If you haven't heard of them by now, well, you're really not missing anything. Three years ago I would have argued that they were the coolest things ever. Now, I'm thinking of selling them on eBay.
Way way way back when I was in 11th grade, I was randomly at KMart in Ktown with Brad and Eric the Mexican. We often hung out and did little when we got the chance. As we were walking out of the store around 2a.m., I paused to look at the "gumball" machines. Sometimes you can find the greatest treasures in these. When I saw one labeled "Homies", with little gangsta figurines, I couldn't help but be curious.
I made the guys empty their pockets and we gathered all of our quarters. We had 8 combined, enough to buy 4.
I put the first 2 quarters in the slots and slowly turned the wheel. With each click of the machine, I got more excited. Could someone have really made 1 inch figurines of what looks to be Southern Californian gang members? Some were mexican, in a poncho. Some were muscle bound.
With the final click, a small bundle of joy slowly rolled down the shute. I pulled up the flap to claim my prize. And it was this. Except, in plastic form, like this.
I was excited. This was truly the most entertaining piece of 1 inch plastic I had ever seen. I quickly inserted 2 more quarters and got another. It was the mexican with the poncho. I named this one "Eric" after my friend that was with me. With my four brand new pieces of awesomeness, I knew it was the start of something great.
I fully expected to never find anymore of them. I didn't think they would end up as the start of a collection. I just thought they were really cool, and we used them as our mascots.
Three years later, I was living in Boone, and I had my four Homies sitting in the window sill of my apartment. They were happy little guys. I didn't pay them much attention, but I kept them around. Then, one day, Carmen and I ventured to Expressions, a happy little store in Boone where they sell "novelty" products. And "tobacco" products. And "lingerie". It's a fun store where you can always find some junk you think you need.
It was my first time in there, and I wasn't expecting to find anything great. I wondered around the aisles for an hour and was about to leave with only a candle.. when I saw a big basket on the floor filled with those little plastic bubbles.
I casually walked over, curious. There, inside of these bubbles, were a very familiar bunch of little plastic figurines, dressed up like gangsters. A whole big basket full of homies. With glee, I picked out 10 of them and happily walked to the register. The cashier looked at me funny and told me that they get new shipments of them in every few months.
Ecstatic, I went home and added them to my four little guys. I officially had a collection. Over the next few years I added to my collection, and when I graduated college, I had about 100 of them.
Since then I have not added to my collection. My Homies sit sadly in a wooden shelf thinggy on my wall. I think it is time for me to find them a new, fun home, where they can be appreciated. All I ever do is bump into the shelf, curse, and throw them back in there anyway I can.
Here are my little guys (and girls):