Over time and tide, those creations that exist in the so-called domestic popular culture world comes and goes through various stages for the seasons ranging from personal tastes to market demand value. Many of these pop culture items are based upon fads and fandom. Some elements in the world of pop culture icons last what seems to be forever–Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney empire is one of those forever notions. Others come, go, and eventually come back. Nitendo’s Pokemon is a prime example. It was a big hit when the ever loving “pocket monsters” came to the US in the late 1990’s. Ten years later, the art of “gotta catching ‘em all” became rather tired, only to resurface in vengeance within the last few weeks! (See Vol. 21-No. 29). Some did come back and should have remained missing in action! Universal studio’s attempt to bring back Jem and the Holograms, based upon a 1980‘s-era animated TV series targeting the pre-teen girls market, returned as a live action feature only to disappear after two weeks in a theatrical run. (Sorry, no sequels for Jem and her girls!) And a few came and went, never to be heard from again! (Too many to list those items in the “here today gone tomorrow” category!)
So what pop culture items did remain popular in this part of the world as of this writing? (This part of the world referred to the US and perhaps Canada!) Leave it to the folks from ebay, the one time be-all-to-end all place on the ‘net to find nearly anything and everything worth buying and selling (legal or otherwise), to conduct a market survey on what elements from the world of popular culture are selling, buying, and all in between.
The ebay Data Labs has been tracking down since 2006 on what forms of merchandise is being advertised through their portals that deal in various forms of popular culture memorabilia and related aspects. Many of these items were in the range of toys and playthings, but other aspects were also part of the collectable market, from knickknacks one can display on a shelf, or items better suited for a museum worthy display. Since ’06, e-bay started to encourage those posting items list their goods as a “buy now” option, since more common or semi-common materials were better suited to be sold directly rather than to be bidded upon. To place in perspective, valuable saught after comics that can go for multi numbered figures are auctioned, but comics that are less in demand are better off sold. The novelty of bidding petty amounts for some figurine has since worn off! Besides spontaneous buys are preferred to the seller of the goods, and ditto for the buyer!
Nevertheless, these goods bought and sold within the previous ten years (2006-2016) were tallied. Again, some items came to stay, to go, to later return or to vanish forever. So here’s the names of the franchises and the total amount these items were sold on a worldwide scale as tallied in US dollars. Again, all elements are based upon popular culture items in terms of various forms of memorabilia, both as common items and as scarce one-of-a-kind notions:
1)-Star Wars ($593,765,974)
2)-Batman ($216, 670,846)
5)-Star Trek ($112,305,369)
7)-Harry Potter ($84,791,533)
8)-The Legend of Zelda ($83,046,559)
9)-The Walking Dead ($54,635,144)
10)-The Lord of the Rings ($41,323,469)
12)-Game of Thrones ($22,115,854)
13)-Dr. Who ($21,209,540)
15)-South Park ($8,784,974)
It’s interesting to note that the range of such items span an eighty year timeline from when the creation made its first appearance to the world it was intended for. Many origins came from comics (Batman Superman, etc.), television (The Walking Dead, Dr. Who, etc.) literature (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings), and video games (Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, etc.). Star Wars is the only title extracted from movies, although it branched out to nearly all forms of media.
As a disclaimer to all of this pop culture transactions via ebay, yours truly “tested the waters” so to speak on attempting to offer merchandise via ebay back in the era when the name of the web site was called E-Bay. (The name now is all in lowercase!) I offered only three separate items, all connected with pop culture. My biggest sale among the three items up for bid was a 8” high hollow rubber molded figurine of Yoda that sold for $15.00. I bought it from a local garage sale for a quarter, giving me a profit margin of $14.75! However, I never offered anything else beyond that item. My account with E-Bay has since been long abandon!
Only time, tide, and the powers that be will determine what titles will remain hot and in demand. Again, some will come and others will go. Those that go may return or may never see the light of day again. And a few will never even arrive! A few of those that attended the recent Comic Con orgy in San Diego brought their creations along to have somebody discover them. Will those newly minted titles ever rank up along the “big boys”? Maybe, or maybe not! After all, that’s show biz for you!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre West opens their 2016-17 season with the west coast premier of Leslie Cavney’s ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG, a production featuring Leslie as the lead where she attempts to perform in a solo show, only to have her ability, spirit, and mind take another direction.
The show begin with Leslie taking stage, standing next to a screen where artistic images of objects appear to illustrate her story about a coming of age episode within her life. Early into her performance, she appear to receive some kind of mental block, forgetting what she is about to say next. This bit of forgetfulness then morphs into a level of low level rage. She falls out from her script and story, only to progress into a state of slow moving neurosis. She makes some confessions through this process. Not due to her behavior, but how she was convinced by some theater flukey into presenting her act not as a play or a musical–something she really had in mind–but as a one person showpiece. From there, she holds a struggle between herself as the Leslie on stage and the Leslie that is set within her own inner self. Adding to her reaction are others that become involved by default, ranging from the stage manager, the lighting director, the person that is her mother, and the person who isn’t! Leslie’s single presentation turns into something that she didn’t call for, and what the audience didn’t expect!
This show, written and performed by Leslie Caveny, can be seen as a textbook example of a middle aged woman who is undergoing a change in her cycle, only to bare this change on a theater stage. Her part in this stage show is rather interesting as it gives one the impression that Leslie is a person and/or a performer that is on the verge of falling apart both physically and emotionally. This type of subject matter was once considered as something unspoken or taboo. It was the same subject matter that was only presented within an artistic measure as a heavy drama where the character in question would change for the better, or for a deep demise. Within the last twenty or so years, this for noted emotional state of being now became comedy relief where the protagonist becomes a rip roarin’ train wreck in order to gain the most laughs. And that form of emotional state is where Leslie receives most of the comedy. The way the audience sees her as she falls apart holds the humor down where one desires to laugh, but may not be too sure that its proper to laugh just because somebody is losing it!
Marie Burton directs this show that gives Leslie all of the time and space to become that woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown! The stage set itself where Leslie stands upon only consists of a black curtain draped in the background with a theatre “tree” standing on stage left (it was a fixture that was suppose to play a piece from her solo act), as well as a few props on stage right. Again, pieces that are part of her monologue. And since this solo act has other performers, those that appear are Anne Leyden, Sheila Shaw, Frank Gengarossa, Seemah Wilder, with Tom Adams.
ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG’s title pretty much describes what this show is really all about. Sadly, Leslie never has the opportunity to complete her solo show, so its autobiographical tale is never told in full. However, it does have a happy ending of sorts! Not for the audience, but for Leslie! Granted, this writer won’t revile what that happy ending is as that will just create a spoiler! However, it’s something that she wanted, and she got it!
ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG, presented by and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent), until November 27th. Showtimes are Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 851-7977, or via online at http://www.TheatreWest.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers,and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!