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There have been thousands of wrestling figures made since the first wrestling toy lines in the mid-80s. Some have been great, some good and some, well … hideous.
Trying to identify the five absolute worst wrestling figures of all time would be a tough task. Beauty is in the eye of the collector, and some fans may love what others despise. However, there are some figures that have received nearly universal contempt from collectors.
The figures included in this list are individuals that can be found in various toy lines. Figures from overall horrible lines like Jakks’ WWF Maximum Sweat and STOMP, ToyBiz’ WCW Gross-Out Wrestlers and Mattel’s WWE Zombies were left off this list. If you want to read about truly terrible wrestling toy lines, check out this PWTorch Collectibles Column from April HERE.
- Shawn Michaels Mattel WWE Retro Series 7. Some figures are so bad they’re good. Some are so ridiculous (see Joe, Samoa) that they have a humorous appeal. But this 2018 figure of the “Heartbreak Kid” is just awful. Mattel’s WWE Retro toy line, which pays homage to the Hasbro WWF line of the 1990s, is a favorite of many collectors. But this figure is almost universally regarded as the worst in the line. It’s got an oversized head that really looks nothing like Michaels, and a weird looking pudgy body. If you take a trip to your local big box retail store, you’ll probably see plenty of this figure warming the pegs.
- “Paul Stanley” Dollar General Wrestling Bootleg Figure. After the Demon flopped in WCW, reported plans to turn all of the other Kiss personas into wrestling characters never materialized. That never stopped some unnamed company from turning Kiss vocalist Paul Stanley into a terribly made bootleg wrestling figure. These low quality figures were sold at budget retailers like Dollar General, and there are several variations. A basic figure in a package that just reads “Wrestling Figure” looks like Stanley in his regular Star Child Kiss garb, but with way more muscles. In the UK, this figure was packaged with a chainsaw and another weapon on a “WrestleCrazy XXIV” card. Another figure has the same head on a body wearing a WWF Attitude-style logo and red pants on a card that says “Wrestlers: Posable Figures & Accessories.” These figures have gained popularity with Kiss fans and wrestling collectors alike, and usually sell for around $15 on eBay.
- Roddy Piper Jakks Pacific WWE Deluxe Classic Superstars New York Toy Fair 2007 Giveaway. Roddy Piper decided to work his WrestleMania VI match with Bad News Brown in half black face, which somehow isn’t anywhere close to the most racially offensive thing WWE has done over the years. Seventeen years later, Jakks Pacific inexplicably decided to make a wrestling figure commemorating a moment that Vince McMahon and company would probably like to forget. This figure wasn’t sold at toy stores, but was available in 2007 as a Toy Fair giveaway. There were only 100 of these figures made, and they sell for as much as $250 today.
- Samoa Joe Jakks Pacific TNA Genesis. This is one of those “so bad it’s good” figures. In 2010, Jakks took the same heads from their more expensive figures and put them on skinny little bodies to sell them at discount retailers like Big Lots. The worst of these figures was Joe, with his oversized head on a skinny, ripped body. As awful as this figure is, many collectors get a kick out of it. It usually sells for around $5 loose or $10-$15 on card.
- Orlando Jordan Jakks Pacific WWE Treacherous Trios. In the pantheon of bad wrestling toys, this figure is usually overlooked. Overall, it looks a lot like any other wrestling figure. But upon closer inspection, you’ll find this figure has fuzzy flocked hair, a la the old Moss Man figure from Masters of the Universe. Jakks almost never used any sort of material as hair for its figures, so why they chose to do so with this figure is baffling. I had never seen this figure until my son returned home with one from Denver’s Mile High Comics a few weeks ago. It was originally packaged with the Basham Brothers in a Treacherous Trios three-pack around 2005.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PRIOR COLUMN: COLLECTIBLES COLUMN 5 COUNT: 1990s Oddball Wrestling Trading Cards
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MMoorewriter.