Thursday, July 11, 2013
Buff Is "The Stuff" At A Thrift Store
Like most collectors, I love thrift stores. Hunting in them can often take a lot of patience, but it usually pays off in the end. I've found many great wrestling items at various thrift stores over the years, but finding an unopened figure in one such shop is a bit of a rarity. Such was my surprise when a ToyBiz WCW Buff Bagwell appeared at my local thrift store for the small sum of $3.99.
The ToyBiz WCW figure line was very hit or miss. The line never seemed to find an identity or figure out exactly what it was going for. The very first series included a mix of figures that seemed to be geared towards either action moves (Hollywood Hogan, The Giant) or action poses (Scott Hall, DDP). Subsequent figures were largely geared towards the action features, but scale, design, and general organization seemed to be a total loss. Perhaps ToyBiz was merely reflecting the oft-talked about management of WCW.
This particular thrift store find is from ToyBiz's WCW PowerSlam release of 2000. The series also included Hogan, Sting, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Sid Vicious and the lone WCW figure releases of Roddy Piper and Hak (aka The Sandman). Though the Piper and Hak figures were always two of my better liked products of the ToyBiz line, I never owned this particular Bagwell. At such a great price, a great looking likeness, and some fun looking accessories, I decided to add Buff to my loose collection.
Almost all of the ToyBiz WCW figures include some wacky accessories, many with action features all their own. Some of the coolest accessories of the time, barbed wire and the first wrestling Singapore cane accessory, were packaged with Hak. Buff's aren't quite as hardcore but may be equally as fun. Buff's signature stovepipe hat is here, and it actually has a feature! A plastic piece at the top of the hat is attached to a coil that enables it to be "launched" from the hat. It's too bad that Johnny B. Badd was no longer in WCW at this point, as this mechanism would've made an amazing "Badd Blaster" accessory. The hat doesn't actually "fit," but it does "sit." Buff also includes a training dummy that looks a bit like Ric Flair or referee Charles Robinson.
That punch isn't just any punch, however! Buff is equipped with an action feature of his own! Simply twist Bagwell at the waist and his powerful fists unleash a spinning punch that would cause Jim Ross to shout, "...shades of Kerry Von Erich!" Actually, the spin mechanism isn't nearly as powerful as even the Hasbro WWF Texas Tornado figure's feature, but at least it's there and adds charm to the figure. Another bonus is that unlike many of the ToyBiz WCW figures, this action feature isn't activated by a lever protruding from the figure's back. Simply twist and spin! Set it and forget it!
In all seriousness, many of these ToyBiz WCW figures are inexpensive (there are exceptions) and readily available. Although the line can be hit or miss, there are many figures such as this one, Bam Bam Bigelow, Vampiro, and even Mean Gene Okerlund that have great likenesses, details, and accessories. What are you waiting for? Make a trip to your local thift store. You may just find...The Stuff!