Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Homes Big Heads and Homies Zombies




Continuing our informal vending machine review thingamabobby study thing, we’ve got Homies!


Homies used to be all the rage, with well over a dosen series, and enough spinoffs to populate a city.  You even had Homie Clowns, for goodness’ sake! But ignoring the redneck homies, mafia homies, homie dogs, homie clowns, and whatnot, there is the very real question of whether the figures were racit, or perpetuated stereotypes.  And, you know, I’m not qualified to speak on this.  I know that the original artist just patterned them after people he knew, grew up with, and lived with, which only muddles the conversation further.  Homies are what you make of them.  If you look at them and go, “This is what all teh mexicans r liek!!!”, then you are racist.  On the other hand, one of the figures in today’s review looks exactlylike one of my neighbors.  So, take it as you may.

After not really existing for a while, Homies have returned as “Big Heads” – slightly super-deformed versions of the original eight, plus Homies Zombies… zombified versions of the same eightdudes and dudettes.  So, it’s the original eight – not the high scool graduate, not the pigeon on a trash can, not the missionary, not the highschool graduate, not the guy holding a flag, and not the cybernetic breakdancer (Sub Pop Bionic!). So, let’s take a look at these dudes, with their bios as supplied on the actual Homies site.


Pelon is named for his bald head ( Pelon means “bald” in Spanish). He always wears dark shades whether indoors or out. Basically a hustler, he is always selling hot merchandise, from cell phones to microwave ovens, which he keeps in the back of his lowered ’41 Chevy panel sedan. Pelon has got what you need. Pelon likes the wild hardcore looking cholas (Homey girls). He is always looking for new ladies because he has bad luck in keeping relationships with the girls he meets. Pelon is Smiley’s main Homey. Always dressed in black or charcoal grey with gloves and suspenders, Pelon stays creased and spit-shined. He is the most cholo looking of the Homies. Pelon openly has a crush on Gata, but she continually disregards him, as she does all guys.


Pelon looks exactly like one of my neighbors… the soft drug dealer. Yeah. The resemblance is uncanny, despite the figure’s terrible paint (that mustache is kind of a fail).


As a zombie, Pelon’s got his arms out in the traditional pose, as well as a gash on the back of his head (unseen). Hilariously, his eyes were just fine and zombielike before, weren’t they?


Gata is Hollywood’s main girlfriend. She has long, silky, shiny black hair that flows to her calves. She is always fussing with her hair and striking cosmopolitan looks and poses. She has eyes only for Hollywood. Gata has a good job as a designer for her own line of clothing called Homies “Chulawear.” She is always buying gifts for Hollywood and talking about him. Her friends and family warn her that he is a playboy, but she keeps going back to him anyway. Gata drives a black Mustang 5.0 convertible with gold rims. Gata comes from a well-to-do family and was raised in private schools. She is the most sophisticated of the Homey girls and also the most street naive.


When chibi-ized, Gata’s big hair pretty much overwhelms her – but then, her proportions have also turned her into what appears to be a small child, so it fits.


As a zombie, Gata pretty much turns instantly into an Onryo, particularly that ghost from The Ring. This makes her zombie figure pretty much the best in both lines.


This is the number one main Homey character, Hollywood. He has pretty-boy looks and a big hairstyle from the seventies disco era. An impeccable dresser, he always wears zoot suit clothing straight from the 40’s. His personality is cool and suave, and he is a legend in his own mind. He is a businessman and has a very substantial income. He is constantly on the phone or being beeped and paged. Well known in the barrio, he has several secondary girlfriends and one naive primary lady, Gata. Hollywood has a nice apartment and drives several different custom lowrider cars. He constantly throws parties and hooks the other Homies up with girls. Though Hollywood is self-centered and thinks he’s all that… he never refuses his Homies and will do anything for them.


Do a google search for Homies Hollywood, and you’l find way, way too many pictures of him with various real-world ladies lounging on his arm. Hollywood seems to be legitimately popular, proving hisbio’s prediction to not be far off.


