Creating a Mark Twain Funko Pop

I will admit to having a few Funko Pop characters adorning the shelves of my office. Some of the characters are from my favorite rock bands, others are from popular TV shows, and several are from history. However, there is one historical character who has been one of my favorite authors since childhood, though he has been sadly overlooked in the Funko Pop universe: Mark Twain.

Mark-Twain-Portrait

Mark Twain is one of America's most acclaimed humorists and novelists, and for that reason I found it perplexing that the makers of Funko Pop hadn't immortalized his likeness, despite creating likenesses of other popular literary figures from history like Edgar Alan Poe, Stephen King, Dr. Suess, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.

I was lamenting Funko Pop's oversight of Mark Twain to my oldest daughter one day, and I mentioned that it wouldn't take much for the makers of Funko Pop to create a Mark Twain character since they already make Albert Einstein... if they kept the head from Einstein, all they would need was a body in a white suit. My daughter remarked that they could use the body of Colonel Sanders, so I quickly photoshopped what that would look like.

Funko-Mark-Twain-Prototype

My digital prototype looked like it would work, and since I had already seen people's demonstrations for swapping the heads between bodies of Funko Pop characters, I decided that I would make my prototype a reality.

My first step was to purchase the Albert Einstein and Colonel Sanders characters.

Funko-Colonel-Sanders-Albert-Einstein-1 Funko-Colonel-Sanders-Albert-Einstein-2
Colonel Sanders and Albert Einstein

My next step was to boil water in a shallow container, then soak the characters in the hot water for four minutes. After which, the heads were relatively easy to remove, and I was able to swap them to the other bodies.

Funko-Pop-Soaking Funko-Pop-Removing
Soaking the bodies Removing the heads
Funko-Pop-Headless-Einstein Funko-Pop-Reinserting
Headless Einstein Reinserting the heads

After I finished swapping the heads and bodies, my final step was to use a sharpie pen to fully color the eyes for Mark Twain (since the Albert Einstein character's eyes were half open and looked droopy).

Funko-Mark-Twain-Random-Scientist

The completed Mark Twain looked great, though I have no idea what name I should give to the random scientist that I created from the leftover pieces.


UPDATE: This post is one of several that I had written, which I later discovered had never been set to "public."

Advertising IIS Around the World

In case you haven't already surmised from some of my other blog posts, I've been around IIS for a long time, so it should go without saying that I'm a big fan of IIS.

I remember when we first released IIS 1.0 for Windows NT 3.51 and we were handing out IIS CD-ROMs at trade shows way back in early 1996; everyone kept asking, "What is this for?" (Obviously the Internet was still a new concept to a lot of people back then.) Out of nostalgia, I kept a shrink-wrapped copy of IIS 1.0 for myself, and I think that I have one of the few boxes left. It usually sits in my office next to my IIS 4.0 Limited Edition CD-ROM...

IIS-1.0-BoxIIS-4.0-CD-ROM

Anyway, over the years the IIS team has printed up an assortment of IIS shirts, and I have been wearing several of these various IIS shirts as I have travelled around the world. Because I have been doing so for some time, I've found myself advertising IIS in some unexpected places. For example, my wife and I were visiting our daughter in Peru this past March, and we took the following photograph of my daughter and me (wearing one of my IIS shirts) at Machu Picchu:

IIS-at-Machu-Picchu

So - you may ask, "What does IIS have to do with one of the newest wonders of the world?" My answer is, "Um... nothing, really." I happened to be wearing my IIS shirt that day, and it made a pretty good photo. (Obviously, it was a bad hair day for me... so I'm blaming the mountain winds. ;-] )

As another example, my son and I took a road trip down the California coast this past summer to visit my brother in San Francisco, and we posed for the following photo before boarding the boat to Alcatraz:

IIS-at-Alcatraz

There are other times where I have taken advantage of a situation to deliberately and shamelessly pose for IIS. For example, I was scuba diving in Hawaii a couple of years ago, and I borrowed someone's dive slate to write the following message:

IIS-7-Rocks

Actually, I tend to wear IIS shirts when I go scuba diving as a matter of habit - it's kind of a good luck charm for me - and this behavior of mine has led to some interesting experiences.

For example, my wife and I were going scuba diving in the Bahamas several years ago, and once again I was wearing one of my IIS t-shirts that day. The dive company had sent a van to our hotel to pick up several divers, and as I climbed aboard, one of the other passengers saw my shirt and remarked, "Oh, we have an IIS person today. I'm more of an Apache Girl myself." I quickly replied, "That's okay, everybody needs a hobby." I really only expected her to get the joke, but apparently we had a tech-savvy group that day because everyone else on the bus chimed in with, "Ooooooh - you're in trouble." I didn't realize what everyone meant until we got to the dive boat where Apache Girl came walking up to me holding an air tank and said, "I'm your dive guide today, and I picked this air tank especially for you." We both had a good laugh, and I survived the dive so she can thankfully take a joke.

IIS-in-the-Bahamas

All that being said, I really like to show off IIS. It's a lot of fun to demonstrate the many features of IIS to customers at trade shows, and it's a lot of fun to unofficially advertise IIS when I'm traveling on vacation in various places around the world. So if you see me when I'm on vacation somewhere, the chances are good that you'll be able to find me in a crowd - because I'll be the geek wearing the IIS shirt.


Note: This blog was originally posted at http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/