Franks and Beans action figures!

Perhaps it’s because life is so fleeting – What is the point of existence?  Where do we go when we die?  Are you going to eat that? – but mankind is continually obsessed with the idea of immortality, of leaving a part of oneself behind for future generations to remember them by.  Different people go about trying to achieve this in different ways.  Some write the Great American Novel.  Some sing popular songs.  Some assassinate Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.  Larry, in his own inimitable fashion, would like nothing better than to be remembered for the ages with his very own action figure.  To this end, I can only respond in one way: welcome to those hallowed halls, my friend.

One thing that has become increasingly clear over the past years is that the world will not wait for Franks and Beans to become famous; Franks and Beans has to bring that fame to the world.  Here at Franks and Beans HQ (judge for yourself what secluded location that must be), we’re always thinking of new ways to impress our brand on the outside world, much like the cattle farmer sears his indelible mark into the resistant flesh of the herd.  One solution always springs to mind: marketing.  Neither Larry nor I really know what it means beyond the standard dictionary definition, but we both think that marketing is the key to wealth and fame the likes of which we’ve never seen, which is why we now so proudly introduce to you the official Franks and Beans series one action figures.

I can personally take no credit for these other than in my overwhelming presence in Larry’s everyday life.  No, it was Larry who created these prototypes and Larry who came up with the many inside references ALL BY HIMSELF.  I know what you’re saying – “but Jeff, some of these jokes are actually funny!”  Who knew that Larry had this in him?  Well, shame on you, distinguished reader, because I knew it all along.

First we have Larry in all his resplendent glory.  What may come as a surprise is that Larry’s muscular build is perfectly represented in molded plastic, a rarity for miniature (yet scale) figures.  We see him here wearing his trademark boots and with a casual yet confident pose, a really nice detail that fans of the show will surely pick up on.

The extra features in this set (besides the many points of articulation) are surely highlighted by the inclusion of the Action Door, complete with the Batman light switch cover that we’re so familiar with seeing in every episode.  Also featured to give Larry that true-to-life feel is a knife to help him interact with other figures and the very camera that brings Franks and Beans to life every so often.  Just think about all the things you could do in your lives if you only had two things, a camera and a knife.  I’m sure you’re as surprised as I was to find that you can actually live a fairly fulfilling life with just those two objects!

Next up we have Jeff’s figure, and once again we have to marvel at the level of detail shown in my very first molded likeness.  I’ll admit, I’ve watched a number of episodes and responded by saying “is my head really that freakishly disproportionate?” as I’m sure you, our many viewers have, too.  The answer to that question is a very solemn “yes”, which is why we’re fortunate that you’ll get a total of three Action Hats with my figure – only two of which are copyrighted!  As if my face isn’t scruffy enough in this great detailing job that also includes my favorite shirt and hand wrappings, you also get an attachable child molester-esque mustache to add to the mystique.  Larry’s iPod also accompanies this figure, which you can actually watch all of our videos on.  To create a prism-like infinity effect, pull up a picture of the figure on it and see if spacetime collapses!

No action figure set would be complete without a limited “chase” figure, and we certainly cater to the collector with our exclusive figure of “Hardcore Mark”, our favorite extra/stalker/guy who comments on every episode.  You may notice that the robe behind the extremely long-necked figure is extremely well formed – that’s because you get not only one, but TWO exclusive figures stuffed into one package, and each of the figures has just gotten a recent haircut – that’s how dedicated we are to realism and continuity.  Now they can both team up and try to kill Jeff and Larry – but watch out!  Larry’s figure has a knife.

Don’t forget to check out the other extras that come with this figure – both the Action Radio and Action Notepad will give you literally minutes of enjoyment if viewed from a safe distance.

You might be thinking, “These are great, but how will they all travel around the mythical land of Pennsylvania?”  That’s a great question, and it’s one that can only be answered by trying to absorb the incredible expensiveness that is our only series one vehicle, the Action Jeep.  As seen is such episodes as “High School” and “Mail Bag/Bloopers”, the Action Jeep has all of the real-world capabilities that regular sized Larry’s regular sized Jeep has.  Roll down your passenger side window – but only a little at a time, and never all the way down!  Play the same radio station you listened to in middle school and probably should have outgrown by now!  Park in the same spot for days, hoping to preserve its working lifespan and squeeze just a few more decades out of this devoted childhood friend!

It’s easy to see why both Larry and I are extremely excited about this new toy line, but here’s the real treat – series one lines always feature the boring, every day figures that everyone knows and expects.  It’s in further series that we’ll delve more deeply into our catalogue of characters.  Will the character known as “Larry’s Mom” finally get an action figure devoted to her wonderful talent of passing out mail?  Will we see what Larry and Jeff might look like in swimwear?  Will we have a glow-in-the-dark Hardcore Mark figure?  It’s possible – ANYTHING’S possible.

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Blog 16 – Sandwich

First published 8.24.08

Oh, man.  This blog takes some context to understand.  I’m not sure how to cut it down without taking out too much.  Let’s go with this: here are the things you need to know about Franks and Beans 2012 so you can understand this Franks and Beans 2008 blog:

– This was written after a fairly long break between website updates.  Anyone who knows us know realizes that I always update my websites in a reasonable period of time (cough).

