Every year we make a list of categories and buy each other one present for each category. In previous years, we’d done 10 categories, but then we realised we were spending more on each other than we were our families, so this year we narrowed it down to five categories – one of them being a ‘custom figure’ of each other. So, here’s what we got each other.

Ben bought Mike…

Custom Mike Figure

B: I spent ages looking for a figure that was even vaguely close to Mike. Eventually, I found a Daniel Bryan wrestling figure with a ginger beard that looked just like Mike. Then I found a Jim Ross figure that had a similar body, so I swapped the heads and bam, there he was. I do wish I’d have put a bit more effort in though, maybe painted on trainers or given him a jacket or something.
M: I love the Mike figure. I know Ben thinks he didn’t put a lot of effort into it but if I’d found a figure that looked like Ben I would have just given him that myself. It’s a good figure, even my family thinks it looks like me, plus it makes me look slim.

Action Figure

B: We’d been talking about Disney a lot when we started our shopping. Mike and I both like Frozen (bit of a guilty pleasure) so I looked up Frozen figures and found the small Funko Pops. We’d been on about them before – I’d seen a ‘hipster Belle’ Funko that I would’ve gotten, but I stupidly showed it to Mike, so that ruined the surprise. Just before I paid for them, I saw the other set that had both of our favourite Disney Princesses in (Belle for Mike, Ariel for me) so I thought I’d get that too.
M: Frozen isn’t a guilty pleasure for me, I’m proud of it! Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door! I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway. Sorry got carried away there. The Funko Pops now stand in pride of place on top of my DVD shelf, I really like ’em.

DVD

B: I saw Tappy Toes on an episode of Modern Life Is Goodish. Two things Mike loves are penguins and terrible rip off movies, so this seemed like the perfect present. After I’d ordered it, I realised we didn’t actually have a DVD category, so I convinced Mike to change the categories.
M: I’m glad Ben got me to change this category from book to DVD now, because the last thing I need this Christmas is more reading. I watched the movie expecting it to be so bad I’d vomit out my own stomach, but actually as far as rip off movies go, Tappy Toes isn’t that bad,

Game

B: At this point, the ‘animated’ theme had developed itself, so I was actively seeking a relevant game. I originally saw a weird penguin thing – it wasn’t even a game, it was just a bunch of penguins on a track that up and down and round whilst playing the Shaun The Sheep theme tune for some reason – but then I saw the Frozen game. I was worried it might be pushing the theme a bit (I don’t think Mike likes Frozen THAT much) but it genuinely looked like a decent game.
M: Ben’s wrong, I love Frozen so much I want to marry it, but I won’t because that’d be legal hell. It’s an interesting game, firstly the base is made out of cardboard for some reason, so you know it’s not going to last years and years already. Secondly the object of the game is just to knock out blocks of ice and whoever makes Anna fall into the below freezing waters beneath her and supposedly die of hypothermia is the loser. Not much thinking needed but there’s something about it I enjoy, it’s so satisfying knocking out a single block of ice.

Wildcard

B: I knew Mike would like a Bayley figure, mainly because I was there when he picked it and said “This could be my wildcard present.”
M: I couldn’t be happier with my Bayley figure. I didn’t tell this to Ben at the time but he’ll know after reading this, but I was trying to drop hints to him for ages. I’d shown him a similar Bayley doll on Smyths website so when the idea of an action figure category came up I kept saying things like “I think I’ll check out the SMYTHS WEBSITE for your present.” and “You know how much I love to play with DOLLS Ben.” In the end when we went to Smyths I just showed it to him and he got it, so all’s well that ends well.

Mike bought Ben…

Custom Ben Figure

M: When Ben brought up the idea of us making figures of each other, I jumped at the chance because I’ve made custom wrestling figures of other people in the past, and they’ve turned out quite well if I do say so myself. I started with the waistcoat. I knew there was a wrestler who wore a waistcoat so I bought his figure to get the tiny item of clothing. For the legs I used a WWE Jakks JTG figure because I know Ben wears black jeans a fair bit, and I think Ben either has or did have light brown boots similar to what the figure wears. The torso belonged to a Jakks Batista figure and the head was from a Jakks Cody Rhodes figure, I merely painted the hair and added the monobrow. I originally had a WWE Mattel Chris Jericho head but it didn’t work out, so I had to go back to the drawing board there. After I’d finished the figure I decided it needed a little extra something, an accesory! I originally thought a Fez hat coz Ben like Tommy Cooper and Doctor Who and actually owns said hat, so I bought a Doctor Who figure to get the hat only to discover that the figure was tiny and the hat was far too small for Ben’s enormous head. Then I thought maybe a camera? But then it hit me, a ukulele! I found a Playmobil acoustic guitar that in Ben’s figure’s enormous hands looked like a ukulele, and then the figure was complete.
B: When I saw the figure of me, I was mightily impressed. Mike had got me spot on, with the waistcoat, smart clothes, monobrow and ukulele. I did also feel a bit bad for not putting more effort into Mike’s figure, but to be fair, Mike’s had much more experience customising wrestling figures so his was always bound to be better. In fact, I’ve since ordered a jacket to go on Mike’s figure just to improve it a bit.

Action figure

M: I had no idea what action figure to get Ben. I can’t get him a Doctor Who figure because he has most of them already. Then I thought of Miraculos Ladybug, a kid’s TV show we both enjoy. Alas I couldn’t find such a figure, but then I saw the Supergirl figure and, knowing Ben likes the live action TV show, got him that.
B: I like my superheroes and I do enjoy watching Supergirl on TV, so this was a good choice. The proportions on the figure are way out though. The top half is considerably smaller than the bottom half.

DVD

M: Ben and I both have a soft spot for children’s TV, and Peppa Pig is often hilarious, either intentionally or unintentionally. I was originally going to get him Flesh Gordon, a softcore porn parody of Flash Gordon, based on an anecdote Ben once told me about watching Flash Gordon for an hour thinking it was about The Flash. Then I saw Peppa Pig and thought that that was more wholesome and thought it’d be a gift not just for him but for his nephew too, so I got him that. Plus it was cheaper.
B: I’m not going to lie, I do like a bit of Peppa Pig. I’ve watched a few episodes with my 1 year old nephew and they’re actually pretty well written and quite funny. So I’ll put this on next time he comes to our house and watch it with him. I think that’s much better than showing my nephew softcore porn.

Game

B: I was going to get the Pointless board game but when I realised you had to play along with your smartphone I decided against it, people may not have a smartphone and the ones who do may not want to download an app just to play a board game, so instead I got Would I Lie To You the board game.
M: I love Would I Lie To You and we often have games nights at our house, so this will be a fine addition to the games.

Wildcard

M: While we were at Smyths Ben pointed out a Harley Quinn figure and I decided that would be his wildcard gift. However I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I got him a different Harley Quinn figure. When it arrived I looked at it and decided it wasn’t good enough on it’s own, so aside from that I got him a Harley Quinn mug and matching coaster and a Harley Quinn rubber duck. When you don’t have quality, go for quantity.
B: What can I say, the man knows me. I do have a bit of a thing for Harley Quinn (as evidenced by last year’s life size cutout) so I was chuffed with not one, not two, not even three… but four Harley Quinn presents! I’ve already used the mug and Ducky Quinn (as I’ve nicknamed it) now resides in our bathroom. As for the figure, well let’s just say it’s a good job it’s bendable.