LJN's Wrestling Superstars action figures are generally considered the first series of wrestling toys to be marketed to the mainstream internationally. And I'm lucky to have collected them all back in the 1980s! Each month, I'll look at one classic figure and explain what made them so special.
KING KONG BUNDY
Question: Why has World Wrestling Entertainment inducted everyone from Koko B. Ware to Bob Eucker and from The Valiant Brothers to Abdullah the Butcher into its prestigious WWE Hall of Fame, and yet it hasn't seen fit to include King Kong Bundy, a WrestleMania headliner and legitimate icon of the 1980's?
While I hate to use the word 'conspiracy' in polite society, this situation is practically screaming out for someone to say that. Bundy should have been in the HOF before every other Tom, Dick and Sunny in recent years, but he's still waiting for the hot tag.
While I can't influence WWE management (and believe me, I've tried), I can at least attempt to right this wrong by ensuring that King Kong Bundy becomes the very first inductee into the (equally-prestigious) Canadian Bulldog's World LJN Wrestling Figure Hall of Fame.
Tito Santana is down for the three count. Make that five count.
I'm a little biased, because The Great Bundy was my absolute favorite wrestler way back when. I was the guy cheering him on when he challenged Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 2. When he teamed up with Bobby Heenan and Big John Studd at Toronto's Exhibition Place against The Machines and Captain Lou Albano, I was the guy in the 16th row screaming like a stupid mark and holding up a sign that proclaimed "Bundamania Is Running Wild". And when he returned to the WWF in 1993, no one was happier than yours truly.
When this figure came out in 1985, it was unlike any other wrestling figure before it. Some may say it's because Bundy was the most grossly overweight toy in the line, but I prefer to focus on the figures' overall mass. He looked like he could KILL YOU, even though you were five-foot whatever and he was eight inches tall.
Because all of the LJN figures were made from thick rubber, none of them were especially lightweight. But Bundy, because of his overall size and presentation, could potentially be deadly if you, I don't know, decided to whip the figure at your brother's head or something. Trust.
Bundy is molded in a very unforgiving, defensive tackle-type pose that almost dares the S.D. Jones's and Ken Patera's of the world to take him down. They wouldn't, obviously, but it made for a great visual when a hapless foe would slam into The Walking Condominium.
King Kong's presentation is relatively simple - bald head, black tunic, black kneepads and black boots. He didn't need a fancy shirt, a la Magnificent Muraco, or leather and studs a la Demolition Ax.
Basically he's a goatee-less Stone Cold Steve Austin on a ten year diet of nothing but Five Guys Burger and Fries.
No stinkin' "Sling 'Em Fling 'Em Ring" can hold the awesome power of BUNDY!
You just got AVALANCHED, B. Brian Blair! Let us know how being flat as a pancake works out for you.
It could be argued that Bundy was one of the least-articulated LJN figures in the entire collection, which is saying something, because absolutely none of them could move their limbs. But Bundy's thick arms were forged into a permanent "tackle" position which meant he couldn't even throw a punch.
It will be argued here that King Kong Bundy didn't need to be flexible. Listen, you don't summon the great KKB into your ring to do monkey flips and shit; you bring him in to squash everyone else! And to that end, he fit the bill just fine, thank you very much.
Not to mention, Bundy was all about two moves - The Avalanche (pictured to the left) and The Big Splash, both of which could easily be accomplished with his body in permanent shoulderblock position.
After either of those, all you needed was a toy fork to stick into your opponent - because he was done!
Whether he was telling off pompous commentator Vince McMahon (and probably calling him "little man"), putting Hillbilly Jim in a sloppy headlock, or consulting with manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, there was no shortage of things you could do with the King Kong Bundy figure. It was definitely one of a kind among LJN collectors, and good enough to put your opponent down for a five count.