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Obscure action figures you never knew existed!
WWE action figures are always among the most popular and sought-after toys available in stores. They are all must-haves for the WWE Universe and perfectly capture a moment in time featuring any given WWE Superstar or Diva. However, there are also quite a few that you may be shocked to learn were actually produced.
Some of these obscure figures – many of them including WCW as well – are downright awful, whle others are desired collectibles on the secondary markets. At WWE.com, we could spend days discussing these plastic obscurities, so we’ve picked out 9 that you may not know ever existed.
Superstars change their devotions the same way Stardust changes facepaint – which is good news for the WWE fans who tune in expecting intrigue, but bad news for the unfortunate souls that make the action figures. That had to be what happened to JAKKS Pacific in 1999 when it was about to release a toy depicting the towering fearsomeness of Kurrgan.
The figure was set to be released just as the 7-footer decided to become a happy-go-lucky doofus in rainbow tights. Rather than start over and put a smirk on the face of their sculpt, JAKKS Pacific simply added goofy clothing to their old, angry figure. Then they spelled his name wrong on the packaging. Talk about an oddity. — RYAN MURPHY
You might make a good case that the nuanced charm of Clarence Mason’s on-air persona — that of a non-physical, underhanded attorney litigating on behalf of WWE’s most notorious rule breakers — wouldn’t translate well to action-figure form. And the verdict? Truth is, any court of opinion would rule in your favor.
An oft-overlooked bespectacled and bow-tie-wearing manager during the mid-’90s, Mason served as legal counsel for everyone from Jim Cornette’s stable of Superstars to the Faarooq-led Nation of Domination. In turn, he soon found his toy likeness packaged alongside a dread-locked miniature Crush.
Mason’s fast-talking ways aided Superstars, but his bland action figure — especially its near-complete lack of articulation — didn’t offer much. (Nothing other than the arms, one of which was posed with an accusatory finger-point, moved.) Then again, at least he made it to toy-store shelves. Other lesser-known Nation members, like J.C. Ice and Wolfie D., were left out in the cold completely.
Clarence Mason is an obscure figure, to be sure, but was it in high demand? Well, it’s best simply to plead the fifth. – JOHN CLAPP
Dennis Rodman’s late ’90s run with WCW was a landmark event for celebrity crossovers in sports-entertainment. Still, even though the NBA Hall of Famer’s in-ring action grabbed plenty of attention, his WCW action figure was all but ignored.
Released as part of the “Power Slam WCW Wrestlers” line in 2000, the figure hit shelves months after Rodman’s final WCW bout against Randy Savage at Road Wild in August 1999. By then, Rodman had shed his black-and-white nWo colors, and outfitted himself in flashy trenchcoats and audacious fedoras, which kind of explains why this toy comes with a feathered pink cowboy hat. Odd accessories aside, it’s hard to mock the figure’s attention to detail. Rodman’s random assortment of tattoos — including fuzzy pink dice, a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a flaming ankh around his belly button — were all captured with perfect realism. But what kid was hoping to learn about "The Worm's" ink on Christmas morning? – RYAN MURPHY
Mr. McMahon Mail-Away
Offered through a Toys ''R''Us exclusive mail-away promotion in 2011, the first-ever Mattel figure of Mr. McMahon wasn’t around for long and is now a highly collectible piece of plastic.
Depicting The Chairman in one of his trademark custom-made, flashy-but-not-too-flashy suits, this exclusive figure has become a white whale of sorts for WWE action figure collectors. Commanding high prices on the secondary market today, The Chairman is in high demand both in and out of the packaging due to the limited numbers produced — and the fact that the promotion required the purchase of four separate action figures to be eligible to receive the prize.
Collectability and value aside, though, this figure is so dead-on in its detail that it practically struts out of the packaging. – ALEX GIANNINI
Legion of Doom Heidenreich
Let’s face it – kids weren’t exactly breaking down the doors of toy shops to grab the action figures of Heidenreich, the squared circle's poet. However, it was a welcome change when Road Warrior Animal took the big bruiser under his wing, slapped some face paint and a pair of spiked shoulder pads on him, and made him an honorary member of the Legion of Doom.
