As It Happens

His toy collection was getting out of hand — so he made a Funko buying contract with his wife

James Bouhuys knew he had a problem — he was spending far too much on Funko Pops, the cutesy, bobble-headed collectable toys. So he decided to make a contract with his wife Amanda, promising to slow down his spending.

'Other people our age would probably go out drinking every weekend'

James and Amanda Bouhuys take a selfie in front of one of their walls of Funko toys. (Submitted by James Bouhuys)

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James Bouhuys knew he had a problem — he was spending far too much on Funko Pops, the cutesy, bobble-headed collectable toys. His home was crammed with more than 1,000 of them at that point.

So he decided to make a contract with his wife Amanda, promising to slow down his Funko spending.

The idea came to him in July 2016, during a discussion about finances mid-honeymoon. His wife thought it was a joke but Bouhuys followed through, drafting up his "pop-tract."

His "pop-tract" was first posted in July 2016, but it recently resurfaced online. Bouhuys says he was following it closely at first but has since slipped. (Submitted by James Bouhuys)

"I allotted myself $30 per week to spend on pops," he told As It Happens guest host Helen Mann. "She thought it was a little crazy but she did sign it nevertheless. She said she hoped that it wouldn't get to that point and I wouldn't be using the 120, 150 per month."

Her signature is scrawled above the title "concerned wife."

There were exceptions though, notably for comic cons like the one in San Diego or New York. "If you don't get them then, you end up having to pay eBay prices which we weren't about to do."

A small portion of the Funko Pops collection. James Bouhuys figures he has more than 1,400 Funko items, all crammed inside his living room and hallway. There's one special Disney Funko shelf in his bedroom. (Submitted by James Bouhuys)

The contract, first posted more than a year ago, recently resurfaced online and has been the subject of much trolling. Commenters have been speculating the couple's divorce. Others have theorized that Bouhuys' wife doesn't even exist.

"It's just so bizarre that there are people out there that have nothing better to do with their lives than to insult and hurt other people that they don't know," he says. "My collecting of pops has no impact on anyone else's life. You know, seeing that people are saying I should kill myself and these things, it's so bizarre."

'She loves pops just as much as I do'

Bouhuys started collecting in 2013 and figures he now has more than 1,400 Funko items. He collects certain lines — WWE wrestlers, horror movies, Batman characters. He thinks they are great "talking points."

"It's putting my personality out there and on display. So if you look at [them], you could say 'OK so he's interested in these following things.'"

Bouhuys collects certain lines of the pops, including the WWE one. His first ever Funko was a pop based on former WWE wrestler CM Punk, which remains one of his favourites. (Submitted by James Bouhuys)

And though the contract suggests otherwise, his wife is a collector too.

"She loves pops just as much as I do if not at this point more especially with all the Disney ones that she has," he says. "It is definitely not a situation where we're going to end up in a courtroom divvying out Beanie Babies as some people have suggested."

This particular display inside the Bouhuys' home changes on a monthly basis. It currently features some Nickelodeon toys including characters from Rugrats and Hey Arnold! (Submitted by James Bouhuys)

For Bouhuys, it's more than just a fad. He says collecting makes the couple happy.

"We don't collect for the purpose of reselling like I feel most people do," he says. "They are things that resemble our personalities and traits ... regardless of what the value is and what the crave is, it's still going to matter to us."

Buying toys instead of cigarettes

Bouhuys spent the first few months closely following the contract, documenting every pops purchase. He admits he's since slipped a bit. The repercussions listed in the contract state that any monthly amount he overspends gets deducted from the next month's budget.

He thinks it could be worse.

"Other people our age would probably go out drinking every weekend," he says.

"Neither of us drink, smoke, do drugs or any of those. So spending $10 or eight dollars on a pop [toy] as opposed to $10 on a pack of cigarettes is OK for us especially when we have something to show for it."

Every pop the couple has purchased is inside their house but not all are in boxes. They've kept the boxes for each but can't display them all because of space issues. (Submitted by James Bouhuys)

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