Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Beefcake In The Oven For 35 Years

Yes, "The Barber" has had plenty of action figures. "Brutus Beefcake," however? One. LJN. 1986ish. Sure it was released a few times (original, Dream Team two-pack, and as "The Barber" on the black card), but every other figure of Beefcake has been as "The Barber" complete with shears and resembling his look post-WrestleMania III. Finally, in another nice surprise from Mattel's WWE Legends line, the strutting, cocky man of questionable profession from San Francisco returns to the figure world.

As is Mattel's calling card, WWE Legends Series 10 has had some odd distribution. Despite all four being available for a few minutes on pre-order day through Target's website and app, Big Van Vader and John Cena shipped first. Months early, actually. The two shipped to Target stores as well and if you weren't able to get them then you honestly weren't trying. I normally hate that kind of phrasing, but they were plentiful. Beefcake and Diamond Dallas Page were a different story. Shortly after the several minute pre-order window was over, Mattel announced that the latter two would be released months later. It then also came out that they would strictly be released online. This did two things: it automatically made collectors who missed out on the joke of a pre-sale very upset. It also automatically drove up the secondary market price upon the eventual release.

Adding to the upset is that Brutus Beefcake is the figure in the set with a chase variant. The tights are blue with a spotted design as opposed to the yellow and black stripes with the standard. It's hard to say so early into the release if one will truly be more desired than the other. Previously Legends line releases have seen instances where the standard and chase have seemingly been equal (Jake "The Snake" Roberts) and others where both have been a highly desired figure ("Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase). As this blog has always been on the side of collectors getting what they want, we'll hope that the former ends up being the rule.

The figure itself? I love the entire presentation. Nothing different in the packaging yet. I'm assuming that this will change eventually as there is said to be a revamp coming to the main line. Time will tell. I've never been a big fan of the entrance gear being packaged away from the figure and here we get the coat right on Beefcake. The tights are quite visible enough to tell which one you're getting and the colors are different enough to make it obvious. The belt is nicely positioned and the extra hands don't cause any distraction to the figure itself. I do like that the sunglasses are off in order to see the facial scan.

Speaking of that! This is one that is in my "look at it long enough and you feel like he's standing there" grouping. I don't know how many that I've included in this elite club (I know that it started with the Survivor Series Jeff Hardy of a few years ago) but Brutus really takes the...cake. Due to the hair this is an all new head and I really want to see it again. I'll get to that in a bit. The body is the same as the previous Mattel Beefcake figures and the thicker torso really works for him, especially when positioned near a Hulk Hogan figure. I've felt that some of the Mattel WWE figures have been a tad too slender since Day 1. We're not seeing that here.

You get a nice lot of accessories, too, including the coat, hands, sunglasses, bowtie and WWF Tag Team Championship belt. This is the first time that the silver colored tag team belt has ever been done in figure form. While it's not shiny vac-style, it looks great. The only question is who will we see another one with down the line? Do we still have the rights to Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda?

Now comes the hard part. This would be an instant Figure of the Year candidate for me...if it had better distribution. I lucked out on this one. I received one of each in two orders through two different accounts of two different people. I didn't cheat. I simply wanted one to open and one to keep carded. I certainly don't get these things handed to me like some unnamed blowhards that many of you love. I've been doing it the right way for 35 years. But just because I lucked out doesn't mean that the distribution on these is great. Thus far it's awful. Could this improve? Sure. If they're going to be Target online exclusives then make them available for days on end as Vader and Cena were. It's that simple.

And since you have this new head done, Mattel, how about a Beefcake-Valentine two-pack? Brutus in the black and yellow lighting motif and Valentine in purple. It can even be basic and include the silver titles. Too much of a dream, team?

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