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.
According to a recent survey, approximately 0.000003 % of all wrestling fans even know who the hell Ted Arcidi is. This is particularly disturbing since most of the people we polled were close friends of Mr. Arcidi himself.
Still, we saw this as a challenge worth taking on.
For the remaining 99.999997 % of you... Ted Arcidi was a powerlifter best known for setting a (legit) benchpress record of 705.5 pounds in 1985.
Soon after achieving his lifting record, Arcidi went to the WWF, eating jobbers for lunch and wearing a singlet that just barely covered his gigantic pectorals. He lasted approximately three weeks before leaving the company but apparently this was enough time to get the guy his own action figure.
He also appeared in an episode of Law & Order.
Arcidi's greatest attribute (besides the fact that he wrestled wearing knee-high white socks, of course) was that he was crazy powerful, and his LJN figure was representative of that fact.
In the picture to my right, Arcidi shows he is capable of slingshotting the Ugandan Giant Kamala. Either that or looking up his Ugandan skirt -- we're not really sure.
Although Big Ted only lasted a short while in the world of Titan Sports, owning his LJN figure created a world of possibilities to carry on the legend of ARCIDI.
For example, what if he (and not that jerk King Tonga) won the $15,000 bodyslam challenge by slamming Big John Studd to the mat? You can do exactly this, thanks to the magic of the LJN Universe.
Could Ted Arcidi have feuded with fellow CBWLJNWFHOF'er The Magnificent Muraco had he stuck around past the proverbial cup of coffee? I'm going to say 'yes,' that seems like quite a realistic scenario; certainly moreso than my Big John Studd angle/fantasy.
And I'll give Ted this: he could pull off a sidewalk slam that would make Dino Bravo take notice.
One more thing worth mentioning.... when you purchased an LJN figure, it came with a mini-poster rolled up into the bottom of the blister package. Some were semi-realistic, some were cartoonish, some (and here I'm thinking SD "Special Delivery" Jones shaking his maracas in the ring) were kind of a stretch.
But Ted Arcidi's poster? Well.... it was just weird. He appears to be yelling at someone in the crowd. And he was a BABYFACE during his entire (six-week) WWF run.
Having said that, at least the poster captures Arcidi's knee-high white socks to perfection.
Welcome to the (prestigious) Canadian Bulldog's World LJN Wrestling Figure Hall of Fame, Ted Arcidi!