BEND 'N FLEX FIGURES
While putting together an event called The Bendie Rumble back in 2015, I noticed that my own personal collection had WWF Bendies and Bend-Ems, but nothing from WCW's contribution - a line called Bend 'N Flex that was manufactured by ToyBiz (the same group that made their comic book-esque action figures during the late 1990's).
Included in this package from 1999 were Sting, Bill Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Scott Hall, Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash.
In addition to the six-pack, each figure was sold individually, as well as Booker T and Bret "Hit Man" Hart. I'm kind of surprised they wouldn't have created other bendable figures that were popular at the time, such as The Giant, Lex Luger, Konnan, Randy Savage, Rey Mysterio Jr. and..... oh, I don't know..... maybe HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN? Weird selection process, that's all I'm saying.
According to the back of this six-pack, the battle between WCW and the nWo may just be the greatest clash between groups in the history of wrestling.
What I love about this is how these guys can use their "wits" to outsmart one another -- kind of a rich statement to make about tiny figures that have bendable limbs. And inventing "totally new" matches? With these six guys? Um, how??
One thing ToyBiz deserves credit for is making these tiny action figures so damn detailed! As we can see with the DDP figure here, they even managed to get the tattoos and T-shirt design right, not to mention the look of his blue jeans and overall proportions.
This is a huge differentiator between the Bend 'N Flex and WWF's Bend-Ems (which both came out at roughly the same time, though Bend-Ems produced well over 50 figures during an incredible seven-year production run.
This is a huge difference maker for those who wanted realistic-looking battles between their bendies. Or so I would assume.
And even though the Bend 'N Flex guys weren't exactly the same size of their Bend-Ems counterparts (see photo to the left of Kane.... um, powerbombing DDP?), you could still have interpromotional matchups in a pitch.
Plus, Bend 'N Flex figures worked as advertised - they actually bended and flexed to a reasonable degree! Either that, or someone was into their DDP Yoga a few years ahead of schedule. Whereas with the WWF figures, you could more or less twist limbs a little bit, but that was the extent of the fun.
It's too bad they didn't make more of these Bend 'N Flex figures back in the day. After all, they would have made a very welcome addition to the first ever....