For the last couple of years of WCW’s life, its figures were produced by ToyBiz (now known as Marvel Toys who currently produce TNA’s figures).
In 2001 (I believe just a month or two before WCW ceased to exist) they released a series of strange figures under the “Ring Masters” line.
No, no- not him! Wrong “Ringmaster”!
The basic idea behind the figures was that the wrestlers would be portrayed in “wacky” costumes relating to their wrestling character and they’d include related accessories to go along with that theme.
Let’s take a look at each of the 6 figures in the series and see what they came up with…
Here’s Bill Goldberg as a construction worker (because his finisher was called the Jackhammer, you see…).
Finally; you too can live out your ultimate fantasy of putting Bill Goldberg in The Village People!
Everybody sing along with me! “Macho, Macho Man! I want to fight The Macho Man…”.
Here’s Bret Hart as (what else?) a hit man straight out of a 1940’s gangster movie.
He looks more like that creepy guy who hangs around the park in a trench coat waiting to flash unsuspecting people to get his jollies.
Here’s Chris Jericho as a lion tamer (complete with lion).
He looks more like some kind of bizarre gay male stripper in a themed Las Vegas nightclub show.
Chris had debuted in the WWF in August of 1999 so I’m not sure why they bothered going into production with this figure as late as 2001.
Here’s “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan as… um… pretty much himself, complete with movie set accessories.
What; are they filming; a movie about Hulk Hogan wrestling while in the NWO? What kind of aboring movie is that?!
I was hoping for him to be dressed up like mild-mannered Ray Chase from Secret Agent Club! WCW disappoints me yet again!
Here’s Lex Luger as some kind of weird torture/bondage fetishist (you know, for the kids!). Yes, I know he’s supposed to be an executioner but that doesn’t make this any less squicky.
I get that his finisher was the torture rack, but this is just plain ol’ creepy… I know ToyBiz didn’t have much else to work with since Lex had all the personality and character of an empty toilet paper tube, but yikes!
Here’s Rick Steiner out on a date with Tammy Sytch (?!).
Oh, I’m sorry! That’s supposed to be a Dog Faced Gremlin. Well, at least it’s on a leash. Rick looks just as stupid as ever in the amateur wrestling headgear.
I have to admit the concept was pretty creative at least in theory. In practice, I think it turned out kind of bizarre and strange. I guess that was the idea, but I’m not sure how much play value these figures actually had.
Don’t most kids want to play with wrestlers as… wrestlers?
I can’t imagine come up with a play scenario where Lion Tamer Chris Jericho would meet up with the lethal hit man Bret Hart and hire him to kill construction worker Bill Goldberg before Bill can kidnap Chris’ friend Rick’s pet Dog Faced Gremlin and hold it for ransom money?
Okay, I guess I did just come up with something there…
All of the pictures and information in this article were obtained from WrestlingFigs.com which is a great resources for wrestling figure information. They have a fantastic searchable database of figures. Check it out!
Did any of you Crappers have any of the figures in the Ring Masters line? Which ones did you have?