us keep our inner Karens and Joes in check,” Namespace said in a statement. “We’re all equal, and rather than shout about how the rules don’t apply to us, or sigh as people treat us like doormats, we could all have some fun while being more patient, accepting, and tolerant of each other.”
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Early designs of the action figures show ‘Karen’ with her signature wedged blond bob, wearing an ironic t-shirt that reads ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ and shod in sensible shoes. Her expression is a grimace on the verge of an open-mouth shout. ‘Joe the Manager’ is a youngish, thin guy with floppy sandy-colored hair, wearing a red vest festooned with a name tag over a white-collared shirt and required medical face mask.
As The Post reminds us, the most infamous recent ‘Karen’ incident occurred two years ago in the spring during the beginning of the coronavirus restrictions when a white woman called the police after a confrontation with a black man while she was walking her dog. The man who was out birdwatching asked the woman to leash her dog, which promoted the woman to take to her phone to call the police and report an “African-American man threatening my life.” In an odd twist, both the woman and man share the same last name: Cooper.
Christian Cooper recorded the exchange with the woman over his phone starting with her phone call to the police. After he posted the video it was seen by millions, and Amy Cooper found herself fired from her job, charged with a third-degree false report of an incident, and parted from her dog for a brief period of time after the video showed her accidentally chocking her pooch. People all across social media took little time in assigning Ms. Cooper a new moniker: Karen.
The Kickstarter campaign for the Karen and Joe the Manager action figures is underway and has thus far raised a little over $1,500.