THE SPECIALISTS COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: 20 Figures for 20 Years - Part 2 of WCW Nitro's Biggest Stars in Action Figure Form (Sting, Hogan, more!)
Sep 17, 2015 - 3:20:36 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles specialist
WWE just celebrated Nitro’s 20th anniversary by putting on a WCW-style show headlined by two WCW stars, Sting and Big Show (The Giant). Here’s a look at the top 10 figures of the wrestlers from Nitro’s glory days.
(10) Eric Bischoff Jakks Pacific WWE Ruthless Aggression Series 12.5. “Eazy E” was the man who brought a fresh look to the wrestling landscape. He was a Turner executive, commentator, heel authority figure, and sometimes wrestler. Jakks made this figure when Bischoff was feuding with Jim Ross and a returning Steve Austin in 2003, but with the karate gear it looks an awful lot like the Nitro-era Bischoff who challenged Vince McMahon to a fight.
(9) Rey Mysterio Jakks Pacific WWE Best of WCW. The cruiserweights were a huge part of Nitro’s success, and Mysterio stood out from the crowd. He flew higher and moved faster than everyone else. Amazingly, WCW never capitalized on Rey’s popularity. Toy Biz made very few figures during Rey’s WCW run, but fortunately Jakks and Mattel have made flashback figures that capture Rey’s WCW look.
(8) Goldberg Toy Biz WCW Fear the Spear. Bill Goldberg was one of WCW’s few homegrown stars. For most of 1998, he helped WCW stay hot as the balance began to tip in the WWF’s favor. Toy Biz made several Goldberg figures; this special commemorative box set came with a Big Gold Belt that was more detailed than anything Jakks had put out in its WWF line at the time.
(7) Randy Savage Mattel WWE Flashback Ringside Collectibles Exclusive. By late 1994, the “Macho Man” was primarily a commentator for the WWF. He jumped to WCW and immediately became a top star alongside other past WWF acts. But Savage really got hot when he turned heel and joined Hogan in the NWO. This exclusive figure from Mattel and Ringside Collectibles, released just last year, has quickly become one of the hottest Jakks figures on the secondary market.
(6) Ric Flair Galoob WCW U.K. Exclusive. For most of the 1980s Ric Flair was Mr. NWA, and after a brief stint in the WWF returned as one of WCW’s top stars. He was a big part of Nitro during the Monday Night War, whether he was on screen battling Hogan and Savage or behind the scenes feuding with Bischoff. This rare UK exclusive figure can be identified by the red tights and, for some reason, a lightning bolt across the front.
(5) Sting Toy Biz Evolution of Sting Box Set. Yes kids, that painted-up old guy on Raw was wrestling on WCW TV 20 years ago. Sting was WCW’s top star during the company’s rough pre-Nitro era and then became white hot as the silent avenger patterned after Eric Draven from The Crow. This cool box set, released during WCW’s dying days, includes six figures that capture Sting’s different looks throughout his career.
(4) Lex Luger Galoob WCW U.K. Exclusive. Less than 24 hours after wrestling at a WWF house show, Luger shocked the world by walking out on the first episode of WCW Monday Nitro. He challenged Hulk Hogan and ripped the WWF, the company that was trying to make him its top star just two years earlier. Luger’s return to WCW set the tone for Nitro right away; fans began to tune in just to see which wrestlers would show up unexpectedly.
(2/3) Scott Hall and Kevin Nash Mattel WWE Battle Packs 36. WCW gained a lot of attention when it signed Hulk Hogan in 1994, but for two years many fans viewed it as bad 1980s WWF re-run. That changed in the spring of 1996, when Hall and Nash - two of the WWF’s top stars who just months earlier had been at the forefront of the company’s New Generation campaign - showed up on Nitro as invaders from the WWF. There have been dozens of Hall and Nash figures over the years, but this new two-pack from Mattel perfectly captures the Hall and Nash who would show up in t-shirts and blue jeans and cause havoc on WCW television. Mattel included a couple of spray paint cans, but forgot Nash’s notorious fanny pack.
(1) Hollywood Hogan Jakks Pacific WWE Classic Superstars Series 8. There are very few moments that actually changed the course of wrestling history. Hogan’s heel turn in 1996 was one of those moments. He suddenly went from tired, worn out babyface to the hottest, most despicable heel in wrestling. This figure perfectly captures Hogan’s “Hollywood” look and is considered by many collectors to be one of the best wrestling figures ever made by Jakks Pacific.
PWTorch Collectibles specialist Michael Moore can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.
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