Thursday, October 27, 2016


Wrapping up "Mattel Month" here on the blog, it's only fitting that, being so close to Halloween, we finish up with a true monster of the ring. This man, with his flaming costume and head, was more than just a monster. Bam Bam Bigelow was a beast. "The Beast From The East," that is. It's hard to believe that we lost the giant nearly a decade ago, but his amazing agility is still remembered to this day. Did the Bammer live up to his full potential? Many say that he did not. Perhaps had things played out differently, Bam Bam could be remembered as one of the biggest stars that the business ever saw. Regardless, he is still missed for the accomplishments that he did achieve. Now, he's back on the minds of collectors with one more action figure.

Bigelow joins Tyler Breeze, Rusev, and The Rock as part of the Wal Mart exclusive Elite Then, Now, Forever collection. As mentioned in the review of Breeze several weeks ago, you can easily guess which two of the lineup are sitting and which two are selling. Need a hint? Both have now been reviewed on this very blog.

The packaging is in the same shape of the standard 2016 Elite packaging but with a few style changes. The motif is white, likely to match the "Then, Now, Forever" opening on all WWE programming. It's a clean, fresh look and it makes it easy to spot these as soon as you head down the toy aisle of your favorite Wal Mart (oxymoron?). Just like Breeze, Bam Bam does not "float" in the packaging, and by now you should all know how important that is to me. No one wants to spend their hard-earned money to feel like that they're buying packaging. Along with Bam Bam is a cool black breakaway table, a nice nod to his ECW stint.

This is Bam Bam's second time in the Mattel WWE figure line. His debut was in the original WWE Legends line years ago. That figure was based on the 1995 WWF attire that Bam Bam wore as a babyface. It was cartoonish, even for a man covered in flames, and was likely produced because, at the time, Mattel seemed to be producing legends in attires that had never before been done as figures. This time we get a look that Bam Bam wore up until shortly after the 1993 Royal Rumble. The blue had yet to join the attire's flame motif. The back of the packaging compares Bam Bam to Kevin Owens. Big guys who can move. Makes sense.

This is the same Bam Bam facial likeness as used before. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There really hasn't ever been a bad Bam Bam Bigelow likeness on an action figure. Even the LJN and Hasbro figures captured his look well. I think that this is the closest yet to replicating the famous head tattoos. While we're on the subject, the arm tattoos are well done also. All that's really missing as far as the design is chest hair. It's not really a deal breaker with everything else going on, the size of the figure, and the inclusion of a useful and popular accessory.

The body parts are all re-used but well chosen. Since most of Bam Bam's body is covered in his attire, it works. Bam Bam was never really a "fat guy," per se, so it definitely looks like Bam Bam standing there. I like the use of yellow, especially since his legs seem to be molded in the color. It stands out much better than a paint job. Wrist tape was also included, something that Bigelow wore off and on during his career. Personally, I've always felt wrestlers looked better with it for some unknown reason, so I'm glad that it's here. Maybe it's just more believable that a wrestler, no matter how big and bad, would want to wear as much protection as possible?

I like this figure. I don't think that there has ever been a bad Bam Bam Bigelow, but this definitely ranks as one of the best. I passed on the first Mattel offering of Bam Bam, and I'm glad that I picked this one up. Down the line, I could see a re-issue of the original since they already have the tooling for the entrance gear. After the straight reissues of Kamala and Big Boss Man among other legends, anything is possible. In the mean time, grab yourself a Bam Bam and don't fool around. Remember, if you play with fire, you'll get burned...

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