As a zombie, Hollywood is missing his lower jaw. He and Gata seem to have the most dramatic differences between sculpts, and Hollywood’s is the goriest.


An extremely happy soul who loves to have fun and just party, party, party, Smiley will be at the heart of a lot of jokes and gags. In serious scenes he will be the “comic relief.” Every comment coming out of his mouth will be either humorous or idiotic. Smiley has no problems with anyone and is game to try absolutely anything. Smiley falls in love with every girl he meets. He is a woman-chasing hound-dog and can’t control it. He drives a ’64 Chevy Impala convertible that is world famous as a record-holding “Hopper.” He works at a hydraulic installation company called “Homies Hydraulics.” Though he works, he is always broke and bumming money off of the other Homies. Smiley never removes his bandanna or his dark shades. He is also an excellent mechanic and does the upkeep on the Homies’ cars.


Smiley’s big grin seems almost inhuman in this art style, but believe me – he was exagerrated even among the originals. Still, who can’t enjoy his cheerful attitude?


And now he’s missing teeth. Happiest zombie there is, though.


Big Loco is one of the most hard-core looking Homies but definitely a crowd favorite. His history is that he is an ex-gang member and did hard time in Folsum. Having gotten a degree in social work while in the joint, he is now employed as a youth gang counselor. Big Loco settles problems between rival gangs and addresses gang activity in the neighborhood through a government funded program called “Homey Outreach.” Loco has extreme respect in the neighborhood and is gifted in the art of communicating with troubled youth. If you have ever seen a Chicano youth counselor, you will know that this is exactly what one looks like.


Fun fact: That pretty much describes Danny Trejo, minus the acting part. That little tag line at the end just kills me – especially when you look at Big Loco’s original art, which is decidedly burlier and more tattooed. Again: Danny Trejo.


As a zombie, he just looks dizzy, though it might be the messed-up paint influencing this opinion.


Bouncy is a lot of woman. She has large bouncy breasts and isn’t afraid to accent them with tight halter tops and skimpy blouses. She is sexy in a nasty kind of way. All of the Homies hit on her just for fun, but she is not interested. There will be hints that she might be gay, but this fact will never actually surface. Bouncy gets a lot of big-boob jokes thrown at her, but she takes it in stride, being proud of her body. Pelon feels she is the ultimate beautiful “chola” and is infatuated with her. She thinks Pelon is cute but never gives him any play. She just uses him. Where Gata is a good girl, Bouncy is bad and loves it.


WELL. I’ll just leave the description there. WELL.


The zombie’s paint job seems incapable of handling her halter top and suspenders as separate paint steps, for what it’s worth.


Chuco is short for Pachuco, which is a lowriding, zoot suit wearing Chicano from the 40’s and 50’s. He will be the baddest dresser of the Homies. His shoes will be spitshined, his shirts starched and creased, and his pants razor pleated. Every time we see him he will be completely dressed to kill. When he enters a scene, we hear oooh’s and ah’s from the viewing audience admiring his clothes. When he walks, we hear a drum sound (cymbals) from the forties, used heavily in the movie Zoot Suit by Luis Valdez. The ghost Pachuco in the movie Zoot Suit (portrayed masterfully by Edward James Olmos) is a perfect example of the style, moves, personality and speech of “Chuco.”


Sometimes I wonder if the site is just a thinly-disguised TV pitch, and then I see descriptions like this which remove all doubt.


Chuco is dapper even in death, and thanks to his anachronistic style, he makes a good mafia zombie.


Eightball is very popular with the people who have known the Homies over the years. Eightball was named for the number eights painted on his shoes. With a beanie that never comes off, eyes that never show, and a smile that never stops, Eightball is another character who can get laughs on looks alone. His personality is happy but cool.


Well, that description didn’t really tell us much about Eightball as a per…EYES THAT NEVER SHOW?!?!?! YOU CAN SEE HIS EYES RIGHT NOW, GOOD SIR.


And now he’s dead. And you can still see his eyes. Good day, sir!

I just want to say again that Gata is perfect for re-enacting The Ring.


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