Here's one aspect of pro wrestling that isn't necessarily discussed on the dirtsheets too often - WWE makes a lot of action figures.
As best we can determine (correct us if we're wrong), the first WWE action figures came out in 1984, produced by LJN. Over the years, we, the consumer public, have seen little plastic wrestling guys for sale in toy stores, pharmacies, and of course, all over eBay and similar collectible-peddling online outlets.
Some people keep them in their packages and hope they'll appreciate in value over the years. Some people are children who throw them down the stairs until they break and their parents have to go buy replacements. Many of us have a bunch of old wrestling figures stashed away in a box in our attics and we plan to use them to decorate our desks one of these days when we get around to it.
Just about every wrestler who's ever wandered in and out of WWE - from Hulk Hogan to Adam Rose - has an action figure in their likeness floating around in the ether somewhere.
(Emphasis there on "just about." Researching this article, we had tremendous difficulty finding a WWE-produced Blue Meanie action figure anywhere on eBay. It's possible no such thing was ever created, and if so, WWE has failed us all).
Of the dozens upon dozens of figures WWE has put out over the years, most of them are probably okay. We're not action figure experts, but the majority of the toys that we've seen seem just fine. Meanwhile, a few are spot-on, spectacular likenesses, worthy of a Todd McFarlane line. But every once in a while, a WWE action figure comes along that doesn't look a gosh darn thing like whatever wrestler it's supposed to.
Maybe they're still fine for playing with and maybe they still work perfectly well for individuals who need spare parts to build custom figures. But they're certainly creative failures.
Here for your visual amusement, in no particular order, are 15 notable letdowns from the semi-recent history of WWE.
15 Dean Ambrose
Does this man look unstable to you?
Some early attempts to recreate the Shield in action figure form lacked a certain full-assedness, as evident from this Ambrose mold, apparently released by Mattel sometime during his U.S. Title run a few years ago.
14 Seth Rollins
Is Seth Rollins the guy you bought pot from in high school? No, he is almost certainly not. So why did Mattel make an action figure of the guy you bought weed from in high school, then market it as “Seth Rollins?”
Granted, we’d certainly rather buy a Guy We Bought Weed From in High School action figure than a Rollins toy. It would be neat to have a reminder of Nick at age 15, back before he lost all the weight and decided to get his life together. But that’s beside the point.
12 Jimmy Uso
10 Rob Van Dam
9 Brock Lesnar’s Hat
8 Bret Hart
7 Bret Hart Again
6 The Big Show
5 Trish Stratus
This one made WWE’s list of its all-time best figures. We don’t know what criteria the company used to base quality on - but we notice two major flaws in this likeness of the innovator of the “Matrix” clothesline dodge.
4 Chris Jericho
3 Brian Kendrick
Take a look at this WWE “Bend ‘Ems” figure. Ask yourself, “Does the woman that this toy is designed to remind me of seem like she has a future in the adult film industry?” Unless we’re talking about adult movies with a slant toward absurdly disproportionate arms fetishists (and we’re certain that there are such things), then clearly not.
1 Road Dogg
Even calling this a “Road Dogg” figure is a stretch. In fact, calling this figure a facsimile of any human being is just wrong. This thing looks like a horrendously botched human cloning project, who also happens to be a member of DX, that’s about to have its first orgasm and immediately die afterwards.
Even more egregious, we’re told liquid of some sort oozes forth from orifices meant to resemble human pours - which is the most disgusting thing we’ve ever had to think about for this website. We strongly advise anyone who comes across this “Road Dogg” figure, or any of the so-called “Maximum Sweat” toys, to throw them in an incinerator as soon as possible.
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