– We decided to make 24 episode “season” instead of 13.  That’s really immaterial in general, though.

– Mark Moncheck would comment on every one of our episodes when they were uploaded to the Funny or Die website.  Now, we only wish he would comment.  C’mon, Mark.

– Rick Rolls aren’t as funny as they used to be.

– I often wrote (and, well, write) without a clear end in mind, and so these things can go on and on and on well beyond the point of interest for anyone in existence.  One day I’ll realize that the Internet doesn’t give you more, uh, Internet points for writing more words.  Perhaps I’ll even take my advice at some point.  Not likely though!  Enjoy this blog, Earth!

SCENE: A bleak and desolate landscape, where the sun beats down mercilessly on the desert sand.  The light shines overwhelmingly, bleaching an already preserved skeleton of an unfortunate steer.  Overhead, two similarly emaciated buzzards circle nervously in the clear, hot, bright, blue sky.  The sand seems to stretch on forever, uninterrupted except for the large boulders strewn haphazardly over the area and a few patches of withered and browned grass.

Off in the faraway distance, the figure of a man reaches the apex of a small hill, feeling as insignificant as he looks as he staggers forward toward some unseen goal.  We advance to the wispy visage, a shadow of his former self.  His shirt is tied around his head in a sense of futility; the sun treats him no less harshly.  His sunken eyes are bleak and his lips are as parched and cracked as the earth around him.  He ambles on, making no sound, simply mouthing the words to an indistinguishable phrase.  His arms hang dead at his side; his feet, covered in worn-through soles, drag through the grainy sand.

But then, on the horizon, something catches the man’s view.  He stops in his tracks and lifts his head.  Was he seeing something?  Perhaps he had been in this situation a hundred times before – distracted by a mirage or a flicker of cruel imagination.  A trick of light?  Another nothing to compliment all the other nothings?  But no – there it was again.

The man stands straighter than perhaps he has in all of his life.  He opens his mouth to speak, but the words devolve into a raspy unintelligence.  He clears his throat once, and again, and again, and he reaches up with his newly living hands to touch his face – a face into which hope now flows once more.

Walking forward with a purpose as never before, the man begins to speak, first barely an inaudible whisper, but soon he is shouting at the top of his lungs: “It’s back!  Franks and Beans is back!”

END SCENE

And after weeks of waiting, Franks and Beans is back with a (theoretically) highly anticipated season two.  (WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!?) Our first episode of this new undertaking is none other than “Sandwich,” named after one of the basic food groups.

Having returned to southwestern Pennsylvania after a lengthy hiatus, Larry and I got right to work and managed to punch out five episodes of Franks and Beans, the first of which is on display before you.  It’s a short episode, one without much plot and really only one joke, but an appropriate one, I think.  It calls back previous shorts such as “The Change” and “You’ll Never See It Coming”, and it continues a theme of quick, timing-based jokes that I think are so underrated.  The pause between “Is that my sandwich?” and the inevitable “…no” really determines if this works or fails, in my opinion, and I think that we hit it pretty well this time around.

How obvious is the joke from the beginning or the episode?  I don’t think that’s really an issue here, as the timing is probably more important.  But not knowing what Larry is looking for until I magically appear on the armchair does hold with it some risks.  When I think back to it, there probably should have been a shot of me sitting down with the sandwich after Larry walks into the room and before he asks his question, but hindsight and a limited list of filmed takes keeps us honest this way.  At any rate, our almost comical sandwich, complete with olive and toothpick (Larry’s idea) shows up and probably steals the show.  It was a good sandwich, and I had to keep from eating parts of it during filming.

This episode is significant probably more so than any plot point in that it introduces a new character, and this more than anything else precipitated the episode’s production order.  Mark Moncheck (who also comments on, like, EVERY episode as username hardcoremarkie18) was gracious enough to fill in as an extra character in several of our upcoming episodes, and I wanted to first introduce him in our loving homage to the Rick Roll.

In this scene, I wanted Mark to seemingly come out of nowhere, making viewers say “wait…who is this guy?!”, and airing another episode with him in it first would have really taken some of the humor out of that…even if I’m the only one who might find that funny.  Filming this batch of episodes actually served as the first time I’ve ever met Mark, who had to leave soon afterwards in order to fulfill his obsessive haircut fixation, and I have to say that it was a real treat to meet someone who uses the phrase “Mustache Buddy” in his everyday language.  There now arises the challenge of giving him a proper character name for the inevitable IMDB entry (HOW DO I GET THAT LISTED?!  COME ON, INTERNETS!!).  It will probably have to be Hardcore Mark: not very original on my part, but it just seems to fit.

Back to our previously mentioned Rick Roll – this internet sensation continues to astound me.  Well, honestly, the internet as a whole is a rather fascinating contraption, but you get what I mean.  Why anyone would choose Rick Astley to prank their friends is beyond me, but I can at least appreciate the humor.  Before this inevitably fades away into cultural yesteryear, Larry and I both agreed that we’d have to do something with it, and we wanted to sooner rather than later.  Having us all dance on screen was something of a last resort, but really – what else were we supposed to do?  It was worth it just to get a little extra mileage out of our ever-expanding collection of “NO!” endings.