Homies Figures – The Original Homies

By Alex Alonso
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer
May 12, 2000

Homies Figures Los Angeles — In 1998 artist David Gonzales had released the first set of his popular miniature Chicano figures, the Homies, but by May 1999 his first set of 6 figures was receiving strong negative backlash about the Chicano representations in his art. On the one hand there where those that thought his depictions of Chicanos where emphasizing negative stereotypes of Mexican youths in California, but then there were those that appreciated the art and the cultural representations of real people from the barrio.

Gonzales stated that the figures are real people from his experiences, people from the community and people he grew up with. Other criticism suggested that the original 6 Homies figures were gang-related and promoted a violent lifestyle. For example, Detective Morris from the Devonshire division of the Los Angeles Police Department told the Los Angeles Times that “the Homies where negative images that perpetuated negative stereotypes and glorify the gang life style (Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1999)”.

There was also a deputy district attorney that stated that, “we’re thinking of putting them [Homies] in court to show people that if you are dressed like these guys, you’ re violating probation (www.lapdonline story entitled Homies Disappearing From a Store Near You).” The negative publicity from law enforcement pressured some retailers such as Jim Plescia of Vallarta Supermarkets to pull the Homies from the market, but was all the negative publicity towards Gonzales’ figures correctly warranted?


Let’s examine the original 6 Homies.

The original set includes, 8-Ball, La Raza, Mr. Loco, Sapo, Smiley and Droopy. They were available individually in gum ball machines, on a blister card and as key chains. These are the characters that where being associated as criminals, thugs and gangsters. The LAPD in May of 1999 stated that the 6 figures perpetuated negative stereotypes that glorified the gang life style without even examining the six figures individually.

Each Homie has a biography that Gonzales wrote as part of the artwork and if the critics of the Homies had some knowledge of the Homies they would know that Mr. Raza’s bio, for example stated that he is very passionate about his cultural heritage and has degrees in Chicano Studies and Latin American and Pre Columbian History. Mr. Raza also tries to educate the other Homies and encourages them to go to school and become educated and to work to change the system. Sapo (Frog) is just an ordinary homey from the neighborhood that eats a lot of Mexican food and is not popular with the ladies. Even the most “hard-core” of the original 6 Homies, Mr. Loco, works as a youth gang counselor and settles disputes between rival gangs in the barrio.

Gonzales has stated in numerous interviews that he “did not create the Homies to glamorize gang life” but many people will make false assumptions that Hispanic caricatures that are wearing baggy cloths, t-shirts, and hats must be gang-related, when in fact they are not.

The connections to gangs was absurd and highlighted an ignorance about racial minorities residing in inner-city communities that led to a prejudicial view of Hispanic youth.

Many of the stores that initially removed the popular figures slowly began to restock their shelves. Currently, Gonzalez has released four series that have become increasingly popular and they are considered legitimate collector’s items.

Interest in these figures initially came from the Hispanic community but now people from all over the world want to own their own Homies. Recent orders have come from The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, The Food Network and a costume company. Also there have been several requests from many countries in Europe, Africa, South America and people in all 50 states have requested their own Homies.

It turns out that the early perceptions of the Homies were greatly exaggerated, and police officers and prosecutors where off the target when they associated these figures as gang-related. The release of Homies 2, 3, and 4 in addition to Mijos 1, Mijos II, Mijos III have reinforced the original sentiments of Gonzales when he stated he was creating art based on Chicano culture, not gang culture. The most recent releases include the Hoodrats, Psycho Clowns and the Mini Bobble Heads. Some of these figures have also been made into dolls and are now among the most popular Homies products now. Six popular homies have been made into larger bendable homies figures.

17 Comments for “Homies Figures – The Original Homies”

  1. ANGEL WARRIOR

    WHERE ARE THE COMMENTS FROM ALL YOU HOMIES ON THIS……..THIS IS THE ONLY INTELLIGENT PART OF THIS WHOLE SITE……IS IT BECAUSE THE HOMIES ARE LACKING THE VISION TO SEE THE POSITIVE MESSAGE IN IT.GOD BLESS THE ARTIST WHO CREATED THESE FIGUIRES AT LEAST HE CHOSE TO BRING SOME GOOD OUT OF ALL THE STUPIDITY OF GANGS.

