Funko Pop! strikes again with a Disney set that I just couldn’t resist. The It’s a Small World vinyl figures are just too cute! This must be the first of multiple figures as we have only four countries represented in this set.
The four countries represented in this Wave 1 (?) are Kenya, Japan, United States, and England. You can see all of them together below:
It’s a Small World was first created for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and was sponsored by the Pepsi Cola company in conjunction with UNICEF. After the Fair closed, the entire attraction was relocated to Disneyland. It was cloned for the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971.
Apparently the word ‘POP’ is the same in every language around the world. It seems unlikely, but maybe it’s one of those universal words like ‘Wow!’ or ‘Where’s the bathroom?’
Each of our vinyl children appear in different sections of the Small World attraction. To begin with, we have, in the order that Funko has released them: Kenya
THIRD SCENE: Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and other “African” nations.
Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. Bantu people settled at the coast and the interior between 250 BC and 500 AD. European contact began in 1500 AD with colonization beginning in the 19th century. Modern-day Kenya emerged from a protectorate established by the British Empire in 1895 and the subsequent Kenya Colony began in 1920. Numerous disputes between the UK and the colony led to the Mau Mau revolution, which began in 1952, ending with the declaration of independence in 1963.
The next country to be represented in the set is: Japan
SECOND SCENE: Israel, Indonesia, Bali, India, Arabia, Thailand, Greece, Russia, China, Japan, Korea.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Our vinyl child is wearing the traditional kimono which literally means “thing to wear” derived from the verb “to wear (on the shoulders)” and the noun “thing”. It is a T-shaped, wrapped-front garment with square sleeves and a rectangular body, and is worn left side wrapped over right. The garment is usually worn with a broad sash, called an obi, and can be accessorized with zōri sandals and tabi socks.
Note in the last picture above that the sculpt for our Japanese child has the zōri sandals included. Now that’s detail!
Next in the set is a little girl from one of the 50 States of the: United States / Hawaii
FINALE: United States. There are six scenes in total and this final scene has many other countries represented as well. Hence the ‘finale’ designation!
Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland. It is the only state outside of North America, and the only state that is an archipelago. It’s also the only one in the tropics. Hawaii is also one of four U.S. states that were once independent nations along with Vermont, Texas and California. This beautiful paradise became a state in 1959.
The last child to join our quartet is: England
FIRST SCENE: Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, Demark, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, and Italy.
Our vinyl child is dressed in the very traditional costume, or uniform, of a Beefeater. Actually named Yeomen Warders, ‘Beefeaters’ are ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. Their basic responsibilities involve looking after any prisoners in the Tower and safeguarding the British crown jewels.
Why are they called ‘Beefeaters’? There are too many variations of the story to pin down any one as authentic. So we may never know why a Yeoman likes beef!
There’s no telling how many more sets of four this line of Funko Pop! figures could produce. I would guess at least three but likely not more than four.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our visit to a few of the countries found in the It’s a Small World attraction at the Disney Parks. If you’d like to glimpse a bit of the history of this fun little ride, you can check out my earlier post entitled Official Guide to the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair and see how it all began!