The new-look Heidenreich made for a surprisingly cool action figure. Heidenreich’s demonic face paint, along with his colorful tattoos and the packed-in WWE Tag Team Championship made the monstrous Superstar’s figure stand out from the pack. Over time, the figure – much like Heidenreich – has faded into obscurity, and collectors may not realize the likeness exists. – BOBBY MELOK
San Diego Comic-Con Undertaker
The first WWE action figures made by Mattel were released at the beginning of 2010, and were an instant hit among collectors and the WWE Universe. To celebrate the release of the new figures, the toy manufacturer took over San Diego Comic-Con that same year with an event exclusive that has since become a hot collector’s item.
The action figure is a special version of The Undertaker as he appeared at WrestleMania XV in his memorable Ministry of Darkness attire. The figure also served as a showcase of the quality and workmanship that Mattel brought to its line of WWE action figures that continues to this day. Every minute detail of the Undertaker as he appeared on The Grandest Stage of Them All in 1999 was captured perfectly. The ring gear, hair style, tattoos and even the entrance attire were perfect.
Because it was a Comic-Con exclusive, the figure has since become rare, with many new collectors initially unaware of its existence. – KEVIN POWERS
Shawn Michaels has lent his face to many action figures over the years. However, after one rendition back in 1999, perhaps he should have asked for it back. Coming during HBK's tenure as WWE Commissioner, JAKKS Pacific unveiled its Commissioner Shawn Michaels figure, much to the collective snooze of the WWE Universe.
Then again, why wouldn’t you want to bring this little Heartbreaker into your own Attitude Era matchups, right? Well, since you asked, how about the briefcase that never seemed to close – or even stay in HBK’s hand? This, in contrast to the microphone which was, more or less, fused to his palm. And don’t forget the ugly brown suit – highlighted by the somewhat-obscure cowboy hat – which presented an overall look that couldn’t decide if Shawn was a cowboy-politician hybrid or an oil barren/preacher type.
Finally, an action figure that makes you miss the chaps! And so we move on with this toy best left in obscurity. – MIKE BURDICK
It’s hard to forget the ill-conceived and ultimately gross WWE Maximum Sweat figures that hit toy shelves in the late 1990s. Disproportionate, cartoonish and featuring “real sweat,” the series was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Coming toward the end of the Monday Night War, WCW countered this toy line with its own ridiculous one in 2000: Gross-Out Wrestlers.
There were three figures released – Sting, Goldberg and Sid – but it was WCW’s face-painted franchise that stood out most. All three toys featured exaggerated muscles and unbalanced bodies, but The Stinger came with a few features that actually made it pretty cool. Not only did his trademark baseball bat have wings, fangs and the red eyes of an actual bat, but pressing a button on his back made his face paint pop off, revealing a zombie-esque visage. There was an influx of WCW action figures in 2000 and the Gross-Out Wrestlers got lost in the shuffle. Nevertheless, this obscure figure has since become both a bizarre and really neat collectible. – KEVIN POWERS
WCW Ring Masters Bret "Hit Man" Hart
Bret Hart is known as many things. A five-time WWE Champion, a tag team specialist and one of the greatest technicians in the history of the grappling arts. But a pinstriped suit-clad Ray Liotta wannabe? That doesn’t sound one bit like The Excellence of Execution. Yet, the WCW Ring Masters Bret "Hit Man" Hart would say otherwise. The figure featured pinstriped ring gear, a trenchcoat, fedora and a pinstripe vest. Taking the WWE Hall of Famer's moniker literally, the toy also came with a number of accessories closely associated with "wiseguys."
Nevertheless, the kindly Canadian is far more "Degrassi" than he is "Goodfellas.” The “Hit Man” executed with precision on the canvas, not going to the mattresses with a Tommy gun. And Hart was far more comfortable in a pink-and-black leather jacket than a zoot suit. Obscure or not, it's best if this action figure sleeps with the fishes. Leave The Sharpshooter, take the cannoli. – ZACH LINDER