Friday, November 2, 2012

Figure Friday - Doink the Clown

If Hasbro had kept their toy line
going through 1997, they would
have given the Sable figure the same
finishing move.
Anyone who knows anything about 90's wrestling knows that the heel version of Doink the Clown was awesome. In fact, I believe that is a requirement for writing about wrestling online. Not only did he have a great gimmick, cool music, and solid wrestling skills, but he also had a unique action figure which, as far as I know, is the only wrestling figure produced with realistic hair weaved in (although Larry Zbyszko would attempt the same thing but in real life).

My mom apparently agreed too, giving my brothers and I not one but two Doinks over the years (though unfortunately, the second Doink was not patterned after Steve Keirn). This may have been due to the fact that Hasbro stopped producing new figures after 1994, leaving only the less popular, surplus figures on the shelves of Toys 'R' Us. Regardless, it was a good thing we did have two identical Doink figures, despite Jack Tunney's decree that there could only be one Doink in the World Wrestling Federation, because one of the Doinks would fall apart into a revolting heap of plastic parts (much like Joanie Laurer).

That brings me to a drawback of the Doink action figure: because of its spring-loaded arm and rotatable head, its upper body was hollow, making it relatively easy to come undone but next to impossible to reassemble with the springs in place. Even this drawback had its advantages, though, as a dismembered Doink had the potential for some truly horrific stunts (like the face Doink of 1994 and beyond, but horrific in a good way).


It was very chilly when they took this picture.
In retrospect, it's a shame that Vince McMahon didn't recognize the versatility of the Doink character demonstrated by its action figure; after Doink had run his course as a face in the WWF, he could have turned heel again, but this time going into full Exorcist-mode, not just making children cry but sending them to therapy for the rest of their young lives. Alas, as much as hardcore fans would have loved to see Ray Apollo get his head twisted around a full 180 degrees, it was not to be, leading the Doink character to all but vanish by the end of 1995 and leaving behind only one action figure (besides a worthless Bend 'Em figure, but that's another toy line for another blog post).

Pro: Based on Matt Borne.
Con: Not based on Steve Keirn.
Pro: Pretty, pretty hair.
Con: Figure falls apart with wear.
Pro: Limbs and head can be rearranged on disassembled figure.
Con: Fingers may break off, making Doink appear to be Matt Hardy under the makeup.

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