Thursday, September 27, 2018

Shark Attack!

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the blog, we're wrapping up "Mattel Month." It's been several weeks of interesting newer product from the WWE figure line, and finalizing the lineup is a figure that most of us never thought we would see. Though John Tenta has had many figures going back to 1992, they've always been in his guise as Earthquake. The beloved big man had several other gimmicks and finally one from the bizarre files of World Championship Wrestling has circled and hit store shelves. Meet...The Shark!

I should back up a bit. The figure has had an interesting road to collectors hands and it hasn't always been on physical store shelves. Originally scheduled as a Toys "R" Us exclusive, the figure only made it to the Canadian branch of the chain after their stores in the United States closed. This left distribution in America as a question mark bigger than the one on Frank Gorshin. Would it see the light of day here? Yes. It has become an online exclusive to a retailer popular with every group from soccer moms to geek culture and everyone in between. Have you guessed it yet? Bullseye.

The figure is essentially the Mattel Earthquake figures with a new head, but it's more than just a repaint. This is a new character. To me, that makes a lot of difference. I also think that this is the best  facial likeness of John Tenta to date. The lone accessory is a hand band, and I can't really think of anything else that I would've included. I guess you could consider the very detailed cardboard logo backdrop as an accessory, if only because I couldn't stand to toss it with the rest of the packaging. It fits perfectly with the cheesiness of the character.

Speaking of which, in case you're not familiar, this was Tenta's character in the "Dungeon of Doom" faction. Although many ended up being part of that group, this is one of the few to be produced by Mattel who actually came from the cartoony era when the mission of the faction was to end Hulkamania. As no stranger to being in the ring opposite of the yellow and red as Earthquake, The Shark was a fun, if not necessarily successful, image for the big man from Canada.

I like this figure a lot. I had a bad experience with the retailer while getting it, which is why I'm childishly omitting their name. Needless to say, you all know where you can purchase it. It's a bit overpriced at $25, but not out of the ballpark if it's a figure that you truly desire. As a fan of the late, great, John Tenta, I could not pass it up. Word is that the Red Rooster will be joining The Shark as another online exclusive from the same retailer, so I guess that I best make amends fast.

Thanks for joining us for "Mattel Month!" Figures are the one constant in wrestling memorabilia collecting, so I'm sure that the fun will continue well into our tenth year...

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