It took me awhile, but I finally warmed up to the "Funkasaurus." Of course it had to be the week before he was pulled from WWE television.
I'm not sure if it was the fact that his theme music was recycled, that half of his gimmick was recycled, or the plain and simple fact that I thought WWE was ruining another monster, but something made me want to hate "Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay. Though I loved his unique and refreshing look in a wrestling world where a little bulk is blasphemy, I began to realize that he really didn't stand out from any other monster over the years. Maybe "RikishiCatFunk" is just what he needed. Just as I came to the conclusion, the plug was pulled on the character.
This past Monday Night, Clay returned without explanation with the "Planet Funk" gimmick intact. What better time to review his "rookie" action figure now hitting stores...and flying off of shelves.
Along with sleek new packaging, Mattel has decided to announce characters never before depicted in their line with "First Time In The Line!" stickers right on the plastic bubble. As if this weren't enough to cause a frenzy, two of the figures including this sticker are Divas. As I've discussed in previous entries, Mattel has a ridiculous policy of sending less female figures than the others in shipping cases. This of course prompts online retailers to grossly inflate the prices on these figures, ensuring daily checks at retail stores if one ever expects to find them at a decent price. Nonetheless, the new packaging is nice and much more attractive than the previous red Mattel packaging that personally reminded me of the overproduced Attitude Era merchandise.
Brodus Clay looks like a potato with a mohawk and tattoos. Mattel captured that spud-like look perfectly. This is what a wrestling figure should look like. If you're a kid, your wrestling figures should appear like they can wipe the floor with everything else in your toy box. Brodus is ready to do that.
Although everyone reading this is smart enough to realize it, I'm going to point it out anyway: this figure is from Clay's original WWE run around this time last year. This is not a "Funkasaurus" figure. Action figures never have and probably never will be produced that quickly. In the interest of being current, Clay really hasn't changed much aside from the entrance gear, so it really isn't that big of a deal.
Since this is a "Basic" Mattel figure, the dreaded torso joint isn't there. It would be terrible on Brodus and would probably cause him to be less round. Despite him being "Basic," Mattel did not skimp on the detail. The aforementioned tattoos are all present as are painted features such as wrist and finger tape, silver trim on the singlet, and kneepads.
Criticism? Not all that much actually. The arms might be a tad too thin, but they're the same as the arms Mattel has used on every other "plus-sized" gent that they've produced a figure of, so I won't complain again. Plus, the arms have all of those great tattoos on them.
I don't have to tell you to buy this figure. You know that you're already going to even if you don't want it because you think you'll sell it on eBay. Thankfully those prices are going down. If Clay stays on television and another figure is released, those prices will bottom out.
This is a great figure. It has everything going for it from being an amazing design to representing a popular television character surely to gain attention from the kiddies. Brodus definitely scores a "Hit" on the "Hit or Miss" record that Mattel has had since taking over the WWE license. Needless to say, Funk is on a roll!
On a sad note, this week saw the passing of one of the most recognizable referees in the history of the industry. Dick Woehrle, known for his work in the 1970's and 1980's in wrestling rings across the country, passed away at the age of 81.
A complete gentleman outside of the ring, Woehrle seemed no-nonsense and tough-as-nails inside of it. With his signature gruff voice and look of perennially being around 50 years old, Dick Woehrle may have been one referee who actually could've put butts in the seats. He was a character all his own yet didn't detract from the wrestlers themselves.
His great look and charisma was immortalized in the mid-80's by Remco when the toy company included his likeness as an action figure in their AWA line. The figure obviously made quite an impression on the referee and his family as the toy was even mentioned in his obituary. In 2011, Mr. Woehrle commented on our Facebook Fanpage that his daughter joked that Remco put his head on Hulk Hogan's body for the figure, citing the toy line's infamous reputation for using mostly muscular body types.
In recent years Woehrle made the rounds at various wrestling legends events often reuniting with fellow refereeing legend Dick Kroll. Mr. Woehrle will be deeply missed by both his fans and the wrestling community.