Thursday, February 8, 2018

Golden Memorabilia

Back in 1995, who would've thought that in 2018 we would still be talking about the character Goldust in the present tense? Indeed we are doing just that. While no longer as edgy as the character was twenty-three years ago, everything else has just gotten better. In fact, the 48-year-old superstar shows no signs of slowing down. Perhaps the movie-quoting wrestler should set his sights on "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," as "The Bizarre One" truly seems to be aging in reverse.

Dustin Rhodes certainly could have had a respectable career had he remained "The Natural." He was always more than capable in the ring, but needed to leave the larger-than-life shadow of his father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. By shocking and changing the wrestling world, Dustin did indeed "shatter dreams" and created one of the most memorable personas that the industry has ever seen.

Though Goldust burst onto the scene in a "dark time" for wrestling action figures due to the Hasbro WWF line ending roughly a year before his debut, the character has had no shortage of representation in plastic. He was in the very first assortment of six figures produced by Jakks and made it all the way to the Classic Superstars line. It was there that he saw arguably his finest figure, complete with shiny gold packaging. Many of his figures have included his signature blonde wig while others featured several different versions of the classic Goldust robe. In recent years, Mattel has included entries into their line spanning all eras of the character. Even a Create-A-Wrestler figure featured Goldust in an Egyptian Pharaoh costume that fit right in with the style and antics of the golden star.

Notably missing from most Goldust merchandising are any items from his brief stint as "The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust" during the "Attitude Era." This version of the character, paired with the late, great Luna Vachon, had maybe just a few too many adult themes to translate into products aimed at the mass market. When Rhodes went to TNA, he brought to life a character similar to Goldust known as "Black Reign." Basically, the gold turned to silver in a rather forgettable takeoff of "The Bizarre One." This incarnation did spawn a trading card.

It goes without saying that Goldust's unique appearance made many magazine covers, photos, and, of course, face masks. The varying face paint designs over the "Decades of Dust" have lent their appearance to a variety of masks, an item which returned in recent years and have once again become available through WWE. And one cannot forget Rhodes' autobiography which notably documented his recovery from years of addiction.

The future is bright for "Goldie." He continues to be a valuable member of the WWE roster, most recently teaming with Mandy Rose in "Mixed Match Challenge." When his in-ring career is finally, and regrettably, over, he will likely have another WWE company role waiting for him and, without a doubt, a spot in the WWF Hall of Fame. As far as merchandising goes, a glaring omission can finally be righted. A figure in Mattel's WWE Retro line would fill the void left by just missing the Hasbro collection nearly a quarter of a century ago.

Even as things stand now, you WILL remember the name...

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