It’s been a long week of finals for me, and after all that I realized I had one last assignment to complete: Do a write-up for toys based off of Tim Burton’s new movie, Alice in Wonderland. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s not exactly a sequel to the classic Disney movie of the same name, nor is it quite a sequel to the Lewis Carroll books (which your kids really should read). It’s just another one of Tim Burton’s “I’m weird and here’s my movie” movies. I haven’t seen it either, so I have nothing to say about it one way or another, though the Rotten Tomatoes score could be a helpful guide…
Down the Rabbit Hole I Go…
Anyway, that’s not why I’m here today. As I stated, I needed to find toys based on the movie, so using my best judgment on the subject matter I promptly grabbed Other Chris and went to Hot Topic. To my vast surprise, I found very, very little in the way of Alice in Wonderland merchandise save for some shirts with the Mad Hatter on them, some blankets with the Mad Hatter on them, and a costume for a very “not-child-friendly” Alice that isn’t from any licensed version of the material. My journey wasn’t a complete loss though as I did manage to find a jewelry box with the Red Queen on it and yet more pictures of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. But a jewelry box a toy does not make.
Disheartened, I went searching elsewhere, this time at Toys R’ Us, believing it to be the same wonderland (oh pun) I remembered from my childhood. I won’t get into the entirety of my exploits, but I had to ask where the Alice in Wonderland toys were, assuming any existed. I got a “no” answer which quickly turned in to a “Actually yes, come this way” answer with enough patience. Still, no real toys were found. I discovered yet another few items with Johnny Depp on them, but finally there was something with the titular character’s visage on the front: A hairbrush. Oh joy! It was meant to go along with the Mad Hatter mirror and the Red Queen compact, but hey! Still something with Alice on the front! And yet, no real toys, save for a couple plush characters from a “not-the-movie-version” of Alice. They did, however, look adorable.
My final stop was a long shot but still. There was a Barnes & Noble next door to the Toys R’ Us, so I gave it a try. Among the vast amount of books for Alice in Wonderland, including the original book, the novelized version of the new movie, and some other authors’ twisted versions of the story that make Burton look sane and American McGee’s Alice look fairly tame, I found an actual “toy” based on the movie: Yahtzee!
Wait, what? After all that searching the best I could find at a major retailer was an Alice in Wonderland themed Yahtzee game? Okay, I’ll take what I can get I suppose. What made it special was the dice had pictures on each side relating to things from the world, such as a teacup, a hat, and a scroll. So really, there was nothing remotely special about it other than it said it was related to the movie.
This wouldn’t do. Oh no, not for me. I looked online for anything else I may have missed and sure enough, there are official movie toys. Be@rbricks has a line of figures based on the movie with Alice, Mad Hatter, and Cheshire Cat figures, but that’s about it. If you collect those, then these are certainly part of your collection now. Otherwise there are the ultra detailed figures like the one I posted at the top of the article, which surprisingly only cost a little over $20. It doesn’t look like you can do much with it except look with awe at your purchase, but hey, at least you aren’t breaking the bank. And at least there are options for characters other than the Mad Hatter.
Thus ends my quest. I’m rather disappointed with this, since I expected a journey down the rabbit hole of sorts. Lucky for me, the mall did have the Easter Bunny sitting alone waiting for pictures, so my day wasn’t a complete white-rabbit-less loss.