Action Figures Set Cubicle Apart

In This Section

Vol 37 Issue 12

Abandoned Mall Retains Eerie Vestiges Of Fun Shopping Atmosphere

ROSEVILLE, MN–The silent hull of Northlands Mall disquieted Erik Sandvig Monday, when the local man gazed through the locked glass doors of what was, in happier times, "Roseville's One-Stop Shopping Fun Zone." "Man, it's really creepy," Sandvig said of the once-thriving mall's mausoleum-like stillness. "There's the Sam Goody where you could get all the hottest new releases. And right next door is the Foot Locker that had all your favorite gear from Nike and Adidas." His nostalgic longing satisfied, Sandvig walked on, leaving the ghosts of former fun-seeking shoppers to roam the aisles undisturbed.

Tenants Feel Guilty Asking Elderly Maintenance Man To Fix Anything

BOSTON–Tenants in the apartment building at 437 Market St. reported Monday that they experience a gnawing feeling of guilt every time they ask Hank Hudson, the 82-year-old maintenance man, to repair anything. "The other day, my sink was clogged and, at first, I was going to ask Hank to fix it," Apt. 4B tenant Julie Winters said Monday. "Then I remembered the time he repaired the furnace and coughed for weeks afterwards. In the end, I just bought a snake and did it myself."

Oscar Countdown 2002 Begins

HOLLYWOOD, CA–With just 50 weeks to go before the big event, the buzz surrounding the 2002 Academy Awards is beginning to build. "Will Tom Hanks turn in a performance that completes his Oscar hat trick? Will Pearl Harbor be the night's big winner, assuming it's a film of artistic merit?" Rebecca Ascher-Walsh wrote in Entertainment Weekly's "Oscar '02 Preview!" double issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday. "These are some of the questions sure to be answered in just 341 days." Ascher-Walsh said Entertainment Weekly will run exclusive photos of the Versace gown to be worn by the radiant newcomer who will nab a Best Actress nomination for her surprise, star-making turn "the very moment" she becomes known.

Citizens To Vote On Young Or Old Reagan For $15 Bill

WASHINGTON, DC–On the heels of the Ronald Reagan Airport and U.S.S. Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, citizens can now vote for one of two portraits of the former president to adorn the U.S. Mint's upcoming $15 bill. "Choose either the young, General Electric Theater-era Reagan or the older, second-term-president Reagan," U.S Mint Deputy Director John Mitchell said Monday. Citizens may cast ballots at any FDIC-member bank. All voters will receive a commemorative LeRoy Neiman poster of Reagan delivering his 1981 inaugural address.

Global Warming Heats Up

Last week, President Bush rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which requires industrialized nations to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. What do you think?

Russell Crowe Has Something To 'Crowe' About... An Oscar Win!

Item! In case you're on Mars or something, here's a news flash: The Oscars happened! I always get cable this time of year so I can watch that catty Joan Rivers and her lovely but retarded daughter dish on the fashions. Well, after last year's debacle, I was determined not to miss the Oscars, so I recorded them, and I even took notes so I could recall some of the highlights. Here they are!
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Sleep

Action Figures Set Cubicle Apart

FAIRFIELD, OH–Ron Pelinka, a designer at Cincinnati's K&G Media Concepts, sets his cubicle apart from those of coworkers with an impressive collection of action figures.

Just a few of the action figures that make Ron Pelinka's workspace distinctive.

"Here's The Creech," said Pelinka, 33, picking up one of the 57-and-counting toy figures that adorn his workspace. "This guy is from Spawn, series 12. Pretty creepy, huh? Roar! Seriously, though, this one is one of my favorites."

Pelinka said the creative nature of his work–designing instruction booklets for clock radios and other household electronics–demands a casual, free-thinking environment.

"I'd go crazy working in a sterile cubicle all day," Pelinka said. "Just take a look around this place. Desk, computer, chair. Wall, wall, door, wall. Management might as well drop us in a sensory-deprivation tank and say, 'Get to work.' Now, my cubicle, on the other hand–nobody's going to mistake it for any other around here, that's for sure."

Most of Pelinka's coworkers personalize their cubicles in some way, adorning them with items ranging from pictures of loved ones to humorous cartoon calendars. Few, however, have gone to the lengths that Pelinka has.

"Whenever someone new starts here, they inevitably come up and ask me about my collection of Dragonball Z series five mini-figures," Pelinka said. "I guess they really make my cubicle stand out, don't they?"

Pelinka's action figures lean against his phone, sit atop his computer's CPU tower and monitor, and litter his desk. A shelf to the right of Pelinka's computer is reserved for action figures that are valuable or otherwise irreplaceable.

"This is an Ultraman in its original packaging that I ordered through the mail," Pelinka said. "And this is a very collectible Aquaman figure from 1976. And Boba Fett. No one gets to touch the Boba Fett. That's why he's in that bag."

Pelinka's action figures reveal his wide range of interests, from comic books to science-fiction films. Included in his collection are Tomb Raider's Lara Croft, Lieutenant Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Trixie from Speed Racer, Morpheus and Cypher from The Matrix, and two different poses of Austin Powers from The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The collection even contains a figure of John Lennon from Yellow Submarine.

"I'm not into The Beatles all that much," Pelinka said, "but I saw this and I thought, 'Hey, an action figure of a musician. That's pretty cool.'"

Pointing to Battlefield Earth's Terl slow-dancing with Princess Leia atop his Zip drive, Pelinka said he sometimes likes to pose the figures in humorous positions. He is also fond of creating accessories for them, such as when he recently teased coworker Angela Rachert by fashioning a tiny sign for Austin Powers that read, "Angie is shaggadelic [sic], baby!"

Though some might assume that such antics result in decreased productivity, Pelinka said the exact opposite is true.

"Working in an environment where I'm free to express myself really helps me get into my zone," Pelinka said. "I look at these figures, and it reminds me of all the cool adventures these characters have had. That really fires me up to design brochures. Otherwise, half the time, I'm about ready to drop off to sleep."

Not everyone is so enthusiastic about Pelinka's cubicle collection, however.

"I keep telling Ron to tone it down with the action figures," design supervisor Lisa Mendes said. "But no matter how many times I've told him, he just keeps adding new ones, so now it's kind of a joke around the office. Still, I just hope no one from corporate ever swings by unannounced, or he might get written up or put on probation."

"That's the price you pay for being a rebel," said Pelinka, leaning back in his chair with his hands clasped behind his head.

Pelinka said he has no intention of scaling back the collection anytime soon.

"I gotta be me," he said. "I gotta be me."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More