Friday, December 14, 2012

Figure Friday: Three Men and a Body

Sometimes I don't know whether to consider Hasbro's WWF toy-makers supremely unoriginal or brilliantly creative. On the one hand, they regularly re-used existing pieces of wrestling figures, disguising their origins with a fresh coat of paint. On the other hand, the leaps of imagination required to transform a particular action figure, representing one Federation superstar, into another action figure representing an entirely dissimilar wrestler are commendable. Sure, there were some easy cases, like transforming Bushwhacker Luke into Bushwhacker Butch and vice versa, but some of the re-hashes bridge not only generations but basic body types, as well.

Don't believe me? Okay, name a highly toned, muscular wrestler. Specifically, one who used steroids extensively and often referred to himself as the sexiest man alive?

Alright, now how about someone of average build (for a wrestler), not known for having a great body, who in later years would be known almost as much for his loose, sagging remnants of muscles as for his wrestling prowess?

Finally, think of a bean-pole-thin wrestling underdog, a cruiserweight known for his acrobatics and his slight frame.

Now imagine that all three of these men shared the exact same body for their wrestling figures. Yes, Ravishing Rick Rude was re-painted and passed off not only as "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, but as The 123 Kid. 

The re-purposing of plastic body parts was not exactly subtle in this case, either, given that these three figures are the only ones with a headlock-punch finishing move, as well as the only Hasbro figures with huge chunks of their left shoulders missing. Hey, such is the cost of the ability to throw a good spring-loaded under-arm punch. It's sort of like how Les Paul had his injured arm permanently set in position to enable him to continue playing guitar.

You would think that with such a blatant recycling of the figures' bodies, Hasbro would have at least put special effort into making the figures' heads, their only unique feature, as true-to-life as possible. 

Instead, we got a Rick Rude who looked more like Gabe Kaplan,

a 123 Kid who looked like Giant Silva, 

and a Ric Flair who looked like he was coked out of his mind.

That gives Hasbro only a 33% rate of accuracy, which is still a failing grade.

1 comment:

  1. I have to stop reading this website over my lunch break, because it's too hard to keep quiet: that last picture of Ric Flair made me laugh so hard that I cried. :D