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Various WWF Hasbro action figures from the early nineties
Various WWF Hasbro action figures from the early nineties

The WWE Hasbro Action Figure line was an action figure toyline based on the Superstars of the WWE, produced by the toy company Hasbro from 1990 to 1994.[1] The toys were made of plastic, with many featuring a signature action move based on their real life counterpart.

Benefiting for being introduced during a sports entertainment boom period, these figures were among the most popular sports entertainment action figures of their time, and have since become collectors items. In good condition, an unopened WWF Hasbro figure can be viewed as being valued from anywhere between $20 to $1–2 thousand. This is a result of the production of variant figures produced in smaller numbers and limited time mailaway promotions.

Much of the collection has been released on foreign (usually French or Spanish) cards, and are of far less value than cards that are all in English writing, due to their abundance. For example, a 1992 Ultimate Warrior Mint on an American Card can fetch upwards of $250–$300 US, while exactly the same figure on a French card may get around $50–$70.

However, a very limited number of Hasbro action figures were released on a dual card (mainly being US/French) these figures have been seen to fetch in the region of $1000 per figure. Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, Rick Rude, Roddy Piper, Mr. Perfect, Hulk Hogan, Macho King, Koko B. Ware and The Rockers are known examples.

Complete collection

Series 1 - 1990

(Series 1 through 6 were released on neon blue cards) [2]

Series 2 - 1991

[2] Singles

Tag Teams

Series 3 - 1992

[2]

Series 4 - 1992

[2] Singles

Tag Teams

Series 5 - 1993

[2]

Series 6 - 1993

(Final series released on neon blue cards) [2]

Yellow Cards - Series 7 - 1993

[2]

Red Cards - Series 8 - 1994

[2]

Purple Cards - Series 9 - 1994

[2]

Dark Blue Cards - Series 10 - 1994

[2]

Green Cards - Series 11 - 1994

[2]

Rings

Unreleased prototypes

There are several prototypes that have been seen in print advertisements that are the subject of WWF Hasbro collector discussion to this day. In an ad promoting a Toys R Us and WWF partnership in the March 1991 WWF Magazine, tag team sets of Demolition, the Bushwhackers, the Rockers, and Rhythm and Blues appeared. The Rhythm and Blues set was never released, however both the Honky Tonk Man and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine did see singles action figures released. Honky Tonk Man, as he appeared in the ad, was released in Series 2, however Valentine's figure in the advertisement appeared in his Rhythm and Blues attire, black hair, white jacket with black musical notes on it, white boots, and black trunks, whereas the figure released of Valentine in Series 3 was in his most regular singles attire of blond hair, black trunks and yellow boots. Fueling further collector speculation is the fact that on the back of some early foreign card figures, Rhythm and Blues was listed as an available tag team set. The exact reason this figure went unreleased is unknown, but it is assumed that it was due to the tag team breaking up a few months before the ad was printed. The Rhythm and Blues Greg Valentine was a hot topic among WWF Hasbro collectors because it was one of the few prototypes that had not turned up in a private collection. The figure has since been found and auctioned off via eBay for $13,400. Collector Matt Cera purchased the figure, after being sent a text message by WWE wrestler Zack Ryder, who initially had the highest bid on the figure and has since spent a total of $15,000 getting the figure insured and appraised. The figure is said to have been found in the attic of a former Hasbro employee.[3] Valentine himself has increased speculation on the whereabouts of the figure, giving conflicting reports as to where the prototype(s) may be in various interviews.

Other unreleased prototypes that have appeared in print include Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake in red and yellow attire meant to replicate his Mega Maniacs attire from WrestleMania IX to be in the Purple Carded set. He is believed to have been replaced by a Tatanka re-release from Series 6 due to his departure from the company. Shawn Michaels' Yellow Carded figure appeared in both print ads and on card backings using the spring-loaded armed feature found on the Virgil, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, El Matador, Hulk Hogan # 4, Papa Shango, Ted DiBiase # 3 and Billy Gunn but was changed to his released form. Randy Savage from Series 1 appeared in the 1991 J.C. Penney catalog in green trunks as part of an offer selling a ring and both Hulk Hogan and Savage action figures. Savage was sent out in his regularly released orange trunks. Both Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon figures resembling those released on both Yellow and Blue cards have appeared in an unreleased print ad promoting the figures as mail-aways as a reward for collecting Hasbro points found on the back of the WWF Hasbro cards.

