Saturday, June 15, 2019
Hacksaw is back in action figure collections worldwide, now for the third time thanks to Mattel. I will make the statement that Duggan is one of the more under-produced wrestling legends as far as action figures go, especially for someone with such high name recognition. Off the top of my head, the Duggan figure count totals to eight, with LJN, Hasbro, Star Toys (Mexico), Jakks, and Mattel as the manufacturers. Today we're looking at the eighth figure in the count, but one that actually covers three eras of Duggan.
The Gamestop exclusive RetroFest line brings us the latest Duggan, joining the likes of Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Shawn Michaels, The Honky Tonk Man, and Ric Flair already in the series. The packaging is designed to resemble a vintage arcade cabinet, most notably that of the WWF WrestleFest game. It's a fun and unique change, though it does partially hide some of the figure itself. Removing the figure can be a bit of a challenge, too.
The true highlight for me are the accessories that lend themselves to two other versions of Hacksaw. Included are the ubiquitous 2x4 and flag, but the real gems are the removable t-shirt and crown. The crown is from his 1989 run as "King Duggan" and the t-shirt is a meticulous reproduction of the one offered in the merchandise catalog and at events circa 1988. With the shirt on the first Mattel Duggan release and the crown on the second, you can have a complete Duggan "fashion show." Move over Ken, Hacksaw's here. The flag and 2x4 seem to be the same as the original Mattel release of Duggan nearly a decade ago.
Saturday, June 8, 2019
The year was 1986 and the film Crocodile Dundee was banking coin and bringing laughs at the box office. It told the story of an Australian bushman finding himself in America lost in the culture of New York City. What better story for a new WWF character? The company found a man named Peter Stilsbury to portray the character and thus began the adventure of Outback Jack. As said above, it isn't a bad idea on paper. As chronicled by the vignettes shown on WWF television to introduce the character, the Australian bushmen are tough. I'm sure that many fans were eagerly awaiting Jack battling and defeating the biggest and baddest that the WWF had to offer such as King Kong Bundy and Kamala.
Needless to say, Outback Jack was a failed experiment. To the surprise of many fans today, Jack lasted about a year and a half, seeing his last WWF matches in mid-1988. In a bit of trivia he even teamed with a young Steve Blackman in one of those matches, the same "Lethal Weapon" who would make a bit of a name with the company a decade later.
What is also surprising to some fans is the amount of merchandise that was released for the character. Outback Jack had several cards in the much remembered 1987 Topps WWF card set, even getting a "face" card that only the top superstars received. He also had a rarely seen set of promotional photos that showed Jack in and around Australia in some of the same situations shown in the introduction vignettes. There was an Outback Jack t-shirt sold through the merchandise catalog and at events, but most famous is his figure in the beloved Wrestling Superstars line by LJN. To date this remains the only figure of Jack, and it even has a removable slouch hat.