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Kingston’s Elite 17 action figure shows his stripes

When the WWE Universe ponders Kofi Kingston’s influences, they might bring up the kinetic in-ring style of Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, the technical proficiency of Eddie Guerrero or the showmanship of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. All valid, but Kingston also pulls a great deal of inspiration from pop culture and even his childhood toy box.

Kofi’s affinity for playthings of yesteryear is put on full display with Mattel’s upcoming WWE action figure of the Ghanaian Superstar in Series 17 of the toymaker’s highly articulated Elite Collection. The figure is decked out in ring gear worn by Kingston that paid tribute to the iconic Battle Cat from Mattel’s landmark Masters of the Universe franchise, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. ( PHOTOS)

Kingston introduced his Battle Cat–themed threads at Night of Champions 2011, when he valiantly defended the WWE Tag Team Championships as one-half of Air Boom inside Buffalo, N.Y.’s First Niagara Center. During that exciting contest, many of our keen-eyed fans — especially those who grew up in the 1980s — took immediate notice of the Ghanaian Superstar’s striking green-and-orange-hued Masters of the Universe homage. ( NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS 2011 PHOTOS)

“Masters of the Universe definitely has a cult following,” Kingston told WWE.com, referring to a passionate fan base that he has long been part of. “I think the throwback satiated a lot of the ’80s babies out there.”

As an “ ’80s baby” himself, a beaming Kingston said he’s really excited about his Battle Cat–themed action figure, especially after it debuted at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July. Although Kofi’s Battle Cat gear wasn’t the first time he has infused his tights, boots and logo with an outside influence — look no further than his Slimer-themed “Ghostbusters” attire from WrestleMania XXVII or his attire inspired by Batman sidekick Robin during the 2011 Royal Rumble Match — it carries special significance.

“The Battle Cat story is interesting,” Kingston explained. “I was going through a drought at the time and I didn’t know what characters I could come up with [for my gear]. I actually took a trip to Mattel, and they have this massive Battle Cat mural on the wall. I looked up, and I saw Battle Cat with that green fur and those orange stripes, and I said ‘You know what? That’s the next theme I’m going to do.’”

Since donning Battle Cat’s colors, Kingston’s fashion statements have included gear inspired by “Ghostbusters” baddie The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and DC Comics’ Superman, but one of his recent style choices proves that the WWE Tag Team Champion hasn’t strayed from Eternian influences. At Money in the Bank 2012, Kingston drew his inspiration from He-Man’s arch-nemesis Skeletor as he teamed with R-Truth to battle Hunico & Camacho.

“Skeletor is one of the greatest villains of all time,” Kingston asserted. “I’ve actually done a lot of villains in my gear. When you see Skeletor’s face [on my attire], you immediately hear that high-pitched voice from the cartoon.”

But how exactly did Kingston meld the villain’s look with his own unique aesthetic?

With a mix of blue and purple hues — matching the color scheme of Skeletor’s original Mattel action figure as well as his appearance in the 1980s Filmation cartoon — Kingston’s Skeletor gear also features a yellow, skeletal take on his iconic insignia that is reminiscent of the cackling antagonist’s visage. ( MONEY IN THE BANK 2012 PHOTOS)

“I didn’t know how I was going to infuse Skeletor with my logo, but one day it just popped into my head, ‘Oh my God, just put dreadlocks on it,’ Kingston said with a laugh. “The answer was right there.”

Now that Kingston’s first Masters of the Universe–infused Mattel action figure is hitting store shelves, The Dreadlocked Dynamo is hopeful that Mattel will see fit to one day render his Skeletor-esque threads in plastic as well. As for his next Eternian inspiration?

“I don’t really plan these things, they just sort of come to me,” Kingston said with a grin. “I guess we’ll find out.”

  • For more information on Mattel’s latest WWE and Masters of the Universe Classics offerings, head over to MattyCollector.com.
  • To keep up with Kofi Kingston’s latest exploits on social media, follow @TrueKofi on Twitter.

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