I'VE SERIOUSLY UPGRADED MY
Devotees of this website may recall how I brag about my Even MORE Ultimate Wrestling Wall Unit the way some people brag about, say, their grandchildren. It brings me pride and joy to stare at pretty much every day. Check out last month's post if you haven't already. You will either think it's the greatest thing ever, or that I am a sad little man.
While writing about it, I took a good look at Level Four (WCW Tribute, Tier Two) and decided it needed a serious upgrade. This shelf was dedicated to WCW Toy Biz figures, arguably one of the most under-appreciated action figure lines in wrestling history due to their willingness to break social norms and go where others hadn't gone before.
That may be a little dramatic for a line of friggin' toy wrestlers, but check out a picture of my ToyBiz collection as of last month:
While this was a decent variety of characters in anyone's book, I still wanted to collect more. Accordingly, I decide to scratch that figure itch (tm Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins), scouring eBay for deals, checking out a few local thrift shops and - in one case - arranging for a little trade. Today, I'm proud to report that my WCW Toy Biz looks like:
Virtually overnight, my WCW Toy Biz family has doubled in size. Ladies and gentlemen... this.... this is a WCW Toy Biz collection worth shouting about from the rooftops. This is a WCW Toy Biz collection you could bring home to meet your parents.
Although, truth be told, doing either of those things would be more likely to ruin your street cred than enhance it.
I won't bore you with some of the variant figures I've inherited (e.g. Diamond Dallas Page with different color T-shirts; Kevin Nash with different trunks). Instead, let's look in depth at some of the newest members of my Toy Biz family.
At this point, Booker T and Stevie Ray had gone their separate ways, as evidenced by them wearing... well, somewhat different gear. Stevie is wearing the more traditional Harlem Heat half-shirt thingie (even though he was clearly nWo by now), whereas Booker has the white with flames trunks. There's also a black trunks variant of the exact same Booker, which I also own.
I've always, ALWAYS wanted a WCW Bret Hart in my collection, and this one fits the bill nicely. This is a fantastic representation of The Excellence Of Execution! Minor nitpick: his left hand is larger than his right hand and, in fact, his head.
One of the beautiful things about the WCW Toy Biz collection is the random wrestlers they produced figures for, such as the former Adam Bomb in his pre-Kronik gear. Wrath is absolutely massive compared to, say, Booker T or Lex Luger, and I'm stoked to own such a rarity.
Big Poppa Pump(s)
I mentioned earlier that I wouldn't get into the variants, but these are clearly two different Scott Steiner figures, whereas I didn't have one of them previously.
Not only are the trunks different colors, but the figures have two distinctly different heads, and their respectively physiques, while both clearly roided up, are slightly different.
HOLLA... IF YA HEAR ME!
The Mid Card
True... "The Mid Card" was never the name of a WCW faction, but perhaps it should have been.
What we have here is a VERY jacked version of Konnan, Buff Bagwell and Billy Kidman. Now.... most of the Toy Biz figures had some sort of "action move" that could be triggered by squeezing their legs or moving their arms. Kidman's is a back flip action that kind of, sort of works if you position him just so. Pretty clever!
This may have one of the first Jericho figures ever produced, and it's a beaut.
From a Toy Biz series called "Ring Masters," in which each wrestler was dressed up like their finishing move (for example, Goldberg was a construction worker to represent his Jackhammer, Lex Luger was an executioner to represent his Torture Rack), this figure came outfitted with a top hat, whip and cat dressed like a lion to (kind of?) represent Jericho's Lion Tamer finisher.
Unfortunately, I don't have the accessories... but I'll live.
Totally Not Rey Mysterio Jr.
The first Toy Biz figure of Bill Goldberg came with "Masked Wrestler", a miniature, less-flexible figure that looks exactly like Rey Mysterio Jr., right down to his mask. That version - a wrestler with red trunks - I probably have about 10 of somewhere in my collection. They're pretty common - no big whoop.
But a second version of "Masked Wrestler" came packaged with Kevin Nash later in the Toy Biz series. Apart from his mask and trunks being in black this time, this wrestler's gimmick was having an extendable neck that you could use to have another wrestler grab by the neck with and chokeslam him.
Thank you for taking the time to meet my new Toy Biz family. I can't pick a favorite. (Sniff) I'm just so... proud of all of them.