Gadgets

Tiny Steve Jobs: The Review

Outside of a few close employees, a couple of fawning reporters and his obsequious biographer, few people ever knew Steve Jobs, what with him being an antisocial tyrant. But now you can own him. Or at least a tiny, unsettlingly realistic miniature computer genius version of him. But should you? Is it moral? Is it good?

Japanese action figure firm Legend Toys created this nightmarish silicon gremlin for Jobs’ “first death anniversary”, an odd sort of tribute to the deceased pioneer in plastic. The figurine will cost you $US200. Then a box will arrive containing Steve Jobs, frozen in space and time in some vague slot between the iPhone’s ascendancy and his death. What happens next is up to you.

What Is It?

A Steve Jobs “action” figure (action is placed in quotation marks as a reference to the fact that Steve Jobs was a lifelong businessman and not a special forces operative or samurai) about a foot tall, I think. I haven’t measured him exactly because I don’t want to be seen holding up a ruler next to a Steve Jobs action figure. The attention to detail is exquisite.

Who Is It For?

There’s no good answer for this. We received our Small Steve Jobs from Legend Toys because we thought it was funny, but it’s intended as a “real thing you can buy”. For whom? It might be odd to own it yourself. There is, of course, a whole field of ironic action figures (Freud, Lincoln, Audrey Hepburn) which might be funny to own, because they’re such unlikely subjects for an action figure. But there’s something about a Jobs figurine that doesn’t quite fit with those others — not only does this replica cost a large sum of money, but his death was only a couple years ago, placing him outside of the funny historical doll circle and into creepy obsessive shrine territory.

What would someone think if they saw you owned a $US200 Steve Jobs figurine? Consider that.

What would happen if you gave someone a $US200 Steve Jobs figurine as a gift? Don’t consider that. It’s too grim.

The toy exists in its own bizarre dimension of ego and money, just like the bigger version. Maybe you can give it to someone who really, really loves Apple, and wants a plastic copy of its dead founder for his or her desk. Maybe.

Why It Matters

It’s a feat of detail. The attention paid to Small Jobs’ shoes (grey New Balance 993s), jeans (Levis 501s), and of course, the turtleneck (custom-made by famed designer Issey Miyake) are all there. His tiny glasses, his tiny stubble, his receding hair — all there. He has a naked arse you can reveal if you pull down the Levis, the realism of which I can’t verify, but as far as human butts go, it’s accurate. If you smoke some opium and stare closely at this little man, you might think he’s still alive, staring motionless, silent, prepped for another fit of rage, belittling, and screaming “THIS IS SHIT!” before ordering everyone out of the room to pack up their things and go.

Design

Toy Steve Jobs doesn’t shoot rockets or make sound effects, but the immaculate detailing makes up for that (mostly). And hey, he comes with a little apple with a small bite out of it that can be placed in his hand, making him appear like some kind of biblical figure. He’s highly flexible, so you can put him in all sorts of poses: the “I just helped come up with the idea of the personal computer that will change all of history” pose, arms extended. Or the “I’m abandoning my daughter!” position, legs set in a sprint. You can even walk him around your coffee table and pretend he’s giving his very own keynote.

We should make a point about his hands, however, as they are shockingly, insanely big. Way, way too big for his body, as if they were taken from some other toy by accident. They’re considerably bigger than his entire face, and might prevent you from suspending realism enough to think you’re actually in the presence of a tiny elf Steve Jobs. As far as we know, the man had normal hands, and this drift from history is a real shame. A real damn shame. I recommend buying or knitting tiny mittens to put over the freak hands so you won’t be distracted.

Oh, one bone to pick with Legend Toys — you did almost everything perfectly, but your website shows Toy Jobs holding a tiny toy iPad, and that didn’t come with the set. And that’s bullshit.

Using It

It’s a Steve Jobs doll. However you choose to use it is up to you, and frankly, I don’t want to know.

Like

Fantastically realistic — you can almost feel him watching you.

No Like

Fantastically realistic — you can almost feel him watching you.

Should You Buy This

If you decide to buy this $US200 scale replica version of Steve Jobs, I will disapprove.