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Visiting Jeju’s Figurine Museum
Written by Matthew Choi | Published. 2019.07.24 13:17 | Count : 477

When I visited Jeju Island this summer, I immediately decided that this visit had to be different. I would not just relax at the hotel or go swimming but take the time to visit areas in Jeju. I wanted my previous article, which was on how movies affect people’s values and thoughts, to be continued by a sequel that would dive more into depth on the relationship between entertainment and its impact on our lives. One specific museum immediately stuck out:  the Jeju Figurine museum.  

[The figure of Doctor Strange from Marvel at the museum entrance and me
(taken by Matthew’s father)]

The Jeju Figurine museum is a collection of comic book, movie, and anime characters. In fact, it is the largest collection in South Korea. As soon as I entered the museum, I was at awe. A life size figure of Doctor Strange, a character from Marvel comics and Marvel movies stood like a colossus in front of several other figurines. Children who saw the figure immediately asked their parents to take a picture of it. I remembered the memories such figurine characters gave me, such as my first experience watching Iron Man with my parents in the theater along with my first Gundam figure I made. 

As I went through each exhibit, I realized that the museum was constantly updating its displays with new figures, such as a figure of Thanos from the movie Infinity War. As I saw Thanos with his Infinity Gauntlet, I also recognized other symbolic characters, items, and even an assembly inspired by Marvel movies. I stared with wonder at Thor’s hammer before quickly finding Captain America’s shield and the Infinity Gauntlet Thanos wore in Infinity War. However, what immediately caught my eyes were the Iron Man suits. 

[The Iron Man armors assembled at the middle of the museum(photo taken by Matthew Choi)]

The life-size suits stood like bastions over the majority of the displays, and several people gathered around it. One kid even shouted, “Awesome! Daddy I want one for Christmas!.” The set was staged like a particular scene in the movie Iron Man 3, and I found myself along with others making Iron man’s signature pose: a superhero landing. However, rather than the Iron Man suits, there were several other exhibits that intrigued me.

A lot of the figurines directly depicted my childhood, such as the Star Wars figures of Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers, when I was a fanatic of the Star Wars saga as well as the figures from Starcraft and Overwatch, renown games from Blizzard. Every sector was indirectly related to my passion, and as I went from one exhibit to another, I felt that the museum was reading my mind and producing exhibits reflecting my taste in movies. It even had an exhibit to accompany Game of Thrones, a drama series which had ended very recently, and one that I had been keeping track of as a fan. 

All of these exhibits made me look once more at my life, specifically at my evolution in entertainment. When I was a child, I was into Star Wars and Marvel, but as I grew up, I began to enjoy more diverse shows and movies such as Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. I even began to develop an obsession to anime, led by my desire to try entertainment outside of the western culture. I could tell that without a doubt, my willingness to embrace diversity has been fostered by my entertainment tastes. Therefore, my experience at the museum further proved that entertainment is a crucial part of people’s lives and definitely can shape how people think. 


Matthew Choi 
Asia Pacific International School

Matthew Choi  student_reporter@dherald.com

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