Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Bunny Hops From The Easter Basket To The Ring

Depth. To me, in an action figure line, it's what it's all about. If I'm going to collect the figures, there had better be a wide range and variety including "secondary" characters. Star Wars mastered this by literally pulling creatures from dark corners of the films and immortalizing them in plastic. In wrestling, it's figures of referees, managers, and commentators that provide the depth. LJN did a great job of this with their famous WWF Wrestling Superstars line as did Remco with their AWA All-Star Wrestling figures. Over time, Jakks followed suit with their longtime WWF/WWE license and now Mattel has begun to realize that wrestling figures don't always have to be of actual wrestlers. With that in mind, we have the first figure of...The Bunny.

Yes, I know that The Bunny did wrestle, but I still consider it to be a non-wrestler figure. It/he/whatever comes together with the third figure of Adam Rose in a Battle Pack. If you're a fan of Rose or waited to add him to your collection until this set was released, this is a good thing. If not, you have your third figure of someone who has yet to really get over outside of NXT. In a way this is a good thing as far as being able to get The Bunny, as the Battle Packs tend to last longer on the shelves. As the single packed Zeb Colter and Jerry Lawler proved, the non-wrestlers move!

The Adam Rose figure does have a different design than the previous two releases. It's a good likeness and includes a top hat. I may be biased, but so far he has translated into three rather boring figures. Nothing stands out about them. I don't dislike the guy, I just have yet to find a reason to get behind him or his figures. He's even my least favorite in one of my favorite current groups. On the other hand, The Bunny is one of those instances when goofiness in wrestling just works for me, especially when it transitions over into merchandise. We haven't seen the character in a long time nor may we ever again, but the fact that it hit store shelves as an action figure makes it immortal.

Mattel designed a sculpt that they'll likely never be able to use again. Much kudos for that effort. The likeness of the complete costume is amazing, right down to the cotton tail. The vest is a completely separate piece, which again shows the detail that Mattel put into this. The figure is also heavy, which makes up for the paltry Adam Rose. The face is either the stuff of dreams or nightmares depending on your mentality, but I think that the thing is pretty darn cute.

When figures of Braun Strowman, Becky Lynch, and Alexa Bliss are released, you'll be able to have quite an Exotic Express entourage when coupled with The Bunny. Pick up that clearanced Exotic Express pendant from the WWE Shop and we're talking major diorama possibilities. Personally, I think The Bunny will headline my own Easter decor this year and for many seasons to come. And don't be surprised to find the figure in the holiday section of your local thrift store in a decade or so. Aside from a light WWE stamp on his foot, there's nothing to tell the average person that this is a wrestling figure instead of a holiday decoration.

If you want The Bunny to hop onto your shelf, you'll have to grab the Battle Pack. The character is long gone from television and was only part of a forgotten angle as is. There's virtually no chance of a second figure (although a Bunny vs Gobbledy Gooker Battle Pack would be novel...) so this will likely be a case where you'll be spending stupid money to get it on the secondary market if you pass it up initially.

Was this The Bunny that you visited at the mall in your youth? Was it perhaps the same rabbit that battled in the APA Invitational? Is this the guy that ate the carrots that you left out for him? We may never know, but now we have a figure of him to stare at while we wonder...just who is that big-eared man?


American Wind said...

after i read your write up on this, i just had to go and get it. i happen to love the weird and silly aspect of wrestling just as much as the regular tough guy routine. i thought the bunny and the rosebuds were great. in true wwe fashion there are numerous guys completely underutilized and adam rose is just one of many of those. hopefully the social outcasts won't go the way of the ironically named 'ascension' tag team, who i really wanted to get behind based on their look and mystique.
as you probably know, the man under the bunny suit was justin gabriel, now pj black, who is currently in the fantastic lucha underground.

J\/\/ said...

Glad this made you want to get it!

I had a picture of The Bunny standing over one of the Gabriel figs, but it just didn't make the cut. Too many funny pics to make with him!

Satyran Deluxe said...

Really a well written article! Yeah, I also love the secondary figures. In fact, most of my favorite figures are the Pyro's, Catman's, and Bunny's of the figure world. I think that one of the main reasons for such detail and a one off sculpt by Mattel for the Bunny figure stems from Mattel's desire to make the series appealing to little children. I have heard many adult collectors complain about the Create-a-Superstar series and I actually love all of them. I love them for the same reason I love the Bunny figure: these are one of a kind highly specialized action figures that I could've seen as my absolute favorites at ten years old. It's for that reason that I still love figures in general. Seeing a Bunny WWE figure gives me hope that we will someday get a Mattel Gobbledy Gooker figure!
Thanks again for such a great article. I really enjoyed your thoughts on the subject and look forward to reading more.