Thursday, January 29, 2015

The 25th Anniversary of Hasbro WWF--Part 5

What a month it's been!  Twenty-five of my favorite Hasbro products in honor of the 25th anniversary of the line.  Like any list, it's all objective! Fans are always getting riled up over WWE "Top" lists, but it's all a matter of opinion.  The various incarnations of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart didn't make my list, but Andre the Giant and Greg Valentine may not have made yours.  As a kid, you may have buried Demolition or Razor Ramon in your Hasbro rings while they reigned supreme in mine.  Everyone has their favorites, and from 1990 to 1994, Hasbro gave all of us a lot to choose from!

*My list was in no real particular order, but if I was forced to pick a favorite, it may very well be the Doinkster. Hasbro went above and beyond with the Clown, complete with newly sculpted parts and, best of all, real rooted hair.  This is definitely a "heel " Doink the Clown, based on his well-remembered early days as portrayed by the late Matt Borne.  It was always cool when the announcers would tout what a great technical wrestler Doink was despite his clownish appearance.  It added another layer to the already sinister character.  For the record, Matt Borne is the Doink pictured on the cardback.  I'm thankful that I was able to have one signed before his untimely death.

*Another item that disappeared from shelves as quickly as it arrived was the Royal Rumble mini-ring.  The three mini-figure four-packs were plentiful in the Summer of 1992.  Unfortunately for those who missed out, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and Ted DiBiase were among those that were available only with the ring.  For whatever reason the ring only seemed to ship once and wasn't available very long thus leaving the figure packs to rot on shelves for years.  Retail disinterest was the likely culprit, but had the ring been released at the same time as the figures it may have been a different story.

*Cool, cocky, bad, and another great figure from Hasbro.  Honky had long passed his days as one of the top heels in the WWF, but his figure was still planned and released.  He wouldn't have been the same without his trademark guitar which, coupled with his "Real Wrestling Action," came crashing down on many other wrestlers.  Even with other figures of Honky from LJN, Jakks, and Mattel, the Hasbro is probably still my favorite.  It even has the jumpsuit belt that other manufacturers "forgot."

*Bam Bam Bigelow always came across as a perfect action figure. Flames, tattoos, and a whole bunch of "mean."  I found the figure on the day of the 1994 Royal Rumble.  Much to my surprise, Bigelow ended up having a singles match that night as he took the place of Ludvig Borga in a bout against Tatanka. Bigelow and Tatanka, both graduates of Larry Sharpe's Monster Factory, were always well-matched opponents. Though he never quite made it as far as he should have, Bam Bam had his moments and, in my mind, is a great future WWE Hall of Fame candidate.

*Speaking of those who should be in the WWE Hall of Fame brings us to
my favorite tag team of all-time, Demolition.  I still remember being so conflicted about how to purchase Smash.  His single figure was fairly plentiful along with Ax, but the same Smash also came in a tag team set with Crush and their pre-match masks.  The two-pack became difficult to find, so for awhile Ax had to fend for himself in my Hasbro ring. Perhaps just a lonely Masked Superstar?  Eventually, thanks to a lone Demolition set at my local Service Merchandise store, the trio was united and took on the LOD, The Bushwhackers, Doom, The Horsemen, and The Steiner Brothers (thanks to Galoob for the last three).  I even remember an epic singles struggle over the Intercontinental Championship between Smash and Marty Jannetty that mysteriously ended when Hasbro released a sneaky fellow known as Repo Man.

Twenty-five items for twenty-five years.  A revival of the Hasbro style would be a no-brainer.  It would couple the secondary "action feature" lines that are made to appeal to kids with figures that older collectors would snap up in an instant.  Why hasn't it happened?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe the manufacturers just want to "leave the memories alone..."

1 comment:

Chris said...

I would love to start building up a collection of figures myself. I have started first with some autographs but wanna expand if we can get room to make my "man cave" lol