As is the case every year at this time, Toy Fair hits New York City with previews of toys of all types for vendors to order throughout the year. For those wrestling collectors who venture into the action figure realm, pictures from the event are often enough to get fans salivating.
Preview pictures have already emerged from Mattel Toys showcase at the event. Mattel recently took over the WWE toy license and product started showing up on store shelves late last year. While their initial lineup of current stars has received a warm welcome, many collectors were waiting for Mattel to launch a line of WWE legends figures; a follow-up of sorts to Jakks now-legendary Classic Superstars figure line.
In pictures already transmitted from the event, Mattel has showcased what looks to be Series 1 of their upcoming WWE Legends line. The Road Warriors (NWA style), Dusty Rhodes (polka-dots), Ted DiBiase (black suit), Sgt. Slaughter (Mid-Atlantic/early WWF style), and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat have been unveiled. The Steamboat figure is particularly intriguing, as "The Dragon" was one of the top requested grapplers never to grace the Jakks line. Steamboat was shown in packaging, complete with red gi outfit and the komodo dragon he carried to the ring in his feud with Jake "The Snake" Roberts. The band/muzzle that was ever-present around the komodo's jaw is even sculpted on. While I have been less than enthusiastic about the Mattel line thus far due to poor likenesses and a general feeling of lesser quality than the Jakks line, the WWE Legends collection may end up changing my mind.
When Toy Fair officially kicks off, it is hoped that Jakks will have their upcoming TNA line on display, as well as their NWA Legends collection. A TNA Legends line has appeared for pre-order on several websites, and it is assumed that these will be the NWA Legends figures. Sting, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, and Scott Steiner are listed among the pre-orders, and it is hoped that all of these wrestlers will be depicted in their classic attire. While Kurt Angle hardly fits in an NWA Legends line, it is hoped he will at least have hair and one of his original singlet designs. Here is also hoping that further NWA Legends series feature TRUE NWA Legends who are long deserving of figures such as Magnum TA, JJ Dillon, and Ole Anderson.
It should also be noted that Jakks will now have the opportunity to persue adding Randy "Macho Man" Savage to their figure line. Under WWE's license, that option was prohibited. Make it happen, Jakks!
WrestleMania is coming, and in addition to more news from Toy Fair and other news about upcoming wrestling items, I'll be having several WrestleMania-themed entries chronicling the rich history of the event and the collectibles commemorating it.