It's nearly limitless as to who we may receive in figure form in the future. Aside from two names in particular, literally anyone who has stepped foot into a wrestling ring now has a shot at plastic immortality thanks to what I like to call "boutique" manufacturers. These are small outfits who are legally obtaining the rights to produce stars of the ring in figure form. As I discussed a few months back in my review of the Bruiser Brody figure by Junkshopdog, it's all about what you like and what you decide to include in your own collection. While I expect to see more from Junkshopdog (Terry Funk, The Road Warriors, Dynamite Kid AND Bull Nakano) on this blog in the coming months, for this entry we're shifting gears to a group known as Chella Toys. Based in the U.K., Chella Toys has been making waves with a line called Wrestling Megastars that attempts to continue the beloved Hasbro WWF line.
Chella Toys began with a figure of NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. While figures of indy star Ethan Page, Dynamite Kid, Hayabusa and Bull Nakano (who would've thought we'd get two figures of the joshi legend?) are upcoming, the second release stars none other than The Blue Meanie. Following this blog for over a decade as I'm sure you have, you know that I feel Meanie has been very underrepresented in the action figure world. Despite being a living cartoon character Meanie did not receive a figure in either his ECW or WWF runs. This was probably due to timing. Several years ago he finally saw a plastic representation in the Figures Toy Company Legends of Professional Wrestling line, but that one suffered greatly in quality. In the mean(ie)time, The Blue Guy did join the Micro Brawlers mini-figure lineup.
I think we've finally gotten the Meanie that we all deserved. Shouldn't the most beloved cartoony wrestler join the ranks of the most beloved cartoony wrestling figure line? In a word, yes! He's here and he's dancing. The Meanie comes packaged with "Josh Shernoff." I've guested on podcasts but I generally don't listen to them. From what I understand, seeing as that Meanie's shirt is from his "Mind of the Meanie" podcast, Shernoff is his co-host. The inclusion has divided a lot of fans. For me, it took away the burden of wanting a second set to get signed since I just really wouldn't want a podcast host to sign anything. I'm sure he's a great guy and is thrilled to have a figure. It's not a bad figure and comes with a very cool removable "Mind of the Meanie" microphone accessory.
The main event here is Meanie. How great is this little guy? The pose, the facial expression, the short shorts. This is what we've all wanted for a couple of decades. The folks at Chella Toys obviously have a great grasp on what made the Hasbro WWF line as popular as it is even today. It captures the spirit in a way that many of the Mattel retro figures quite honestly didn't. Even the backer cards on these Chella releases (I own the Aldis figure as well) are of the same thickness of cardboard that Hasbro used all of those years ago. The Mattel stuff was, for lack of better terms, cheap and flimsy. Is it that expensive to get a better quality cardboard for loyal fans paying good money? Chella Toys doesn't think so. They delivered.
Two aesthetics that may be cons with fans do exist. Some collectors probably would've preferred a different shirt on the figure. Seeing as that his podcast is probably something that he'd like to promote, it's easy to see why that shirt was used over a Blue Meanie or bWo shirt. Even though I've never heard the podcast I don't mind the shirt at all. It even promotes his social media accounts on the back. The other issue some may have is with the "Real Megastar Action." As a take off on the classic Hasbro "Real Wrestling Action" of each figure in that line, the Wrestling Megastar line has followed suit. The difference is that it's tongue-in-cheek and none of these figures have an action beyond you posing them. I actually think it's rather cute and the classic "action" callout on the card is much more endearing than a useless stand or an even more worthless advertisement for an app game. Mattel, I'm looking at you.
What a great new addition to the Hasbro-styled collection! I went the eBay route on these through a reputable United States based seller. There is apparently an "official" distributor of these in the U.S., but by many accounts that individual is less than trustworthy. For future Chella Toys releases I'll probably stick to eBay. I definitely want to get my hands on a Bull and probably a Dynamite who is designed to match the Hasbro Davey Boy Smith. Another independent toy maker is bringing out a Hasbro-styled line as well, so I could see possibly picking up some of those and reviewing them as well. But until then...