Wrestling memorabilia is sometimes hard to come by. Sure, signed autographs are all over the place and ring-worn material are all the rage but over the years, the WWE has crafted a mass-marketing empire that is and was full of all kinds of products. It’s merchandising that helped bring a lot of guys over to the WWE during the 80's. Eventually, WCW followed suit.
But much like the in-ring product, a lot of the products that WCW put out for purchase just seemed like strange imitations of more successful WWE merchandise. For every nWo and “Crow” Sting t-shirt, there were all sorts of shoddy products that nowadays would be deemed “wrestlecrap.” Here are the 10 weirdest pieces of merchandise in WCW history.
10 Gross-Out Figures
Sometimes, it’s easy to see the hows and the whys WCW went out of business. This may have been due to the fact that they allowed their product to be endlessly bastardized by people who had little to know idea how to actually make money with big names like Goldberg, Sting, and Sid Vicious.
ToyBiz produced WCW Gross-Out figures, and... well... LOOK AT IT. At least the name for these... things... was apt. Each WCW wrestler in this line-up came with some ridiculous feature, which was the opposite of cool or badass. So if you ever wanted to see the insides of Sid Vicious’ brain, this ones for you.
9 Hero Heads
In the 80's, the WWE made giant non-bendable, hard-as-a-rock plastic figures that you could probably beat a man to death with should you choose to do so. WCW decided to run with this idea and not just offer up one weapon/toy to commit atrocities with, but two for the price of one!
Their Hero Heads were ginormous hard foam sculptures of your favorite WCW star’s giant noggins, but they were attached to Wiffle Ball bats, too. Basically, swing for the fences with a replica Vader head. Surely at least one or two kids must have gotten a concussion from these!
8 WCW Wrestle Buddy
There are throngs of WWE fans who grew up during the late 80's and early 90's that remember snuggling up to their favorite superstars, or delivering the Macho Man Elbow off the couch to them.
The WWE Wrestling Buddies were fairly decent looking replicas of all of your favorite superstars, just in pillow-person form. In contrast, the WCW versions - aka the Wrestle Buddy - did not seem to be made with the same TLC as the WWE’s. Each of the WCW pillows looked more like someone forcibly smushed a superstar into a pillow instead of sewing and crafting with them care. Sweet dreams, kids!
7 Vibrating Action Figures
Nothing spells child’s plaything better than a vibrating action figure, does it? Ok, now that some of your minds are firmly planted in the gutter, we submit to you for your approval: 1997’s Nitro and nWo action figure line.
Not only did these figures look like cheap knockoffs of some other line of un-produced WCW action figures, but their big feature was that they vibrated... not much more to say and still be SFW. We'll leave the rest to your imagination.
6 Dennis Rodman Action Figure
The Worm was one of the few big celebrities that WCW pulled in and was able make it work. Dennis Rodman was brought in to be one of Hollywood Hogan’s buddies and nWo cronies, but it didn't work out so well.
His few appearances were apparently enough to warrant making an action figure of him, wearing all sorts of ridiculous Dennis Rodman-esque clothing only Dennis Rodman would love. That aside, Rodman might actually be the only athlete to have different action figures of himself in two different sports! At least he has that going for him.
5 WCW Backstage Assault
When wrestling matches tumble to the floor and then backstage, anything and everything could happen. It’s generally exciting for the fans to watch too. In fact, one of WCW’s most memorable moments happened backstage when Nash tossed Rey Mysterio like a javelin.
But an entire video game dedicated to backstage fights was a different story. Simply put, WCW Backstage Assault was an ill-conceived idea. The last WCW game was not well received at all - who wants to spend their day playing a shoddily made game that only takes place in poorly lit backstage areas?
4 WCW Thunder
Another bright idea for a WCW video game was Thunder. Coming out in 1999, the game featured a humongous cast of characters to partake in the game’s action. Sounds good, right? Things is, that big cast is filled with people who weren’t even wrestlers or involved with the WCW in the first place.
For some reason, the roster was made up of the game’s programmers, cowboys, starfish, gorillas, and all kinds of other creatures that you might find a random indie show. This wasn't the wrestling game fans had in mind then and now.
3 Nitro Cologne
The WWE tried this one out too, and even had Sable preen around the arena showing off Attitude Cologne. Men's fragrances as promoted by burly fighters was just as strange an avenue for them as it was for WCW and their brand of Nitro cologne.
Even WCW at its worst knew this was a ridiculous way to market their brand and made fun of it as such by having Madusa dump a bottle on Bobby Heenan.
2 Space Mountain Towel
You’ll seldom find a die-hard wrestling fan who doesn’t have respect and adoration for the Nature Boy Ric Flair. Similar to the Bulls and Michael Jordan in the 90's, everyone had their favorite wrestler, and then Ric Flair. He was just that good in both the ring and in the mic. WCW knew this and tried to market a beach towel with Flair on it and the iconic phrase, “Space Mountain.”
Imagine this scenario: Most of your fans are men, right? So do you think they want to walk around the beach with a towel with some other dude’s face asking the ladies to ride the Space Mountain? Someone should've thought this through.
1 Looney Tunes T-Shirts
This might seem completely outlandish by today's standards, especially since Bugs Bunny and his friends are seldom seen in new movies these days. But back in the 90's, just about every brand decided to partner up with the Looney Tunes.
WCW was no different and that’s why there are some strange looking shirts online of “The Four Horsemen & Taz” or Elmer Fudd dressed as Tomato-Faced Wolfpac Sting. Seeing the violent WCW fighters in a cross-promotion with the Space Jam guys was weird, to say the least.