Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Big Bucket of Rumble

When I was a kid, my mother marveled at the action figures that were out there. In her childhood years, there just wasn't the same level of detail put into toys. After all, they were for kids. When I played with my G.I. Joe figures, my mom would tell me of the solid plastic figures that she and her siblings had. Army men, cowboys, space men, it didn't matter. They mixed them all together and had a lot of fun. I could understand why. It isn't about how many joints a figure has in its arms and legs. It's about what kind of hero or villain that the figure represents. The imagination of the child will take care of the rest. Now kids who are wrestling fans can relive that vintage plastic thrill.

Wicked Cool Toys has produced several different items under their WWE license, but none may be quite as unique as the WWE Micro Maulers. The item is exactly what it claims to be on the packaging: a "Bucket Of Superstars!" Inside this plastic tub are twenty-seven different WWE figures. Like the army men of yesteryear that I mentioned above, these are solid figures that don't move. They're posed in connection with the character that they represent, and there are both current and past stars included.

Making up the group are Yokozuna, Roman Reigns, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sheamus, The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Erick Rowan, Jake Roberts, Rusev, Jimmy Hart, Daniel Bryan, Bret Hart, Randy Orton, Kane, Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Ric Flair, The Big Show, The Rock, Jimmy & Jey Uso, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, Sgt. Slaughter, Dean Ambrose, and Macho Man Randy Savage. Originally, the set was also to include Hulk Hogan and The Road Warriors as well.

The top of the bucket detaches to become a ring for our little plastic gladiators. The figures are generally easily recognizable, and only once or twice did I have to refer to the names on the bottom of the molded stand. Not being in his robe, Flair looks just a tad generic. For some reason, my bucket contained two Jey Uso figures. Seeing as that on the packaging the Uso figures look to be identical, I wasn't too bothered by this.

The figures are divided between current star and legend by color, in red and blue respectively. Kane in his current look and attire is blue while The Undertaker in a hooded robe is in red, but that's not too big of a deal, either. The sculpts are good, the poses are recognizable, and some are just downright fun. If the mini-figure of the mighty Yokozuna in all his girthy glory doesn't bring a smile to your face, then you just aren't a wrestling fan.

The set is labeled as "Series 1" and "Royal Rumble," which had some collectors upset when Hogan, Hawk, and Animal were removed as it isn't a perfect thirty-man "Rumble." With the inclusion of a manager, I think that the sets are intended to be named after big events rather than actually replicating them. After all, these are "little plastic men." If this is indeed the case and further sets see the light of day, I would imagine that we will see WrestleMania, SummerSlam, etc.

These little guys are fun to toss around or just pose. They aren't Mattel Elite figures nor are they meant to be. It's simple fun and it actually isn't the first time that wrestling figures have been produced in this fashion. Although they did not have molded stands, Remco produced Mini Mashers as part of their AWA line. The figures were solid plastic each in a different color and based on the larger AWA figures. Some collectors have taken to painting them over the years, and I could see some artsy modern fans doing the same with these.

Although I've seen the sets in brick and mortar stores, you can't go wrong for around $4 per bucket on Amazon. Hopefully the lower price doesn't mean that further sets are in danger, as there are plenty of current and past WWE stars that I'd love to see added in the future.

Yoko, Macho, Taker, and the Wyatt Family? Sounds like a heckuva Rumble to me!

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