Ground breaking, award winning, critically acclaimed, and cited as among the highest-rated television series of all time by the Guinness World Records – it is no wonder that Breaking Bad has garnered a fan base so diverse yet so devoted all around the world. The cable TV series from AMC features versatile American actor Bryan Lee Cranston in the lead role of Walter White along with Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman. They portray a pair of unlikely partners in crime whose rise to infamy eventually takes them to the path of their own undoing. However, their story is one that is so visceral, so palpable, so fascinating that viewers are drawn to all that gritty drama like proverbial rats to the tune of the pied piper – fans through and through, allegiant to their unconventional antihero.
Breaking Bad 101
Let’s first have a crash course review of Breaking Bad. The show follows the travails of Walt (Walter White played by Bryan Cranston) – chemist, failed entrepreneur, high school teacher and part-time car wash worker – as he finds out that his days are numbered due to stage 3 lung cancer. Wanting to leave a better financial legacy to his wife (Skyler White played by Anna Gunn) and his special needs child (Walter White Jr played by RJ Mitte), Walt leverages his smarts in chemistry and plunges into the unforgiving world of illegal drugs, manufacturing and distributing crystal methamphetamines.
Who is Jesse Pinkman?
Walt engages the services of a former student, Jesse (Jesse Pinkman played by Aaron Paul), who already is connected in the drug trade of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Together they manage the dark intricate maze of the criminal underworld, dodging law enforcement and rival drug distributors, not to mention their families and friends.
Who is Heisenberg?
Episode by episode, we witness Walt’s descent from a typical no-nonsense middle-income family man to the silently conflicted, multi-millionaire criminal mastermind known as Heisenberg. The transformation alone from a normal, clean shaven, regular Joe to a bemoustached and begoateed, porkpie hat donning, international drug kingpin, is so convincing that it is certainly worthy of accolade. Even if Walt’s alter ego Heisenberg seems malevolent on the outside, he really is a self-made man. Although dark and damaged, he accepts it without batting an eyelash. He says in admitting to his wife who he is, “I am the danger!… I am the one who knocks!” A testament that he is well aware of his decision to be Heisenberg and he is standing by it with no apologies due.
In the end, the message still remains, “you reap what you sow”. Walt preempts his fate with cancer by leaving his multi-million inheritance to his family, saving Jesse from the clutches of drug gangs, risking his own life for family and a dear friend and eventually coming to terms with the deadly path he laid for himself. Toy with death and death does come.
Must-Have Breaking Bad Memorabilia
With such an epic characterization and storytelling, fans are desperate for trinkets and other souvenirs from the show. The Heisenberg hat worn by Cranston for the series is now a national treasure housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. In the meantime, the original line made by Goorin Bros. hat makers are all sold out and will no longer be manufactured. Props from the Breaking Bad set are selling like hotcakes over various online auction and e-commerce sites. In 2013, bids for the shows’ props and costumes at the end of their final episode raked in almost a million dollars from hardcore fans. Talk about breaking the bank for Breaking Bad.
If indeed you are a big fan of Breaking Bad, then there’s a couple of items of interest that would put a smile on even Heisenberg himself.
Breaking Bad Heisenberg Beaker Lamp
A very novel depiction of a dark character on a light source. The irony itself is so cool, fans are all over this one and it’s about to be sold out. It features an amusingly stark black and white drawing of Heisenberg on the lamp shade connected to a clear beaker containing look-alikes of Walter White’s Blue Sky meth crystals. This would make a very unique centerpiece for any fan’s man cave. The Just Funky Breaking Bad Heisenberg Beaker Lamp is around 14 to 16 inches tall when assembled, made of quality plastic, the painted finish is very presentable and runs at 200 watts. What’s more is that this piece is officially licensed by AMC.
Breaking Bad Floor Mat / Doormat
This is the Breaking Bad version of a Keep Out signage. It’s a doormat with an image of Heisenberg, wearing his signature hat and peering through his shades. The Breaking Bad logo is at the upper left corner and the words “I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS” boldly reminding anyone to take caution before entering your domain. Dimensions of this collectible is at 24×16 inches, it is made from PVC and coconut fiber. If you want something that speaks of your admiration for the Breaking Bad series, this one will impress it upon your guests without a molecule of doubt.
Mens Crushable Wool Felt Porkpie Hat
It may have been unintended by the show creators, but the lowly porkpie hat is now wholly identified with Heisenberg and the whole Breaking Bad phenomenon. No fan of BrBa can pass on a wool felt porkpie hat just like what Walt started to wear in Season 1 Episode 7 entitled “A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal.” This model adds an attachable feather and is made from 100% Wool Felt. Although it is indicated for men, I certainly know of a couple of women who would like to get in touch with their Heisenberg side with a porkpie hat of their own.
Heisenberg and Jesse Hazmat Suit
Action figures are big boy dolls and while that doesn’t sound enticing to some, admit it – you still want it! This 2-in-1 action figure set features Walt and Jesse in their yellow hazmat suits both at about a foot tall and includes interchangeable hands. It also comes with their mock meth lab accessories. Science rules!
Walter White and Jesse Pinkman Wall Art Print
This one really is a work of art. Measuring 45×36 inches the print is on canvas, and used UV-resistant inks. It shows beautifully painted profiles of Walter and Jesse in green monochrome. It’s bound to add beauty and will bring back BrBa memories to your spaces.
You don’t have to be a huge fanatic of Breaking Bad to acquire any of these memorabilia. They make a terrific addition to your den or man cave; a small reminder of the frailty of man or just a simple conversation piece when guests arrive. These simple souvenirs will allow you to recall and reconnect with the highs and lows of Walter White. After all, admit it or not, there’s a little of Heisenberg in all of us.