Hasbro had plans to release an Ultimate Warrior figure with chest beating action. It is not known exactly why this figure wasn't made. Speculation is that it was never finished because Warrior had already left WWF or because Hasbro was unable to perfect the chest beating action. A prototype image of this figure can be found online. The figure has the same head as Warrior #2 and the body used is the same body used for the Demolition Smash figure. The figure was to use a new set of arms in order to have the figure beat its chest

Hasbro had plans to release a Tugboat figure. The plan for this figure can be found online. The figure was cancelled because Tugboat turned heel and switched his name to Typhoon. The Tugboat figure's head and body would have been similar to the Typhoon figure but would have featured his Tugboat attire.

There were plans for a Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart figure in Hart Foundation attire with the same head sculpt as the Anvil that was released. These plans can be found online as well. It is believed that this figure would've been released in a 2 pack along with Bret Hart (same figure as his first Hasbro release) and would've been in the same series as the Nasty Boys and the Legion of Doom. The Hart Foundation set was cancelled because the team broke up and Bret started a singles career.

In 1993, Hasbro developed concept art for a series of 12 inch tall WWF figures, that would've included removable fabric clothing, similar to their popular G.I. Joe: Hall of Fame series, even sharing the body molds with the G.I. Joe figures. To date, the only concept art that has surfaced form this line is of Randy Savage.[4]

There were plans for another mail away series in 1994. The figures planned were Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. It believed that they wouldn't have been new molds but re-releases with possibly different colored outfits.

Before the WWF canceled their deal with Hasbro there were plans for a series 12 on orange cards. There have even been prototype pictures online of the heads and artist sketches for this series. According to the sketches found, the series was to include: Lex Luger (in USA gear), Mo and Mabel from Men on a Mission, Jeff Jarrett, Bastion Booger (which would have reused the body of Earthquake),[5] a repaint of the first Doink, and Diesel.[6]

Modifications from prototypes

Popular belief holds that a Dusty Rhodes figure has yellow boots as a variant. While these figures have been photographed, debate continues on whether they are the product of sun damage.

Commonly-traded error cards and variants

Series 3's Sgt. Slaughter is a popular variant, offering a variant that features no name listed on the front of the card. This variant is very rare and is believed to have seen limited release in the Tri-State Region.

Some of the more common error cards include "Rowdy" Roddy Piper on a Series 2 Ultimate Warrior card, Billy Gunn on a Bart Gunn card, Bart Gunn on a Billy Gunn card, Giant Gonzalez on a Samu card, and Series 1 Ted DiBiase on a Rick Rude card.

Other rare error cards include Bret Hart 1 carding with The Undertaker 1 Figure.

Mattel's WWE retro figures

In 2016, Mattel announced that they would be releasing their own line of "throwback" WWE action figures, similar to the iconic style and packaging of the WWF Hasbro series. Mattel's new line of action figures were released exclusively to Walmart stores in the U.S. Mattel's WWE latest collectibles are deemed "retro" by the company because they are packaged in the same fashion as action figures made in the 1990s.[7]

Series 1 - 2017

[8]

Series 2 - 2017

Series 3 - 2017

Series 4 - 2018

Series 5 - 2018

Series 6 - 2018

Series 7 - 2019

Series 8 - 2019

Series 9 - 2019

Series 10 - 2019

See also

References

  1. ^ LLC, Figure Realm. "WWF (Hasbro) Action Figure Checklist". www.figurerealm.com. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "https://www.retrofigure.com"
  3. ^ "GREG VALENTINE RHYTHM & BLUE HASBRO PROTOTYPE VIDEO & IMAGES! | WrestlingFigs".
  4. ^ "The Time Traveling Toy Dealer on Instagram: "🌎 WORLD EXCLUSIVE 🌏 Back in 1993 Hasbro was planning on releasing a line of 12 inch WWF action figures using real cloth outfits with brand…"". Archived from the original on 2021-12-24.
  5. ^ "The Time Traveling Toy Dealer on Instagram: "First reveal for Tonight World Exclusive Bastion Booger UNRELEASED - Orange card - head sculpt blueprint - dated November 8, 1993 _ For…"". Archived from the original on 2021-12-24.
  6. ^ "The Time Traveling Toy Dealer on Instagram: "Are you freaking kidding me !!? _ Big Daddy Cool - Diesel original unreleased Hasbro head sculpt blueprint _ from the cancelled Orange…"". Archived from the original on 2021-12-24.
  7. ^ Rittenhouse, Lindsay (2017-01-13). "Mattel releases retro 'Hasbro-like' WWE figures". TheStreet. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  8. ^ "WWE Mattel Retro Action Figures - Series 1 - WWE Retro Figure". WWE Mattel Retro. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2017-11-14.