Because he was here for so long, Edgar’s countenance has graced a great many giveaways over the years. Some of those giveaways have been cool testaments to one of the greatest hitters ever to don a Seattle Mariners uniform; others have been the kind of nightmare fuel that make the uncanny valley look like Stars Hollow. Let’s take some time to examine some of the more remarkable ones. This week, we’re going to look at the 2004 Edgar nesting dolls.
Cultural appropriation aside, nesting dolls are often charming! It’s always enjoyable to open up the dolls and figure out what the smallest one is going to be, or marvel over someone’s ability to paint human features on what’s essentially a Tootsie Roll. A few years ago, Urban Outfitters sold a DIY set that I painted for my mom with pictures of our family, so I recognize the challenge inherent in taking on the design of this weirdly-ovoid-but-also-oblong-but-kinda-curvy shape (coincidentally, that’s what I fill in for “body type” on dating apps). Yet the matroyshka doll might have been an overly ambitious choice for a ballpark giveaway, because this thing is a lacquered balsa horcrux.
Let’s start with the good, because it’s always important to follow the rules of a Praise Sandwich when giving feedback (PQP, or Praise, Question, Polish): it’s cool how the Edgars get younger as the dolls get smaller, and the walk back through the uniforms is neat. Now, for a Question:
[prolonged shrieking sound punctuated by slight uptick at end]
Good gravy. These are just...the part I’m struggling with most the fact that the faces look like they’ve been pasted on over other faces, like each doll is itself wearing an Edgar mask. Or at least, a face made from the mortuary’s mix-n-match grab bag section, shaded slightly to look like Edgar. Because these faces:
I see a little bit of Edgar here, I guess? Perhaps a little bit in the quirk of the eyebrow. But I also see Bob’s Big Boy crossed with Wink Martindale, if Wink Martindale was hosting a game show in hell where the prize was getting slightly less tortured.
This one wins for having the most Edgar-like visage while paying tribute to the luscious lip ferret Edgar carried around during that era, but it also makes me inexplicably sad, like the real Edgar is trapped in there somewhere and we have to find it and release him from this decades-old curse.
Huh. Well, This one doesn’t look so bad. Let’s just zoom in a little and—
GAH. Have you ever wondered what an Edgar Martinez prison tattoo would look like? Wonder no more! Also, what’s going on with the upper lip/cheek situation there; are those nose-jowls? That entire midsection of the face looks less like human features and more like a student painting titled “Dusk on the Seine, Eiffel Tower View.”
Now, will any of this stop me from trying to hunt down one of these babies on eBay? Absolutely not. And if you happened to read this article before bed, apologies. Please enjoy this set of David Bowie matroyshkas instead.