My exposure to the various TV series created by Sid & Marty Krofft has been pretty minimal. I don’t recall any of their series being on TV at an age where I would have noticed. H.R. Pufnstuf is probably the most famous in Australia, and had some kind of VHS re-release around the time I hit high school, but I’d aged out of the target audience by then.
I’m sure the shows were quite charming in their day, and I can appreciate why some of my older friends have fond nostalgic memories of them. But it all kind of falls a bit flat with me. So with that out the way, you’re no doubt wondering why the hell I bought a Sleestak at inflated convention exclusive prices?
A complex question which has a simple answer – Reptilians. I’ve spoken on here numerous times about my enjoyment of UFO literature, and this Sleestak is likely the closest thing Funko will ever release to a Reptilian.
These alleged creatures have probably most heavily popularised by David Icke, former professional soccer player and noted conspiracy theorist. By his definition, reptilians are an offshoot of ancient astronaut ideas; sinister shapeshifting creatures who make up most of the globe’s elite (e.g. Presidents, Prime Ministers, pop culture figures), exploiting the common folk for their own benefit. This alleged control has been going on more or less since the dawn of civilisation. In the years since he first introduced the idea in his writings, it’s infiltrated mainstream and fringe pop culture alike; it’s a joke to many, but taken seriously by a dedicated few*.
Of course, Icke’s ideas weren’t without precedent. The most obvious inspiration is the TV miniseries V, which featured reptilians disguised as humans. But things extend back further; Theosophical beliefs, Robert E. Howard’s fantasy stories, and reports of alien abduction have all played their part in developing this cultural myth.
The Sleestak are really just another piece in this puzzle. Originally appearing as semi-villainous creatures on Sid and Marty Krofft’s The Land of the Lost, it’s not hard to see how closely they resemble the reptilians of conspiracy theory. One must also ask if Dale A. Russell had been drawing from their design when he hypothesised the “Dinosauroid” back in the early 80s, too. It’s a cool design which, while dated, is still kind of unnerving thanks to those horrifying blank eyes.
The sculpt and paint are solid, making this a great piece for fans of Land of the Lost and the Kroffts in general. I’m not a fan of the show, and bought it for much more niche reasons but I’m still very happy with it**. I know I say this a lot -- but this really is one piece where your mileage really will vary according to personal taste.
*I feel it would be helpful to note here that I in no way believe or endorse Icke’s ideas. Reptilians make for entertaining science fiction tropes, but the man himself has some dubious associations.
**Hopefully we get a glow version in the future too!