    COME TO THE LIGHT FOOLS…… THERE IS NO GOOD IN ANYTHING BANGIN
    STANDS FOR……….POR VIDA

    • Stella

      I totally agree with you, I have been collecting HOMIES since they first came out and I love them. People, lets get over ourselves with everytime someone tries to do something positive, there is always someone that has an objection…..pls…get over it and start looking at the glass half full instead of half empty. Lets support the creativity that this artist has brought to us. It isnt that serious…my gosh, HEL……..LO, at the end of the day, is this really affecting your life like that? Wake the hell up…..how bout this….start your own HOMIE collection….

  2. Cosmik gazer

    Awesome comment, angel warrior. Homies are great. I grew up in California and everyone collected them. My boyfriend still has a few.

  3. Gorrilla One

    They used to be way popular and then they got played out. They did not have that long term appeal . wonder why.

  4. frank manzelli

    I WANT MORE HOMIES. THEY ARE KOOL. THEY WILL BE BACK SOON.HEY CHECK OUT MY FACEBOOK AT FRANK MANZELLI THANKS.

  5. frank manzelli

    HEY THE HOMIES ARE KOOL I LIKE THEM WE NEED MORE OF THEM.IT’S JUST FOR FUN.HEY CHECK OUT MY FACEBOOK AT FRANK MANZELLI.THANKS

  6. frank manzelli

    hey you get the homies at e bay.

  7. Lovato Movado

    I have ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEEN homies and still love them! I am planning on getting/building a shadow box for them or a village or something. Great conversation pieces and good for alot of laughs! Thanks for creating them David!

  8. Between 2000 – 2006 they were extremely popular. I was surprised of the demand.

  9. jomama

    I have a Homie collection and I love them and was sad when i could not find them anymore! :( I started to collect them when my son was 8 years old! I made shadow boxes for them and was very proud to show them off! I know I missed some in between series and hope to have them all one day! Thanks for the great collection Frank Manzelli!

  10. mike thompson

    Growing up in San Diego I remember when I could walk up to the neighbor hood liquor store and dump 5 dollars worth of quarters in the machine trying to get the one homie I didnt have. I have alot of them that I have saved over the years. Now that I’m 41 years old I’n gonna pass them on to my kid’s. I always wondered what happened to them. They were the only item worth buying in the machines

  11. EDDIE BOY

    U CAN USE THE HOMIES ..SO YOU CAN PLAN AND ESCAPE YOUR NEXT SHOOTING ….LOL…QUE VIDA

  12. guillermo

    i got somo homies. where do i look for more? G.

  13. gin

    My son is a hard working man. Just becaue he collects Homies, does not make him a gangster, a thug, or representing any stereo type. He thinks they are a collector’s item and would like to have the entire collection. What’s the difference between collecting Homies than collection McDonald Happy Meal Toys? They sell Madam Alexander dolls, dressed like prissy little rich kids. Is that stereo typing! People like Madam Alexander dolls. They should collect both and place them side by side. It’s people like these that make things out to be what they’re not. It’s just freakin’ toy!!

  14. Mieke

    I am so honored: As a (Dutch) teacher at a predominantly Hispanic school, my students, after finding out how much I appreciated their culture, used to bring me homies every day I displayed them in my classroom, along with a poster of all the homies. Now that I substitute teach at the same school, I use these same homies to motivate the students. They love them.

  15. douglas hsnson

    I have the original collection Would I don’t have them all I want to complete my collection and how much are they worth

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google

Photo Gallery

Log in |
  • Hispanic Gangs
  • Prison Gangs
  • Email
  • Other Cities
  • Crip Gangs
  • Blood Gangs
  • Asian Gangs
  • Forums
  • Shop
  • Injunctions
  • Contact
  • Resources
  • film amk dügün dernek izle