Hogan. Austin. Cena. The Rock. The Undertaker. All-time greats. All-time favorite action figures to many collectors young and old. If you walked into any toy store during the primes of the aforementioned stars, you would be sure to find several different versions of each clogging the shelves.
Of course these figures are going to dominate the rest of your collection, but just like in the real-life world of wrestling, it takes other guys to make the stars. Which figures are going to look up at your bedroom lights while Dusty dances and Flair struts?
It's the lesser stars that have always intrigued me the most both in-ring and in the world of memorabilia. Some fans just don't realize that a lot of collectors want figures of nearly anyone who's ever appeared in a wrestling ring. When those fans see a particularly "quirky" figure either in a collection or on a store shelf, the familiar sentence always rings out...
"That guy actually had a figure?"
This entry is my own personal list of the five figures most likely to produce such a reaction. These five are based on my own opinion and reactions I've personally seen to some of them. Prepare to be SHOCKed...
He came. He saw. He fell. Tugboat in a glitter-filled Stormtrooper helmet. One of WCW's best ideas? No. But certainly a character that would make one wonder how it got onto television, much less got an action figure.
The truth is that the action figure is part of the Jakks WWE Classic Superstars line and was produced for two reasons. The first reason is because the character, due to the various mishaps surrounding it, WAS memorable. The second is because Jakks already had the rights to create the various faces of Fred Ottman into action figures. While Tugboat still remains unmade as an action figure (aside from being one of the goalie figures in the 1991 Remco WWF Table Hockey), we will always have Typhoon and the one and only Shockmaster to relive our memories of "Uncle Fred."
Figures of the wrestlers themselves are great, but who can put on a show without managers, announcers, and referees? While Remco produced a few different referee figures for their AWA line, their Dick Woehrle figure may be the best referee figure of any line. While the other referees in the AWA line featured repainted heads from other Remco action figure lines, the Dick Woehrle head sculpt is amazingly lifelike. While the figure does include the famous "ripped" body type used on many of the AWA figures, it does not take away from the only figure of the man who seemingly wore the stripes in every wrestling territory. While other referees were released later on, perhaps the only figure to come close was the Jakks release of Earl Hebner nearly two decades later.
This is the figure that not only posed the question above, but made kids ask "Who IS this guy?" The truth of the matter is that Ted Arcidi had a very brief run in the WWF. Aside from an appearance in the WrestleMania 2 Battle Royal, Arcidi had very few other memorable moments. This, coupled with the long time it took for figures to be produced in that era, meant that most children didn't have a clue who Ted Arcidi was by the time that the LJN figure was available in stores. The red singlet and somewhat goofy facial expression ensured that this figure would become the "jobber" in WWF household action nationwide. Arcidi has since become an actor appearing in such films as "The Town" and "The Fighter," but his biggest claim to immortality will probably always be as the least known LJN WWF figure in the line.
Tiny Lister is a very nice guy and a good actor. If you've seen anything from "The Dark Knight" to "Friday" to episodes of "Matlock" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," you've seen Tiny Lister. He just wasn't a very good wrestler. His stint as Zeus was rather unremarkable despite the hype, and we can all be thankful that a rumored Hogan-Zeus main event at WrestleMania VI ultimately did not happen.
Similarly to The Shockmaster, Zeus was immortalized in the WWE Classic Superstars line for nostalgia purposes. Had the run of Zeus not taken place just as the WWF was switching from LJN to Hasbro for their toy license, we may very well have seen a vintage Zeus figure released as well.
Tiny Lister continues to have a steady career as a menacing character actor. Former WWF star Robert "Kurrgan" Maillet seems to be following in the same footsteps by becoming Hollywood's go-to brute. Will we ever see Zeus and Kurrgan do battle on the big screen? I know I'm not the only one who'd love to see it.
Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport! Yes, it's Outback Jack. He had videos hyping his debut. He had magazine articles. He had trading cards. And yes, he had an LJN figure. He simply didn't have much ability in the ring. He did help us understand the lingo on the menu at "The Outback" and satisfied any fantasies anyone may have had about Crocodile Dundee crossing over into the world of wrestling. Honestly, we were better off sticking with Bill Dundee.
Did I leave anyone out? A figure that you cannot believe was produced? Maybe it's one that you've seen in a previous entry. Let us know here or on the Facebook Fanpage!